Last Days of Summer

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Swimsuits, flip flops, dirty feet, sun kissed faces, lemonade stands, playdates, picnics, dripping popsicles, bike rides, catching fireflies, road trips, heat waves, long days, late nights, lazy mornings, all things summer halted by the return to school. Kids and parents are now immersed with the “Great Back to School Scavenger Hunt” to find 28 glue sticks, 48 pencils, and numerous other provisions needed to start a new school year. Within a blink of an eye, summer is fading and school is starting. I think there are a few common emotions parents begin to feel as school closes in on summer.

Some parents are holding tight to summer, surged with a rush of adrenaline as they vigorously check items off the bucket list. They put the irony in planned spontaneity. Somehow they have held it together and have been “walking on sunshine.” Each day is a race against the sunset; loathing the thought of a defined schedule.

Others welcome the rhythm of school back to their lives; the second half of summer feels like anarchy. The ice cream truck is no longer a novelty and the warmth of summer is heavy laden with the notorious phrase, “I’m bored.” As a result, parents have been waiting in great anticipation since the fourth of July to bellow out three words, “BEDTIME SCHOOL NIGHT”.

Then there are those who feel melancholy; this time is a bit bitter sweet. The last few years passed at warp speed. Some may say, “you have made it,” surviving some of the most trying years of parenting. It can be a grieving experience to watch the shadow of child take flight into adulthood. Or it might be the first time the house goes quiet for 8 hours a day. The tiny voice who only worries you when quiet, will be vibrating off the walls and into the ears of a loving educator, trained to correct all of its imperfections you have doted over for the past five years.

It is times such as these when we can be so thankful we have a God to call on to protect and care for those we love so dearly. We can rest in knowing our kids have a Heavenly Father whose love is perfect and unmatched stretching all the way to a cross. If anything, back to school can signify a reset for parents to remember to pray for their kids, teachers, and friends. Asking God to have people pour into them full measure, teach discernment and compassion to those around them, to learn respect and self control, to be joyful enthusiastic learners, and encouraging them to be stewards of God’s grace.

If you have never before prayed for the school year challenge yourself to. Talking to God is often the perfect antidote to free ourselves from what is burdening our thoughts the most. As summer fades, and a new season begins, have peace in knowing there is
a God who is actively pursuing you, waiting for you to press into Him to feel His grace.

Blessings – Beth L. Helm

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