School is starting, and I can see the excitement on the face of my youngest, and anxiety on the face of my oldest. Both have very different ways of handling transitions and new experiences. And both are valid.
My youngest strives to be perfect–to fend off bullies, to be an advocate, to keep everyone in her class in line. It’s an exciting and exhausting job she’s taken on. But she’s a leader, and that’s what she does. So we try to give her the tools to lead with love and compassion.
The oldest is just happy to slip under the radar, to get through the school day without being called on so that he can come home and rest in the safety of his family. And we try to give him what he needs to get through in his own way.
This week’s Psalm (139) could be a mantra for our new school year. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God took great care with us when God made us, and we are perfect just as we are.
God loves us just the way we are. We can try to change our kids, and God loves them just as they are. Our kids can try to do things better, and God loves them just as they are. With all our failings as parents, and with all our kid’s imperfections, God loves us.
This week as I’m organizing the school shopping list, and buying pencils glue and uniforms (perhaps you’ve already gone through this in the last few weeks), this verse has been my centering prayer. God made us fearfully and wonderfully. As much as I try to guide and direct them into better choices, they are wonderful just as they are.
Perhaps this is a comfort to you. Maybe it will be a comfort to your kids. They can keep trying, and with all their faults and imperfections, they are absolutely perfect to God.
There’s something about knowing we are perfect to God even though we see all that’s wrong with us, that is completely empowering. All the the improvements are only icing on the cake. We are fully loved and accepted in the arms of God, no matter how much we screw up. And our kids are fully wonderful in the eyes of God, even though they don’t always feel that way.
Friends, you are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator. May you and your families know that deeply and fully.