“And Jesus came and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

My heart is so tender toward all of you who are preparing for the first day of school. Whether this is your first “first day”, your last “first day” or any “first day” in between there will be lots of preparation, some anxiety, some laughter and likely some tears. Brian and I have been “doing” school for the last 21 years with our kids! That is so hard to believe. Tanner now has three children of his own with his oldest starting second grade this year! Jake is heading into his second year at Texas A&M and my sweet baby daughter is beginning her senior year of high school.

I will say that with 21 years of experience, I have learned a few things. Things like: When is a good time to go on the hunt for school supplies and when is a really bad time. The traffic will be a nightmare the first week of school at drop off and pick up so have extra coffee and loud praise music on hand. The teacher that your child gets, whether it is the one you manipulated for or not, is the “right” teacher for your child. Even the most difficult teachers have life lessons in store for your kids and for us too. Don’t sweat the small stuff; detentions, stains, having your clip moved down, not making the A-team or playing the spot you think they should play, or how about not being invited out to coffee by the “cool moms”… all small stuff, don’t sweat it.

Something else I have learned is that there are a few “big things”. I know that as a parent, you want your children to be respectful, successful, kind, hardworking, motivated, and well-liked. I want that for your babes as well. So, when you see her hang back as the “popular” kids walk in on the first day to walk with the girl who goes a little unnoticed, that is a big thing.  When the math teacher truly appears to not like your son, but you teach him to be respectful and work hard anyway because the math teacher’s response isn’t our concern. But the witness we are for our Heavenly Father and His expectation regarding our responses is. Or how about when the coach has them in the wrong position or is degrading to your child (and I will ‘amen’ that not all coaches should have as much influence on our kids as they do) but you teach your child to do their best and to pray for the coach, that is a big thing. Or how about teaching our children that not everyone in their life has the right to speak to “who they are”? Our children’s identity does not come from their peers, their teachers, their coaches or even from us, their parents. Their identity comes from understanding “whose” they are and all the authority and influence that comes with it.

All authority has been given to your children if they are believers in Christ. Go therefore and make disciples; use your influence with your peers to make in impact for the Kingdom. Jesus even tells us that He is with us and He is with our children. You see, detentions, difficult math teachers and unsuccessful athletic years are the small stuff. Kids being saved, understanding their identity, influencing their peers and impacting their campus…now that, that’s the big stuff.

Praying for you this year!

Change your world,

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Buy Candy’s book Rescue here! 

Candy GibbsYou can swim confidently into the murky waters of parenting teens! Rescue offers wisdom, encouragement, and practical applications. Working with a group of young “Lifeguards” throughout the book, Candy Gibbs gives struggling parents the life preservers they need to rescue teens from a drowning culture. With Biblical insights and Candy’s own creative techniques, Rescue is the “Noah’s Ark” of parenting books, ensuring that today’s teens will carry on a legacy of godliness to generations to come. Find out more!