It’s that time of year again…

when moms and dads all over our country are sending their “babies” off to school.  For some, it’s the first child going to kindergarten.  For others, it’s the last child leaving the nest.  For many, it’s the transition from elementary to middle school, or middle school to high school, or even high school to college.  Or, like us, it’s that our babies are changing schools and starting all over in a new school environment. 

For now, God has called our family to the public school system.  We have many dear friends who have been called to put their children in private schools, and many more who have been called to homeschool.  I respect each option, because I know that if they seek Him, God leads each family, each year, as to where He desires them to be… for their good and for His glory.

IF you have been called to place your precious child into a school system, whether public or private, I pray that this blog post will be an encouragement to you.  God gave this to me back in 2002 when we were preparing to send our oldest off to school.  I pray through it every year, and have seen God answer each request beautifully.

Because we are in a new town, state, and school system, I’ll be working through this with especial vigor.  For all of us, I’m praying with confidence that God will be faithful to take care of His children… and their anxious parents!

May the Lord be glorified through our children this school year, and may He grow them into vessels that shine brightly for Him and through Him… Beautiful Oaks of Righteousness!!! (from Isaiah 61:3)

Jennifer 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Lord gave me a gift the summer before Nathan started school. God had called us to place our children in public school. I thought for sure that I would homeschool, but that was not God’s plan for my family. Even though we knew God called us to public school, my heart was still heavy with concern over “letting go.”

One day I was studying in Exodus and came upon the passage about baby Moses and his mother. Through that passage, The Lord brought me great rest and peace about what He had called us to do.

If God has called you to send your baby to school this year, I pray that He’ll use His Words to guide you in your prayers for your child, and bring you peace as you trust Him in your obedience. This is what He gave to me so many years ago – and it’s still a comforting truth for me as each school year begins.
My children, Baby Moses,
and the Public School System

Exodus 2:2-10 (God’s Words are in bold, my prayer response is in italics.)
2) And the women became pregnant and bore a son; and when she saw that he was exceedingly beautiful she hid him for three months.
She kept her child to herself because she saw the beauty in him, and knew that the “world” would neither see nor nurture her precious child.

“O Jesus, you know how much I love my children, and how I want the very best for them. They are beautiful not only to me, but also to You. You have blessed me beyond my ability to describe when you allowed me to stay at home and “hide” my children these early years of their lives. Thank you, Jesus.”

3) And when she could no longer hide him
In other words, it was time for him to go to Kindergarten… (or middle school, high school, or college…)

“Lord, the time to put ‘faith into action’ is at hand. You have called my family to public school, and we can no longer ‘hide’ from it. Just less than two more weeks…Help us, dear Jesus, to trust You.”

she took for him an ark or basket made of bulrushes or papyrus,
She built a basket of protection for him with great care.

“Jesus, you have led me to build that basket every day as I love and invest in my children. Thank You that You have helped me build this basket with Scripture prayers for them, time, patience, play, laughter, Godly teachings, acceptance, and joy in my children. Because of You, my son’s basket is almost ready. Thank you!”

making it watertight by daubing it with bitumen and pitch
She made the basket “watertight” where no outside element could easily harm him.

“O Jesus, because of Your love and training of me, You have graciously allowed me to train and love and build healthy self esteem, based on the teachings of Your Word, in my children. Please help them to be ‘watertight’ and ‘insulated’ from the worldly influences trying to seep into their hearts and lives. Please call them to know you at an early age and to be ‘sealed’ by the redemption of Your blood.”

Then she put the child in it
With her heart wrenching, she placed her son in the basket, making him secure in the surroundings she had built for him, trusting that she had done all she could for him.

“Jesus, you know how my heart wrenches when I realize that now is the time to place my son in this basket we have built together. Please help me to believe – I mean REALLY BELIEVE- Your Word that promises You will “never leave, nor forsake” my baby. I am placing him in the basket with You, and covering him with a blanket of prayer.”

and laid it among the rushes (reeds) by the brink of the Nile river.
The reeds: Webster defines “reeds” as the grass stems growing at the edge of the river, and/or “a person or thing too weak to rely on; one easily swayed or overcome.” She placed her cherished child in the midst of, at best, a weak support system.

The brink: The beginning – in my case, Kindergarten. (now, it’s middle school)

The river: The public school system influenced heavily by the currents of the “world”.

“I lay my precious child at your feet, surrounded by the ‘reeds, brink, and river’. Thank You that You are going with him, before him, behind him, between him, and through him in this new era of his life. Thank You for the deep peace, joy, and great expectations that this knowledge brings to my wrenching heart!”

4) And his sister stood some distance away to learn what would be done to him.
“Lord, please give me ‘sisters’ in You to watch out for and over my children in every one of their schools.”

5) Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked along the bank;
Pharoah’s daughter and maidens: The teachers and assistants at the school.
she saw the ark among the rushes and sent her maid to fetch it.
She saw the basket and rescued it.

“O Jesus, please help my children’s teachers to see the treasure-filled baskets we have placed in the river. Please help them to be drawn to those baskets, seek them out and rescue them.”

6) When she opened it, she saw the child; and behold, the baby cried. And she took pity on him and said, this is one of the Hebrew’s children!
“Jesus, help the teachers to really see our children, their personalities, their strengths, weaknesses and needs. Help them to hear the individual cries of our children, take sweet pity on them, and to realize how valuable they are to You, to us, and to Your work in this world.”

7) Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call a nurse of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?
8) Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the girl went and called the child’s mother.
9) Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages. So the woman took the child and nursed it.
The mother is given an unexpected opportunity to have additional influence on her child’s life.

“Lord Jesus, please help me to see and obediently take every additional opportunity You give me to ‘nurse’ my children. Jesus, please help me with my priorities. Please show me the way that I should go (Ex. 33:13), and help me to walk in it. Please help me not to get ‘side-tracked’ and miss the ‘best’ by being distracted with the ‘good’. Please help my focus to be off of me and onto You and Your best for our lives. Please help me to remember that time spent investing in my children’s lives is a ‘gift’ of great ‘wages’ or value”.

10) And the child grew,
“You know the plans You have for my children. Plans to prosper them and not harm them. Plans to give them a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11) Jesus, I know now that my children will grow through this, and they will be O.K. They will be even better than “O.K.” – they will be victorious! (PTL!!!) They will have been where You instructed us to place them – insulated by us, and protected by Your hands upon their lives. It will all be for their good, and for Your glory (Rom. 8:28). For You and for the remembrance of Your Name – this is our heartfelt desire! (Isaiah 26:8)”

and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son.
“Jesus, I realize that a day will come when we will be asked to release our children to stronger ‘waters’ than elementary school. But when that day comes, Lord, I trust that You will help us to be ready. O Please help our children not to become ‘sons’ of the world, but of You.”

And she called him Moses, for she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
“Lord Jesus, please help our children’s lives to be significant for You, because of Your instructions to us to place them at this tender age into the ‘water’. Please help them to be known by Your name because YOU have drawn them out of the water and called them Your own. A men.”

God used Moses’ life in mighty ways, and did things through him that He did through no one else. I want God to use my children this way – their lives lived to His power and glory. Baby Moses, my children, public kindergarten, and God’s faithfulness ~ What a Trustworthy God we serve! 🙂

I’m praying for all of you who are sending children off to school this month.

And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:13
And when they had done everything according to the Law of the Lord…the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:39-40

*PS: I dedicate this post to my Brother and Sister-in-law, Chris and Melissa, as they send their darling Will to Kindergarten this year. 
About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. A Stone Gatherer says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for this post! I have been sending my children to the public school since Kindergarten, this year sending my baby into middle school! I have sometimes felt like a bad mother, for not sending my kids to the Christian school or home schooling, but truly felt that God called us to send our kids to the public school. Even though like you said it can be very scary. This passage spoke to me and I'm going to pass it on.

  2. Chambray Blue says:

    Very nice. Regardless of where our kids go to school, if their home life is one filled with God's love they will be just fine! Praying over and for our kids is the most important thing we will ever do for them in their life. (mine are grown and on their own now) I can remember praying over my daughters room after she'd go off to school… and though things got tough at times, God remembered… and He watched over and protected her. This is a wonderful post. Thank you, be blessed, bobbi

  3. Thank you for this beautiful prayer. I used it this morning with some adjustments in wording. My husband is very sick with dementia, and God has blessed my thirteen-year-old daughter with some wonderful Christian friends who are taking her out more. She is away from me and the sickness in the home a great deal. I feel as if I have placed her on the water, too. She is going to church with them, and she led a friend to Jesus recently. Her first time! I believe God is using all of this for His glory, but it is still hard to let her go. Also, we do homeschool, but I adjusted your prayer to pray for our time homeschooling as God is using it to prepare her for a great work. This post of yours was a special blessing for me at this time. Thank you.

  4. Oh Jennifer, how like you to offer encouragement to the moms who might not be called to home school or who cannot afford private school. I've a few friends who sent their kids to public school and they did wonderfully well. I am a product of public school. And now I am back in touch with many of those high school friends thank to Facebook. They see my blog and messages I write about Jesus. It's been very interesting the conversations that have been happening.

    Hugs and love,
    Debbie

  5. Tales From My Empty Nest says:

    I am a former pre-school teacher (17 years), so I know the anxiety of sending kids off to school. I pray that your children will have a wonderful school year and that God will watch over them every step of the way. I am sending my "baby" off in a few weeks for her senior year of college. It just does not seem possible. Great post. Loved the story you included about baby Moses. Love & blessings from NC!