“Dear Lord, as teachers, students, and families begin this new season, please grant them patience, wisdom, and protection.

Patience among the chaos,

Wisdom to see all as whole people,

And Protection against anyone seeking to harm.

Amen.”

I wrote this prayer a few nights ago. A part of me wanted to go into more detail, but I decided to leave it simple and broad because I know we can trust God with the details.

Patience Among Chaos

While this season can be fun and celebratory, it’s also a challenge to get back to routines. For some, new routines are just beginning.

The first time parent sending their child to kindergarten comes to mind. The parent who has multiple chlidren at multiple schools, trying to balance new schedules.

Educators are also enduring chaos. The first weeks of school set the tone. New students, new procedures, making sure all kids have lunches, a way home, and making sure their own children are off to a good start.

So many forces are coming together and chaos ensues as everyone struggles to find their equilibrium in the midst of it all. Knowing we each play a vital part in our school communities makes patience so important. We often run short on sleep and energy. That’s why this prayer request was on my mind. I know what it’s like in both roles and how easy it is to snap.

Wisdom to See All as Whole People

You and I are not one dimensional. We are not just teachers. We are not just parents. We are not just students. We are humans with interests and skills. We bring in worries. We bring in joy.

We are also scared… sometimes more often than we’d like to admit.

If we can keep this perspective in check, we know that our connectedness is paramount. We know that we can offer insight into solutions needed to help our community.

We know when we hurt each other, we are hurting those attached to us, as well.

Protection Against Those Seeking Harm

More than ever, we enter a school year with the pain of how the last one ended. We are nervous to send our babies off, knowing that some parents have endured their morning goodbyes as the final one.

Lord, protect us all. Stand in the gap and keep those wanting to hurt our loved ones away. Stop the plans from being carried out. Allow our children to learn with joy and not fear. Let us have each new day with our loved ones.

Keep In Mind

Four years ago, as a public school teacher, I entered into a new grade level after a summer where my husband had life-altering surgery and our youngest was still breastfeeding. I remember dreading back to school. I remember wondering how I would serve everyone in my life, my family and my students.

Our students might have had wonderful summer breaks or the exact opposite.

The tired parents on Meet The Teacher night might be doing their best to put aside grief and be present as much as possible.

When we see each other as humans, not just a label, we are filling this universe with love. It helps us to be more compassionate and empathetic. We even end up modeling that for our chilren and students.

I wish you the best this new school year. I hope you feel plugged in to a supportive community. We all need to feel like we belong. Our faith can help us with the details.

Amen.

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