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On the first day of school this year, I got up early to read my Bible before I woke the kids up and all the craziness of the day began. The first day of school brings a whole mess of emotions with it (for me AND the kids) and I was feeling especially focused on my worries about them at that particular moment.

Ultimately my biggest worry (that day and every day) was, “How on earth am I going to prepare them for everything life will throw at them?” I guess God was reading my mind again because this is what I read:

Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

(1 Thessalonians 5:14 NLT 1998)

These words were some of Paul’s final thoughts to the Thessalonians in a his first letter but at that moment it was like they were written for me. It literally seemed like God had heard my fears and was saying to me, “Look. It’s really not all that complicated. Just warn them when they’re being lazy, encourage them when they’re being timid, be tender with their weaknesses, and – above all else – be patient with them. That’s enough.”

It’s crazy how much I overcomplicate my role as a parent when it can be as simple as these four things. I think about all the times when I’ve let the “little things” get in the way of the “big things.” If I know that my kids have a relationship with God – the BIGGEST THING there is – then everything else is a little thing. And it makes sense that the little things can be managed with warnings, encouragement, tenderness and patience.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me that you’ve created a design and a plan for everything we encounter on this earth. Now I just need your help in applying this plan in my day-to-day life. I know that you can guide my words and actions to show my kids your grace, truth and love. Amen.

Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay

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