My sweet girl is going into 4th grade. I feel like 4th grade is a whole ‘nother thing from where we’ve been.
When I went into 4th grade, they had just redistricted the schools and I was going to a new school. I have vivid memories of that year–my teacher not liking how I did dot letters for my name on assignments, my friend Jennifer and I talking about Mandie books and drawing pictures on each other’s papers, the old desks with names carved in them, the big open hallways of my new-to-me but very old-fashioned school, watching She-ra while waiting for the bus to be called and a new awkwardness around the boys in my class. It wasn’t that I suddenly liked boys or even that my class was all boyfriend/girlfriend crazed. It was just a new awareness of weirdness about myself and others.
My daughter only goes to class 2 times a week, but those two days of her sitting around other kids and being taught by someone other than me, I think about that weirdness, that awakening, that very real feeling of me I had in 4th grade.
I pray my daughter (even in awkwardness) feels a very real feeling of groundedness in her self. But actually, not really her self. I am actually not concerned with her self-esteem. High self-esteem, as its called, can easily get into self-reliance and pride. Low self-esteem is still centered on how the world treats you, you, you. Everything points to self.
I want my daughter to know the idea of Christ-esteem. That regardless of awkwardness felt or worldviews shifted, that Jesus Christ loves her. I hope she can sit in a room surrounded by people very other than her and remember that the Holy Spirit’s work in her is what gives her power and makes her unique. I want her to be very assured that it’s not what others think of her or how she relates to them, but who she is in Christ, how He formed her and is directing her unique path.
I’ve kicking off this new year of Lydia’s with three little events…
Last night I’m took my sweet girl to one of those paint-a-canvas-with-friends places. We brought our own food (from Starbucks) and painted pretty swirly crosses side by side. On the way there I said, “Want me to tell you about when I was in 4th grade?” And she did! So, I told her what I felt like then. It wasn’t super serious–but more to make sure she knows that I recognize her growing-up, the newness and potential strangeness of 4th grade and more importantly, that talking about what we’re experiencing and feeing is the norm.
I’ve also decided to tuck God’s Word into her school days as much as I can. I saw these beautiful school supplies at Dayspring and thought she’d love them. There are Scripture verses on every corner and I love to think of her taking out books or looking through a notebook, remembering God’s truth for her. We’ve looked at all of them, talked about the Scripture and even talked about how easy it will be to memorize them.
My last little trick is a Mama-and-me journal. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I saw it on Mama Jenn’s blog but have been waiting for the right time in her life. Basically, we write notes back and forth to each other in the journal. (This super cute one!) I’m hoping it will be a fun connection for us and possibly a place to write things we don’t know how to say out loud–or at least give us practice for big conversations that are to come as she grows up.
God, give me wisdom in this new school year. Help me point my children to you. Let them find their unique self in You. Help me remember and lead my kids in knowing, that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) Thank you for going before us and leading us through this school year!
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I contacted Dayspring and asked if I could show off their new Live Original by Sadie Robertson school supply line. It’s right up the same line I’ve been thinking about Lydia’s new school year–plus, it’s super cute! There are gorgeous binders, dividers, spiral notebooks, journals, composition books and even locker accessories for the precious girl in your life. Lydia cannot wait to bring all this matchy cuteness to school! (And I’m glad we got a few extras so I can use ’em!)
Disclosure: I approached Dayspring about this post. They sent me product to facilitate this post. All opinions, words and thoughts my own. Affliate links included.