Welcome to the second week of our blog series, Mentor Moms, from mothers who have walked in your shoes and experienced the power and hope God brings through united prayer.
Families all over the world are learning new lessons this year. We thought our children would return to school this fall, but instead our expectations have been upended as many of our children are learning from home. We are helping our children navigate the challenges of online school and showing them the patience needed to adhere to Covid-era disease prevention rules.
The first thing we need to remember is that we have NEVER gone through this!
We are learning to navigate this unusual season along with our children. Because we have never seen this before, it’s alright to struggle through it together.
Our kids will learn from our example when they encounter new and unfamiliar things in the future.
God powerfully demonstrated His care for my sons when our family moved to California. They were not happy about leaving the life they had known in Virginia. Stephen started 9th grade in an unfamiliar high school and Evan started 7th grade in an unknown middle school. Right away, I found two Moms in Prayer groups, one for the high school and one for the middle school! Each son found Christian friends through Young Life and my Moms in Prayer connections. They both learned to trust that God goes before them into new situations. This has helped them in college and in the working world.
This time also presents some real challenges. Children of all ages miss their friends, sometimes to the point of depression. It wears on them mentally, emotionally, and physically. Some children are not trying as hard as they would if they were in the familiar classroom setting. Young children especially don’t have a long attention span for online learning.
Teachers have added challenges, too. They are working even harder to create effective lesson plans for virtual learning AND to find ways to hold students’ attention while teaching online. Parents have to oversee the learning of one or more of their children and take on the role of technology expert to boot! Meanwhile, they must juggle their other responsibilities – working from home, running the household, and caring for younger children.
But there are many unexpected lessons:
- Parents see how their children learn and interact with their teachers and classmates. They perceive more clearly their children’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Parents get to spend more time with their children and have more influence. Some children are better able to focus at home without in-person interactions.
- Families have the opportunity to grow together – in extending grace to one another, in learning patience, and in practicing gratitude. This applies to both parents and children!
- Siblings are learning to help and care for one another, and they will have these positive memories to look back on later.
- Moms are growing in leadership as they remind their children and themselves to make the best of this situation. This is a great life lesson. As my friend Jenny says, “God has our backs!”
- Teachers and parents are collaborating to better serve the children. They’re learning to show each other grace: parents see how much skill and hard work teachers put into their teaching, and teachers see how much effort parents are putting into making the situation work.
- Finding new opportunities to PRAY! While moms may struggle with the new schedule, they may have more time to pray with their children. As moms, we’re able to pray for things we may have overlooked before.
Katherine who has three school-aged children and is in my Moms in Prayer group, says her kids are thinking more of their teachers and fellow students and how they can pray for them. Every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance, a grandmother I know has time to pray over her granddaughter. She would not hear those prayers if she were in school.
Moms have the blessing of hearing the prayers of their children. Two nine-year-old boys shared with their moms that:
“God is renovating right now.”
“God is good and HE is bigger than Coronavirus.”
Hearing such insights is priceless and brings joy to our mothers’ hearts. But when do we find time to pray? Well, it takes some creativity, but it can be done. Moms are praying:
• when her child is engaged with online school
• during short breaks throughout the day
• whenever she needs God – His comfort, care, or wisdom
God’s Word tells us that whenever we pray, He hears us. “He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.” (Isaiah 30: 19b)
Moms in Prayer is a wonderful resource available to moms. We will be glad to pray together in person again once the pandemic restrictions allow. Until then – just like our children – we can meet virtually, online or by phone. I’m grateful for the lifeline of prayer I share with my Moms in Prayer group each week. We are encouraging one another through this unprecedented season and finding unexpected blessings along the way.
Moms with school-aged children at home, I pray:
Jesus, our faithful Shepherd, I lift up these moms to you. They have a lot on their plates right now, with keeping their families healthy, virtual schooling, and soon the holidays. Would you please hold them close to your heart and gently lead them as they lead their young (Isa. 40:11) I pray moms would come to you for rest and refreshment, knowing that you see them. Thank you for all the unexpected blessings you are providing along the way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Cindy Foulke has been involved with Moms in Prayer since her son’s public school kindergarten teacher asked her to start a group. That was 20 years ago. She still loves praying with other moms and is now a Regional Coordinator in northern Virginia, outside Washington, D.C. Cindy and her husband, David, are parents of four young adult children and are looking forward to becoming grandparents in a few months!