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This time of the year, whether their children are starting Kindergarten or college, most moms are running around trying to finalize the back-to-school items for their kids. There never seems to be enough time in the day to either get everything we need, or to get the kids on a schedule or back-to-school routine, or continue to enjoy the last few days (or weeks) of fun.
As Christian mothers, we are charged with the task to pray unceasingly, and to share the Gospel – the Good News – whether it is by action, word, or deed. We don’t have to walk up to an individual and ask them if they have a “church home,” or if an individual has a personal relationship with Christ. Rather, evangelizing – or, spreading the Good News – can be as simple as wearing an article of clothing, using a coffee mug, or hanging something small in the car.
All Things Caffeine!
What do most moms drink on a daily basis? Why, coffee or tea, of course! Therefore, my first recommendations are from the coffee mug aisle – small ways in which we as Christian moms can remember our own promises to pray, remind us we are not alone as we might struggle to drop our Kindergartner or college freshman off at school, but also be a reminder perhaps to another mom in the trenches to remember to slow down, breathe, and pray.
Furthermore, if you are like me, and collect coffee mugs, don’t miss the ones devoted to friendship, featuring the Serenity Prayer. These would be a great addition for any prayer group which may meet after the children go back to school!
Rounding out “all things caffeine,” both my husband and I enjoyed the mug featured below, simply because the quote can be taken two different ways. Yes, we as women were created for such a moment as this; yet, the coffee has also been created for such a moment as this. Talk about a sip of freshly brewed goodness in a mug…
All Things Related to Reading
Sending children out into the world is scary. As I wandered the aisles this past weekend, trying to find the school-specific “plastic blue folder with two pockets and three prongs,” I realized my son is growing up! Is he prepared for the big world? Hardly. Is he even prepared to tie his own shoes? Not yet.
I considered the concerns I have heard raised by mothers whose children are headed to college this year. They have uttered the exact same fears. And, I am kicking myself for not remembering to set aside my prayer guide from the movers. I absolutely love the following prayer guide book – from prayers for safety as children learn to drive, to prayers for the health of our marriage or family, to prayers of comfort for a distressed mama’s heart – this booklet has an amazing wealth of prayers within its small binding.
Beginning the school year is a great time to refresh or begin a new devotional. While I could recommend some Catholic mom devotionals, I was gifted a copy of “Jesus Calling,” and I have to acknowledge – I kind of fell in love with it last year! So, this post, I’m highly recommending this particular devotional. You just find the date and read, ponder, and put the thoughts into application!
If you are like me, you have plans and ideas for this upcoming school year – which include reading books that you may otherwise not have had an opportunity to get to while celebrating those “lazy” days of summer. Having been gifted a magnetic bookmark in the past year, I am sold on these great inventions, and kind of wish I had thought of them! Don’t miss these inspirational ones, which will hopefully assuage the loneliness which may creep in without your school-age/college-age children around the house.
All Things Devotional
This past weekend, I shoved my favorite Rosary into the pocket of my shorts and headed out of the door to run errands. Throughout the day, as I routinely put my hands in my pocket, I would remember to say a brief prayer until I got the chance to complete the Rosary. I once was given the advice to find a water bottle I loved, so I would have an incentive to drink the water I needed; recently, I began to apply the same logic to the Rosary – I pray my Rosary far more these days simply because the beads are pretty. So, when I found a version of this car Rosary, I knew it may be the added motivation I need to pray a decade here… or there… or, anywhere!
All too often, most moms are working hard to lift up the spirits of their children. We spend time easing anxious thoughts, we work diligently to calm fears, and we tackle the obstacles which make our children sad. But, how frequently do we stop to listen to our own advice? How often do we nurture our own anxious thoughts, calms our fears, or try to brighten our own days? Since I am not too creative, that’s where decks of affirmation cards come in handy. This particular gift can also come in handy when you know your kid needs just a little more sunniness in their school day – perhaps tucked into their lunch bag…
Last year, more days than not, our family left the house in the morning via the front door. When my husband asked why we didn’t go out of the garage, I explained the holy water font was right inside our front door. And, as an anxious mama, I felt some comfort when we blessed ourselves – or, when I blessed my oldest – as we started our day together. Our holy water font is currently in our household goods, so we won’t be starting the school year with it on our wall; however, we will have holy water available. If you don’t have a holy water font yet, I highly recommend the one of the Holy Family, since it not only holds the holy water, but it also reminds me of the family we strive to emulate!
Finally, if you are like me, you like to get the mood set in the morning, with some upbeat tunes. If you aren’t praying in the car or on the walk to school, it is nice to soak up some uplifting beats while lifting your soul in prayer. When I attended MOPS a few years back, I was introduced to the band Casting Crowns, and when I am in need of some uplifting tunes, I find myself scrolling back to this playlist on my phone. I rock out to it in the car, in my headphones, while I am writing… you name it, chances are good that this, or something like it (ahem, Matt Maher) are playing!
We, as moms, strive to be everything to everyone. We try to make home as comforting as possible, we try to ensure our children are ready for whatever life may present, and we try to create a life where memories are made. Sometimes, we have to also recognize when we are in need of a little inspiration, whether it is inspiration for ourselves, or the other mama in the thick of things. Perhaps this list was helpful – at the very least, to plant some mustard seeds of ideas in your head and heart, and you will watch those seeds grow as we start the school year together!
Excluding “adult beverages,” what would you say is your favorite “Back-to-School” gift idea for a mama? Let me know in the comments below!