Shop the fall collection ➔

With the dog days of summer quickly coming to an end, a new school year is upon us. A new beginning—an opportunity for a fresh start, new friends, bigger challenges, and different exposures. And while the world often makes me want to place my kids in a bubble, pause time, protect their hearts, and ensure they have minimal visibility into the disorder happening outside of our small town suburbia life, I know that’s not possible (or healthy, let’s be honest). This is life. This is the fallen, sinful world we live in. So here we are, trying to make the best of it, some days better than others.

Looking ahead to this school year, the anticipation my second grader has is contagious—finding out who his teacher is, determining what friends are in his class, figuring out lunchtime and bus schedules. The jitters and butterflies bring me right back to elementary school, anxiously waiting to go supply shopping, select my outfit for the first day, and organize my folders and backpack. While that may seem like a lifetime ago and the worries of the world are much different now, when I look ahead at this school year, I realize the wishes for my son are rather similar to what my parents wanted for me all those years ago. Maybe some things aren’t that different.

RELATED: The Bedtime Hoops: 4 Important Questions To Ask Your Kids Every Night

While the thoughts and concerns about second grade may seem trivial to some, I pray my son will remember these five things as he embarks on the school year:

1. Be Kind

Kindness matters. It’s contagious, goes such a long way, and just may be the single reason why a classmate smiles during the school day. Strive to be that reason.

2. Include Others

If you see a classmate sitting off to the side, notice them. Be courageous enough to walk over to them, extending an invitation to participate in whatever it is you’re doing. Life is more enjoyable when you’re doing it in community, so aim to never be a stranger. 

3. Be Intentional

Think before you act or speak. While hurtful words or actions may be forgivable, they are near impossible to forget and can haunt everyone involved. Pausing to think, even if just briefly, about what to say or do will help ensure your next move is more deliberate.

4. Remember Words Matter

Building off intentionality, words can either lift you up or cut you deep to the core. Please, choose them wisely and think before you speak.

5. Be Joyful

These years should be fun—be silly, laugh loud, play tag and embrace being a kid. Too quickly, first smiles and baby coos turn into first words, first steps, and first school days. Time is precious and something we have no control over, so be in the present and live joyfully in the moment.

RELATED: Forget 18 Summers—You Only Get a Dozen School Years

Launching into anything new is bound to be nerve-wracking and stir up emotions, whether you’re starting a new school year, a new job, or even a relationship. Strive to make the best of it—not only for your own good but also for those around you. Lead by example, be compassionate and spread kindness throughout your school not only in your classroom but on the bus, at the playground, and in the lunchroom. Know you can be the very reason someone smiles, comes home excited, or feels noticed. And few things can make a heart fuller than that.

If we all lived a little more like Jesus, there’d be a whole lot more love to go around.

Now go get ’em, big boy.

Kristina Shipp

Kristina lives in Ohio with her husband and their two kids. Outside of the messiness of motherhood, her favorite things include fitness, camping, coffee and reading. She is also passionate about infertility and her journey to finding Jesus well into adulthood.

3 Things I Want My Kids To Learn From Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Have you ever thought about what you want your kids to learn from you? Being intentional parents, we want our kids to be better than we are, to grow up having a better life than we do, and to live a full life of potential which means we need to be the best example for them! Here are 3 things I want my kids to learn from me

Have you ever noticed that every time you mess up as a parent, whether it’s saying a bad word or sneaking a candy bar after you told the kids no more candy, or that they should eat a healthy snack that your kids catch every second of it? Children absorb and learn about the world by using their senses to see and hear going on around them. (That’s why the saying, “actions speak louder than words” is so true!) Have you ever thought about what you want your kids to learn from you?  Being intentional parents, we want our kids to...

Keep Reading

Not Just Bedtime Prayers: 70 Faith-Focused Questions To Ask Your Kids Each Day

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Not Just Bedtime Prayers: 70 Faith-Focused Questions To Ask Your Kids Each Day www.herviewfromhome.com

Our article, 50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead Of Asking ‘How Was Your Day’ has been a huge hit with all of you (and in my home, too).  Seriously, my girls love it. Mom and dad do as well. Last night as I was reading your comments, I decided we needed a faith specific version of these questions. (Thanks middle of the night nursing session for my ‘thinking’ time.) And so our writers came through (again) with these 70 questions to ask your kids. I love this list so much.. maybe even more than the first. I hope it helps...

Keep Reading

6 Bold Prayers To Pray Over Your Children Daily

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with child in bed

Motherhood is a multi-faceted job. One of the many ways we mother our kids is by praying for them. In different seasons, motherhood demands of us long, short, weary, joyful, or desperate prayers. They make up the lifelong dialogue with have with God about our children.  In times of silence, noise, and uncertainty, our prayers are woven together into a mantle of faithfulness. This mantle covers our little ones from the day they are born until long after they’re grown. It’s part of the fabric of motherhood. RELATED: Not Just Bedtime Prayers: 70 Faith-Focused Questions To Ask Your Kids Each Day Time...

Keep Reading