A Prayer for My Scattered Child

Dear Jesus,

She forgot her homework again. And her gym bag. And she’s  not quite sure where her new tennis shoes are. The school office called (again) because she didn’t put the right uniform pants in her bag. She left a trail of milk and Cheerios from one end of the kitchen to the other. We had at least one night of tears where she cried that she “just can’t remember all of the things.” Middle school may do us both in.

I can’t find the right balance of consequences and grace. I don’t have the magic answers to help her. I don’t want to be one of those helicopter parents and I don’t want to be so hands-off that she feels like she’s defeated and drowning. I am frustrated every day and so is she.

Lord, help me as the Mama remember that none of these things are eternal. While it is my job to help her learn responsibility, my greater job is to help her lean into You. While the forgotten homework is frustrating, the late night talks where she really shares her heart are irreplaceable. As I try to teach her organization skills, help me even more to teach her a reliance on you in the days when we can’t quite get it together.  Along with teaching her about logical consequences, help me teach her about forgiveness and grace. Help me know when to help and when to back off so that she’s learning to depend on You, not me.

Lord, help her as your child know that her worth is not found in grades or a neat backpack or an organized life. Her worth is found in Jesus dying for her and giving her His righteousness, and that has absolutely nothing to do with a filled-in assignment book. When she is discouraged, help her see the many gifts and talents you have given her (and you have given her so many!).  Help her to do all things for your glory and to work as for the Lord, but help her understand that those verses don’t mean she’s failing if she’s not perfect. Help her see that You are using her in incredible ways by the light that shines brightly through her in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and everywhere she goes.  That light is eternal and matters. Help her continue to make her faith her own and help me remember that these “light and momentary struggles” are a part of that.  The faith she develops is eternal. The bag she forgets is not.

Thank you that you care about every step of parenting. Thank you that you love this scattered child even more than I do.

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