It is 4 AM and I'm awake. I'm trying to convince myself that it is because of the thunderstorm. That's probably what woke me, but I'm fairly confident it isn't what is keeping me awake. It is the first day of school today—one of the most heart wrenching days of the year for me. I'm sending my kids into a new environment and I can't be there with them. For two of mine this year it is a very new environment. Sara goes to a new school and John starts kindergarten. We went earlier this week and unpacked the backpacks, met the teachers, went over the dropping off and picking up drill, and generally convinced them that it would be fine and they would have a good time--now to convince myself. I cried praying over them at supper last night. A friend reminded me of one of Joe's infamous quotes yesterday, "We are raising adults, not children". For me, 75% of learning at school has nothing to do with academics. It has to do with learning how to apply their Christian worldview in the world. I'm not really concerned about today. My thoughts are on what I know will happen this year---life will be unfair, feelings will get hurt, friends will be ugly at times, fears will overtake them as they face academic and social challenges. The biggest part of me wants to shelter them from all this harsh world has to offer, but is that raising them to be adults? Is that how life really is? Obviously the answer is no. So I am thankful that I can send them to school, have them see life's challenges, and be able to offer them a glass of milk, a warm cookie and the Bible's answers when they get home at night. While I dread this day, I also know from experience it is the beginning of another year of in-depth conversations with my kids about the hard things of life. And my hope is one day they will be an adult ready to serve Christ with all their hearts in this fallen world and the pain of this world won't rattle their faith. So tears will be shed, I'll pray and I'll pray and I'll trust the Lord with my child today, tomorrow and the next day.