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Coach Mom Newsletter - Sept  2012

Continuing to Influence & Encourage

Cried lately? If you are a mom I bet you have. August can be an emotional month. As school starts, we have to gather school supplies and clothes, fill out forms for school, register kids for team sports, and coordinate new schedules. But we also deal with the stark reminder that our children are getting older and are one year closer to leaving home. Although that is exactly what we want them to do – grow up and prepare for their future when they will be independent of us - it doesn’t mean it won’t be hard when they do it.

Because we just experienced packing up our oldest child and moving him to college, my heart is especially tuned into that right now. I recently heard something on the radio that has moved me to action concerning encouraging those who have just graduated from high school and gone to college. Drs. Kara Powell and Chap Clark, authors of the book Sticky Faith, said decisions made in the first four days of college set the pattern for their next four years. They said many times parents try to use self restraint and "give them space" by not contacting their children the first days and weeks of college, but in fact they could use the encouragement at this pivotal time in their lives. They urged parents to be in touch every day those first weeks in some way -- a text, a 3 minute conversation by phone, a letter, etc.

I am thankful to have learned this, and it has motivated me to not only encourage my own son, but many of his friends. In the last two weeks I sent cards to fifteen college freshmen friends, and messaged a number more on Facebook. In the cards I enclosed scriptures written in calligraphy -- I’m hoping those new bulletin boards will have some room for the Truth to be seen daily. The notes I wrote weren’t necessarily long, but I let them know I am praying for them and reminded them of character qualities I see in them. I also told them I know God has great things planned for them.

To keep myself organized in sending regular encouragement, I made a spreadsheet named “college freshmen 2012”. On it I entered each student’s school address, email, and cell phone number. I also have a column where I can list the dates I contacted them and the scriptures I sent.

You may not have a child who is a college freshman this year, but do you know any? Do you have a niece or nephew, a sibling, or friend’s son or daughter that you might encourage? In the radio interview, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly shared that an older lady in his church sent him an encouraging card the first week of school and it stayed on his bulletin board until he moved out of his dorm room that May. You never know what an impact an encouraging note might have even on just an acquaintance.

You missed the four-day window, you say? The first semester is just getting geared up at most colleges – why not seek out that address and write the note today? Can’t think of anyone in your life who is in their first year of college? I know someone. Email me and I will send you my son’s address. And, for those of you out there who know a freshman who could use some encouraging, send their addresses to me and I will add them to my spreadsheet!

I believe our encouragement towards and prayers for these students will reap godly decisions, and impact the next generation for the Kingdom. Bless you and yours for a great school year!

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Proverbs 12:25

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Brenna's Blog

Wonder how Brenna fared the college drop-off of her oldest son?

Read her latest post on the blog: First Son Takes Flight.

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Coach Mom Art Camp

Thank you to the 56 children who attended Brenna’s summer drawing camps!

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