Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

Thanks for stopping by!

{Back to School}

Despite thinking we were well-prepared for the first day of school, Wednesday smacked us in the face this week! It always amazes me.  Almost instantly, we felt more busy.  We will settle into the routine soon enough. Until then, it's likely we'll have mornings similar to the one we had yesterday. Good, with a hint of frazzle. Normally, I document the first day of school with cute little pictures as we head out the door. We failed at every attempt to do that this year. Madeleine thought it was a funny and unnecessary thing to do. William was suddenly overcome with shyness and ducked under the table, then around the corner. We've agreed, however, that we will celebrate on Friday by taking "We survived the first week back to school!" photos.


I can't believe Madeleine is in 5th grade. Fifth grade. The time has gone by more quickly than I care to admit. I find myself wanting to sit and stare at her. I remember 5th grade. I chuckled quietly to myself when she explained that she would probably pass on breakfast.  When I asked her why, she explained that she would be too nervous (the good kind of nervous) and excited to bother with eating.  "I mean, it's 5th grade. It's almost middle school," she said. Yikes!

Wednesday morning she was slow to rise! But, I can't blame her. I gave her a little shake and told her to hop up. I can always remind her that she doesn't want to be late. (Already, she carries around a little planner and writes her daily schedule on her whiteboard.)  After a few minutes of prodding she told me, "I am up!" Of course, she wasn't. I returned about 10 minutes later to find her still sprawled out on her bed, fast asleep. Once she got up, she was a champ. That is until she discovered her shoelaces were "dumb!" "Mom, these are the WORST shoelaces ever. These are dumb!" Mind you, she had picked these new laces the day before! At the time, they were the BEST shoelaces in the world!  Besides that, all was well.  She brushed her teeth and combed her hair (twice) before I could remind her to do so. I dread the day she asks to borrow my blush and my lip gloss! I have a feeling that day is just around the corner.


Second grade is a big deal.  It's a big deal because there's a lot of hard work to do, AND because it's better than kindergarten! William was thrilled to find out the privileges granted to big second graders. He jumped out of bed quickly and was ready to go! He was so excited that he was slamming drawers. He just couldn't get dressed fast enough! After he dressed himself, he came and asked me to fix his hair. I worked my magic and off he went to the table for breakfast. A few minutes later, he came back into the bathroom, where I was checking on Madeleine.  "Mommy," he said, "I don't want to be mean, but I wanted a faux-hawk and this isn't a faux-hawk."

After school, he was happy to report that he received 12 compliments (11 of personal compliments and 1 for his whole class). "And it's just the first day," he explained!

It's going to be a good year. I can feel it. I am so thankful for such a wonderful school. I am thankful for wonderful children. Sure, being a parent is hard and exhausting, but watching these little people grow into big people is breathtaking! When I catch myself sitting, gazing at my kids, marveling at the pace at which they grow, I remember God's promise in Jeremiah 29.  I remember that He loves them even more than I love them. And, they love Him too. That is priceless.