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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Monday 31st August 2015

What We All Need to Know on the First Day of School

Dear kids,

It’s your first day of school, girls, and I know it will be a great day — not because it all went perfectly, or because the conditions were ideal, or because you didn’t get bored.

Today will be great, because you get to do this. You get to do school.

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Today is a great day because you get to learn. You get to have a school bus pick you up at the end of the driveway, and a bunch of friends waving from the windows. You’ve got a backpack full of supplies and a mind full of dreams.

Dr. Seuss said it like this: “You’re off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”

You have a lot of people helping you up that mountain, girls.

When you show up at the door, the teachers will show you to a classroom. No, your rooms aren’t air-conditioned, but the floor of your school is linoleum, not dirt. There’s a solid roof over your head. The teachers have worked hard to keep up their certifications, and they’re doing all they can to prepare you for what lies ahead.

Today is a great day.

Today is a great day because at noon, the cooks will scoop out well-balanced meals on your plates. There’s a school nurse for you, if you’ve got a tummy ache. And there’s a phone to call home to mom, should you feel a little “off.”

A janitor worked hard to clean that whole building before you showed up. A principal spent hours of uncelebrated work making sure the day runs smoothly. Somebody changed the lightbulbs.

Today is a great day. If you are thirsty, there’s a water fountain right outside your door. If you are hungry, there’s snack time at 2. If you are antsy, you have a playground.

Today, millions of children all around the world don’t get to have the great day you’re having. Millions of children — with bright and beautiful minds — don’t know how to spell their names. Millions of children would give anything for that warm meal, that cool drink of water from the fountain, that No. 2 pencil poised on the worksheet.

Those children have a mountain waiting, too. Who will help them up it?

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Today is a great day, girls, because you are being equipped for great things in the world. Every lesson you learn, every test you take, every friendship you make … it isn’t just for you. It’s for a world in need.

There’s a great big world out there, and it needs a whole generation of kids like you — who will work hard, and share, and give their best, and decide that things have to change. There’s a world out there that needs a whole army of generous-hearted people who don’t make a point with guns or knives, but with love.

There’s a world out there that needs you.

Today is a great day. Because you’re being made for great things.

Love,

Mom

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Today is a great day …

to sponsor a child.

Education remains an inaccessible right for children around the globe. Consider sponsoring a child today through an organization like Compassion International or a nonprofit that is near and dear to my heart, Touch of Hope — Haiti.

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All the children in this photo grid need a sponsor. Click here to find out more: Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 9.19.49 AM

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  • Karrilee Aggett

    Perspective is a powerful thing! Love this, my friend! xoxo (It made me to remember to pray for our sponsor kids as school starts up for them too!)

  • Perspective is everything.

  • These are lessons that we, big kids, would do well to remember. We are a ridiculously blessed people here in the good ole’ US of A. Thanks, Jennifer, for the perspective check.

Dear God, Thank YOU. Here's where I guide my gratitude this Thanksgiving Day -- straight to YOU. Without You, I would have to direct all of my thankfulness to fate or the universe or thin air or my "lucky stars." But it's You. It's all because of You. … ift.tt/2zyTE5h pic.twitter.com/bWjoMVLmcd