• Lauren Allen

Back to school: time to pack your backpack!

The smell of freshly sharpened pencils, completely white sneakers, cute haircuts and junior high nerves is what comes to mind for me when I think about the start of a new school year. Depending on where you live in the world, you may find your newsfeed and social media accounts filled with back-to-school photos and posts. The back-to-school season is one that can be triggering to those of us who carry the cross of infertility. Like any major holiday it may be for some just another marker in time that reminds us where we are not; and how much time has passed since we last thought “next school year, I will have an infant in my arms” or “my baby would have been in 2nd grade this year”. If you feel this way, you are not alone.


This school year will be my 7th year as a public school educator in Texas, USA. For me, the beginning of a new school year has always helped to cultivate my creativity and spark my curiosity. This point in the year is very much a time of reflection, learning, planning and preparation. So sister, this back-to-school season we have a challenge for you. Pack your metaphorical backpack, put on your new white sneakers and grab your favorite journal and pen - you’re going to want to write these recommendations down. Join us in reframing what back-to-school means for you and remember to share with a friend who might benefit too!



Reflect

  • What did I do this past year that was especially fruitful?

  • Spiritually, where was I a year ago? Where am I now?

  • Physically, what did I do this past year to become a healthier version of myself?

  • Emotionally, what worked when I was at a low point in this past year?

Learn

Books to pack in the backpack


Podcasts to listen to on the school bus


Prayers, devotionals and litanies to help you through the school day

Resources for homework

  • Truth, Beauty and Goodness Challenge

  • Spring Clean your Life (spiritually, emotionally and physically)

  • Preparing Your Heart for Social Gatherings

  • Managing Medical Appointments and Navigating NaPro

  • Dealing with Pregnancy and Birth Announcements

  • Toolbox for Stressful Times

  • Wielding the Sword of the Spirit: Fighting Satan’s Lies with Scripture

  • Supporting Couples with Infertility

  • Semen Collection the Catholic Way

All of these resources can be found here.


Plan

After browsing some of our recommendations listed above and reflecting for a while, make a plan and set some goals for yourself. Your plan may look like an action step each week, month, or three months. It may involve choosing which podcasts or books you want to read this school year. Everyone plans differently so pull out your planner, journal, notepad or notes app and do your thing!


Prepare

Now that you have a plan set in place for a successful “school year”, go for it and make it happen! Set yourself up for success. Order a book off the list, set an alarm on your phone for prayer time, or go follow a new podcast. You’ve got this!


And always remember who was the ultimate teacher. Sometimes learning may just be sitting and talking with Christ or exploring his parables.


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