“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) to Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan), You’ve Got Mail.

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies!

I’ve always loved summer but in the extreme heat of the dog days of Texas summers I was ready to go back to school! I grew up in Mesquite and Denton and we always started after Labor Day because the schools did not have AC. It was a race to get to school early on the first day of school so you could get a desk close to the fan!

In each season of life, starting school brings the excitement of new experiences, new friends, new beginnings and many “firsts.” Elementary school promised new basic skills: reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. Junior high and high school: first dance, first kiss. High school: first prom. The start of high school and college meant football was not far behind (Go Pokes!).

I remember walking to the “God Quad” at Perkins Seminary at SMU the first couple of days each fall (I went to seminary part-time, so it was several falls). I loved seminary and each new class held the promise of digging deeper into The Word, of looking at Things of God and Things of Humanity from new perspectives, of rekindling the Spirit and feeding an inexplicable hunger.

Back to school time, whether for ourselves, our kids or our grands, in each season of our lives promises different blessings, and in many ways a fresh start.

As school starts again this year, I see this promise of a fresh start in our Agape women and children. This year, I sense a special calm in the women we serve that comes from having the security of safe, stable housing and the comfort of knowing they have a support system that has their backs, that is working with them towards success, and that cares about them. We are gathering school supplies and will soon post a Back-To-School Wish List to help us provide back to school shoes and clothes for all our Agape kiddos. (Stay tuned for more info on that!) I’ve visited with several Agape kiddos and asked how they feel about starting school. They are genuinely excitedOne of our new young girls said, “Two weeks is too long to wait!” Imagine that!

This fall, we have new families and families that will soon be graduating. Both are embarking on new beginnings. I ask for your prayers for each and for our staff as they walk beside each woman and child, lighting the way.

May God bless you with a fresh start!

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