First Day Words

Susan chose our Saturday adventure this weekend.  We headed over to “Plaster Fun time” to paint some plaster.  The Sharpteam had never had this experience, so it was fun for Susan to share something she liked to do with us, and we loved joining her.

Everything else for her has been new . . .

She is a real trooper.  She has walked into every situation with open hands, ready to see what it holds, and I am deeply proud of her, because it is all new for her.


And as we head into this week I am seeking out the help of our family and friends . . .

Susan is changing schools this week.

She is 13, in seventh grade and in the middle of the school year, in the middle of the week, she will be starting at a new school.

She is open to it, but I imagine there are going to be some hard moments in that first day.

So here is my plan.  I am asking YOU for words.

I would so love to be able to print out 20-30 comments from this post and send her to school with encouragement from people who are loving her and supporting her . . . people she doesn’t even know.

So PLEASE, step into the adventure with us, with Susan . . . what encouragement do you have to a 13 year old girl on her first day at a new school . . .



23 thoughts on “First Day Words

  1. “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make new ending.”

    Today can be about how you want to make a new ending. A new ending for this school year. A new ending for being 13. A new ending for middle school. The beginning of new experiences maybe sometimes be out of our control but many times how we end those experiences is all up to us.

    Praying for a great “new ending”.


  2. Our whole life is made up of hellos and goodbye – goodbye to a kindergarten teacher, hello to 1st grade. Hello to summer, then goodbye, hello to fall, then goodbye…. you understand. Hello to meeting a new friend and then goodbye as they move, or you do. Hellos and goodbyes are hard but can also be full of excitement… if you can embrace it and believe it might actually be good, someday. Can you imagine not saying goodbye to kindergarten, or trying to live in summer in the winter and not letting go and embracing the new season? Could you ever imagine the very first time you met one of your closest friends you would actually become so close? It started with one hello that you may not even remember but it was important because you were open. The most mature people I know in life have learned that hellos and goodbyes are tough, not always planned, perfect, hard, and sometimes not wanted but not necessarily bad. You have a great opportunity to embrace this time with great maturity and courage. I believe you will.


  3. When I was a girl of 13, life seemed so large and looming. It was if everything was topsy-turvy. Little did I know that all these changes and differences were in preparation for the woman that I would become. So, look at this new change as but one journey on your walk of life. Learn all that you can from it as one day, you will be able to use it as an example to help another 13 year old girl.

    We love the Sharpteam and we love you! Sending our love and blessings from Texas to you!


  4. Susan,

    Know that after your first day of school in a sea of unfamiliar faces you will come home to open arms and warm smiling faces. Be encouraged.


  5. I was 13 when I left home and started a new school. I had no family with me. I had no idea what to expect and was alone in a place that became deep, so deep in my heart. There were nice people and mean people, and I felt awash in all kinds of emotions. It was then, though, that the part of me that was a child began to grow into the part of me that became a girl that eventually became a woman. It was then, when I could not handle the stuff that felt overwhelming with all the change that I began to learn to hold onto the One that doesn’t change and doesn’t let go… if there is one piece of advice I can give you, Susan, it is that God knows where you came from and where you are going and who you are when no one else does. He stays and can handle all your emotions even when you cannot. And He deeply loves you and holds you today, when your heart is scattered in the newness, and He will not let go of you. He has not let go of me once since that day at my new school 23 years ago.


  6. Remember we are all equals and we’ve all at one time in our lives been down the path of the first day of school jitters.
    Just hold your head high and think POSITIVE thoughts, remember you are never alone.
    New friends will come soon enough, at the end of the day remember your going home to the love and comfort you deserve…((((BIG HUGS))))


  7. Hi Susan, as a 7th grade teacher myself, I can honestly say I LOVE middle school…and the teachers you’re going to have will also LOVE middle school…which also means they’re going to LOVE you! I’ll be praying that you make some awesome friends and that you begin to feel comfortable at your new school very soon. God has some AMAZING plans in store for you…get ready! I hope I get to meet you soon!


  8. Susan,
    My youngest daughter will be 13 soon. She doesn’t like school. Actually, she thinks her school uniform is a prison jumpsuit. The only thing she likes about school is Creative Writing. Find the thing you enjoy and enjoy the fact that you enjoy it!! That’s how my daughter has met new friends, made connections with her teachers, and made plans for Creative Writing summer camp.
    Everyone on the Sharpteam blog loves Andrew and Liza and that means we love you, too. So, know that when you enter your new school, you will have dozens of moms and dads praying for you, loving you, and thinking of you.


  9. Susan Darling,
    When I was 13, I left the school I had been in since kindergarten and ventured off to a new middle school. It turned out to be the best year of my life…in fact, I am still friends with at least a dozen kids who were in my homeroom that year. Be yourself and nothing else, and good things will happen. No matter what happens, Liza and Andrew will be there to unconditionally support and LOVE you, and so will your new Life Community (how I was looking forward to meeting you tonight!). Can’t wait to welcome you in our home soon! Much love, Joyce


  10. You are a beautiful, talented and strong girl. You have come so far and nothing will get you down. I wont tell you it will be easy, I am nervous just thinking about it, but you will go in there and do wonderful. I think a new setting and a new start for school is exactly what you need to go with everything else changing in your life. Remember you have a huge support team behind you every step of the way. You know you can call me or email whenever you need to talk. Be yourself, laugh, and stay positive. I love you and cant wait to see you this weekend. (((HUGS))) xoxo Your Big Sister, AmyRose


  11. You have been through many transitions and changes in your life, and now another one faces you with starting a new school. It is ok to feel nervous and unsure of what will happen. Know that whatever happens in school or the future, you are a strong and loved person. Sometimes thinking about this helps in uncertain situations, know how much life and love is in everyday. Many people will be praying for you!


  12. Dear Susan,
    I’m going to make this short and sweet–speaking as someone who was often the “new kid”…people LOVE the new kid. You’re a mystery, and you will find that you have many friends to choose from. I predict you will have phone contacts/eMails/IM screen names of at least three new girls by the end of the second day! Just s m i l e. “You’re amazing, just the way you are…”
    Love, Mary


  13. Susan, it’s never easy going into an unknown situation and knowing how it’s going to turn out. Starting over is never easy, but it is worth the risks you take to get to know new people and learn new things. You will find, sooner than you can imagine, that you are getting the hang of a new routine, making new friends and new memories. Is it scary at times? You betcha! But is it worth facing head-on? You double betcha! Time has a way of getting us through the rough spots and we all have many in life. As you go through them, be reminded that they are only for a season and they will pass. You will come through them because of who you are and who God has created you to be. Strong and loved by many. May you see life as an adventure and may this new adventure at a new school bring you many great surprises that bring you much happiness!

    Praying that you will be blessed beyond what you can measure,


  14. Dear Susan,
    Might seem strange that people that you don’t know and don’t know you would have much to offer but though I’ve never met you I do know the God who made you and I know that when he sees you he thinks “wow, that girl is awesome, and I love her and want good things for her.” so I pray for a year full of good things for you, the least of which being a great experience in school, some really good friends, and much much joy!
    With love, Natalie


  15. Hi Susan,
    I have watched my two children go through many transitions to new countries, new schools and new people. I know it feels scary but it can also be an exciting new adventure. Embracing these new experiences with the hope of building new friendships and growing as an individual will help along the way. Though you may walk through the school doors alone you have the support of your foster parents who care deeply for you and the support of many people who are praying for you and cheering you on.
    Praying your first days go better than you could even hope or imagine.


  16. Just remember that even when there are days that you do not feel “worth it”…..You indeed are a treasure and your life is important to those around you. Your perserverence and courage will not go unnoticed as you tackle this new school. Even though we have never met…I am very proud of you!


  17. As my grandfather said recently, “you’re as sharp as a stone.” “What kind of stone?” “A sharp one.” In this new season, it may feel like you don’t know up from down, but know that you are surrounded by an amazing couple who will guide you with love, wisdom, and intention through it all, by God’s grace. Let them have your back. Know that you have come to safe place. You will thrive and flourish like you’ve never imagined.


  18. Dear Susan,

    Our family will pray for you during this transition – that things will go well, and that this new change will be an exciting one with great things that you could never have imagined!!

    1 Peter 5:7 “Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.” Living Bible

    The Hunters


  19. Beautiful Susan,

    As you walk out into that new school, filled with new faces, that feeling of nervousness and fear may well up in the pit of your stomach. That is ok, but remember this: I am Susan and I have something to offer. It is not about fitting in, but being myself. May you laugh today, may you raise your hand confidently to answer questions, may you smile brightly, may you be at peace, may you simply enjoy your first day in your new school. Love you!


  20. Susan,

    Be brave, be strong, be courageous. Look for the good in your day. Know that you are covered in prayer and good wishes from all corners of the world! You are special. And you have a purpose. Like Dan said, beware of the tater tots…. and other mysterious cafeteria concoctions! Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself. As a mom of a 13 year old I say this with conviction – know that you have two people waiting at home who are possibly more anxious than you are! Have a wonderful first day of school!!

    All our best!


  21. Susan,
    You don’t know me but I will pray for you today. My mom gave me this one piece of advice when I was a young girl – the best way to gain a friend is to be a friend. I hope you have a great day!



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