Back to School: Mastering the Art of a Personal Pep Rally

There’s nothing like a pep rally to lift the spirits of our kids and energize them for the new school year. The enthusiasm creates a wide-open path of expectation for where they are going and possibilities are real and tangible.

But a personal pep rally isn’t just for our kids.

In my family, we’ve long utilized celebrations as a kind of year-long pep rally to not only revel in where we’ve been but to also instill a desire to be intentional in where we are going. No matter how far apart we are these days, we all keep a tally of the good things that happen in our lives, we share them with each other, and often the first words leading into the grand announcement are…”We have something to celebrate!” Getting everyone together is a bit of challenge at times, but it’s a priority, it’s never forgotten and it always includes dessert.

Our pep rally celebrations unite us as a family and raise our spirits for what’s to come.

Because we all know life is not always going to bring celebrations, and when the hard times come, we’ll have to work hard to stay grounded in where we are going, and we know we won’t be able to do it alone. I’m a firm believer that when we make time to celebrate where we’ve been, we clear the path for where we are going.

Pep rally celebrations attach reverence to our journey. They connect our hearts to one another and to our Creator who authored our journey. We’re not just celebrating the goodness of the moment but also the goodness of our God. His goodness toward us because of who we are and whose we are.

We’re also acknowledging that because of this goodness, there is a plan and a purpose to every breath and every step we take. Our identity is steeped in purpose because we were created not on a whim but with careful and deliberate forethought. Oh, how I need to be reminded of these truths on a regular basis because I get derailed so easily by the unexpected and difficult pieces of life, and I know I’m not alone in this.

Scripture is full of personal pep rally rah-rahs because God is our ultimate cheerleader!

Who else calls us by name and challenges us to clothe ourselves in who He says we are? Who else urges us to run the race and keep our eyes on the goal? Who else revives our spirit and pushes us beyond our weakness and unbelief to a place of strength and faith in what we’re called to in this life and beyond. And through it all, He promises to be there with us all the way, to strengthen us beyond our own means and quiet our anxious heart with His love.

If that’s not the best RAH-RAH pep rally, I don’t know what is!

“God is for you. Turn to the sidelines; that’s God cheering your run. Look past the finish line; that’s God applauding your steps. Listen for him in the bleachers, shouting your name. Too tired to continue? He’ll carry you. Too discouraged to fight? He’s picking you up. God is for you. God is for you. Had he a calendar, your birthday would be circled. If he drove a car, your name would be on his bumper. If there’s a tree in heaven, he’s carved your name in the bark. We know he has a tattoo, and we know what it says. ‘I have written your name on my hand,’ he declares (Isa. 49:16).” ~Max Lucado

God has great plans for our kids as they go back to school, and He also has great plans for us!

Maybe it all begins with tilling the soil of our heart a bit so He can pull weeds choking our identity. Perhaps it begins with allowing space for God-breathed affirmations to take root in our heart. And maybe it begins with choosing to believe not what we feel…but what we already know to be true.

A version of this post originally appeared on, published with permission. 

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