Four Things I RElearn EVERY School Year

Every school year, I RElearn a series of lessons. You’d think I’d remember them or record them in a journal for posterity’s sake.
So, here goes. For the sake of future and younger generations (and me).
As summer winds down, the nights become a cooler and a smidge shorter, here in the northeast, we are ready for school to begin anew.
While pristine pools beckon from the backyard and basketball hoops long for one last swoosh, and the woods stand lonely longing for young explorers.
Where are the children?
The children wander inside, plop on the couch and moan, “I’m bored!”
The kids are all summered out.
The parents are summered out.
We long for the schedule of school.

Confession- I love school.  I love new school supplies.  Books. “Bouquets of sharpened pencils”. Sticky notes. Notebooks and new crayons.  I love learning!  More than anything, I crave the schedule. It fits my personality.
Is this the lesson I learn every year?  No, hang on, I’m getting there!

1. School is exhausting. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.
It takes awhile to get used to the schedule of school, no matter how comforting it is. There is an enticing invitation to fill your schedule to the brim at the beginning of every school year. Sports. Plays. Bible Studies. Story hour. Play group. Before you know it, your calendar is covered in multi-colored sharpie and you are exhausted. The house is wreck. The kids are overwhelmed. You are on the edge of a meltdown yourself. You ask yourself, “how did I do all this last year?” or at least I do. Every year. How?
Will it get better? Yes.
Give yourself some down time. Make your health a priority. No one else will. Before committing to anything, pray. Don’t join something because you are afraid of being judged if you don’t. Join something because it benefits you and your family. Make sure peace is your umpire. He makes the best calls.

“You don’t have to be afraid that your limitations will keep God from accomplishing what He wants to do through you.  Even Jesus grew tired, got thirsty and hungry, and had other limitations. What does that tell us? Being human is not a sin.”- Holley Gerth

Treat yourself like a human being. Plan your schedule accordingly which brings me to number two.

2. You cannot be everything for your children, Supermom!
 Sometimes we women try to save the world in our own power. Not gonna happen.  Even with our schedule pared down to what is best for us and our family, we can take on too many burdens.During the school year our children will have situations that require our input, prayer and natural consequences.   Emotional and physical ones.  This is the hard part. WE cannot be everything for our children. NOPE.  When we (I) try to overbear a child’s burden it leads to burnout. Quickly. Sickly for parent and child. Enabling hurts. It impairs maturity. We have human limitations for a reason. WE are humans. Not God. God is God. He deserves the glory. He will not give it to another. If we solve every problem our children have, who will they lean on? Us. Who is gonna fall off the idol perch? Us. When we step back and let our children fail, fall, cry out for help, we can lift them up to the ONE who can bear their burdens. The burden bearer, abundant life giver. Isn’t our job to to raise our children in the training and admonition of the Lord? The Word doesn’t command us to bear our children’s every burden or be their professional problem solver. It commands us to train them. To teach them. To converse with them, when we stand, sit and walk by the way. Step back for a moment when your child is in the midst of a problem. Pray. Watch. Wait. Help if you feel lead. Watch him solve it. Watch him own it.

Join me next Monday for 3 and 4!  See you Friday for Five Minute Friday!

*Photo of Kristy Cole and children-Thanks, Kristy!

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