I cannot believe that our summer is almost over but we’ve flipped the calendar to August and it’s hard to ignore. It’s time to start looking at school supply lists (I have friends that I know just read that sentence and they’re like, “Start? What do you mean start? We’ve got our stuff labeled and ready to go!” What can I say? I procrastinate sometimes.)
I enjoy our summers with the kids all home and the break from the school routine and I have never been one of those mamas singing hallelujahs and counting down days until they go back. But I do love this time of year. It rings with promise and newness to me just as surely as January 1st or springtime does. I guess I have a thing about beginnings and possibilities.
At the same time it can be easy to look at what all is coming up with cross country meets and volleyball games and what have you and feel a bit panicked. The possibilities are a-plenty to feel overwhelmed and worn out so here are some things I want to keep in mind as we get ready for school to begin at the end of the month and all the challenges that it brings.
1.) Change is good.
This is a doozy for me! Rob has said more than once that we often view change as death. And most of us resist that death, that change, because we like living the way we live. But we are a people called to death because we are a people of the Resurrection and we know that true life comes from the dying. This time of year will afford many opportunities for me to die to myself for the good of those around me…even if it is just keeping a good and pleasant attitude.
2.) Hard does not mean bad.
Having to work hard for some thing makes our appreciation that much greater. Hard means can often bring us to a good end if we will just stay the course. Hard circumstances have a place in God’s working in our lives…suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope. And even more, that hope does not put us to shame.
This one is big in my thoughts as Abby heads into her junior year (traditionally herald as the hardest year at Trinitas) and enters into cross country season. Running doesn’t come easily to her and we were surprised when she asked to join. Surprised but proud that she wants to attempt something that will require hard effort from her. We don’t care if she ever places in a race or not. Giving her best and striving to improve are fantastic goals for all of us.
3.) Busy shouldn’t always be a complaint.
Obviously, too much busy can be bad. And busy for the wrong reasons can be bad. Sometimes, we like the busy because it’s where we get our identity from…how we define ourselves. Or it’s a shield we hide behind so we don’t have to deal with something or think about something. Sometimes we keep busy just so we have something to complain about.
I have a friend who is an accomplished pianists and one morning I was sitting beside her while she played this beautiful piece of music. I mentioned how busy the page looked with all the musical notes and sweeping lines and other notations. She said she never chooses a piece that isn’t busy because it makes for a more interesting listen.
Wrongly ordered busyness in our lives makes for a cacophony of sound with out of place rests and clanging cymbals of aggravation. But rightly ordered busyness creates a symphony of praise as it is worked out in the day to day doing.
For sure, if we are living the wrong kind of busy and if we allow the wrong kind of hard into our lives (the kind that is a result of our own selfish desires and demands) and the wrong kind of change into our lives (the kind that stems from never being content or just old and set in our ways) then our song follows the tune of the world.
But if we are being and doing faithfully all that He has given us to be and do then our song can be that of Psalm 98,
“Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things!”
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