Every year about this time, I am split right down the middle. I have combating feelings about the new start, about the schedule changing, and even the weather. There are things about summer I don’t want to lose, and things I can’t wait to get rid of. There are things about school and fall that I completely adore, and things I’m dreading just a bit. But I find that my children, God bless them, rise to every occasion.
While I’m over here mourning the close of the swimming pool, the theft of my freedom and room for spontaneity, my children are excited to see their friends on a regular basis, buy a new pair of sneakers, and discover what weird stuff I pack in their lunches. As I labor over schedules, drop off and pick up times, new teachers and supply lists, the children are ready for pumpkins and Halloween costumes – and lemme tell you, I AIN’T READY FOR ALL THAT.
However, I know that I’ll benefit from the new routine, too. I’ll be a happier mama after a couple of hours each morning to clean, run, shower, read, or -oh my gosh!- get a massage, because I’m telling you, that’s a back-to-school treat for this mama and I won’t even apologize.
But in all seriousness, the other thing I love about this routine is the fact it allows or built-in togetherness that is a higher quality than if we were together every second of the day. For some reason, during the summer, we make the memories and we take the vacations and go to the local spots for summer enjoyment, but somehow we’re all tired of each other’s company in a way I’m ashamed to admit. It’s harder to enjoy each other at the end of the summer than it is when we’ve had a few hours with other people, and come back to each other later.
So with this new start, I’m going to plan in time together. Time to read the Bible, to pray, to encourage, teach, and yes, admonish each other, because that’s the stuff that family does. Colossians 3:16 says this: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. If I am to let the word of Christ dwell in my family richly, it’s going to take a little effort. And you know what? We can handle it. We want to encourage each other in love (I Thess. 5:11), and we want to train them up now, so that when they’re older, their foundation is firm (Prov. 22:6). I have a stellar set of children, so I’ll use this start of a new routine as an opportunity to pour into them, love them intentionally, and create space for them to thrive.