Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adapting to Autumn

Fall is not really my favorite time of year as it brings on the heavy schedule and the laid back days of summer fade into a flurry of activity. But today I am enjoying the crispness of the temperature through open windows, the smell of pumpkin candles burning while I work and the sound of my oldest playing the piano like she hasn't in so many months. Yes, I think I am adapting to fall.

We are settling into our new routine with school, lessons, Bible studies and of course, baseball practice. I must admit the games in the cooler, drier air are more enjoyable. I guess maybe I am finally ready for this new season.

It's funny how God must have known that we would be ready for the changing of seasons every few months - they are really perfectly timed. Even though I was so sad to see summer waning away a couple of weeks ago, I find myself eagerly anticipating the autumn - crisp air, school year tasks, recitals, pumpkins.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day

I wonder why it is that new things are always so hard. Why is it so hard to walk into a group of complete strangers for the first time? I remember it being really hard when I was a child, but I suppose that I thought becoming a grown up would make it easier. It didn't.

I suppose it is the just the simple fear of the unknown. Jonathan and I had a good taste of this fear as we went to a new Bible study this morning. He was very uptight about going even though he knew the teacher and was assured to have at least one friend in his class. Still, I had to convince him to try it just once with the promise never to go back if it was absolutely horrible. No one made those kind of promises to me. When I told Ken this morning that I didn't want to go because I was too tired and it was too hard, he simply said, "Just go."

So we went and as we pulled into the parking lot, all of the words of encouragement to Jonathan (and myself) were lost when he said, "Mom, I think I am going to throw up." To which I promptly replied, "Don't worry, I feel the same way. Let's pray." I took his little hand in mine and we prayed right there trusting that the God of the universe cared enough about the anxiety of our morning to calm our hearts and give us the courage to walk into our classes. And we did just that.

Of course there was nothing horrible about the morning and Jonathan definitely wants to go back next week. All the fear and anxiety from last night and the early morning simply gone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eat, Drink, Find Joy

Today we begin our serious schedule. We have been easing into the swing of school since the beginning of August by reading and working on math. A week or two ago we added government, but today we are adding the full compliment of courses for each child. In addition, driver's ed continues this week, Bible study begins, piano lessons resume, and of course, baseball practice - all this week.

So being the planning kind of person that I am, I have it all planned out beginning with getting in bed on time last night so that we can rise and shine early to get the jump on a very busy day. We even discussed over dinner how the week would be, what kinds of things we expect this school year, and how we are getting back in the habit of getting up early. What was I thinking?

The evening began with Kelsey asleep on time and I follow by getting in bed at a very reasonable hour (thank God). I read for a bit, but decided to go on to sleep since a well-rested mommy is less likely to be grumpy. But just under an hour into my slumber, my sweet Jonathan cannot sleep, so I let him climb in bed for a while and I go right back to sleep. Then a little while later, my precious Kelsey awakes from her sleep announcing that she needs to potty. Now I am excited that she is using the potty, but she has on pull-ups at night (I wanted to remind her of this, but I didn't). Off to the potty we go, and then to the kitchen for ice water. Finally settled back in bed (Jonathan back in his own bed), I dose off only to be awakened by this tiny voice whispering, "I need to go to the potty." I won't bore you with the details, but yes, this scenario continued on until around 3:30 this morning when sleep finally came to this little child and I was able to snooze for just a few hours.

About seven, I stumbled out of bed and just as I entered the living room, Ken hurries to get coffee - he knew it had been a long night. All I could say was, "Why does this have to be so hard?" I mean I had the perfect plan for beginning our week and staying up half the night with a two year old who couldn't sleep was not part of the plan.

So as I settled down to drink my second cup of coffee, I pulled out my One-Year Bible, knowing I could not face this day without hearing something from God. Ecclesiastes - great! Everything is meaningless, everyone dies and no one remembers. Well that was encouraging. Okay, sarcasm aside, I read the first two chapters carefully and here's what I saw. Yes, everything I am striving for is meaningless. The degrees we are chasing after, all the stuff we are acquiring, but Solomon said that without God there is no enjoyment. You see God set eternity in the hearts of men, so even after all the useless striving, there is still eternity - the hope that we shall be with God and this brings joy. So here's the plan: be happy, do good, eat and drink and find satisfaction in my work.

There really is nothing better than to enjoy whatever work you are doing. After all, it is a form of worship to God. So eyes tired, heart encouraged, I set out to do just that.


I am happy to say that we did survive the day. Actually, it was better than surviving - it was enjoyable.

Monday, September 1, 2008

So Long Summer

I feel so sad that the end of summer is here. It seems like only a few short weeks ago we were rejoicing at summer's long awaited arrival. For some reason I am not quite ready to dive head long into our routine and the very full schedule that is calling us.

Maybe it's because now that the kids are growing up and more involved in things, it feels like there weren't enough lazy days. It seems our summer was so full of places to be and things to do that there wasn't much time to just be and there are those things I was hoping to do that didn't get done.

As we dive into our new routine, I know the warm September days will beckon us to come outside and eek out a little more summer in the midst of our crazy schedule. There will be time for a few more baseball games, a few more afternoons at the pool, a few more dinners on the grill, and maybe an escape to an amusement park once more before the cold weather and shorter days arrive for good.