I really do not like this time of year, when summer is coming to an end and the school year begins. Yes, there is nothing like freshly sharpened new pencils and granted some of the kids are excited, but some are not. What I will miss is all of us being together more than we are apart. With so many waking hours being spent at school, I miss them. The times around the table happen only at dinner and this is something we feel strongly about. We intentionally do not pack our schedules because this time is counted as highly valuable. Believe me it is not because I am that great of a cook, but what happens around the table matters.
We had a rough day yesterday and words seemed to be spoken to hurt. Not really sure why, other than we decided to give into sin and threw self-control out the window. So, to get our hearts back in line with Jesus, we tried something normally done only on birthdays. We had the kids speak kind words about each other. Around and around we went and it was good. It made them laugh and was a bit uncomfortable at times, but the more we practice speaking words of love, the easier it gets. This will no longer be saved for birthdays, but will become common. The memory made was a beginning.
Before we take off into a new school year, more memories need to be packed in. I am taking time with each kid one at a time and doing something special. Anna Kate and I visited her favorite museum, had lunch and shopped for her first day outfit. I love hearing her insight on works of art and sharing in her excitement in finding her unique style. We talk about the little things and the big things. She will be starting middle school and that is a pretty big deal. She is a bit shy and not one to demand attention, which makes her go unnoticed at times. She needs to be reminded that this is a good thing and how God made her. She does not need to change to fit in.
Jackson and I spent the day looking for deals on back to school clothes. He grows so fast that it is hard to keep up with his ever changing height. We tried a new restaurant and laughed a lot. He is witty, kind and fun when he relaxes. He is quite a gentlemen and that makes me smile. He worries about the small things and what other people think. I know this all too well. Thankfully, having been there it is very easy to lead him out of this pit with the light of truth. Makes the years of my own struggle worth it to be able to use it all as we parent this boy.
The others have their days planned out and I look forward to each one. However, I will tell you what I have noticed about these two kids. They were more willing to share their hearts, help out and were physically present more after our outings. Time is important. Pretty simple, but often lost in our busy school days. We catch up over dinner, before bed and on weekends, but I see the years moving all to quickly. Being mindful of what we give our time to really matters.
The memories made now will make play a part in the years to come. I want them to never doubt that they are loved, heard and will always hear the truth from me. Makes me think about a line in a song I recently heard that said, “Mom is just another word for home”. Sometimes learning to be home has not been easy, but God keeps teaching me daily to rely on Him. He has become my home and that is what I want my kids to see in me. When my words and actions do not reflect Him, my kids probably do not feel at home. In fact, just this morning I spent quite a bit of time repenting for such sin. Self-righteousness had taken root and needed to be removed. So like a weeks worth of garbage, it was taken out. Our home feels much better now and so does my heart.
It is time to rest up for tomorrows adventure!