Monday, August 29, 2011

Approaching our first day of school with a right spirit

Today is our first day of school.  I'm in a good place right now, but I wasn't just two short days ago, and that's what I'm going to tell you about. 

On Saturday Adelia was her wondrous, lively, *challenging* self.  That girl.  She is... three and so stubborn and willfull and passionate and defiant and just so very loud about it all.  :)  I love her so much and I know God has great plans for her life and all of that passion and I'm trusting Him to shape her and mold her for His purposes.  But some days are just plain exhausting, aren't they?  Being a mama?  My goodness!

my beautiful girl in a (rare) moment of stillness: at the zoo, holding a small bird

Anyway... so on Saturday she was in full defiant mode and by lunchtime we'd had two major sessions of disobedience (and a few minor ones, too) and I went from fighting back tears to a full-fledged sob session over all of it.  What it all kept coming back to in my fit of tears was: HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS?!  ("this" meaning: start school on Monday).  How does this kind of a morning fit into a school day?  How can I be a diligent mama in training my little girl and be an attentive mama with my school-aged kids?  Sigh. 

Thankfully, once the girls were down I crept into my room for some daily peace and quiet, and resumed my Bible reading.  I was in Psalm 99 and began journaling as I read:
The Lord reigns.  Great is the Lord.  Exalt him and worship him.  He is holy.  I was instantly reminded to take my eyes off myself and refocus them on God.  So I did.  I kept writing and just focused on His greatness. 

Then I kept reading: "Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them.  He spoke to them..."

And God reminded me that He hears when I call upon His Name.  He hears and He answers.  So I called Him right on up ;) -- scribbling out prayers in my journal about all that I felt overwhelmed about.  And He reminded me then of two verses-- one in Matthew where it says "do not worry about tomorrow" and another, in Philippians, I think, that says "do not be anxious about anything but in everything, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  (or something.  I'm paraphrasing, I'm sure.)  So I asked Him to help me not to worry and to just do the *next thing*; that thing right in front of me right now, and to do it well and to trust Him for the rest of it; the stuff that comes next.  I trust that He will not give me more than I can bear and that He is with me, leading me and guiding me.  I asked for wisdom and strength.  I specifically prayed for my girl; that God would teach her self-control and that He would help ME correct with wisdom and gentleness and in kindness.

I am so thankful for God's word and how instructive it is.  I was reminded that day- in just a few short verses- of the truth.  I needed to take my eyes off of myself and the circumstances of how impossible things seemed today.  I needed to refocus my heart and mind toward thankfulness and praise (the Psalms are so great for this!) and I needed to be reminded not to be anxious, but to call on God and trust in Him to answer.  It just righted my whole attitude, that time with Jesus.  I know it will be challenging, this day.  But I know He is good and He is with me and I trust Him with all of it.
Know that the Lord is God. 
It is he who made us, and we are his; 
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise; 
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; 
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100:3-5
Amen.  Here's to a great first day! 
I'll post tomorrow on the flow of our day, (and, ahem- quite possibly how well that didn't work for us!) and will follow in the days to come with our chore chart and all the things Michelle requested.  ;) 

Love to you all...

9 comments:

  1. I love your heart for your family and for God. I so get this struggle. For me, I have to remember that success isn't following the plan on paper but the heart plan that He designs in each day. Hope your first day is fruitful but fruit related to trusting Him not success based on the to do list. I need to remember this myself. I like sticking to that paper plan. Love ya!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's wonderful Stacy - I am glad you were able to ease your fears. I can't wait to hear how your first day goes! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's to a great day, and a great school year, struggles and all! This is real life. :> Hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Stacy, I needed to read that! You're not the only one who needs to just focus on the next thing and not get bogged down in worry about "tomorrow" and all the decisions it holds! Facing back into the start of an academic year is daunting, whether you are teaching, or, like me, studying... I always have to go back to Isaiah 26v3&4 in September!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stacy! Thank you...for helping me with our strong-willed, challenging, so fun, but...so exhausting (just like Adelia) almost three year old little girl!! Some days I'm doing the very same as you....and wondering how I'll make it to the next day! I appreciate so much what you've shared in this post!! We should probably get these two together sometime!! :)
    April

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hope your day is going wonderfully and you have a great year.

    Your *COMPLETE* planning of your school year on your own has inspired me. I'm attempting it with Kylie (our 9th grader) this year, and it's been quite a challenge!

    Looking forward to 'seeing' your day.

    Love,
    Kathi

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for sharing this post I am learning about Christianity right now; I bought a NIV study bible and am reading it in tandem with Ministry of Motherhood and When Women Say Yes To God. 1000 gifts got me started on my quest to learn more about faith and family.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sandi~
    Thank you. And YES! to all your thoughts, here.


    Teri~
    Our first day went very well! I hope to post on it soon. Just gotta upload some pictures...


    Rebeca~
    Thank you.


    Hannah Joy~
    You're welcome! And blessings to you as you enter this next academic year~ may all your studies be fruitful!


    April~
    God has grand plans for those passionate girls of ours. He'll mold them for His purposes, and somehow He has seen fit to use US to come alongside Him in that work. (Yikes! Good thing He knows what He's doing!) I love you, friend. Hang in there!


    Kathi~
    Thank you! And- Ooooh, FUN-- about the planning. Let me know how that goes!


    Elizabeth~
    That is so exciting that you are learning about Jesus, Elizabeth! I will pray for you.


    (((Hugs))) to each and every one of you,
    ~Stacy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this, thanks! We seem to think along the same lines; isn't it wonderful what a thankful heart can do? I blogged about some similar things last week: I'm so glad we have God when we are at the end of us!

    God bless you and your beautiful family!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from you, and I will do my best to reply back to you in the comment section.