You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Day 4 of school is proving to be harder than the previous three. For me, not for the kids. They are doing great – tired, but great. The first three days I buckled down immediately and got to work. My mind was distracted – I just kept working and moving. I occasionally thought of the kids, stopped to pray for them, and continued on. I accomplished much in those three days! And, was exhausted.
Today, Day 4, feels different. I’m missing them so much more! I’ve been teary on and off this morning and can’t seem to get going. So, after breakfast, decided sitting with Jesus needed to be my priority.
As I read through favorite and significant passages I’ve listed in the front of my bible, I stumbled on Isaiah 26:3-4. Perfect for today. I need to keep my mind fixed on Jesus, and peace will be mine.
I’ve given my children over to God every day so far of school (and in the past too, I’m just purposely doing it every morning now). In the shower (where I have all the big, important conversations with God) I’ve carefully placed each one – Kenny too – in the palm of God’s hand – the safest place they can be. I ask for their protection during the day and leave them there. My struggle isn’t with knowing they’re safe. I simply miss them. The house is so quiet. I miss their talking, laughing, and even arguing. I’ve found I don’t enjoy eating breakfast and lunch alone. I thought I might, but turns out, breaking bread is so much more enjoyable with others.
While I’m getting a lot done around the house, I’ve found that the kids brought needed breaks throughout my day. I’d work on something and then we’d all play for awhile. Then we’d get back to work, and switch off like this throughout the day. It broke up my day and prevented me from working and pushing myself too far. I need to find a balance while I’m home alone. Too much work = a too tired mama in the evening who struggles to even make dinner.
I’ve also discovered that my heart was made to serve my family. Even though I would sometimes complain about all the demands and neediness, it is for that purpose that I was created. Through serving my family I glorify God. Yes, there are still many ways I can serve them while they’re gone – the daily laundry, cleaning, and preparing meals. But the daily, hour by hour serving – reading, playing, helping here and there – the things I sometimes didn’t want to do – are the things I miss the most. Don’t get me wrong, I still love crossing things off my to-do list, but the constant being there for the kids is what I’m missing most. Go figure.
For years, nine years, I’ve had at least one child around daily – that was my focus and my mission. With both kids in school much of the day, I feel a bit lost now. Who am I? What do I do? Of course, deep down I know the answers to these questions – I’m still Mom even though the kids are at school. But my role is very different this year. I feel a bit more like support staff rather than the leader.
Kenny keeps reminding me that we could still homeschool. I’m not sure I’m ready for that, or if I’ll ever be. It just means that Mom has some growing to do and learning this year too. It feels a little like becoming a mom for the first time again, wondering – Who am I? Where did the old me go?
There are many things I’m looking forward to this school year…
I’m leading worship for our church’s women’s retreat next month. I can now hold rehearsals during the day while the family is gone rather than evening rehearsals. I can be home more at bedtime over the next month.
I’m looking forward to being fully present when the kids get home from school to help with homework, because I’ve prepped dinner earlier in the day. I’m looking forward to more focused time with Kenny in the evenings because I finished my work earlier.
I’m excited to complete some projects I’ve been putting off for months, or years. I’m happy to have the time to continue helping in the kids’ classrooms weekly. I’m looking forward to having occasional lunch dates with my man!
And, I’m looking forward to more focused quiet times with Jesus during the day. Uninterrupted time to sit, study, read, and pray. Oh how I need this.
So, now that I’ve met with Jesus, given Him my fears and concerns and turned my mind towards Him, I’m headed to get some work done. All the while, talking and communing with God, and keeping my mind fixed on Him. There are so many good things this year, but is just going to be an adjustment! Lord, keep my mind fixed on you!