I have spent the last 10 years with at least one of my offspring beside me, on top of me, next to me, and all around me.
However, in just a few short weeks all of my kids will be in school. Not just a few like last year, all.
Part of me is giddy at the prospect, for there have been some summer days that have stretched long as we've all been so close together in this not so large house. I will welcome a little breathing space.
But part of me is sad. I am exchanging one season of life for another. We started this journey last year when we transitioned from home schooling to public school. It was hard and easy and heartbreaking all at the same time.
And lately I've been caught off guard by the question: "what are you going to do with all your time?" Neighbors, friends, and total strangers alike are all dying to know. Frankly, so am I.
As I muddle it over, I worry.
As I ponder, I get uptight.
And as I think of all the possibilities I get really excited and totally overwhelmed all at the same time.
It makes me want to hide in the hammock and take a nap.
It seems like there are so many expectations on a girl like me, a mom who has exchanged diapers and training wheels for notebooks and backpacks. I could get a job. I could volunteer. I could try to save the world by helping to provide clean water for kids in Africa. But really, I might not do any of that. And that all terrifies me.
I need to remember that most of the expectations I'm feeling are heavy on my heart because I am the one who has placed them there.
So I'm doing the only thing I know how to do right now: enjoy just where I am while I pray about what is next.
I need to take my frazzled emotions and remind myself that God says his burden is light. (Matt 11:30)
God has a plan, and all I have to do is ask for it. "Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come." (Jeremiah 33:3 NLT)
I usually make things much more difficult than they need to be. I place all these rules on my heart and ideas that are not my own in my head, and it leaves me all a mess.
I don't know what I'll do with my time. I'd like to write more, I'd like to help at the school, I want to serve the youth with my husband. And I want to do it all by 3 pm so I can be all there when the kids are out of school.
I honestly don't know what this season will hold but I know it will be good because I know the one who holds it.
He has never let me down.
So when I'm faced with uncertainty over the future I just need to tell myself to chill. Take it one day at a time. Stock up on Kleenex for the first day of school; not for the teachers but for me.
Whatever season we are in we can trust that God has goodness in store for his children that are wholeheartedly seeking him. Not good things necessarily, but goodness even in the middle of difficulties.
I have found myself humming this song lately:
You stay the same through the ages, your love never changes, there may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning. And when the oceans rage I don't have to be afraid, because your love never fails.
You make all things work together for my good.
I know that to be true, no matter what is going on in my life.