Monday, September 9, 2013

settling in but not settling for less: making disciples of our children

In usual fashion I am welcoming autumn with open arms and hands full of sun ripened tomatoes. Not that I have anything against summer, I don’t. I love her. But she often leaves me tired and parched. So by this time of year I am longing for routine and predictability. Summer, as lovely as she is, tends to leave our family with little of those two. And so, and this very first school day for my kids I can happily state that we are beginning to settle in.

I know a lot of you are ahead of me, but we got a late start on this whole school thing due to a family trip to Disneyland.

I know. The horrors. But now we’re back and the kids galloped off to their first day of school this morning, never mind that it’s the 5th day of school for all their classmates. 

Today as I wandered around a blissfully quiet house I’ve found the great pleasure of actually thinking one whole undisturbed thought. And my mommy brain keeps coming back to the thought of settling in.

Maybe it’s the weather, calling us quickly from summer to autumn with windows open all day kind of temps and the scent of leaves blowing in from outside. It’s the back to school thing, that pulls us from our frantic and unscheduled summer to a welcome routine. 

I want to settle in during this new season, but I don’t want to settle for less that what God has for us right now.

Because we can easily settle ourselves into the security of the fall routine, with it’s predictable schedule of games and after school events and weekend football. I love all that stuff. A lot. But I also don’t want to just settle for the routines of the season and miss the God gifts of them.

As the week will undoubtedly roll on, I am feeling the pull on this soul to make sure I’m settling into the right things. For our family they are looking like they’ll consist of less: less after school activities and less doing. The routine will have more room for intentional us time, time carving out this family, time spent leading our kids. 

Here’s why I’m liking the idea of less:

Less on the schedule means more room for what God wants to give us unexpectedly along the way. Unplanned night with friends for dinner and prayer? Yes, because the kids are done with their stuff by 6 at the latest. I can say yes, because we have time.

Less planned means more time to linger outside in the waning warmth and sun with neighbors, before we hole up in the winter.

And the newest thing we’re thinking and praying over is less technology at the ready at home so we can have more time to be a family, playing games, reading books, plunking away at the piano, or baking some after dinner treats. And yes, I fully understand the irony of that, while I type this on my laptop from my favorite chair. 

I know the reality of the school year is too often go and go, do and do. We have sports and other extra curricular stuff, after school clubs, church events, and a bunch of other things pulling for our time. I don’t want to settle for the norm in this area, I am insanely selfish with my family time and I know that the years God has given me with the kids at home are really short. Maybe that’s a fault, this selfish heart of mine, but I know that God calls us to steward our time wisely. So I recognize that every no to one thing is a yes to something else. And I want those no’s to be intentional so I can say yes to the things God wants me to.

What will we settle into this school year?

Hopefully we will settle into God’s way for our family, even if it looks a whole lot different from everyone else at school. 

And I pray that we will settle into the right things, so that we don’t inadvertently settle for less than God’s best for us. 

The pull to disciple our kids and lead them closer to Jesus is a big part of this. And also why we feel like pulling the plug on T.V. and other unnecessary media is the right fit for our family. And this is hard, because of the football of course. But it’s a small price to pay to be walking our this Jesus calling in our lives.

As we all settle in to the new season, may we do it God’s way.

Also, I hate to call this a series, but I’ve been around this block before and I know I’ll be hitting it up again; just like I’m on a first name basis with baristas at Starbucks. Just so you know, expect more on this later. And don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I've been reading your blog for awhile, but never commented. However the tomatoes in the photo made me want to come out of my shell. Are they Indigo Rose? Sorry if it's too off topic. Thanks for you whole blog. I've really enjoyed it.


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