• Hope Butcher

Lessons Learned

Today my kids hit the books again. After a crazy summer and allowing ourselves a slow start back into our school year activities, we finally hit October 1st-- the day on the calendar that we marked 1st Day of School. And, as every mom knows, it wouldn't be back to school without some lessons learned.

Lesson 1

No matter how much planning and setting of alarms that goes into it, some mornings you just can't get up. I am not a morning person, as a rule, but generally speaking, the fear of being thrown into a chaotic nightmare of a morning with my five (because the dog is part of the morning routine too!), without a cup of strong black coffee first, usually scares me enough to get my 6 hours of sleep self on my feet before any of the kids get up. This morning, not so much. Suddenly, as the alarm went off...several times, beginning at six, it's as if my teenage self took over and sleep became more important than any schedule. More important than any shower. More important than peace...or life itself. So, needless to say, we started on time but with bowls of sugary cereal, still pajama-clad.​​

Lesson 2

Sometimes your kids can switch behavioral roles on you and if you're not expecting it, it can really throw off the day. Today my usually responsible, duty-driven, justice-centered, just-bite-the-bullet-and-get-it-done son decided to pout about school. The one that's usually lecturing everyone else about not wasting time and just accepting the responsibility that comes with schoolwork, decided he wasn't up for it today. My typical whiner, after one subject says, "This is fun! I like school!" Meanwhile, the oldest's whining began only two subjects in and eventually we had to have a talk...

Lesson 3

Sometimes you just have to honestly express to your kids that their behavior is hurtful and making your day extremely burdensome. After fussing and picking over every negative comment and behavior that was pulled out through the morning, I finally decided to just tell him how it made me feel. "Your response to school today has really hurt my feelings. For some reason, you have decided to have a bad day and you're dragging everyone else along with you. This doesn't seem like you and it's disappointing." In a one-on-one history time together, an hour or so after our talk, he said, "I'm sorry I had a bad attitude about school."I love when the Holy Spirit takes over where we fall short and don't know where else to turn (insert praise-the-lord emoji hands).​​

Lesson 4

Tomorrow is a new day. Where today fell short of my expectations and I felt like I was grasping for order and productivity, tomorrow offers a clean slate, a new beginning and loads of hope.​

Maybe your day was uninspiring. Maybe you struggled to take on everything handed to you. Maybe you felt like you were playing catch up all day. Well, tomorrow is just around the corner. Embrace the morning and start anew.

Yet this I call to mind     and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,     for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;     great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23

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