Deep Breath

I’m writing this on Sunday, late in the morning.  I’ve spent this morning puttering, trying not to get so involved in projects that I lose track that this is Sunday, a day to rest, refresh, focus on God, prepare for worship.

I will post this on Monday morning, the morning of our first day of school.  As I’m home schooling, the first day of school is a big deal for me.  I’m supposed to be prepared–lesson plans ready, pencils sharpened, notebooks organized, work space cleaned out, healthy breakfast and lunch waiting in the kitchen somewhere, all that.   Tomorrow I’m supposed to be chipper and filled with enthusiasm about this coming year, because I want to impart a little of that attitude to my two remaining students.

Reality is, I’m not ready.  I’ve never walked into a year less ready.  Besides teaching my own, I’m teaching a couple pottery classes this semester, tutoring some high school seniors in English and Math, cleaning a house on a regular basis, doing the normal mom-taxi thing, all while sharing a vehicle with my oldest, who starts work at 6:30 a.m.  Most moms have similar craziness scheduled for their year.  It would help immensely if I were prepared, but I’m not.  Not even close.  Lesson plans? Winging it, at least for the next few days.  Supplies?  Hoping I have things left from last year.  And all that healthy food in the kitchen?  Seems I somehow forgot to shop last week, so we have a few stale post-wedding cupcakes and a bunch of post-wedding grapes.  Good news is that means the fridge is rather clean.

My husband is starting school this week, too, so while he will actually spend most of his waking hours here at home, he’s off limits most of the time while he studies, and his school schedule just happens to be exactly wrong for him to help me with the other kids’ needs.  It’s frustrating at best.

So today, I take a deep breath.  I want to clean house, prepare lesson plans, overhaul my whole life.  And in truth, I’ve done a little puttering and cleaning today, but I need to focus on rest, on refreshment, on worship preparation, which might simply mean leaving all the whirling thoughts of the semester behind when I walk through the church doors.

I have an image of the perfect home school life.  It’s very organized, and yet also filled with spontaneous moments of exploration and learning.  It’s a life of slow hours of reading, cooking, wandering through the outdoors, living a life that’s peaceful.  Really peaceful.  And it’s not possible.  But today can come close.  Regardless of what tomorrow brings, today I can be slow, and I can rest, and I can ignore the coming chaos, and God says it’s okay.  I don’t need to feel guilty.  I don’t need to carry the weight of the world.  God will do that every day, but today it’s more obvious, if I take a deep breath and let today be what it’s meant to be.

For many of us, August is the month to start new, either sending kids to school, or teaching them, or any of many jobs that deal with semesters and ebbs and flows of busyness.  And it’s easy to go off center, falling under the tyranny of the urgent, losing focus in the whirlwind.  So God gives us opportunities–one a week, in fact, to recenter, slow down, play the role of child, if you will, where it’s okay to play and rest and daydream.  This semester, I will need it.  And I may fight it, thinking I need all those hours to get things done.  I hope I remember the important things and how God demands rest.

Take a deep breath.  It’s Monday, and it might be a crazy week, but take heart–Sabbath rest is coming again, just around the corner where it always is, beckoning us to refresh and realign and think awhile on the eternal peace yet to come.  Look forward to it, and use it, and thank God for giving it to us.

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