About this time every year, I find myself singing the “back to school blues”. And this year is no different. My one and only child, sweet Ella Bella, heads to school today for her first day of 8th grade. And this momma is feeling it. Are you? If so, sit back with something soothing to drink, and read this – and know you’re not alone!
(Re-posted from August 22, 2013 on this blog!)
I love me some of that Phineas and Ferb theme song, don’t you?!
I’m not going to write all about the emotions of moms everywhere around the country right now regarding the age-old back to school sadness and drama.
It’s not that I don’t I struggle with it, too, because I do. I absolutely love having Ella home all summer! I love the relaxed routine it affords our family. I cherish every second that we’re not fighting over homework, searching high and low for a pair of matching uniform socks THREE seconds before we need to be out the door, or trying to unearth gym uniforms that should’ve been washed last week and swim suits that never got washed either and are still damp from swim class the week prior. (Don’t judge me – I’ve never been the house-keeping type.)
I crave (in a good way, of course) the hours and hours I get to spend with Elle in the summer, watching her in her “element” – which is truly just hanging out in our neighborhood with kids of all ages and from all different schools, and playing endless hours of games at dusty softball fields.
I love waking up not knowing what’s for breakfast that day, let alone dinner! I love having wine at night on the deck with Tim, popping open an iced cold Diet Coke from the cooler first thing in the morning, and sipping margaritas on the porch with neighbors (on a Tuesday, even!).
So yes. I’ve got some not-so-happy emotions sitting in the pit of my tummy as we, here in our house, face returning to school on Thursday! But that’s not what I want to talk to you about today.
Instead, I want to focus on the endless possibilities and new beginnings this very thing brings!
I want to assure you that, just like every other back to school season you’ve experienced, this one will be full of chaos (just breathe…), surprises of all kinds, new friends, old reliable ones, and intriguing opportunities. It isn’t a negative, dear friends! Because no matter WHAT may feel like it’s “ending” in your life right now, I promise something else just as great (or even better) is about to begin. And I believe God wants you to embrace it!
Open up a brand-spankin’ new box of sharpened colored pencils and what do you see?! A carton bursting with colors just aching to be pulled out of the box and spilled out with delight onto a bright, white piece of paper! Each one joyfully begging, almost audibly, “Pick me! Pick me!” to the creator.
What if we saw ourselves as those pencils?! What if, when that new box is opened, we were the first ones to raise our hands, jump onto the paper, and let Him write our new story with complete trust that our colors would show, or even shine?! What if, instead of hiding in the box, we let Him lift us out of our comfortable, supported position next to the ones we’ve been stored with for a long time and let Him make something beautiful with us? Because He can and He will if we let Him!
Sure, we may need a little sharpening. Maybe we’re not as tall or perfect on the outside as we used to be. Maybe we have a couple “bite marks” from past use by someone who didn’t know quite how to take care of us. That’s not what matters because our God-given colors are still as bright and unique and perfect as they always were – and He knows how to coax them out from the dust and even fix any misuse of us in the past.
Every color is beautiful to someone. Never ever forget that.
We urge our children to put themselves out there each school year. To raise their hands. To volunteer. To make new friends. To take chances. That no question is a dumb one. To notice those who may need help and step in. We tell them it’s okay to make mistakes; to give an incorrect answer; that falls happen and to get back up and try again.
As we begin this new school year season, whether you are sending your children to kindergarten (and, oh, may God bless you with plenty of Kleenex for that first day!), back to the same school or home school for a new year, off to a brand new school, or even off to college (and I pray for plenty of Kleenex for you, too!), listen to your own advice.
Be the color that someone else needs to see. Look for complementary colors to walk along side you. Raise your hand. Ask the Teacher to pick you – and then let Him create a beautiful picture for this new season. Don’t stay in the Crayola box, sweet friends. Jump out onto the paper and see what He does with you. Then send me a copy of it! I can’t wait to see it and relish in your beauty.
Peace, love, and JOY to all of you!
See you Monday for the LAST installment of Pure Joy 2014!!!