Sipping From a Fire Hose

As I slump on the couch early this morning, before the sun
has even made its debut, I am tired. Dog-tired.
My body is thoroughly out of whack and resisting the sleep it needs, after having
been plunged headlong into a new school year this past week, and I am
thirsty…for some rest. Already. And
we’ve only just begun…
September feels like sipping from a fire hose to me. All at
once, it seems, the idyllic pool days, lazy hammock siestas and endless barefoot
barbeques we’ve grown accustomed to come to a screeching halt, and a year’s
worth of activities commence, threatening to bury us alive. It’s amazing how
the ushering in of a seemingly innocuous new month can translate to such a
frenetic, whip-lash-inducing rush of sudden activity. It’s a virtual hurricane
of crayons, carpools, juice boxes, maddeningly mandatory meetings and after-school practices, all set in motion by
blaring alarm clocks at ungodly hours.
It’s a shock to the summertime system. Frankly, it’s unfair.
Unnatural. Insert exhaustedly half-hearted foot stomp here, for effect! Just please do
it for me. I’m too tired!
But at the same time, I adore routine. I thrive in it. I become
quite the industrious individual, when under its influence, and typically welcome
it back with open arms, come Autumn! Sure, it’s an adjustment (with a capital
“A”), getting back into the swing of the school year, like anything else in
life. But it’s a good thing—a healthy thing, to usher schedules and checks and
balances back in, after the open-aired, brain-deadening, summertime
free-for-all. Let the school bells ring!
Whether you’re a fan or not, the reality is that back to
school time, with all of its excitement, newness and busyness, can be utterly overwhelming,
and thereby exhausting. Imagine the stick figure family on the back of the
minivan, complete with droopy-eyed mom, desperately clutching her coffee mug, with
her haggard, bed-headed, backpacked children dragging behind her, encapsulating
the end-of-summer rush to school (or “drag”, rather), in all its glory. We must scrounge up some coping skills (and
quickly—before we drown in the deluge), to survive this season!
So how do we avoid getting steamrolled by September?
1. Stay plugged into the Spirit at all
times, but definitely when feeling bogged down by life and its shifting seasons.
We must intentionally set aside time (I know, just when we feel like we are fresh out) to “[b]e still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV) Think
about those words. They counter and put to rest any feelings of “I must do” or
“I can control”. We musn’t, and we cannot, according to this Scripture. We are
to be quiet and inactive in His presence, because God is God. And we are not. Period.
We don’t have anything to worry about, and what’s the use, even if we think we
do? He commands us (lovingly), invites us, to shut up, sit down, and choose
peace. Can I get a Praise the Lord?!?!?
As a busy mom, there are few things on this green earth that
I love more than the blissful sound of SILENCE when sitting on my bed, resting
my weary brain and body. Because during those times, it’s just me, being still,
and God, gloriously being God. It’s positively placid. What could be more
therapeutic than THAT?!?!?
We have to get over this notion that we all moan incessantly
about (myself included): “I have to find the time to do…” Wake up, sisters! There just isn’t any time. We have to MAKE it. Someone told me once that we
don’t have time to take the car in
for an oil change, but the car will not run
if we don’t. There’s a little slice of truth for us all to munch on!
2. Give yourself some
grace.
As you struggle to remain afloat during the busy back to school
season, let me assure you that you WILL forget some things. And perhaps exponentially
so, the more children you have. You will inevitably drop the ball like we all
do, and no, you won’t likely remember upon pulling out of the driveway in the
morning. Thanks to Murphy and his darned law,
it will be when walking your lunch-less, homework-less, or shoe-less child (yes,
this has actually happened to us) up the school steps, that you’ll conveniently
remember the forgotten item(s) on the kitchen counter.
But you know what? It’ll be okay. I like to say that our
imperfections make us “endearing”. Remember that tomorrow the mountain will
have shrunk back to molehill proportions, and our children will weather the squalls
our inadequacies bring upon them just fine.
Nothing some good therapy down the road can’t fix!!
3. Remember you
CAN’T do it all, but in Christ, you
can do all things!
When school time demands threaten to bowl you over like a paper
doll, take a deep breath. Be prayerful about your time, realizing you were
never meant to do everything. Christ came to be everything for us, so we don’t
have to. Phew! Stretching ourselves
too thin by overcommitting is destructive to ourselves and to our families.
If we ask the Lord for wisdom (and truly listen), He will be
faithful to instruct us as to how He would have US use OUR time. He made us all
uniquely, with different giftings. There are a lot of worthy things, but that doesn’t mean He wants us doing ALL of them!
Let’s not sign up for another committee or volunteer for another serving
opportunity (or sign our kids up for another activity, either) until we have
consulted with our heavenly Activity Chairman. Scripture promises, “I can do
all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) In other
words, He will enable you to do that which He gives you to do, even when it feels like sipping from a
fire hose in September!
Come to the River…
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give
you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Personalize…

Now that fall’s busyness has commenced, make a
game plan to ensure your sanity. How will you remain grounded in the Lord,
positioning yourself to receive all He has for you? Revisiting our priority
lists might be a good place to start! 

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