By Becky Holcomb
Mid-August, 7:30 am, cicadas whirling, 93% humidity, zinnias blooming: It is time for my school year resolutions.
Here we are, friends. The beginning of school is looming. The old adage of “live each day like it is your last” takes on new meaning in August. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE school! I LOVE teaching and I LOVE spending my days pouring myself into my work and the students and colleagues around me. But you see, the intensity of the school year literally scares me. I fear the feeling that I didn’t get everything done and wait to discover which ball I dropped.
So here in mid-August, it is time to make some New Year’s Resolutions. I sit down and make a list of what overwhelms me from September to June. What do I/we get right and enjoy about the school year? And what is so out of balance that it leaves me feeling parched just to think about it?
At the conclusion of the list, I realize that if I am not going to be overwhelmed for the next 10 months, I need to focus on keeping four different areas of my life in balance – the four legs of the chair, the first four big rocks in my jar, the four pillars to build our schedules around – before we dive into everyone else’s expectations for the minutes of our days.
1) Jesus. Meet with Him. Sit with Him. Listen to His songs and hear His voice. I’ve experienced the summer joy of sitting on my 4’x4’ front stoop in the early morning, or later evening, and “being still”. My “verse for today” is an enriching springboard for these moments. It feels very much like the “stop, drop and roll” of the peace that passes all understanding. Jesus is teaching me how to take a sip of HIS purpose with deep, quiet, soul-stirring breaths of renewal. What has he called us to do – and what has he NOT called us to do?
2) Healthy habits. Exercise, Sleep, Screen-time limits for all. Caring for our bodies and minds helps us be fit, awake, alive! Enjoy planned and spontaneous movement like an evening walk or an early morning workout, or try something new. Just do it!
3) Meals/Dinners. Buy, make and serve food, sitting around the table and looking at each other’s faces. Then clean up afterward. Any part of this is a huge WIN!
4) Scheduled Joy. What makes me giggle with delight, stirs my creativity, fuels my passions to the depth of my being? God made me to enjoy him. What activities create space to handle all of the intensity? What of my delights can I do some of each week or month?
I look at my fellow house-dwellers. What do these priorities look like in their days? How do I engage them in the discussion? This is a great time of year to hit the “reset” button.
Satan will continually whisper in our ears that we need to do it all to be enough or to be fulfilled, BUT those are lies. Our Lord Jesus has already answered him with a crushing blow and it is finished!
This September I resolve to leave things undone, to say “no” to busyness and “yes” to purpose, to give myself permission to not give into others’ expectations, but sit in the lap of Jesus and be still and listen to HIS plan for my family’s school year.
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you… he will quiet you with his love. ..