Thursday, August 25, 2011

Conscientious Reflection

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

It is one of the best times of the year for families.  Summer is over and it is time for things to start back up for school and all the activities; time to get going again.  This means it is time for the return of the routine.  This is when I like to reflect a little on the past year, take a look back at what was good and see what needs to be improved.  People naturally do this sort of thing when making new year resolutions.  With school starting up again, it’s important to me to look back and see where we can improve to make things easier.  I like to start the school year off with a fresh resolve to be all I can be for my family.  
I can always make the morning and evening routines better (although there is usually nothing routine about them!) and I continually aspire to cook more often fixing more nutritious meals for my family.  Along with these commitments will be one to better my relationship with God; to spend more time in prayer and Bible study every day and be an example to my children of living a Godly life and trusting God in everything.  I know when I improve my relationship with God, I will be more attentive to His direction and better equipped to minister to my family.  Changes such as these can make a difference in our families far beyond just school years.
Ah, what a wonderful word...prioritize.  It sounds so simple.  Just put the most important and pressing things at the top of the list.  The problem for me is that everything seems pressing; crushing me like the Rock of Gibraltar!  When things get going it gets crazy busy and tends to all blur my consideration of what is most important.  That is when I know I have to get my focus back on God and what He would want me to recognize as a priority for my family.  I know I can rely on Him to lead me and clear my vision when everything runs together and I feel so overwhelmed. 
Expectation and Anticipation
This time of year also brings thrilling anticipation for me.  There are so many exciting things happening and more coming just around the corner.  The start of the fall season, Thanksgiving and before you know it we will be singing Christmas Carols!  I look forward to the strides my kids will make this year in their schoolwork and eagerly wait to see what new strengths and talents they will discover in their lives.  I anticipate growth in their personal lives along with my own.  I will see them each develop a little more over this school year and inch a little closer toward adulthood.  How incredible it is to watch them morph into almost-grown people with unique talents and ideas.  To think about the plans God has for each one of them and how they are playing out right before my eyes is thrilling.  Watching this, I remember my heavenly Father is also watching me with anticipation.  I am His child and, just as I take pride in the accomplishments of my children, He is anticipating growth in my life.  What a good feeling!
Stress – The Joy Stealer
The hardest thing about this time of year is that in all the chaos of getting new clothes, school supplies, backpacks, and shoes, the joy can be drained right out of these special days.  These are the last days of summer, time to get it all in and get it all ready.  I can easily become so frustrated in the process of trying to do the best I can for my family that become a bear.  The last of the sweet summer moments are stolen by the demon of stress and the misconception that I have to have it all perfect for my family.  The truth is they don’t care (or even notice) if everything is perfect.  They would rather have a few special moments to remember.  Take time out from the stress and enjoy each other while you can.  The stores will still be open after school starts!
Scripture to Claim:
The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" (NASB)

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