Coming Up for Air

The not so seamless transition into back to school . . . 

I have a love/hate relationships with all those adorable photos of kiddos getting ready to start a new school year.  Complete with letter boards and homemade frames declaring what grade they will be in and what they want to be when they grow up.  It’s cute, it really is.  The backpacks are new, the lunchboxes don’t have the grime, hair is brushed, smiles are big …..

Ok, maybe not the first day of school picture you envision. . . .me either to be honest.  After a summer jam packed with the rhythms of a family living life (work changes, late nights playing, camping, sickness, joy, pain, and everything in between), I was ready for a new season.  I was ready to have a season of fresh air, more rest and more time for myself.  Then I remembered: life does not always happen this way.  

I’ve come up for air, but it is only just a breath.  It’s been one big gulp before being pulled under again into the mess and chaos of raising kids, being married, having a job, keeping the house from burning down and making sure everyone is fed, then early in the morning over a quiet cup of coffee I remember, BUT God …..

But God meets me here, over and over and over again.  I used to think once X or Y or Z happened, I would have time to be quiet, time to reflect, time to pray, but that is not my reality.  There will ALWAYS be something or someone that needs my attention and energy, but God calls me out of that.  He reminds me there is stillness in the chaos, hope in the unknown, and rest in the early mornings and late nights.  

I wish our family skipped into back to school in a seamless, picture of perfection and beauty.  It didn’t happen.  We’ve been tardy at least 8 times in the first few weeks of school.  Shoes have been on the wrong feet.  Hair has been in knots.  Homework had coffee spilled on it.  It’s life.  In the broken and fractured return to school, in my stress and overwhelm, in all the new that comes with a new season, I am constantly reminded and drawn back to what I know to be helpful and centering.  For me that is early morning cups of coffee alone, a lunchtime yoga class, taking an extra few seconds when I hug the kids goodbye, a walk with my husband, and choosing these things over and over and over again.  

I may not always want to do these things, but when I choose them they become a part of a ritual that builds a buffer for me. In a world where my brain is constantly doing role gymnastics. When I do these simple things, I find what I am looking for in a beautiful sunset, seeing a photograph that brings back a happy memory, a moment I would of otherwise missed, a centering of my heart and mind and the ability to not rush through my day. And it helps me remember that there is grace for all the other moments when it feels like nothing is going right and the brokenness continues to crack and erode away at life.

Want to learn more, join the Practicing Presence 5 Week Challenge or visit the highlights on my Instagram to see how I practice self care. 

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