Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tough Times Can Be Good Times Too...

As hard as my kids have tried to ignore it, school has started again. I really should have videoed them walking into Walmart in July, both girls guarding their eyes to avoid the school supplies. They despised the Target commercials starring a dancing teacher. How dare someone try to make school look appealing by making a  guitar out of pencils! (Pretty cute if you ask me!)

But, here we go again. It doesn't seem so long since we did this last year. Time is flying...I must be having fun. Actually I am...for the most part. The warp speed of time has made me realize I have to freeze frame some of this and enjoy or make the best of all the rest. My choice. No parent can avoid the struggles of a teen trying to become their own, or worrying about the one that's struggling socially; dealing with the awkwardness of a middleschooler who just says the odd thing; trying to keep them clothed in something you can both like. I'm realizing that the freezeframes don't all have to be the "kodak" moments. If I wait for those, I'm likely to be so whiny of a mom that I miss them when they come!
Sounds great...but how do you enjoy the trials? Here are some thoughts:
1. Start your day as you wake up acknowledging that you need help from God. "This is the day the Lord has made..." so ask for help in this day that He's made.
2. Spend some time reading His word...Psalms, Philippians, Matt, Mark Luke or John are some of my favorites.
3. If a deep breath can clear the thoughts of a professional baseball pitcher, it can also help me when I'm dealing with a cranky two, 10 or 15 yr. old. A long inhale of oxygen helps prevent crazy things from slipping out of my mouth. 
4. In the moment, if I ever stop to think, "Does this really matter? or Am I taking this too seriously" sometimes the answer can alter my attitude and my response is calmer just from realizing the temporary nature of the situation. 
As the school year begins, 
  • if you're kids aren't old enough for school yet, enjoy the calmer pace (I know it can feel almost boring at times, but this time goes away).  
  • do what you can to make it fun for them (write them a silly note in their spirals that they'll find throughout the year) and in the process you'll have fun, too.  
  • at the end of the day, as you fall asleep, think back over the day so you can remember it instead of just getting through it. 
My kids and your kids are great gifts. Deciding to take all that comes your way instead of just the good stuff will give us opportunities to see the tough times as good times, too. 

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