This week, some of us experienced our first teary-Kindergarten-first-day (maybe their tears, maybe yours.) Some of us experienced Senior-year-last-first day and then there are a whole bunch of us that fall somewhere in between or outside of those back-to-school lines. But, we all survived the first week! Ok, so I will concede that while our actual survival was never in question the upheaval of a sudden schedule to conform to after 3 months of “free-styling it” can be a little rough on even the best of us.
Back to school is always a transition, and the calendar can become a to-do list nightmare, not to mention the very real reminder of the passing of time. Navigating these waters can be tricky and today I want to offer some encouragement from Mary Ann Morgan.
When we moved to our little farm 15 years ago, I was a busy homeschool mom with three children under my wings.
My life was wonderfully hectic. Katie was twelve, Annie was ten, and Johnny was seven. I was happy as the nucleus of our home, with life swirling round and round about me.
Then, one by one, my birdies did what I had been teaching them to do all along.
They flew away.
I felt lost, and not just a little. I could not find my bearings.
I was trying to find my place in this world again.
When we see calendars not so much as rows of boxes of things we have to do — but as boxes that we get to unwrap — the present moment always becomes a gift.
The idea that I could continually unwrap gifts (that otherwise felt fleeting) just by writing them down and giving thanks for them was transformational for me.
I am grateful for:
glistening water from the garden hose,
summer lights hanging dreamily from a tree,
blue porches and red swings, ripe tomatoes on the sill, children snuggling chickens,
a butterfly warming her wings among Black-Eyed Susans,
fuzzy bumble bees satiated and sleepy,
summer puddles where heaven meets earth.
And on and on it goes.
I could feel my heart shifting from a sense of emptiness into a deep gratitude. The places I felt were barren were actually brimming with life.
It didn’t come overnight, but it did come with practice and the more I practiced the more I benefited.
I sometimes find myself held captive by grief and anxiety as I navigate the waters of these awkward transitions. Counting graces always helps me to find my way home into worship. Once I can get onto the path of worship, my feet will carry me into the arms of God
I may not always know my place in this world. Things are ever changing.
But in counting gifts I can always find my place in God.
In His heart.
He alone holds me as He continues to enfold me in His love.
Enjoy your weekend! May your heart be filled with gratitude and the beauty in the everyday gifts as we roll on into this next school year. May you find yourself enfolded in His love.