I'm sitting in a house that's been quiet since 9pm....I can't remember the last time that's happened this summer! I'm trying to get the kids back into the habit of earlier bedtimes and earlier waketimes, but we've still got some summer left in us and it's just amazingly hard to wrap it up by 8 or 9 at night! Equally as difficult to rise early. Helping me get my tail out of bed earlier, however, is my sweet neighbor....a teacher/track coach/totally fit new mama to twin boys....who is willing to walk with me a few times a week. I really enjoy getting to know her better...great motivation to get up early!
So we begin our school year in one week. We're ready. The kids are ready. We'll be doing a sort of "co-op" with another family. The more the merrier, really. While trying to wrap my mind around getting ready to educate a 5th grader(plus two friends), a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, and a preschooler (heaven help us!), we TODAY began removing cabinets from our kitchen. Good timing, I know. Seriously. The plan was to work on this project over the month of August and be done by the time we started school. For most normal people, it might seem wise to do these projects while the punks are IN school. But since "school" for us is either upstairs, in the dining room, or in the living room, and also because we're quite ABnormal, we were hoping to get this done in a month. (I can hear you snicker....especially you, Huntley's!! No, the Huntley's are rolling on the floor laughing because they are always roped into our projects and are painfully aware of how long it takes us to get these things done.) This project is very exciting, as our kitchen cabinets/counters were literally falling apart, and we were able to do a re-fi and use some equity to fix up our mess hall. So far I've freaked out twice on my husband, and not in a cute way...nope. You see, three days a week we will have two extra fifth graders joining us, plus our two little "extra" daughters (still with us, yes)....which will include LUNCH. Without a functioning kitchen. I'm shaking my head as I type. Thank heavens for the picnic table! It will be a rocky month or two (stop snickering, Huntleys :). But obviously it is a HUGE blessing, so I'm vowing not to be one of those wives that freaks out (oops) and becomes a monster during a home remodel. Okay, enough about that.
Our little girls are still with us, though they are getting closer to being able to return home. It has definitely been a challenging summer, and I see the kids wearing thin with some aspects. We reminded them to try to picture Jesus just over the shoulder of someone who may sometimes be hard to love...kind of regaining perspective as a family. On the other hand, they have shown amazing patience and open-armed acceptance as well. Challenging as it is, it will still be hard to say goodbye when the time comes.
I was reminded recently (by a story on a sign at Jimmy Johns, to be honest! I'll spare you the minutia...) of how life isn't about destinations and end products, but the day to day, the everyday minutes and hours. And how God sometimes does big great works in us, yes, but so much more often He works in us in small, unnoticeable ways...day by day...shaping and refining. I think of Chris Rice's lyrics "teach us to count the days...teach us to make the days count"..and one line about "will you invest or squander?". And sometimes I need to remember that "investing" doesn't always mean "accomplishing" something. Sometimes investing means doing nothing. Playing tag. Jumping rope. Sitting alone with Jesus. "Wasting" time. Sometimes it just means doing the next thing. Okay, I'm probably not making much sense, but I guess I'd like to say that over the summer and amidst its fun and challenges, I've been forced to take it a day at a time. And that has been a most excellent lesson for me.
Happy new school year to you all! I'm thankful for you!