Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to School.......

For the past month or so I have been dreading the new school year. I am not a big fan of change and quite frankly I have enjoyed my summer. No set schedules, homework or carpools; lazy days at the swimming pool; enjoying late night suppers on the back deck; impromptu playdates with neighborhood kids.

Not to mention that normally by this time of year I am seeking relief from summer's brutal heat, but this year's temperatures were unusually pleasant. Why can't summer last forever???

One night I woke up in a panic as to how I was going to get 5 kids to and from 4 different schools. Logistically it is a nightmare and my brain was tired just trying to think about it.

On top of that I am faced with the emotionally draining facts that my oldest son is entering his senior year while my youngest is starting kindergarten. I am praying for my daughter as she seeks a fresh start in a new high school and also a pre-teen entering the "big kid" world of middle school.

Needless to say I have not been much of an "aroma of joy". In fact, you might say I "stink of stress". How did I get in charge of this whole operation? What was God thinking when He gave me this job??

Wouldn't you think I would have it all down by now? That raising so many kids would be easy? I am always blown away when people say to me, "you must be so organized" or "you are much more patient than I am". Funny, I don't feel organized or patient. Some people have gone so far as to call me "laid back". That makes my kids laugh out loud since they think I am the most uptight person they know.

So as the school deadline approached, and my stomach tightened into knots, I was an emotional basket case. The night before school began my husband and I sat down with all of our kids (the 5 left at home) and came together in prayer. We each shared our fears and concerns for the week and then we prayed over them all. Even our teenagers joined in willingly.

Monday morning came and I shocked everyone when I got up and made pancakes and sausage for breakfast. They all got to their respective schools and I found myself breathing easier than I had in weeks. I did laundry, organized the laundry room, updated the calendar, washed the dishes......

Still, I had to get my youngest to Kindergarten. How would I cope with that emotionally? As we walked to school he held my hand and we talked about how glad we are that I am his mom and he is my little boy. How would I ever let go of this little hand?

While we waited for his teacher I knelt down next to him and lovingly said, "I am really going to miss you today" and in the sweetest little voice he said, "I think I have to fart." As I watched my little guy follow his teacher into the building I was reminded that God really does have a sense of humor and as I walked home alone I smiled and remembered that Jesus was with me holding my hand.

Last night (Sunday) we once again sat down as a family to pray over the week that lies ahead. I called my older girls for their prayer requests and we lifted all of our concerns to the Lord as a family. We also started a family prayer journal so we can keep track of God's blessings.

At small group this week we had to share our favorite scripture. The one I chose was Matthew 6:33---"seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Just a couple of weeks ago I was stressed out and on the brink of depression because I was relying on myself, now I am hopeful this will be the best year yet for our family. What a difference it makes when I fully rely on God!!


Joyful said...

I remember taking my one and only to his first day of Kindergarten eleven years ago now. I didn't handle it with the strength you showed...I came home and collapsed on the floor and cried and cried. It seemed to signify the first in what has become a continual "letting go" process that is so needful. However, when we "let go" we "let God". I may have released my son's tiny little hand back then and let him begin that school journey, but God never let go of either of our hands and to this day I am so thankful for His continued presence in both our lives when we are separated. It's new and different 'letting goes' now that he is 16 years old, but the One to whom I release him is still the same. Thankful for a faithful, constant, loving God.

Blessings to you today my friend.

Kristen said...


Tears started to brim in my eyes and then I got to the "I think I have to fart" comment... I am still giggling.

Love the verse you shared. It was a good reminder for me today!

Kim said...

I'm exhausted just reading your schedule! jk.

Aren't ya glad tha this mercies are NEW every morning?

Great idea...about the prayer journal!

I'm praying for you sweet friend.

Laurie Ann said...

I can imagine things were very hectic for you. Sounds like things have gotten off to a great start. I love your youngest's comment - how cute! I'm glad you shared that Scripture. I jotted it down on a post-it and will keep it by my computer today to think on as I work. God bless you and the kids and I'm praying for a great school year for them (and for you!)

linda said...

What a beautiful post and what a great idea to start the prayer journal. In one way or another, all of these prayers will be answered...and that can be so comforting.

Glad things turned out ok for the start of school. It's always such an exciting yet scary time for everyone.

I'm still laughing from your little guys comment...too cute!

Lelia Chealey said...

Awesome Kelley!!! I love what Quin said to you. You are so right God does have a sense of humor and knew your aching heart needed a laugh from such innocence.

Okay, girlfriend, you have motivated me to do this family prayer thing. We used to do it before Alivia arrived and our Prayer Request jar is still on top of the microwave just collecting dust.
Thanks for the inspiration!!
love you!

Jenileigh said...

This was priceless! Tomorrow I take my two younger daughters to school for the first time after homeschooling for 7 years. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Hugs

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Kelly! Oh, how precious! I, too, had the tears welling up until you wrote what your "all boy" baby doll said! Love it!

He looks SO much like my youngest did at that time! Jacob was missing both front teeth though--they got knocked out while he and brother were riding the waves in a raft at the beach and were flipped over by a humongous wave! Jacob got hit in the mouth--accidently!!- by brother's head!! It was quite an experience!

It's experiences that make a family closer. I love the prayer time that y'all have. We do something similar each night. Hope that you have a great day, my friend!
Love you,

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

Amen to that! There is such peace in just trusting God - but so often I allow myself to get in the way and worry!

Love you!! :)

Judy @ In His Grip said...

How lucky for you that you still have little ones at home. Yesterday was our first day as empty nesters. I have to say, although I love my hubby, it was a very hard day and today does not seem to be any better. We sat down for dinner alone last night and I just burst into tears, and I have been on the vurge of them all day. Maybe, I should have had more children.

Kelly said...

Thanks, Kelley, this was a great post. Even though my hubby and I don't have kids at home, we've been praying daily for each other in what we face that day and week, for wisdom, etc...I think I will make up a prayer journal to write down what we pray and answers to prayer, so thanks for that idea. We both were just saying this morning that we just need to keep our eyes on Him no matter what else is going on in our lives that can stress us out. Praying you will have a really blessed week!

On Purpose said...

Maybe this is going WAY OUT there, but I know God has a sense of humor and just maybe He spoke to your sons heart at that very moment and said "let your mommy know everything is going to be okay!" It just came out in different words?!?!

Kelly may you know today that in all things God is good. Giving love to you and prayers up to Him!

Paula (SweetPea) said... we know why you've been on hiatus (sp?).

Remember, this too shall pass. In a couple weeks, you'll be a whipper snapper and have your routine down pat.

Can you imagine what Jon and Kate go through? Have you ever seen that show Jon and Kate Plus eight. Or there's another family I've seen on tv on ocassion that have 16 children. They just built a 7000 sf house.

Hope things get better for you soon.

Keep your chin up...looking to the One who can meet all your needs.

Krista said...

That is so cute! You need to write that down in his baby book. What a sweet way for the Lord to bring joy to your day! At least he told you and didn't just "do it" and let you find out on your own (or save it for his teacher). See...that's what my son would have done.


Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

I don't know how you do it but I love your spirit and I love your faith! It is inspiring!!
Miss hearing from you. Blessings!

In His Graces~Pamela

Faith said...

This was beautiful!
We begin school next week, 3 days after labor day.
Even now, letting go of my oldest (she's a sophomore in high school) and my youngest (4th grade) is just as hard as when they started kindergarten. I love being home with them all summer!
BUt praise GOd...He holds our hands through it all!

Tracy said...

I'm feeling very weepy today so your post had me quickly feeling for you. I could feel a frog lodging in my throat. When I got to the part about what your son said...I laughed out loud. What a sweet way for the Lord to break the seriousness of that moment.

I loved reading about what you're doing as a family...what peace to your heart and what a gift to your kids! Keep at it girlfriend...God is able to keep it all under control!


Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Sounds like you are doing a great job! Letting God be in control is right where we need to be. I'll be praying for your family as you wade through these big changes in this season of life.

Yolanda said...


Greetings! I can't even imagine...what will you do with your time during the day?

Love to you,

megs @ whadusay said...

I love that your family is getting together to pray on Sunday nights - what a great tradition to start!

We just sent our oldest off to Kindergarten last week. It was harder than I thought. That first day was so long, I couldn't wait for her to get off the bus. So far the transition is going fairly smooth (aside from a few first day dramatics). She loves it, but I have told my husband a few times I'm ready for school to be over!

Carol said...

You are cracking me up. Too funny. I love that you are keeping a family prayer journal. How wonderful!

Susan said...

Hey Girlfriend,

You've been missed. I was so excited to see you had posted.

Now, what in the world have you been doing BESIDE getting ALL your kids ready for the school year, cooking, getting supplies, planning, praying, having family meetings, now come ON!!

No excuse not to blog!

No matter how people describe you, including your kids, I think you are simply...A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

You get mom of the year from me!!

Loved your story about your son's departure!! Precious.

Blessings my friend♥

Pat said...

Great post! Tender, Funny and real! This letting go thing just goes on and on and baby girl left for school also, this past week.
She is a Sophomore!!
I am certain that God will fill your days with good things!
Bless you girl,

Kathi said...

Kelley, I can relate to this post in so many ways. I was feeling so sad on my way home from shopping today. You see, I have homeschooled all four children from day one, except Harrison, we put into public as a freshman last fall. This fall all four are going to public. Why? You might ask. Because I flopped. I didn't have high enough expectations. I had too much fun with them. I didn't take it seriously enough. My children are average or below. I am sad that I didn't do them justice. I am sad because I will miss them. On the flip side, this is a chance for me to really trust in God. He will be with them. He will help me to be the mom they need; refreshed and available.

I really like your family devotion and prayer time. I want to do that. Your little boy is adorable. Yes, God has such a sense of humor. I was holding back buckets of tears today as I drove. I know there will be a sad post in the near future about all of this.

Thank you Kelley, for being so real and honest about your own family and feelings. Your faith is amazing too. Bless you sweetie as you continue through the week on your new schedule. Kathi

Kathy S. said...

Kelley, I'm glad that you "found the right door" and that you bring humor to all your struggles. I enjoy reading about your family.

You know the saying "the family that prays together stays together" really means something. It is so bonding/healing (when necessary) Praying humbles us when we are "having attitudes" that are not pleasing to the Lord. That has been my experience and it is sweet!

May God continue to bless you as you daily go through the mom routine with little surprises!

Anonymous said...

You are a Hoot! I loved your comment "I stink of stress!" I've not heard that before but guaranteed I'll be using it now. I love it. So did you survive your first day back to school alright?

Dena @ Green Acres said...

tYour post brought back many wonderful memories. My oldest are twins who just went off to college.
Loved the verse. Thanks for sharing that!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

There is just so much love and joy in that picture. It radiates outward. Anyone that's ever walked a child to their first day of Kindergarten will understand the pull between wanting to keep him close and needing to let him go.

This will be a good year for you. Once routine gets underway, you'll find your stride. I suffered for the first week, but now in week 3, I'm loving it!

Take good care of yourself. You are the prized creation of your Father's heart.


Jennifer said...

I think your awesome for all that you do with of your children. I would be so exhausted, not to say your not, but you look so young and great to have the schedule you do. Keep it up-girl!

Carol said...

I left you a little something on my blog!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I am so laughing at your little testosterone laden son's it. I am completely there with you down to other people's comments about how organized I am..ha. That's why I started a blog to show the "real bedlam" side of me. :)The only difference is I am laid back.
We will connect about this blog. I am in design freeze mode.

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Oh my goodness. Your cute little man's comment made me laugh.

That is one for the baby book for sure. Such good stuff to save for his rehersal dinner one day.