Monday, August 1, 2011

Intentionally looking ahead...

I just went online and registered three boys for school. Ugh. The end of summer can wait just a little bit longer if you ask me. I know lots of moms are itching for their schedules back, but this one is pretty comfortable right where she is, thank you very much.

We have enjoyed a great summer routine, thanks to a little bit of intentionality. But since it's August 1st and those crazy registrations are submitted, I've been forced to look ahead to what our schedule will look like once school starts.

Some leisurely things will sadly have to go. The kids will have to actually take baths instead of relying on the sprinkler to clean their dirty summer feet. Meals must consist of more than a PB & J on the way to a ballgame. The nighttime routine is in serious need of being bumped back by at least an hour. And pancakes in the shape of Star Wars battle ships? Well, those molds might have to be reserved for lazy Saturday mornings.

Oh, and one more thing. Sweet, sweaty boys, you might as well get it through your thick skulls... shirts must eventually be worn, whether you like it or not.

But I'm praying for the resolve to continue to make some things a priority when we say goodbye to this beloved season. Yes, we've enjoyed the simplicity that summer can bring. But, in an unexpected way, summer has also caused us to be more disciplined in certain areas.

Like Bible reading.

We take the time because there's more of it. Or maybe it's because we've intentionally scheduled it into our days. Could it be that we've come to the realization that our older boys need to be honing some of these spiritual disciplines for themselves instead of always relying on us to make it happen?

As we gear up for another year of public school, we want our kids to be armed with the Gospel of Truth. Guided, encouraged, and filled with the wisdom that God has revealed to us through His Word. It might mean getting everyone up a half-hour earlier. It definitely won't always be the easy or natural thing to do. But if I could only commit to one thing as the school year starts, it would be this.

Our practical plan over the summer has included Jack and Trey learning to study the Bible on their own. Trey completes his daily reading and worksheet for his Sunday school class, then has a head's up for the story they'll be covering during their next class time. Jack is reading through the New Testament (a challenge from his dad), but has recently decided that he wants to take a detour in Proverbs, covering a chapter a day. He then picks one verse out of his reading to write out and apply to his life personally. Chase and I just completed The Jesus Storybook Bible (the most beautiful tying together of scripture for children), and are now attempting to read it through again with Tess.

Yes, attempting.

Only the Lord knows if she is hearing the words through all of her squirming and hanging off of the bed upside down.

No matter. We're not perfect. But we're giving it our best shot, and we're begging God to do the rest.

To work in our kids' hearts. To change them to be more like Him. Then to empower them to make an impact for Christ in their own little worlds.

So far the one who has been changed and challenged the most?


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