Somehow the summer is already behind us. Gone are the days of sleeping in, lounging by the pool, and enjoying later nights without homework and schedules. Of course, that also means we won’t be listening to our children argue all day or graze for food like they are in some sort of contest to see who can go the least amount of time between meals. There are pros and cons to each season of life, and as we begin another school year, it’s important to remember that re-entry is always a little rough. Grace is the word of the day.
This morning was day three for us of the new school year, and my first grader had lost some of his enthusiasm. He was blind to all things in front of him—his shoes, his glasses, his backpack. Accusations were flying left and right: “Someone stole my water bottle!” “Someone ate my breakfast!” Last night at dinner, everyone was complaining and snippy, and I was still recovering from the dreaded carpool line, so I wasn’t exactly the poster child of patience. We are all a little grumpy and missing our leisurely mornings and our simple schedule.
Chapter three of Ecclesiastes reminds us that to everything there is a season. It’s so important for our kids to learn this valuable lesson, and for us to be reminded as well. Change is an integral part of life. There are seasons of rest and seasons of work, a time to laugh and a time to mourn, a time to gather and a time to throw away. I always remind my kids that their vocation for now is to be a student. At times, they may get a much-needed break from the work of that vocation, but then they must jump back in with enthusiasm and obedience, ready to tackle all the joys, struggles, victories, and challenges ahead. A huge part of our vocation as mothers is to encourage them in this work and to remind them that God’s grace is sufficient in all situations, and at all times.
We offer one another grace as we look ahead to another school year. We offer teachers grace as they get a handle on the schedule and learn the unique qualities of the students in their classes. We remind our children to offer grace to their peers, especially the ones who look lonely, and we challenge them to be a friend to the friendless. And we offer grace to other parents—when they cut in line at carpool, or send their child off with a soliloquy while holding up the morning drop-off line (can you tell where I am struggling to offer grace?) At the end of the day, we are here to love and to serve the Lord and one another. When seasons change, it is a beautiful opportunity to wait on the Lord for all that is new and to offer him all that has been lost.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end (Eccl 3:11).