Monday, August 13, 2007

A Fresh Start

Well yesterday I packed (or helped pack) four suitcases for the sixth time this summer. Or I could say that this summer will amount to me packing and unpacking twenty-two suitcases total, And in case you are wondering, yes I have counted. My husband, Kelsey (12), Theo (10) and Hunter (7) left for camp. Hunter is officially not old enough to be a camper yet, but he went along to be his dad's sidekick. My husband is the speaker at jr. camp this year. Hunter will room with him and spend the week hanging out with dad. Fortunately, my husband has been able to do this at some point with all of the older kids and this year it was Hunter's turn. Left at home is myself, Lauren (15) and Coleman (2). I am praying for the kids to have a great time and for their dad to be blessed ministering to all those kids. They are in for an exciting week.

As I had shared in this post, I am ready for routine and several of you are too based on your comments and emails. Even yesterday in church I noticed on the faces of several women the weariness that sometimes comes from being a mom. Whether it is the summertime routine or lack of, vacations, house guests, sickness, changes or a long list of other things, usually the first thing to be affected is our daily quiet time alone with the Lord. Or at least this has always been the case in my life. This summer has proven no different.

I don't dwell too much on the reasons that brought me to this place, I just move quickly to make the necessary changes and get things back on track. Our kids look forward to the start of a new school year. A new classroom, teacher, supplies, clothes and possibly even friends. So, as a mom I look forward to a fresh new time with the Lord. Twice a year I usually evaluate how I spend my time, at the beginning of a new year and in the fall. I like to change things up, maybe a new book or devotional, I am usually beginning a new bible study at church, or I begin to read through a particular book of the bible several times over the course of a month, I usually always continue or start back with my life journal and I will even add a new worship cd once a year. I also like to evaluate the time of day that I have set aside and see if it has been working effectively. Depending on the ages of my children and the season I am in such as when I had a baby or toddler or more than one child at home during the day etc. etc., I set aside a time that I will be able to be committed to. This is not time that I will spend studying for leading a bible study but personal time of reading, praying and worship to the Lord. A time to prepare for leading can be inner-mingled with this, but I usually set aside another time of the day or week to prepare. This is a time of consistent seeking of the Lord. James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and He will come near to you..."."
Is seeking the face of God a consistent practice in your life? If not, consider starting small. Set some reasonable and attainable goals. Are you joining in with a ladies bible study this fall? Our church is offering Beth Moore's updated study "A Woman's Heart God's Dwelling Place" . For many this would be an excellent place to start. Making yourself accountable to others in the study of God's word is highly effective. Have you tried the Life Journal? Begin with the New Testament reading only and than slowly add the Old Testament. Just like our kids have to begin somewhere in school (more than likely Kindergarten), we too must begin somewhere. The point is to just begin. And over time just like our kids we will grow and grow and reap a precious harvest of growth in godliness.

Do you need a fresh start?


Linda said...

This is so wonderful and timely Chris. I don't have children at home any more, but I am at a point right now where I need to reevaluate how I spend my time. I've been thinking and praying about it, but I have to acutally come up with a plan and begin.
Thanks for the gentle nudge. I needed that!

Deidre said...

Hi Chris,
I hadn't seen this Life Journal before. I have been doing something similar I guess. I choose a book of the bible and then journal about each verse that speaks to me. Thanks for linking to that post.
I, too, am ready for a schedule. My oldest (E, 5 years) isn't at all ready, but I'm praying she doesn't up too much of a fuss.

Cyndi said...

Yes, I've been in "fresh start" mode myself! I love what you said about not dwelling too long on what got you to that place, but move quickly to make the necessary changes. I've been trying not to get caught in "analysis paralysis" myself! We must think alot alike, because I just recently added some new worship music to my repertoire, and switched to a book of the Bible in which to linger (James! Which you quoted from!!)

What a great, encouraging post. Enjoy your week, and your upcoming "fresh start!"

Love you, friend.

Lisa Spence said...

I think we love a fresh start because we were made for a fresh start: if anyone is in Christ he is a NEW creation; the old has gone; the new has come! Praise God, His mercies are new every morning! May this "fresh start" bring you to ever deeper intimacy with our Lord...

Christine said...

I am struggling to get back to a routine in my time with the Lord. The baby is just beginning to come out of his colicky funk so I'm hoping I'll feel human again soon! :)

I did the Beth Moore study you mentioned and it is by far my favorite study ever!!

Rachel Anne said...

I am so ready for a fresh start. This summer has been far too busy for me, filled with work projects and my heart has been heavy that I have had so much on my plate. I haven't been able to do much of anything with the kids, but the saving grace is that they are older, and much of the work has been at home. They don't "need" me like they used to. Still, it has been hard. Quiet time? I'm ready for schedule and structure and time to get refreshed.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

I'm SO READY for routine. I'm all summered out! I haven't done that Beth Moore study - it sounds awesome.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

PS-Thanks for reminding me of your kids' ages. Makes me love you even MORE! =)