Tips for Thriving (Not Just Surviving) During the School Year
1. God always has a purpose
In Esther, chapter one, Memucan, a prince of Persia, an advisor to Ahasuerus, gave this advice to the king: “If we don’t reprimand Vashti (the queen), we will have a country of angry women, out of control, who do not know their place. Give her position to a woman who knows her place!”
Ahazuerus agreed with his advisor and began his search. Memucan must have felt honored. But we know the rest of the story. God is always about rescue and always about His plan being fulfilled.
Instead of controlling a bunch of angry women, God had in mind rescuing His own people, the Jews — and He did.
Take a deep breath and read the book of Esther for a good reminder of how God is always on the side of rescuing you, His own child.
When our child’s baseball team wins, we try to encourage him to not be proud. We may remind him that God gave him the gift to hit that ball or run that base. We point out the need to be humble, the ugliness of boasting pride. But — we often fail to finish the teaching or to tell the rest of the story.
From Andrew Murray I learned that we want to help our children be humble not by looking at themselves and making sure that they are not boasting but by looking to Jesus and picturing His grace toward us. When we get a clear picture of my sin and His sinlessness, of my debt and His payment of it, we are truly humbled. This is our goal in teaching humility. Think on this during your next drive home from a baseball game.
3. Read aloud
During this school year choose a great and Godly book to read aloud to the whole family. During the reading of this book encourage both thinking skills and heart change.
Thinking skills are easily encouraged by asking, “Why do you think _______?” Refuse answers that you know are given just to sound good. Continue to dig deeper.
Heart change only happens by the work of the Spirit. Make Him welcome during your reading. Use this time to give some age appropriate, honest testimony of your own struggles.
Remember that your schedule is a guideline. It is for your benefit, not your punishment.
Evaluate your schedule for personal rest time. God often uses this time to help you refocus and to show you benefits of what is happening among your children.
Evaluate your fun time. Think of your personal recreation and plans that you have for your family to enjoy each other’s fellowship. Mark your calendar!
Evaluate your healthy eating. What plans do you have for energy giving snacks? How will you maintain healthy eating when you need to grab and go?
5. Help! I’m only one person!
How do you deal with so many demands in the same minute? I may not have an answer for you but I can point you to the ONE who does. He may remind you that when you feel too stretched you are looking at demands rather than looking at Him. He may remind you to pause and give thanks. When our focus is on Him, and our attitude is at rest in thanks and praise, we can more clearly see what first step to take.
On the practical side, please, if you need help during a difficult time, call a friend or hire help. It is OK. You are not a poor mom for doing that!
Keep in touch, and please contact me with your question or prayer need.