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Palmer Academy is back in session!

At the end of our first day of school all I could say was, “we made it…”

Each summer I carve out a few days here and there to get planning done for our upcoming year. Reminding myself that I need to scale back and simplify, I can’t help but caught up in lofty dreams full of projects, stacks of read-a-louds, and an academically rigorous work load.

It’s within my control to set our official start date, so looking at the calendar I picked what I considered the perfect day, within an ideal week. Fall activities have not yet begun, friends are headed back to school at the same time, and honestly it is time to bring some structure back to our world.

Instead of my perfect beginning, a commitment pushed our start date back a day, my energy level was low after recovering from being sick, and then to top it all off, a meeting was scheduled at our house to finish up house warranty items during our first morning. What??!!

As perfection waved good-bye and flew out the window, hope for a wonderful first day still lived inside of me.

Our school tradition includes a night of receiving fun, back to school gifts and supplies, looking through curriculum and new books, and reading each child a note from Andy and I about their upcoming school year. It’s a special time that all six of us look forward to with great anticipation.

The Friday before, we enjoyed a family “back to school” breakfast so that the kids could hear from the principal and their teacher.

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That conversation went a little bit like this…

Andy, aka Principal: “Make sure you listen to your mom because if I get a bad report and have to get involved it won’t be good.” (He was done in about 3 minutes.)

Kristen, aka Teacher: “I wrote down some of my desires for this upcoming school year…” (sound of paper crinkling as I pulled a folded sheet out of my purse) Opening the paper I saw the glazed over looks and realized I was losing them. Oh well…I’m still reading it! 🙂 (I won’t tell you how long I took.)

Finally, we were ready…

Back to school night. Check.

Back to school breakfast. Check.

Time to get back to school.

Our first morning was chaos. Sigh…This year I officially have all 4 kids sitting at the school table. Ellis’s work load is much lighter, but I have been looking forward to letting her fill a seat as we all work together. After helping Ellis with her letters I scooched to the other end of the table to work with the older boys.

“I’m bored.”

“Go play,” I responded.

“I don’t like to play alone.”

“Color,” I suggested.

“I don’t want to color.”

Sweet, sweet Ellis, this is going to be an adjustment for us all. 🙂

Wrapping my mind around who needed me when, adjusting the schedule in my mind, skimming over teacher guides to introduce new concepts, I remember thinking once or twice (or 300), “is it lunch yet?”

But, I made it to the end of the day. WE made it to the end of the day.

Amazing! Wonderful! Fantastic! None of these words describe our first day, but I’m not deterred from this call to teach my children. There are always rough days. Less than ideal days. Days that leave me with my head in my hands. But, I have One who sustains me and gives me hope for tomorrow.

On days like these I’m reminded of my need for the Lord. I can’t do it on my own!

Feeling pretty miserable this past Sunday Andy suggested I stay home from church and rest, knowing that the first week of school can be tiring.

As my family headed out the door I thought of my long to-do list, but realized I needed rest for my body to heal. I considered laying on the couch and watching a girlie movie, but instead grabbed my Bible and notebook and headed outside to rock on our old, rusted bench. Continuing in my Chronological Bible I came to Psalm 131. I read the words and let them sink in as it became my prayer for the upcoming week.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord
    both now and forevermore.

Psalm 131:3

Kristen, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.

I prayed that several times Sunday morning and have whispered that prayer many times throughout this week

My hope is not in the perfect. My hope is in Him.

May I remember that wondrous truth as I continue in my obedience to the Lord, allowing Him to guide me in all areas of my life. Whether it be in homeschooling or other callings, it is not up to me and I am not alone.

Oh, and in case your wondering, school days 2 and 3 went much better! We just need to get back into the swing of things. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, and simplifying have a way of working themselves out, although I still have a little curly girl asking, “what can I do now?” 🙂

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