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Preparing Your Heart and Home for Back-to-School Season

Preparing Your Heart and Home for Back-to-School Season

Summer is almost over, my friends. Yup. It’s officially Back-to-School Season.

As a wife and mom, a lot falls on my shoulders this time of year. I’m the one that needs to do the shopping and organizing for that first day. I’m the one that needs to wrap up summer household projects and get the house under control before the school year hits. I’m the one that needs to think through all the healthy breakfasts and hearty lunches that need to be prepared and packed each day. I’m the one that needs to prepare myself for this new year of parenting, new conversations to and from school, new opportunities to guide and shape my children as they grow. And, also, make sure they always have clean underwear. It’s a lot.

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  • How do I prepare my heart and home for back-to-school?

    If Pinterest has anything to say about it, I should have started before the last day of school LAST year. I should have spent May and June and July ticking off checkboxes and printing out labels. I should already have a freezer full of meals, a closet full of clothes, backpacks packed and school paperwork all signed, copied and filed. Oh, and don’t forget the first day of school gift for the teacher perfectly assembled and list of first day of school traditions printed out and ready to complete! (You guys, I’m getting pit stains already.) 

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  • Truth be told, back-to-school season is a minefield of comparison and idolatry.

    Moms can get all tangled up in what we are “supposed” to be doing or what “needs” to get done, that we lose our way. We focus all our attentions on organization and accomplishment, worshipping at the altar of “having it all together” and playing catch up with the picture perfect lives of our peers. If we pursue this path of uber-preparedness and ultra-organization, sure, we’ll start the school year with all sorts of plans in place, but are we really prepared?

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  • Preparation is more about waiting and listening than planning and organizing.

    We see those BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALE signs show up in Target, and we jump into action. We make a list a mile long and get to work. Rarely do we stop, pray, wait, listen when it comes to back-to-school preparedness. I mean, what is there to pray over? Office supplies?  There is NO Pinterest post that tells us to be still before we start checking off check boxes. We think being prepared is about stockpiling and organizing, but true preparation begins with resting and trusting in the Lord.

    Merriam-Webster defines prepared as being “made ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity.” We moms approach back-to-school preparations all on our own. “It is MY job as the mother, homemaker, manager of the household, to make things ready beforehand.” But it’s not our job, not all on our own.

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  • God is the ultimate Preparer of all the things.

    He prepared a way for us to come to Him through Christ. He prepares a place for us in heaven (Hebrew 11:16). He prepares us daily to become more like Christ (Romans 8:29). He has prepared good works for us in advance (Eph 2:10). “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor 2:9). And yet we scuttle about with our human plans making human preparations in our human strength.

    It reminds me of Moses and the Israelites. Moses had a great responsibility to get his people safely to the promised land, to guide them in the way of the Lord, to be a strong, true, wise leader, but more importantly, he had a responsibility to trust in and obey God.

    God never intended for Moses to find the way on his own; God was with them and lead them every step of the way. God never intended for Moses to feed and clothe his people all on his own; God provided manna and water and made sure their clothes lasted for the entire journey. God never intended for Moses to speak and act alone; He gave him words and actions to repeat, direct messages from the Lord Himself. 

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  • Like Moses, we veer off track when we take matters into our own hands.

    Moses jumped into action before God spoke, killing an Egyptian in his zeal to protect his people; he spent many years in Midian because of his impudence. Moses jumped the gun again, striking a rock to provide water for the Israelites, when the Lord instructed him otherwise; he would never enter the promised land due to his disobedience.

    Too often, especially as moms, we think we see things more clearly than anyone else. We alone know WHAT needs to be done and HOW it needs to be completed. We see tasks, to-dos, potential problems, and we are the professional solution finders.

    But God never intended for us to navigate parenthood all on our own; He is with us every step of the way. He never intended for us to feed and clothe our people alone; He will provide what we need, when we need it and make it stretch further than we could ever imagine. He never intended for us to speak and act alone; He is ready and waiting to give us the words and actions we need as mothers in this season.

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  • True back-to-school preparedness boils down to these three tasks that trump ALL other to-dos: pray, listen, & obey.

    We need to pray fervently. Not just that our kids would have a good school year, but for direction and wisdom and clarity for us as moms, every step of the way. We need to pray for every tiny task on our to-do lists, from shopping to lunch packing to classroom volunteering and every “insignificant” thing in between. We need to listen carefully for His instruction, and we need to obey Him to the letter. We need to remind ourselves daily that He is preparing everything ahead of us, and though we are in a place of leadership over our families, we are really just middlemen, asking the Lord for guidance and leading exactly as the Lord instructs.

    The best way we can prepare our homes (and hearts) for back-to-school is by turning the whole thing over to God and watching the Master Preparer go about His work.

    I guarantee He’s capable of a heck of a lot more than I am, even at my most organized and “on top of it.” No amount of lists and lattes can measure up to the power of our God.

    If you’d like to join hundreds of moms, just like you, as we usher our kids into a new school year, make sure to check out Marie Osborne’s Back-to-School Like A Boss e-mail series. Each e-mail will help you conquer another area of back-to-school preparedness, all the while leaning on Jesus for strength, stamina, and guidance. Join us by clicking here!

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