I’m a Roller Coaster Conductor

Rollercoaster

I am sooo not a daredevil.  I do NOT like roller coasters.  I just don’t like the you-are-falling-and-going-to-die feeling I get down deep in my stomach.  Just like a roller coaster, the back-to-school season of life seems to always throw me for a loop. I get that falling feeling when I am rushing in the mornings, shuffling kids to activities and desperately trying to make it to work on time.  Unlike at Disney World when I was in the eighth grade, I cannot get to the beginning of the line for Space Mountain and then change my mind.  I am Mommy and the conductor of the back-to-school roller coaster.

As the conductor, I get to decide how fast the roller coaster travels (sometimes) and I get to decide when to shut the ride down for the night.  I just need to remember to exercise my “conductor power”.

Two things that I have struggled with as “Mommy Conductor” is finding time to read God’s Word consistently and mommy guilt.

Yep, the more things that I am NOT able to do, the more I hear a little disapproving voice saying…you should have done blah blah blah……GUILTY!

I am leading a bible study with my fitness ministry called Bad Girls of the Bible.  Last week, our leading lady was Eve.  When we were in group discussion, a lovely lady name Vivian Grice said some thing that rocked my world.  She said “when you don’t know God’s plan for you, you will do ANYTHING”.  WOW.

God’s plan for us is that we bring Him glory.

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made, (Isaiah 43:6-7 NIV).

The back-to-school roller coaster or the life roller coaster can try to take us up and down and all around scurrying about so that if we are not careful, we will do just anything.  We must exercise our “conductor power” and ask ourselves, “How can I bring God glory in this situation”.  I bet it won’t be doing just anything.

I found two AWESOME reads this week that have helped me find creative ways to read the Bible and let go of Mommy Guilt!

Seven Ways for Busy Moms to Get into the Word (By Courtney Joseph)

Mom guilt.  I’m getting over it. (By Lisa Jo Baker)

The Working Mama Paradox

My daughter’s field hockey team practice was cancelled yesterday due to rain.  Is it bad that I was secretly happy that I did not have to bark out orders to get all of the equipment packed up and drive all the way across town?

Wanna know something else?  I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO SCHOOL STARTING! Boom!

Yep, I have continued my yearly denial techniques:  no shopping on the tax-free weekend (there are NO good sales that weekend anyway) and waiting until the last-minute to purchase school supplies.

Perhaps I am not looking forward to school because we did not have a restful summer filled with “just hanging by the pool” and lazy days of nothing to do. Since I have to be at work at 8am, we still get up early just like during the school year so I can get the girls to summer camp before work.

Although summer offers a reprieve from homework and extracurricular activities, this mama is not feeling refreshed and ready to begin a new school year.

Just thinking about homework and the hurry, scurry schedule gives me a rash.

Totally not trying to be a Debbie Downer–just keeping it real.

Ladies, kids or not….are you rested and full of renewed energy?  Are you happy?

Do you feel like you can efficiently wear all of the hats your life demands you to put on AND look fresh and fashionable?

I found an interesting article and graphic on www.greatbusinessschools.org called: A Woman’s Paradox: The unique challenges facing women who “want it all”.

With studies to back up their claims, the article states: “Despite progress toward “having it all,” research shows that American women are less satisfied and burn out more quickly. And today’s economic realities mean fewer options when it comes to choosing between work and home.”

WOW…

Check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments section! (Click on the graphic see a larger view.)

A Woman's Paradox
Source: Great Business Schools

Today’s post is part of a weekly meme called Pour Your Heart Out hosted by Shell over at Things I can’t say.

Consider Your Ways-Pour Your Heart Out

The school year has officially started. Both of the girls enjoyed their first few days of school and we have had uneventful mornings. For all intents and purposes, this “back to school” season has been a success.

Just before getting too excited, I began to think of the New School Year like the actual “New Year” that happens every January. In the “real” New Year, people make tons of resolutions and promises to change things. A great many of these resolutions are the same ones from one year to the next  (i.e. stop being late, get up earlier, lose weight). Unfortunately, most of those resolutions are long forgotten by February.

Most new school years in our home begin with the same resolve as an actual New Year: the girls go to bed on time, lunches are packed and night, clothes are picked out in advance and we make it to the on the bus stop on time sans Mommy yelling! I am not sure when the change happens but by the end of the school year, the resolved mornings have turned into teary battles.

Perhaps you don’t have children or your back -to- school days are over. Can you relate to resolving to make change only to end up dissolving into the day to day of life and things remain unchanged or worse?

In the short book of Haggai, God speaks to the Israelites about this very subject:

Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it….. This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.”

God had instructed the Israelites to rebuild the temple but they grew complacent and did not finish the work they started. In fact, sixteen years passed after they constructed the altar of the temple and left their work uncompleted. In those years, they turned their attention towards their own affairs instead of God’s. Although they busied themselves, their labor was never enough. In fact, they began to find that they were never satisfied and constantly frustrated. When God commanded the Israelites to give careful thought to their ways, he was essentially calling their priorities into question.

We stay up late, skip out on morning quiet times, grab food on the go, stop exercising, and all kinds of things in an effort to get more things done. Life, with all of its demands (work, school, children, marriage) beats down on us like a hail storm. Sometimes it seems easier to run quickly in the rain towards shelter instead of taking the time to open our umbrella of protection, God. We need to give careful thought to our ways.

Our biblical priorities are: God first, family second and career third.

I love the way Joyce Meyer summed this principle up.  She said:  “The key to having God’s “abundant life”—His love, peace and joy—is keeping Him in His rightful place in our priorities.”

The start of a new school year is a great time to realign our priorities.

Realigning our priorities sounds great but how do we even get started?  I would love for you to join me in a seven day challenge to make scripture the first thing that we read each day–(yes even before email, texts and facebook)!

Things I Can’t Say

Back to School Already? Wal-Mart Gift Card Giveaway

Y’all know I keep it real so I gotta just say it, “I am so NOT looking forward to school starting!” I have really enjoyed letting the girls just BE without barking out marching orders to the next activity. Not having homework and projects has been fabulous. There have actually been a couple of evenings I was able to come home from work and kick my shoes off. Ahhhh.

Perhaps it is just me, but my eyes seem to roll on their own every time I see or hear the words “Back to School”.  In years past, I waited until the last minute to shop for back to school.  Since it was last minute, the lines were long and I ended up frazzled.

The frazzled feeling seemed to be a common theme for me last school year.  The crazy hurried mornings, the tearful commutes to work after losing it with the girls, the frantic evenings trying to throw something at the stove, make it to extracurriculars AND get in bed at a decent hour, are all great reminders of why  I LOVE summer.

I am overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done in preparation of  “Back to School”.  I did manage to get the school supplies but our hallway closets and both of the girls closets need to be purged and organized.  In an effort to corral all the the mail and papers that end up on my kitchen countertop, a kitchen command center would be awesome.

Just thinking about doing it ALL while balancing work, children, husband and everything else makes me feel lethargic and demotivated.

I am reading a book by New York Times Best Selling Author, Lysa Terkeurst, called Unglued (Making wise choices in the midst of raw emotions).   In the book, Lysa uses an amazing term called “imperfect progress”.  She defines imperfect progress as: “slow steps of changes wrapped in grace”. I just love the sound of that! (Vist the Unglued website to purchase the book and get freebies)

So, if I had to chose one thing to do as a small step of change, I really think a kitchen command center would give me the greatest bang for my time and money.

Here is my inspiration:

I just love the simplicity of this AND the flower notebook contains meals for the week and a cleaning checklist!  (Shut the front door!)  I found it over at Lovely Crafty Home.

Looking through the lense of imperfect progress, I am able to celebrate the fact that I did get the school supplies.  I am also able to clearly see the wisdom of making a plan to do what is reasonable considering my schedule demands.

Imperfect progress allows for inconsistency, mistakes, the need to apologize and start over.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (CEV) We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. 9In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again.

Imperfect progress is still progress.

Dear God, as we prepare for a new school year, keep us keenly aware that perfection is unattainable and unnecessary.  Help us to remember that you are our true power sourceIt is because of you that we CAN imperfectly progress.  When we fall down, we can get back up because of you.  Thank you for being our refuge and strength.

I will post pics of my version of the kitchen command center next week.  School starts here on August 27, 2012.

Have you done any back to school preparation?  How can you remember imperfect progress?

Would a $25 Wal-Mart gift card make your back to school process eaiser? If so enter my giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell @ Things I Can’t Say and Women Living Well!


Timeless Back to School -Full Armor

Getting my girls ready for school has me reminiscing about when I was “going back to school” in the 80’s. It sure was a simpler time than now. We get school supply lists with tissues, hand sanitizer, folder, glue sticks, tape, composition notebooks etc.

When I was going back to school, I can’t remember purchasing anything other than a TRAPPER KEEPER! You had it “together” when you had a TRAPPER KEEPER! The advertisements had you thinking that by purchasing one, you would be sure to be an “A” Student.

My daughter has a zipper folder holder by Mead but it can’t hold a candle to my TRAPPER KEEPER!

My back to school shopping list from the eighties was full of High Top Reebok Tennis shoes, Jordache Jeans, Sebagos, Swatch Watches, new flashy pens and colored loose-leaf paper!

From the beginning of time until now, there are a few items that have stood the test of time as staples that every parent and child need to navigate life year round. One of those items is the The Full Armor of God.

Unlike rain coats and boots, this is armor of a supernatural variety. God’s Armor guards our hearts and minds and equips us for life’s challenges.

Back to school, with all the purchases and preparation is a great time to remember God’s Armor.

Ephesians 6: 11, 14-17 (New Life Version)

11 Put on the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will not fall into the traps of the devil. 12 Our fight is not with people. It is against the leaders and the powers and the spirits of darkness in this world.

14 So stand up and do not be moved. Wear a belt of truth around your body. Wear a piece of iron over your chest which is being right with God. 15 Wear shoes on your feet which are the Good News of peace.

16 Most important of all, you need a covering of faith in front of you. This is to put out the fire-arrows of the devil. 17 The covering for your head is that you have been saved from the punishment of sin. Take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

I am linking up this week with Mommy Only has Two Hands! Click the photo link below to read other posts!

Its Hump Day!