Starting NewLeave a Comment
“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.” ~Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT.
My family brings me great joy, just from watching them grow and change into who God has created them to be. They make mistakes. I do too–and I learn from them. With every new mistake, comes a fresh new start to try it a different way. In the pressing, in the breaking, He brings new wine – new start.
Over the past couple of years, kids have developed negative school habits. Sleeping in late and arriving to video class in your pajamas was everyone’s way of life. Kids would watch YouTube videos, play e-games, and Snap Chat their friends while attending their live class feed. They created a laundry list of poor learning skills and had to unlearn them this past school semester.
Going back into the building was a rough transition for all students, teachers, staff, and parents. So many changes happened during that time that summer break was an anticipated and welcomed change.
Just as school was ending, my husband and I took the little and teenagers on their very first big adventure. We drove to Anaheim, California to visit several of their beaches.
A full day of play at Venice/Muscle Beach and Santa Monica Pier brought about sunburns all around. Our second day was mostly spent exploring the rides at Lego Land. Our biggest destination was Universal Studios. Probably the fan favorite, we got there the moment the gates opened. We rode the rides until we wanted to pass out from exhaustion and left as dusk began. Ending with a “first”, we took the SoFi Stadium tour to be a part of the family of the LA Rams.
After returning, we had a short home reprieve and then all four pastors of the church went on our Pastoral Planning Retreat in Durango, Colorado. The teenagers and little stayed at our house with friends watching them, partying with their buddies. Durango was packed with entertainment designed for relaxation. We chose to do all of our work on the drive over so that we could rest and rejuvenate on the retreat.
(Seven hours of driving gets the job done!)
There was encouragement of competition at the Rockie’s Stadium. We enjoyed a flashback of teen years while watching Maverick at to a movie theater. Loafing on the orange couch at the Friends Experience was picture worthy. Durango did not disappoint.
Returning home to our kiddos and another reprieve, we found ourselves being held to a very specific clock.
Our oldest daughter and her husband were expecting their very first child, and we were phones-on-twenty-four-seven-ready. Only a few weeks later, from our Durango trip, we found ourselves packing again. I received a call from her, in the middle of contractions, and determined it was time. I hopped the first flight out to be with her. Managing to arrive with minutes to spare, I was able to help bring my granddaughter into this world.
Our teenagers had just left to attend their very first youth camp and we didn’t want them to miss the opportunity. My husband, the teenagers, and the little came a week later. They, along with my in-laws, traveled several hundreds of miles to be with our newest addition. She was a beautiful site to behold and none of us could get enough of her. All our family was in one place, baby crazed.
Our family has enjoyed so much over these past two months and are sad to see the season end. The time has come. Summer has gone by so quickly and our new start is here.
After an extremely short summer break, we are back to school season.
My oldest teenager will be starting her first year in high school. Her sister will be starting her last year in middle school. My son will be starting his last in a school where his sisters have attended with him. This will be the very last year that he attends school with any of his siblings, ever again.
They are all excited about meeting their new teachers, getting to know new classmates, and learning new things.
School is a new start, each year, to grow and develop our skills. Most years, my kids have been worried about restarting school as they each have had learning issues. I, too, struggled similarly when I was in later elementary school, middle school, and high school. I dreaded getting up morning after morning to attend something I felt less than adequate to participate in. Unfortunately, my kids have experienced the same. When the school year rolls around, think about all of those “genius” people who were seen as inadequate.
Those same people became great, history-making individuals.
Many people have appeared outside of the social norms, said or done things that seem not quite right, or just viewed things far outside of the box. And yet, have left their marks on our world through inventions, compassion, or helping others with their perspective.
I look forward to seeing what this new start will look like for my teenagers and the little. They have grown so much physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
My continued prayer, for all kiddos getting ready for their new start, is that they see themselves as God sees them. Ignoring what others may think about them, looking only to God’s view. I pray for innovative ideas, kind and forgiving hearts, and a yearning desire to continue to learn.
When things get hard, out of your reach, or simply impossible, remember through God all things are made possible.
My mom used to say, “this too shall pass”, and I would like to add, “there will be a new start when it does.”
Accomplish great things! All we really need to know is that His mercies are new every morning, you can start fresh, and those who live for Him have the Holy Spirit’s presence in them.