It’s Finally Summer!
In the Northern Hemisphere, that is.
For me, this is a bittersweet summer. I’m happy that the school year is over, but I’m sad that this is our final school year with our son staying at home with us. After fifteen years of homeschooling, I have finally graduated out of high school to my new life of empty nesting.
Not so fast!
Well, it’s true that sending our only child off to university means a lot of things, including providing the funds, finding scholarships, teaching the kid to drive (Uber has spoiled millennials), giving up on teaching him to pick up his clothes and doing his own laundry…
Wait. What again?
Not so fast!
I want to say it’s a generational thing, but then, every family is different. I didn’t know how to boil water until I went to college and had to make my own cup of tea. To be honest, I myself was a late bloomer in the Life Skills 101 department. But I made up for it by being a superfast learner.
I remember that one Thanksgiving when I was a newlywed (long ago), trying to roast a turkey. Let’s just jump to the moment of great rejoicing when we decided to save my cooking career and go out to eat instead.
Fast forward two decades and a few years later, my Thanksgiving turkey is the talk of the family. Ahem. After years of perfecting the skill, I am happy to report (thank God!) that I now know how to brine and roast a 12-pound turkey to the point of deliciousness (according to my son, who has been known to give me a zero on a scale of one to five when he judged my cooking).
Cooking aside, I’ve always been a bit uncoordinated. I rolled off the skateboard when I was a kid. I walked into pillars and walls. I sprained my knee crossing flat ground. I am glad none of that clumsiness has rubbed off on my son so far (I am still praying).
All that is to say that when my son was young, a number of veteran moms were giving me advice that they had heard or had put into practice that had worked for THEIR own children.
You know, God made each child unique with his or her own DNA.
What applies to one child, one family, one circumstance, may not necessarily apply to someone else.
That is why I rarely dish out parental advice. I think the best thing I can do is pray for my friends who are mothers with young children. All joking and oddball stories aside, I can say that if not for the grace and mercy of God, I wouldn’t have survived motherhood.
Speaking for myself, the house lessons I’ve learned included these:
- Spend time in God’s Word. Keep His word in my heart all day long. I’m going to need it ever hour. Start the day in the Word, and finish the day in the Word. Commit everything to the Lord and He will bring His perfect will to pass.
- Choose my battles. Not every issue needs to be a fire to put out. I need to seek God’s guidance regarding what to let go.
- Watch my mommy mouth. When I’m tired, especially, it’s best not to say anything at all than to say something I will regret later, such as griping or complaining and not trusting God.
- Delegate. It’s easier to delegate at work when adult people have the right skill sets to back up their resumes. But at home, sometimes I find myself doing all the work because nobody else is doing it or seems qualified to get it done right. Aha. Therein is the warning. I’ll only burn out. Seriously, there’s no shame in delegating.
- Finish well. They say it’s easy to start well but very hard to finish well. At every milestone, I have to ask myself if I am making real progress toward my God-given goals. Am I balancing my being an author and mom, or is something out of order? Am I pressing on or am I pressed down?
Above all, rejoice in the Lord always!
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).
So here I am, at another milestone in my life.
My son graduated from high school in May, but his college orientation is in June, and school starts all over again (for him!) in August. In between, we’re going to spend some family time together, teach him to drive (late blooming runs in the family), and just take it easy (you know, maybe replace the carpet and redo the kitchen).
Or really do nothing.
Our family cat knows what a summer vacation looks like. He does it year round! Nap, nap, nap!
Hope you have a fun summer with your family. If you’re a mother with children still at home, I hope you can get some rest as well and take it easy.
Nap, nap, nap!