Backpacks replace beach bags and swimsuits. New tennis shoes appear in place of flip flops and crocs. The freezer popsicle stash dwindles.
School has begun.
The transition for my family has been more difficult than I expected. We shifted from a very light schedule with few responsibilities to one of hurried deadlines and duties. I’m sure you feel it, too.
Even though I knew kindergarten, 3 days of homeschool and a new part-time job were approaching, I was still unprepared for the influx of change.
I stumbled. I stressed. I operated out of the get it done mentality instead of relying on the Spirit’s strength.
As I sought to adjust, I made a plan. I hope these few tips will help you transition back into a school routine with joy instead of stress.
1. Prepare Ahead of Time
I’m not a Type A, have it all organized and planned out kind of girl. It just doesn’t come naturally to me, so planning ahead takes quite a bit of effort.
But for the sake of my sanity and for the peacefulness of my household, wisdom says plan ahead.
Since school began, I have been doing as much as possible the night before school. I:
— Lay out school clothes for the kids, including socks, shoes and belts.
— Think about what I’ll wear if I work the next day.
— Have my oldest pack his backpack and place it in a strategic spot.
— Pack lunch boxes and fill water bottles.
— Plan what we’ll have for breakfast in the morning.
This has been incredibly helpful for our new morning routine. I love that there is very little rush as we get ready. Things run smoothly because most of the work has already been done. It’s also really nice that my hubby helps with the kids.
How can you prepare in advance for your household to run more smoothly during the back to school transition?
2. Fight for time to meet with God.
If there is one piece of wisdom to take from this post, it is this one. Meeting with the Father every single day is essential to life. Change in routine or not, if we’re not being fueled by Him and renewing our minds in the Word, it will be impossible to operate in joy.
The transition into a new family schedule can definitely bring stress, but we can’t allow busyness to rob us of our time with the Lord. I love Martin Luther’s perspective on prayer. The theologian and father of the Protestant Reformation said:
I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done.
Luther believed time with the Father was vital. He knew God would bring results to his day that he couldn’t produce on his own.
Let’s fight tooth and nail to meet with Jesus.
Let’s determine with our whole heart that He is worthy of our time.
Let’s make sacrifices in our schedule to include intentional time with Him.
Let’s act on the truth that we can’t function at our best without His power.
How can we determine with all our might to meet with God?
— Get up early before the kids while the house is still quiet and the coffee is the most amazing.
— Don’t allow ourselves to look at social media apps until we’ve read the Bible app.
— Listen to an audio version of the Bible on car rides in the morning.
— Meet with God after the kids are in bed, instead of Netflix or looking at our phones.
— Begin memorizing just one meaningful verse to dwell on and pray throughout the day.
In what ways will you re-arrange your new back to school schedule to include time with the Lord?
3. Connect with other moms.
Sometimes we just need to laugh. In the hustle of back to school, it’s so refreshing to push aside responsibility and pressure for a moment and laugh with your best girl friend.
I had the joy of doing this Sunday night. I sent out an impromptu text to the ladies of my small group to meet for dessert and coffee. Only 1 friend could join me, but what a joy we had connecting and realizing we’re not alone in motherhood!
If you feel like you don’t have anyone to get together with, find a small group at your church to join. Offer friendship to those you come in contact with. Ask God to bring a friend.
Who can you connect with in the next week or two?
4. Trust God to supply.
No doubt, we’ll experience bumps along the way as our families transition into a normal back to school routine. To walk in joy instead of stress, we must lean into the Father as we encounter every hiccup. That goes beyond just reading our Bibles. We actually have to look to Him to supply all we need.
What do you need as your family adjusts?
Patience? Wisdom? Peace? Sleep? Help? Laughter? Strength to fold one more load of laundry? Are there specific needs you see in your children?
Why not just ask Him for those things? Jesus invites us to ask.
Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
So, I want to encourage you to lean in and pray. Ask Him to come through for you. Do this not out of frantic desperation, but out of trust, believing He will supply what you need. When you’re faltering in the transition, wait patiently for His provision.
Take a moment right now to ask Him to supply for your specific need.
As your family transitions to a new back to school routine, I pray you’ll be fueled by the Father to do all He’s called you to with joy instead of stress.
And may you be a blessing to your family as you love and serve them well with the strength He supplies!