Tuesday, August 13, 2013

'Tis the back-to-school season

My kids played with some friends in a creek last week, soaking in a cooler yet somehow still muggy August morning. It wasn't warm enough to swim, so they found other water for entertainment.

I was walking slower behind them as they took off for the creek and looked up to notice a patch of red on a big tree full of green leaves.

It looked like someone spray painted it. Apparently splotchy, early leaf changes are normal for whatever kind of tree that is, but it seemed like that tree was for me. Like God knew I needed a reminder that seasons are good for our souls. 

And, truly, they seem to come fast, but, really, they are gradual. With seasons come opportunities to become more of who we're created to be.

My daughter will walk into first grade tomorrow and my son will take his seat {hopefully!} just down the hall in a preschool classroom tomorrow morning. It's not totally new. Cate will be just a room down from when she spent her kindergarten days and Ben went two mornings each week last school year to another preschool program we loved.

But here we are. Year #2 of full-time school for one of my kids and part-time for the other. Yes, that means I have a few mornings a week without kids. People mention this fact as if I'll be searching for something to do.

While I will have time to do different things when I don't have kids by my side, I have plenty of ideas of how I'll spend my Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. In fact, I have a mental list: finish the freelance assignments I have, possibly expand my freelance work, exercise regularly, develop better Bible study habits, continue managing two lake houses, and volunteer at their school. Of course, I could also catch up on laundry, clean my house, grocery shop, or clean out closets and drawers one by one.

And, really, in the big scheme of motherhood, and life, nine hours isn't that much.

Where we'd send our kids to school was a big deal because, like so many other things in my life, it has turned out different than I expected. But better too. Choosing a school for our kids was part of a faith-building journey I've been on for awhile now. Ah, yes, seasons there too.

This summer I've learned more about taking life one day at a time, embracing adventures that come along unexpectedly, and choosing the present. It's still a process, but I've been more at peace because I've loosened my grip on life. I'm hoping that as we fall back into a school year routine, I don't truly fall back.

Seasons are good. They are how God created this world and our lives. I know this. I believe this. But, still, this summer passed to quickly and I sense the fall will be more of the fast-paced ways. I look at the calendar and see the year ending in a blink of an eye.

But holding on isn't the answer, really, even though it's my instinct. Seeing that patch of red leaves from a distance reminded me that seasons are natural. And beautiful.

When I stood under that tree, closer to my creek-splashing and rock-climbing kids and their friends, I saw other patches of red beginning. Seasons are full of details worth noticing. Perhaps I need to stop mourning summer with my head looking down and raise my eyes up and forward and all around.

This is life. There is beauty right here that wouldn't come if seasons didn't change.

So, here's to new classrooms, new teachers, new habits, new schedules, new friends, new opportunities, and new lessons that point us to the One who really does have the whole world in His hands.

I'm linking up with sweet Jen's Soli Deo Gloria party. And with Crystal Stine's Behind the Scenes. Who would have thought a picture of a tree with a patch of red leaves would spark so many thoughts! {Edited on 8.14.13 to also link this post with Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory.}

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  1. victoriacreativehomekeeper8/13/2013 7:57 AM

    Best wishes to you as you venture into a new season with the kids in school. I'm sure that is mixed with different emotions for you. I have two very little ones and while it would be nice to have a few hours to myself to do chores and such, I'm sure that I will also be a mess when it is time for my kids to go to school. My heart is with you on that! Stopping by from Behind the Scenes!


  2. KristinHillTaylor8/13/2013 8:05 AM

    Thanks for stopping by, Victoria! It's such a balance. The transitions in routines/seasons are always hardest for me.

  3. Shandra White Harris8/13/2013 8:55 AM

    Such a fun Season you and yours are entering. I remember it well Blessings! Shandra #BehindTheScenes
    Tweet to: @shandra_lee

  4. KristinHillTaylor8/13/2013 9:55 AM

    Thanks for stopping by, Shandra!

  5. We're starting a new season, too...just two mornings/five hours a week. It's really nothing, but at the same time seems so huge. Trying to find the beauty while the tears threaten to spill. It goes so fast, doesn't it?

  6. KristinHillTaylor8/13/2013 12:05 PM

    So fast, Mel. I generally love the growing up parts of having kids, but this seasonal change is proving harder for me for some reason, even harder than Cate going to kindergarten last year. Who knows - I'm sure God is trying to teach me some things! I hope you and Mae enjoy the change in your routine.

  7. Just love this-"Seasons are good. They are how God created this world and our lives. I know this. I believe this." Reminds me how some seasons are hard and some easy! Thanks for letting me know about the tree, we have one doing the same thing and I though parts of it were dying, you may have just sparred my hubby from having to get up and cut limbs. :) Oh I bet your ears were burning yesterday. My pastor was so impressed with the news in the paper, I said that is all my friend Kristin, she is amazing!

  8. This is a good reminder to me in this season of motherhood. Bedtimes will get easier and toddler tantrums won't stick around forever. Seasons change, but thank God he doesn't!

  9. KristinHillTaylor8/13/2013 7:48 PM

    Thanks, Jennie! I only know about the tree because of a biology-minded friend. I'm so glad to help with your new group. I wish it worked in my schedule to come, but I'm glad I contribute this way.

  10. KristinHillTaylor8/13/2013 7:48 PM

    Yes - this too shall pass, which is definitely bittersweet. :) Thanks for reading and commenting, Lindsay!

  11. It appears we are always leaving one season and moving into a new one, I am moving into a season of empty nester. I am learning to look for God direction in this new season. Embrace and enjoy each season along the way.

  12. KristinHillTaylor8/14/2013 3:00 PM

    You're right. Our lives are a series of seasons. Enjoying them is certainly the best approach. And, thankfully, we've had a super day entering this one!

  13. Girl, these words is what my heart needed today. Thank you, beautiful!

    Ashley from http://theheartofashley.blogspot.com/

  14. KristinHillTaylor8/14/2013 10:04 PM

    I'm so glad they encouraged you! Thanks for stopping by!