If we were in the States, we'd be busy planning an end-of-Summer bash at our house, but we are woefully fellowship-deficient here, so we're reduced to merely dreaming of barbecues, game nights full of fun and silliness (and finger foods!), that last trip to the beach when it's almost too chilly to swim, and the welcome sight of fake fall foliage that litters the malls as we peruse the back-to-school clearance racks.
Homesickness seems to strike the hardest during the months that will follow this. Holiday planning for us will be done from a distance--those we love and wish to spend the holidays with are an ocean away. We can't enjoy the change of seasons with our friends and family. People we keep in regular contact with during the summer...well, they have lives. School starts, and we lose contact. It's easy to get depressed, but I'm choosing to meditate daily on the renewal that this new season brings to us, and the fact that the change of seasons brings a new opportunity for growth and change for the positive.
I've heard lots of moms talk about how much they welcome the "break" the first day of school brings--they celebrate their freedom from the chaos of summer as the kids move into a new school term. While I can't say I'd welcome that "freedom" as openly, I have learned to wholeheartedly embrace the beginning of a new academic year with fervor, looking toward the next four quarters with anticipation of growth and the imparting of knowledge and wisdom. This year is no different. This summer for us has been...well, disastrous. With the older two kids firmly planted in every awful thing their "friends" could offer, the prospect of beginning anew without those influences isn't just refreshing, it's something their souls depend on! Thankfully, they seem to be welcoming the coming homeschool year this time, finally seeing all the blessings that are before them. I just wish it didn't take near-catastrophes to get them there.
It's been difficult to find things for this upcoming school year that inspire Jon and [especially] Kelsey to look toward God's best, but I pray that it will come with time. I've purchased books that will hopefully spark "something" in their hearts, and I've selected as many of their favorite school "luxury" items as I can find. I want them to make this school year "theirs", not just something Mom and Dad are forcing on them. It is my goal to build within them a flame that will burn bright with zeal for their future as God's children.
I wish I'd have come across Sheri's blog Purely His long ago, there are some wonderful insights on there that have blessed me richly! She's also got a giveaway that really sparked my interest. Look at this Back to School Bundle she's giving away, isn't it awesome? Kelsey would love it!
It's been a hard Summer. I pray that as this season of our lives comes to a close that it doesn't affect too greatly the blessing of God's potential for our family, for our children, and for our individual lives. Bring on the sweaters, I'm ready for a change!