Monday, August 5, 2013

When August Brings an Anxious Heart

I've felt the anxiety for a couple of weeks now, the quickening pace of my pulse each time I consider what this month will soon bring: carpool, activities, juggling, a more hurried pace. 

The calendar swells right along with my anxious heart. 

"Real school" and all that it brings is still new-ish to me. I'll be honest. Homeschooling allowed for more of a leisurely lifestyle. But I'm also realizing that no matter which school road one chooses, as kids become older, the calendar becomes more crowded. 

Though we're all at the point in late summer when we can use a bit more routine and structure, I wish we could wade into the busy instead of feeling pushed off the high-dive into the frigid waters of the deep end.

Even if each child simply does one thing, multiply that one thing by three kids and this margin-needing-mama is easily overwhelmed. 

We still do less than most families we know. Years ago we vowed that we would not become the over-scheduled family, that we would say "no" to good things. Even so, the many unknowns of the season we'll soon enter makes me nervous and fearful.

I'm friends with some of you more energetic and organized moms who seem to thrive on the busy, on the sports, on the excitement that the hustle and bustle provides.

I sometimes wish I was more like you.

Last night my husband and I talked about what our afternoons and evenings will look like in just a couple of weeks. 

We're going to have to be more intentional about our family time; it's going to require some creativity and planning. Perhaps picnic dinners together after a soccer game? Sometimes eating as a family around the laminate table at Chick-Fil-A instead of around our weathered table at home?

I started to cry just thinking about the challenges. This is hard for me, I told him. 

Our daughter made the cheerleading team and I'm still coming to terms. I am surely the most reluctant cheer mom on the planet. {But that's a story for another post.}

Terms like "home games" and "away games" are now part of our working vocabulary. 

Nike cheer shoes are now part of our budget. 

The classes are harder.

Fundraisers pick up. 

The baby starts school. All three of them, in school

It's a whole new world and it's terribly uncomfortable. 

Public school and academic teams, youth group and cheerleading, band trips and helping in little ones' classrooms--it's all come upon me so very quickly. I feel like everyone else has run two full laps and I'm just out of the gate, desperately trying to catch up. 

But this morning I received these calming words for an anxious mom:

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
                         {Psalm 37:3 ESV}

For my family right now, our "land" is public school and the activities that are an extension of it. Eighteen months ago God opened the doors wide and made it quite clear that we were simply to take the step and He would cover the rest. 

And He has. I can't even begin to tell you how He has.

Though I can hardly consider the coming obligations without breaking into a sweat, his gentle voice simply asks me to dwell

Do you know what "dwell" means?  To abide or to settle down

Now this is a concept I can handle because I love the idea of "nesting." Like many of you, I find great comfort and joy in creating homey spaces for my body and soul settle down into.

And that's what He's asking me to do:

Trust me. Do this. It's good. This new life, this new schedule, these new endeavors--don't make them your enemy. Make them your home.   
Whether it's on the bleachers or in the pick-up line or beside your nervous Kindergartener, settle down in me and find rest for your soul. Be open to opportunities I've scripted just for you.  
This new life is not about your faithfulness, your ability to get it together. Befriend me and receive my provision. Know that I've got this.

Perhaps your new schedule has already begun or perhaps you're like me and the ticking of the August days feels like the ticking of a time bomb. 

Wherever you are, you're not alone. We don't know exactly how the coming days will look and we don't have to. He invites us to simply befriend Him, to rest in his faithfulness, to abide in the places He's chosen for us and for our families.


So how about you? Does August bring an anxious heart and if so, what brings you comfort and courage {or even organization} for the coming days?


  1. Great post! Can it possibly be time for that little fellow above the title "Baby Steps" (at the bottom of your blog) is going off to school? Hard for all of us to believe, isn't it?


  2. Oh, yes. I long for structure but I mourn the loss of a long and lazy evening spent together. The biggest comfort for me right now is knowing that I don't HAVE to say yes to every opportunity and I love that you wrote about that here. As a reforming people pleaser, I need that reminder over and over again.

  3. Really love this insight today... I felt so very anxious at the end of this past school year. All the "extras" that we required and the social pressures to "do it all" were causing me so much internal strife. I've taken the summer to try to get myself strong again in who I am and how our family focuses on life, so I'm a bit nervous as to how the beginning of school will be. Thank you for this!! All the best to you and your family!

  4. Oh my gosh. This made me ball!! August has crept up on me like a thief in the night. Me? You times four! Three kids at one school with 2 summer projects that are not done. 1 1/2 weeks left to go. Doubt they will get done and I'm past the point of caring. I guess it is the life of hard knocks for two of my kids. One is transitioning into public school which scares the mess out of me but I have a peace in my heart that God has something there for him ( and probably me ) to learn. I like you, hate school. It's so tempting to look back on our HS days with lustfulness. Yet, I remember they were not easy either. Just simpler, I think. ABCs. 123s.

    I agree with the need for a bit of a schedule but I, too, want to ease into it instead of being dunked into the icy water. This year we try to marry football schedule with homework - a task that was undoable last year.

    Fearful? I could go there easily. Yet, I try too to ABIDE. to trust. to not feel completely overwhelmed. it's not easy for me either. our introvert-ed-ness makes it all very hard for reasons i don't understand but i do know it keeps me vulnerable and pressed into the FATHER in a way nothing else in life does.

    I love you sweet friend. Thanks for echoing my heart.

  5. Scooper,
    I think of you often and love reading your posts.
    Each stage with our children is different and presents its own challenges.
    Your words are so comforting today. Thank you.
    Hugs all around,


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