While the actual summer season isn’t over yet, the way I refer to summer is. Our girls went back to school yesterday, one as a high school senior, the other a high school sophomore.
Like many moms, I was asked if I was ready for the kids to go back to school. The answer was no. It takes a couple of weeks for us to gear down at the end of a school year, but once we get into summer, I like it. I enjoy having the girls around at random times of the day, staying up late to watch a movie, sleeping in a bit, and not packing lunches.
But here we are. And routine is good. And by this time next week, we’ll be back in the swing of things, crazy as it’s likely to be.
Last year I found a little inspiration for the new school year in Isaiah. While I didn’t know that it had much of an impact on our children, they actually reminded me of it on Sunday night! The phrase I would remind my girls of at times as they headed off for school was “Walk in the light of the Lord.”
As I thought about what I wanted to keep fresh on our minds this year, I kept coming back to the word “focus.” According to the Oxford dictionary, focus means “the center of interest or activity.” From sports to academics to friendships, what do we want our lives to center on?
And, by the way, whether we’re involved in any back-to-school related things or not, our daily focus matters.
I chose a very familiar verse to challenge us.
“…Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” ~Matthew 6:33
That’s it. For our girls, for me, for all of us, seeking God’s will and His righteousness should guide us in every thing we do. If we focus on seeking God, our decisions, priorities, and relationships will fall into place.
Seeking God first means putting selfishness aside. It means patience when things move too slowly for our liking, because we trust that God is sovereign. We seek His glory, not our own, in our pursuits. And it’s valuing what matters in eternity rather than the temporary pleasures here.
If we’re seeking God’s kingdom, we want His will to be done above our ours. As Marian Jordan Ellis said here, seeking God’s kingdom means “passionately pursuing His agenda instead of our own.”
So as my girls go through their school year, I hope to keep that as our focus. May we start each day desiring to find His plan for the day and follow it. If our to-do list needs to go by the wayside so that we can spend time with a friend who’s hurting, so be it. If God’s timetable doesn’t match up with ours, let’s rest in His timing. Anything we can accomplish that brings glory to God and lasts for eternity will fall under that heading of seeking His kingdom first.
And I’m a day late, but now I’m off to make a sign to put on the door for my daughters to see as they leave each morning!
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Focus. Focus. Focus. On *HIS* plan for every day. Annelise & I have already been talking about that re: her school experience so far, and she’s only five school days into this school year! There’s so much more of His plan for them to openly acknowledge each and every year they get older and more aware.
Love that you’re having this conversation with your children!! I’m realizing that I have limited time left with mine where I’m able to process the day with them in person. Makes me want to cram in as much wisdom as I can…which they may not always appreciate 😉
Cris Watson says
Thank you for sharing this, Tracey. In these days I’m in I needed to be reminded of where my focus is! Good seeing you when you and the girls were here at church; sorry I didn’t have a chance to chat with you. Perhaps next time! Cris
Yes, we left pretty quickly after church was over so Mom could get home to check on Dad. Always such a blessing to be back and see the many faithful people there serving the Lord!!
Your Dad and Mom – your entire family actually! – have set a great example of faithfulness for all of us. We are blessed!
I love this idea of choosing a verse for your school year! I’m going to have to think about which one would work best for us. Probably the one about doing everything without complaining. 😉
Oh boy, that’s always a good one!! The first week of school has gone fairly smoothly here, praise the Lord, but I can see that verse coming in handy in about three weeks when the “newness” of the school year has worn off. 😉