Rocky Transitions

Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient spirit is better than the proud in spirit.    Ecclesiastes 7:8

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJocelyn started first grade last Wednesday. She went from half days in kindergarten last year, to a summer of rest and relaxation. These new six hour school days are a shock to her system. By Friday afternoon, with just two and a half days of school under her belt, she was literally sobbing in my arms. As I rocked her, and sang to her to calm her down, I felt her pain.

The same day my kids started school, I jumped back into my old life. In addition to picking up all the balls I had dropped over the summer, new after-school activities and lots of homework to oversee, I now have the added and new responsibility of working for my husband. I thought I could slowly rev things up, transition gently from a summer of tranquility, to what is now a jam packed life. No such luck!

After waving goodbye to the school bus Wednesday morning, I walked in and saw the piles and piles and piles on my dining room table. It had become the “in basket” for all the tasks I had deferred over the summer, and all that my husband needed me to do for his business. I took one look at it, and my old ways kicked in.

I hyper-focused and began chipping away, never coming up for air. I worked straight through lunch and didn’t even stop for afternoon coffee. If you knew me well, you’d know that skipping afternoon coffee is a recipe for disaster.

By the time my kids got off the bus, I had a raging headache, and I still had tons and tons left to do. I felt defeated, demotivated, and dead on my feet. So much for the pursuit of balance!

I continued on in the same way both Thursday and Friday. Other than setting my watch alarm to remind me to drink afternoon coffee, I stayed hyper-focused and kept on chipping away. I thought having entire school days kid-free, I could conquer the world, or at least all those piles.

I was impatient to catch up so I could establish some sort of rhythm and routine. I couldn’t understand why I kept failing. Yes, I was getting work done, but those darned piles didn’t seem to be diminishing. By the end of each of those days I was miserable.

It wasn’t until Jocelyn was falling apart in my arms on Friday afternoon that things clicked into place. I had predicted that she would have a hard adjustment to full day school. I knew the drastic schedule change would exhaust her, make her fragile. I was ready and waiting to comfort her, to extend grace, to soothe and smooth over the rough patches. But I didn’t expect the same reaction in myself.

Just because Jocelyn is a child, and I’m an adult, doesn’t mean we’re any different. Adults have hard adjustments too. Transitions are just as exhausting for us a they are for our kids, maybe more so because we’re the ones holding it all together for everyone else.

We can be just as fragile as our kids. And just because we’re grown ups doesn’t mean we can’t seek comfort and grace, and Someone to soothe and smooth over our rough patches. The ultimate Comforter is always ready and waiting to lend His shoulder to cry on, with Words to calm and console us.

After our little snuggle time, Jocelyn was as good as new. Additionally, the long holiday weekend gave her time to catch up on her sleep. She started off this school week on a good and rested note. I’m sure there will be more melt down moments in this transition time, but nothing that time in my arms can’t fix.

As for me, my watch alarm now serves a dual purpose. When it dings, it’s time to stop, and step away. Every boss, my husband included, gives a twenty minute coffee break (and the real truth is, the only task master in my household is me).

I now use my twenty minutes to combine afternoon coffee with Bible time. That’s when I seek out comfort in His Word  and get the wisdom to be patient with myself. I’m sure there will be more days of imbalance and frustration during my transition time, but nothing that time in God’s presence can’t fix.

Questions For Reflection:

     * How are my kids doing during this transition time?

     * Have they needed me to comfort them and extend grace?

     * How am I doing in this transition time?

     * Have I extended grace to myself? Have I turned to God for comfort?

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8 thoughts on “Rocky Transitions

  1. Your children will learn how to get through this wilderness as they see how the Lord works in your heart and life. He is doing well in you; so we praise Him when we read what He is doing.
    The Lord bless and continue to keep you in His care.
    Thank you for letting me know your interest in how He is continuing to show me His incomprehensible power and joy, so as to share with you and others. Ephesians 3:20
    Blessings to you and your family.
    Fran

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  2. Very insightful as always, Claire. It is important to take that moment to revitalize yourself and gear up for all the work ahead of you. You continue to see that listening to God in ALL things will show you the answers. God bless you!

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    • Thanks Mom. I definitely do get that listening to God shows me the answers. Unfortunately I get lazy and/or overwhelmed, and prayer time is the first thing to go. Please pray for discipline for me in carving out that time for Him.

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  3. thank you lady, (whom i have never read any of your stuff before but God just led me here this morning out of divine leading like only He can do.) you have no idea how much i needed that verse today. feeling discouraged in my own season of transition where it’s easy to become impatient and proud. and then it’s easy to start thinking/saying negative things. which do not help and make you feel terrible and rob your peace. something i’m working on is to hold The Word of God higher than my own feelings, my circumstances, and my limited understanding. so thank you claire.

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    • Kim, I’m thrilled you visited and commented! I absolutely love your statement about holding God’s Word higher than your own feelings, circumstances or understanding. I REALLY need to meditate on that, and then work on that as well. Thank you for sharing that. I hope you stop by and comment again and again 🙂

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