Well, it’s that time of the year again. The time when I’m trying to wrap up another year of homeschooling, and at the same time, trying to plan for next year. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I get so caught up in planning for the new year that I have a hard time focusing on finishing up the current year. By this time, I’m pretty burnt out on school and am ready for a break! Beautiful, warm weather has arrived, wonderful vacations are on the horizon, and FREE TIME is just around the corner! Yes, it’s hard to stay focused!
As I was perusing homeschool curriculum and making plans for our upcoming homeschool convention, I felt a quickening in my spirit. A sense that planning ahead is a good thing to do, but finishing strong is probably even more important. I was reminded that, as I wrap up this current homeschool year, it is important that I approach it with the same enthusiasm as I approach the summer or a new school year. We are not even guaranteed tomorrow…the only sure thing is “right now”. So, I must embrace today with enthusiasm and joy, just as if it were my last day…because it could be. Having a plan and looking toward the future is a good thing, but not if it overshadows and makes me miss out on today.
Do you ever look at your children, and think “Where has the time gone”? Do you close your eyes and it seems like yesterday, that you were bringing your first child home from the hospital? Do you remember how fun it was celebrating birthdays and holidays with your little ones? The wonder and awe in their eyes, as they experienced things for the first time. Do you remember the feel and the smell of that sweet little babe as you held and rocked him or her? Do you remember those first shaky steps and those sweet baby smiles and sounds? I remember all of those things and so much more, and oh, how I miss them! I often think about those times and yearn to have those days back. But, if I continue to dream about the past and the way things used to be, I’m going to miss out on today!
Do you ever find yourself dreaming about the future? Do you ever catch yourself saying things like, “I wish she would just start talking, so I could figure out what she wants”, or “Things will be so much easier when he starts to walk, and I don’t have to carry him everywhere’? What about this, “My life will be so much easier once they are all potty trained!” We’ve all been there! Maybe, you’re in a different stage and you are saying things like, “If I can just make it through the middle school years, then things will be so much better”, or “If I can just get her through this senior year, my life will calm down”. I can certainly identify with these statements! But, if I continue to focus on and dream about the future, I’m going to miss out on today!
So, what does all this have to do with “finishing strong”? Well, I believe that the Lord has a plan for each of our lives. Each of these plans are made up of different seasons. And, I believe that we are called to be content in whatever season we may find ourselves and that we are to come out of each season finishing strong. We shouldn’t always be wishing for another season or comparing our “season” to the seasons of those around us. The Lord has great lessons and blessings for each of us in every season that we go through! My prayer is that I’d not be so eager to get out of one season, that I miss those lessons and blessings! Again, the season that I’m currently in may be my last season…so, I want to finish strong!
I began thinking about how Jesus lived His life. He lived ALL of His life with purpose and passion. Each season of His life was meaningful. His birth was indeed meaningful and full of purpose! His childhood was lived in obedience and with a zeal to learn and teach others about His heavenly Father. His adult years were spent making disciples. There was purpose and joy in every season of His life! Even in His final, painful season of life, I feel sure that He experienced a certain joy in knowing that He was being obedient to His Father, and also in knowing that through His death, He was making a way for us to know and be with His Father, as well. I would definitely say that Jesus finished strong!
My prayer is that the Lord would continually remind me of my need to “finish strong” in every area and every season of my life. I want to finish strong in my marriage, in my parenting, in my walk with Christ, in my homeschooling, and in my homemaking. I want to “finish strong”, not just at the end of my life, or even at the end of each season of my life, but, I want to “finish strong” every day of my life!