Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Things Above, Things Below

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Col. 3:2

Woke up with this verse on my mind.

I am at a transition point, a slow turning of the hinge from the school year into summertime.  It began last week with B17's last final completed on Friday.  Suddenly, his schedule is free!  Then Blondechick returned yesterday from her 3.5 week tour of Europe with her college choir, and now I have my 3 oldest all home, and my 3 youngest joining them next Monday at noon.

I feel a heightened anxiety about summertime and its lack of schedule and structure. My mind is on things below, like the weeds in my garden, our cluttered garage and storage closets that need purging.  I hope for activities that will keep my kids healthily occupied preferably without my having to drive and accompany them everywhere, quiet pastimes like reading, writing stories and cleaning their rooms. I hate it when the unstructured days fill with decisions about "can we?"s "will you take me?"s.

It's the decisions that tax me, and I feel that I should be doing something, this week, to plan for what's coming and set up some proactive intentionality to our days. So far, I'm thinking of requiring everyone to be up by 9:30, and to read for 30 minutes in the morning, including their Bibles, before they are allowed to go anywhere. I'm thinking of setting some limits on how many times a week they can...[fill in the blank--but I have to think through each age and stage!].  We definitely need to have a conversation about chores in the summertime.

But do I have to be home all the time to make this happen? Probably.  That's the problem with setting up structure; it takes some effort to establish and enforce it, and usually, in the summers, the last thing I want to do is manage kids.  But they must be managed, either proactively or reactively, so it would be smart to think it through.  Preferably with my husband, when he gets back from an almost final work-related trip--one more, and then things are changing so that he won't have to travel so much anymore!  He'll be working from home more, then, so it would be good to think together about this.

But all this feels like setting my mind on things below.  When I think of "things above," I cast my anxiety on God.  I thank Him for this time of new things that is coming.  I pray for new jobs, new summertime creativity and responsibility, new friends, new things to learn and experience. I thank Him for completion, for the good experiences my younger kids had in public school, for the challenging but good year B17 had in virtual school, for Blondechick's good first year of college.  I thank Him for the times we'll have to be together as a family in these coming summer days, and I pray for the rest of this Colossions 3 passage, one of my favorites, to be true in our home:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I pray for times of family devotions and prayer, for social times with family friends and neighbors, for rich times with Grandma and Grandpa, as Grandma continues to weaken.  I thank God for things I see Him doing in my children's lives--lessons they are learning, decisions they are facing, and opportunities that lie before them.

It seems I am better equipped to arrange and manage the things below when I begin with my mind set on the things above.

Thank you, Lord, for waking me up with this verse.  It was just what I needed today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post resonates in me. Thanks, Jeanne.