Like many other moms out there, I’ve been getting things ready for school starting. So many things to think about… There’s school clothes to get, supplies to buy, schedules to pick up, summer habits to break, new routines to get ready for, haircuts to get, doctor appointments to go to, etc! Then, for homeschooling, there’s curriculum to choose and buy, plans to be made, preparation of materials to take care of, organizing all the million books and supplies for the year, schedules to make, activities to choose from, and, of course, a cute, creative idea for the first day of school to come up with! Makes me tired just thinking about it all!
I was having my quiet time a few days ago, and the thought came to me: all these preparations are not as necessary as the most important one: I need to prepare my heart. I need to make sure I’m prayed up and spiritually ready for this new year. I have so many rough edges that I need Him to smooth out. I asked God to please get out His heavenly sandpaper. I could have the greatest curriculum and the best plan, but if I don’t take time to spend with Jesus and get my heart ready to serve my family, my priorities are out of whack and good intentions can unravel quickly.
I should know better than to pray prayers like that! God is always ready to work on our hearts when we invite Him to, although we might not like the process very much. He gives us ample tests and trials to sand off those rough patches. It’s not pleasant. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” It’s not pleasant, but it is worth it.
In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for school this year, I want to remember what’s really most important. It’s not the best curriculum, an organized schedule, or the most awesome activities for my children to be in. It’s not getting just the right school supplies and clothes for my kids.
I long to be a godly example to my kids. I want to love people more than a clean house and a perfectly followed routine. I want to take time to sit still, to breathe, to listen, to pray. I know I can never accomplish these goals on my own. I need the Lord. And when I stumble, I will need His grace and gentle reminders to depend on Him and His heavenly sandpaper. Smooth away, Lord!