Starting School Again

Another school year has come and with it the growing list of inadequacies that always comes with it.
Satan does a good job at reminding me of my failures and dumping them at my feet where I must trudge through them before I even start the day.
If my boys showed me this attitude, I would give them a stern talking and tell them to move on.
But it’s not them who hesitate to start school. It’s me. I’ve done third grade nine times. I’m weary of finding the verb and giving the rationale for why it’s passive. My students don’t care, and I’m not sure why I do. The boys want something exciting to read, not about dead people who are almost forgotten, but about action, battles, and challenges. Practice handwriting? To someone who can text faster than me with no swear words—definitely a fight. And I don’t even want to think about math. The curriculum isn’t the best, but I don’t have the energy to find something better…and so the problems of one are perpetuated to the next, only some don’t master the math like they should. And yes, it is my fault.
My failures get longer. How will I push through the day, let alone another year?

The beginning of school always brings these doubts, depression, and questions.
My solution never seems adequate…push through it, get the school done and move on to something better.
I see the fruit of such pushing…my boys hate school and don’t want to continue to learn, even when it could save them time and money in their businesses. I see my attitude in them as they leave behind the dreaded school and learn their trade the hard way. It’s not their inability to learn, it’s their desire for action. Schooling takes waiting, and time.

As I stumble through my failures, closing my eyes to some, just so I can prepare for school, I have one willing student who asks to do school. Every day he’s excited to begin. Then complains about every assignment. I sigh. It requires so much for me to prepare the way for him.

Didn’t I get my training in education? Didn’t I want to teach? I remember making those games and lesson plans that reached every learning style: audio, visual, touch. It was great in theory…awful when teaching four grades at a time, with a nursing baby and a potty-training toddler.

No, I can’t allow Satan to win this battle. There are boys still at home who must learn those verbs, read through history and know their math.
But more than that, they must learn by my example that they can’t quit.

I look beyond my stumbling feet where my faults lie to look at my Savior. Not only does He give me the strength to do the next thing, but He gives me the arms to carry the load.
It’s not about verb tenses, or math problems. It’s life. And knowing Him.
The mistakes are still there, and more. But my focus is bringing those mistakes to God. And bringing my boys before God to know Him and the power He has for everyday life. Isn’t that what Christ’s resurrection did? Enabled me to live today with strength and power to conquer my faults and inadequacies. I bring them to Him.

He takes them, puts them behind him, says “They’re covered by My blood.” Now He addresses me.

When I look into His face, I don’t see condemnation or rebuke. I see confidence that today will be better. He will be with me. That this day, I can do my best for Him and give Him what I can’t do.

I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

What about that will to do the work? He gives that too. For it is God Who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Philippians 2:13

Faults, failures? If God doesn’t see them, why should I?
Another school year begins…with God as my focus. That’s the only way I can do it.

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I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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