Goodbye Summer, Hello Back to School
Weekends are nice, right? But Monday is coming. If we do weekends right, we can launch into a new week ahead with at least some level of enthusiasm because we have had the weekend to decompress, meal prep, check off some items on the to-do list, and, as followers of Christ, spend time in worship. The “weekend” can give us renewal and grounding as we dive into the adventure called Monday. And I love a good dive [more on that later].
I used to think of the summer as one big extended weekend. The summer was a beautiful time to decompress as a family, find pockets of rest, regroup, and worship together. During those precious months, we could complete projects and plan for the future. Then, as summer winds down, we could prepare with renewed energy for the big Monday: The Fall launch and “Back-to-School.”
What if the weekend’s preparation for Monday and the summer’s preparation for ‘Back to School’ was a dive? Whether it’s a safe dive off a pier during summer vacation or watching a calculated dive of a 10-meter athlete, there’s something surreal about a well-executed dive into crystal clear water. The diver possesses a spirit of freedom and confidence and somehow manages a nearly splash-less entry. A dive can look effortless and have tons of fun. Yet, we all know the splash-less entry is directly connected to the preparation that went into the dive and the sure foundation of the launching point.
But let’s be honest, sometimes a dive is messy and painful. If you’ve ever seen a blooper reel of a dive gone terribly wrong, perhaps you can relate to how so many parents out there feel as we belly-flop the 2023 ‘Back to School’ entry. And you know the dives I’m talking about. Maybe the diver started in the right direction, but something crazy happened mid-air, and the diver was met with the angry surface of the water and produced a splash that would rival Shamu. Or the ‘dive’ where the person wasn’t prepared at all! Perhaps they were pushed into a pool at a family party, and the event was recorded only to be witnessed in slow motion in family text threads for years to come..
When it comes to this “back to school” season, which dive are you?
A bellyflop? Maybe you’re a nearly flawless back 2.5 summersault with a 2.5 twist. Or perhaps the slow-motion face plant is your signature move?
Getting kids ready for a new school, new school year, or stage of life can be overwhelming. Between school schedules, homework, sports, church, and all the extra-curriculars, it can easily feel like you are face-planting into the pool. Hear me when I say I see you. I can relate. Some back-to-school seasons are flawless and welcomed, while others are a bit of an unforeseen mess. Shout out to the parents reading this who turned back-to-school into a well-oiled machine.
Whatever emotion you may be feeling as it comes to a new school year, I want to take a moment to encourage each parent with this bold yet simple truth: You’re Not Alone.
Whatever the circumstances, knowing that God sees and is with you is incredibly powerful. He knows you and your circumstances with a level of detail we will never comprehend. He also didn’t create us to walk through this season of our life alone, either. He created us for community.
Let me encourage you, this back-to-school season, not to do it alone, even if it’s smooth sailing. Make an effort to connect with others. If you don’t know where to start, please pray for God to provide a friend or a listening ear. And seek out individuals whom He brings to your mind. It may be awkward at first, but honesty is the best policy. Shoot that person a text and tell them that in this season, you have been _______ (fill in the emotion). Tell them you have been praying for honest connection and community, and God brought them to mind. Then, ask them if they have time for a phone call. And Dads… if you are reading this, I’m talking to you too. We need Godly friendships!
We must pursue honest, caring, truth-filled, and prayer-saturated relationships. So, as people come to mind, shoot them a text (maybe tell them about this blog and send them your GIF file dive) and start a conversation.
Take comfort in the Lord this season! And know he’s got each of your precious kid’s lives in His hands. We also have incredible kid and student pastors and directors who would love to spend time praying for you and your family. Don’t hesitate to reach out!