Firsts have always excited me.
First smiles, first steps, first ballet class or soccer game. And at the end of every summer is the first day of school.
It’s the same each August, as I begin to anticipate the start of another school year. The freshness of a box of unused crayons or the newness of the notebooks filled with blank pages still arouses my mind with a heightened sense of possibilities for the year to come.
This school year has been no exception.
For the past two years I’ve had the joy of homeschooling my five children.
All summer long I’ve been planning and preparing for that wonderful first day of school, which finally arrived on Monday, August 13th.
Unfortunately it did not go according to my plan.
In fact, the whole day got started with some bad news, a friend revealing in an early morning email that her child had been diagnosed with cancer. Upon reading those words, my heart seemed to freeze in my chest, immobilizing me for what seemed like a short eternity. It wasn’t until after the kids began to rouse that I set about trying to organize the activities for our day.
As the morning progressed, the ends which were fraying began to unravel further. I had forgotten to charge my camera to take our annual first day of school pictures, so I had to use the camera on my phone instead. One child didn’t like her new math curriculum, while another was not happy with the book I had chosen for him to read.
In the middle of the morning’s lessons, the phone rang with a call that must be taken. Two minutes later, when I came back to the table, all of my students had disappeared. I sat down, hanging my head in shame, feeling like a failure.
Later, I received another phone call from a friend, confessing in scared whispers fears that her marriage was failing. I cried and prayed with my friend, but as I hung up the phone my already hurting heart ached with a heaviness I felt unable to bear.
And so the day progressed, with nothing going right and everything going wrong.
My boys wrestled with each other until it turned into more than just a game. My girls fussed with each other over whose turn it was to clean the bathroom. No one liked what I cooked for dinner.
By the time the children had gone to bed, all I wanted to do was curl up and cry. As I trudged off to bed, it felt as if my entire body were made of lead. In the dark the tears finally fell, and I began to express to my Savior all of my disappointment over the way my plans for the first day of the school year had gone.
In those quiet moments, the Lord gently reminded me that tomorrow morning I would wake up to His gift of a new day filled with His mercies.
He created mornings to be like that … as fresh and full of possibilities as a brand-new notebook on the first day of school.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
~Lamentations 3: 22-23
Paige Hamilton lives in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun country with her husband Jon and their blended family of five children (who for the next month are ages 9,10,11, 12, and 13). When not climbing the endless mountain of dirty laundry, Paige enjoys encouraging ordinary women to grow in their faith in a very EXTRA-ordinary God through writing and speaking.
You can read more from Paige in her monthly encouragement newsletter called The Paige Turrner or on her blog, Paige’s Pages.
Thank you Paige for your timely, encouraging post about fresh days of mercy!