August 22, 2012

Lesson 36: The First Day of School (Back to School Series)

Today marks the beginning of the end.

Lord willing, just nine short months from now, Mark and I both will cross the stage at Christ Covenant Church to receive our seminary degrees. I get chills just thinking about it. Sometimes I cry. The Lord has been good to bring us this far.

I've always loved the first day of school. In elementary school, I would lie awake all night, wondering who else would be in my class, if my teacher would be nice and how I was going to fare with the year's difficult task of say, learning cursive.

I would envision my outfit over and over. A “cool” girl, who was one grade older, lived across the street. Whatever she had worn the year before on the first day of school, I would wear the next year. I distinctly remember a floral silk blouse and matching shorts with white Keds one year.

The first day of seminary is a bit different. The semester starts, and it feels as if you are already behind. Perhaps you've read one or two books before arriving. Inevitably, someone else has finished the reading for all six of his classes and began working on three research papers.

How many babies has he sustained this morning? And every other day of this summer.

Seriously though, the first day of seminary indicates that it is game on. It begins a season of focused, intricately calculated time management for Mark and I. Two class schedules (19 hours of lecture), reading and papers for all those classes, two babies, church and youth group responsibilities (which increase in the fall), a commute to Charlotte every day of the week for one of us, a job in the bookstore, and I've decided to add cooking dinner to the mix!

I also now have a blog.

When I put the list together like this, I often have the urge to cry again. But for different reasons. How will we ever get it all done?

Two things come to mind.

First, it sort of reminds me of how I felt during the time of our engagement. “I have to be married to him, forever?!? How in the world will we survive all those days?” 

The answer. One day at a time. We rely on the Lord for his continued grace and pray that he would manifest the fruits of the spirit in our hearts.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self-control.

Second, viewing the schedule with such dread is essentially the same thing as believing a lie. Let's break it down.

Class Schedule (Lectures, Reading, Papers): I love class! My eyes have continually been opened up to the incredible truth in God's Word. There is no area of study that I have ever enjoyed so much or grown so much in. It is work. But, it is good work.

Babies: I love my kids! Samara is talking a ton and has recently began using her imagination. Mark poked her on the back, and she said to me, “I think that was a giant.” I said, “A giant? Where did he come from?” She replied matter-of-factly, “I think the supermarket!” Seriously, is there a better kind of conversation out there?

Hudson has been rocking back and forth on his hind-legs, which means crawling is just around the corner. Obviously, this involves craziness and some more baby-proofing, but it is amazing as well. He is lively, chatty, and smiley. I like being around him.

Church and Youth Group: We love our church! In fact, we love it so much that we are in school to work for a church full-time. We are building good relationships with our students and are excited to dig in this year.

Commute to Charlotte: I sometimes enjoy the commute. I use is to catch up on my phone calls and to mentally write blogs. Mark studies. All in all, the drive is usually well-spent.

Job in the Bookstore: Mark loves his job, and I like the extra money. It's a win-win most of the time.

Cooking Dinner: I love eating with my family! In the midst of our hectic schedules, committing to dinner as a family is crucial for us all continuing to communicate with each other. Thus, though you know I don't love to cook … I do love to reap the benefits of doing so!

Blog: I love blogging! Seminary requires a lot of intense, difficult reading as well as serious, research based paper writing. Blogging is fun writing and a very welcome outlet for my brain.

Do you ever find yourself complaining about your schedule and the busyness of your life? Have you ever tried to break it down in a similar way?

Seminary has been a constant journey of figuring out how to juggle many moving parts. We have been in seminary most of our married life, most of Samara's life, and all of Hudson's life. We started off with the minimum amount of commitments.

 It's funny, because at the time, those commitments seemed crazy. Now, it would be cake.

Have I mentioned how good the Lord is?

As your life transitions this fall, with returning to school or simply returning to viewing football games each Saturday, take a moment to consider a few things.

What does your schedule actually look like?
Are you spending your time well?
Are you complaining about things you actually enjoy?
Do you need to make adjustments?

I think it's a good exercise to occasionally take inventory of one's life. As I said in my first post, we become who we are based on the decisions we make day by day.

I'll check back in December at the end of the semester, right around finals time. Perhaps my attitude will not be so optimistic.

Then, I'll check back again in May. And as my neighbor Marcus would say, the party will be on!

There may be a few tears as well.

Lesson Learned: Times of transition are a good time to reflect and consider how you spend your time.

Keep Reading!


  1. hahah Katherine. I remember that outfit too. I mean, not for nothing-- but it was pretty cool ;) good luck in school!!

    1. Suzanne! I can't believe you read this post. That is so fun! Girl, I still pay attention to your clothes, even if it is via facebook!

  2. Hi Katherine,
    I am sure you will both do well. Like the blog upgrades.

    1. Hey Dad, Thanks for the encouragement.

      By upgrades, do you mean it was easier for you to post a comment? I changed this one thing and have been wondering if it made a difference.

      Love you!

  3. I was referring to the categories at the top and the "A Link-Up Partier" which directs your readers to other blog sites that you have found interesting. It is kind of like referring people to various authors or even other people as contacts. Time is one of our most precious commodities and so it is nice to find pearls of advice such as who to spend your time communicating with. As we all know, the world is filled with a lot of "wannabes". People “wannbe” the expert on politics or cars, or fashion, or the latest presidential statement, but really just want to be heard which isn’t bad in itself. I just happen to believe that communication, especially written and especially public should be well thought out. The blog world has given everyone their own podium and many are using it without giving thought to their words. Sadly, many haven't taken the time to invest in relationships which allow good communication and so they end up in this wannabe world. I just finished reading a weekly e-mail from one of the medical directors in the CURE network. It is his form of blogging and because I know he always takes the time to think and pray before he writes, I always take the time to read his words of wisdom. Here is the closing sentence from this week’s post. "We all rely on communication in our lives. To have meaningful communication we must have trust and understanding. To have trust we must walk and talk with integrity. To understand we must listen more than we speak. Good communication is necessary for life In His Grip, Tim He signs every e-mail “In His grip.” So you see, your new Link-Up to Partier" is something that can literally explode in terms of its benefits to your readers. I have time today so I think I will go explore it knowing that I won’t be wasting my time.

    My new posting ability is related to creating a new google account.

    1. Hey Dad, Awesome comment and really good food for thought. I'm finding blogging difficult in that, it is very easy to be totally yourself at the beginning. However, once you start researching and reading other blogs, there is a tendency to blend and have the potential to become super boring!

      A Link-up Party is a platform where weekly, you go to a specific site and all sorts of bloggers link-up a post. Some parties are more specific - say all recipes and others are very open. You link up your post and you take time reading others. I do think it will prove to be a good way to find other blogs that I really enjoy. However, right now, I've only been linking up for about a week, which is not near enough time to filter. Most link-up parties want you to put a link back to their site so other people can find them.

      I do hope to get to the point where everything I link you to is worth your time. However, I have to apologize. I'm afraid you may find a lot of these about decorating, being a mom, crafting, recipes, and so on. You may also find some really interesting stuff. It just isn't filtered yet.

      On the side of the blog, I have a list called "Sources of Knowledge." These are the blogs I read consistently.

      I think what you are talking about has a lot do with valuing your readers and with readers valuing one another.

      I'm glad you find it worth you time to read my blog!


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