In two days there will be a great cheer rising up in our neighborhood around 7:31 as the school bus pulls away, a new school year begins, and parents rejoice in a bit of silence in their homes. There is something magical about the start of a new school year. The excitement of possibility is thick in the air. There are all of those fresh unused number 2 pencils, notebooks with empty pages waited to be filled with the vastness of knowledge, lunch boxes awaiting the fulfillment of their destiny to carry sandwiches and juice boxes to school, it is all so exciting.
This year back to school is especially momentous at the Arthur house. This week marks a brand new season of life for our family. It isn’t often that you have such clear delineations as to the beginning of a new life season. For our family, however, this week is the start of something new. Today Gretchen headed back to full time employment for the first time in 9 years. She is working at the high school running the career center. She will help students find colleges, learn about scholarships, and generally invest in their lives. In many ways she finally will fulfill her destiny as the ultimate pastor’s wife Connie Britton who played Coach Taylor’s wife on Friday Night Lights. (I have long held that her role as the football coaches wife is the best representation of a pastor’s spouse on TV)
This perfectly coincides with Logan heading off to kindergarten and Sophie beginning 4th grade. The whole family is heading off to school this week, well of course for me. I am just heading back to my crazy life as pastor/building contractor/real estate agent/discipler/ preacher/writer/recruiter/employer for another week of the norm.
The big challenge and opportunity of entering this new season is that the rhythm of our family has shifted. There are big changes and small changes. Our preparation for this new season has been in trying to figure out what our new rhythms should be, not just so we get everything done, but so that we are healthy and have balance. This is requiring a change in when we get up, who runs the mornings, work schedule, workout schedule, when we pray as a family, and when Gretchen and I actually can spend some time together. That has meant compromise (I am now in charge of the mornings- Gretchen the afternoons), sacrifice (no more dropping three point bombs on my friends at the Y) and intentionality (getting up at 5- getting the kids up early enough to see Gretchen before she leaves).
One thing that the discipleship process we have been invested in has taught us is that if we are going to be fruitful in our lives it requires the right rhythms of living. If we don’t create space to hear the voice of God we will never have the capacity to respond to it. That is often when entering a new season puts us out of sorts. We lose our rhythm and we don’t have the intentionality to create new ones. So whatever season of life you are enjoying right now, I pray that you will spend some time finding a healthy rhythm of life. May you create space for the things that matter most and live in a place of abundance.