The End of a Season Means the Beginning of Another

Six years ago I wrote a post titled The Tension Between the Beginning of the End and the Beginning of the Beginning. At that point we were saying goodbye to six years of private full time classical school to embark on a homeschool journey. We didn’t know if the journey would last one year or six more. Turns out, we homeschooled through graduation with our oldest. Our middle son will graduate in two short years from our homeschool.

We are again at the beginning of an end and the beginning of a beginning.

I believe it’s fairly typical to look back on an experience and realize the worry and fretting were useless. That is my experience at least. I have falsely led myself to believe that enough worry on the front end can lead me to preventing failure and regret. It’s a lie.

What worry really does is steal the joy of the journey. It clouds our vision from seeing the magnitude of an awesome God at work in the details of our days. It significantly limits my ability to trust God by turning my trust toward myself and my worry. It takes my mustard seed of faith and crushes it to nothing.

My one regret through homeschooling….allowing worry and fear to have any voice. I wish I’d rested more. I wish I’d trusted God more. But! I’m thankful for the opportunity to choose differently today.

Jacob finished his last day of high school in February. Between February and May, when we’ve celebrated his graduation officially, I’ve had quite some time to reflect. Initially, I played the what-if game. What if we’d chosen a different path? Did we choose the right path?

In the Lord’s patience with me, He allows me to wander about my thoughts, wrestling them down until I come to a clear place of understanding. I thought back to a podcast I heard on Focus on the Family years ago where a pastor talked about how we can know which path to take. He said often we pray and ask God for His will regarding which job to take, which house to buy, which school to choose, etc. But often our choices are equally in line with God’s will, so He gives us the choice and what He cares most about is who we become in Him as we walk that path. Hearing that opened up my understanding to the goodness of God and the beauty of this life. It also allowed me to feel free.

Our life path is filled with opportunity. Most importantly, we are to simply abide. As we abide, He will grow us wherever we are.

When Jacob was in sixth grade, he encountered some unexplained health issues. The doctors had no real answers, but felt reducing as much stress as possible would be crucial in his body healing. Interestingly, that is one of the very things God used to confirm our homeschool path. I sought a friend’s advice as we prayed through our next steps. I remember saying to her how life is filled with extreme stress and removing it may not be the best for our kids. Her response I’ll never forget. “Yes, but limiting it in middle school may be what God uses to prepare him for what he will carry in his future.” In other words removing school anxiety isn’t setting them up for life failure.

On this side of the path, I’m speechless at all God has done. Jacob is an incredible human being. I’m highly biased and feel incredibly blessed by all three of our children. Jacob is so highly motivated and driven. He is wise. He is discerning.

After Jacob’s graduation party, God took me back through the years and all I could do was cry. I’m so incredibly grateful we homeschooled. I’m so thankful I didn’t let fear push me down an alternate path (and it nearly did every single year).

So here we are. Jacob is working full time gaining incredible experience in the business world. He has plans in the future with real estate investing and financial trading.

I posted this on Instagram the day before his graduation party:

“Last week God gave me a verse for Jacob. Today, the eve of the day we celebrate his graduation, I’m sitting on the sofa and My Utmost for His Highest is centered around the very verse God showed me for Jacob last week.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

This is my prayer for Jacob who is already walking in his future having jumped into the full time workforce in February. He is so highly motivated, so driven, such incredible grit and work ethic.

Of all things to pursue in this life, pursue God with everything you have. Seek His Kingdom. It’s the ONLY thing that matters. The true picture of success is the one who is so firmly rooted in who God says they are that they can abide in Him, seek Him, and watch the Kingdom grow.

The world tells graduates to go do great things and change the world and chase your dreams and live your best life. God says, Seek Him. Everything else will take care of itself.”

Are you facing the end of a current season? Sometimes the end of a season sneaks up on us, but what I hope to remember is that a new season is ready to dawn. God is doing a new thing. Do you see it? Do you believe it?

When God delivered rebellious Israel, He said to them in Isaiah 43:19 “Look, I am about to do something new, even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

God is a Creator, He is in the business of doing something new. As we journey through our seasons, we can trust that God is at work, always ready to do something new. Lord, give us eyes to see you!

Do you have a graduate in your life? Send them into the world with what they really need. God’s Word.



You May Be Worn Down, But You Are Not Worn Out


We pulled into the Goodwill drop off lane when I realized we had a few minutes to spare. We could always make time for a real-life treasure hunt. That week Andrew had been talking about how much he would love to have his own pair of rollerblades. He stressed his own and brand new.

Taking my boys to any store is always an adventure. People must think I don’t let them out very often. They pick up everything as if seeing for the first time.

Thumbing through some books, I caught a glimpse of a one of my boys sporting a bike helmet. My eyes remained on the book in my hand, and I begged myself to stop pondering the possibilities of how many heads had been in that helmet. Another boy took practice swings with a golf club. Near the dishes. And another was trying his hardest to hop on a bike to go for a quick stroll. So much for thumbing through the books. I gently placed the book on the dusty shelf and made my way towards the chaos on the horizon.

As I neared the sporting goods section of the store, all I saw were heaps of messes. How in the world they could find a treasure in here was beyond me. But every 10 seconds someone let out a gasp to signify a new discovery. Then the gasps of all gasps came. “Mom! Mom! Look! Look! Rollerblades! Brand new. Can they be my own? My very own?”

I looked at what he held in his hands. They were not brand new. They were as far from brand new as you could possibly imagine. Beyond used. Worn slap out seemed a fitting description.

I began coming up with excuses why these would not be the rollerblades for him. They probably cost too much money. They probably aren’t your size. Wouldn’t you rather wait for your birthday when you can get the ones you want?

“Mom, look they fit just perfect. Perfect!” Bending over I felt his toe in the skates. Yep, just perfect. To the next excuse.

“We will have to see how much they cost. Rollerblades are expensive.”

“I have my own money. I have $3.”  Great, this will be my way out. No way can he buy the skates for less than that.

“Sir, how much are these skates? They don’t have a price on them.”

He picked them up with a slight look of disdain, which I totally got. The black material had rubbed off, the wheels looked in need of replacing, did the buckles even work? “Hmmm, $2.50 seems about right.”

His blond head snapped up to catch my attention. “Mom, is that less than $3?” Those eyes get me. It’s why I’d wanted to avoid making contact with them. The sparkle begged to take those skates home. To be his very own. And we did.

Those rollerblades had lost their value to someone at some point in time. Their season of use seemed to have come to an end. They made their way to a dusty shelf piled high with other items that seemed to have lost their value. The items on the shelf hadn’t lost their value. They were in a season of waiting for their next purpose. Their next assignment. The next person they would bring joy to. The rollerblades were worn down, not worn out.

I may be worn down, but I am not worn out.

There are days I feel like a new pair of rollerblades. Shiny and new, full of value and use. There are days I feel like the worn down skates sitting on a shelf. Tired and useless, little value. There are days I feel like the skates picked up off the shelves placed in new hands. Life reinvigorated, a new purpose in my heart. There are days I feel like the rollerblades on the feet of little Andrew. This time experienced, these paths are a bit more familiar. I can go a little further because I’ve been down this path before.

Sometimes I feel like the skates that got tired of riding those trails. Tired of the unexpected bumps on the road. Wanting to take a break from it all. I find myself on that dusty shelf conflicted by my need for rest and escape and my need for purpose and use. Sometimes I find when I’ve sat on the shelf long enough, I’m more aware of my need for a new rhythm.

Are you worn down? Do you feel worn out? Are you in a season of shelf sitting, wondering what the point of it all really is? Me too, my friend. God has many sweet messages for us on the worn down days, the worn down hearts.

No matter how worn down we feel, we are not worn out to God. In our most used up state, He breathes life into our every minute. We are His treasure. We may feel like a used up pair of rollerblades in a pile of dusty broken toys, but God sees us as a treasure. And He gasps. Because He doesn’t see our strength, He sees His power amplified through something that looks flat out useless. He sees something waiting to be used in order to bring glory and honor to Him.

So He says, “Come to me.”  When you feel worn down, remember you are not worn out. He breathes life every second of every day.



Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

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