15 May 2014

Staying Steadfast through the Go-Go-Go

It's that time of year again if you're somehow connected to the Western school calendar.

If you're a teacher, summer vacation or summer school begins soon.
If you're an expat, you might be traveling "home."
If you're a mom, school-age kids will be with you again 24/7.
If you're in an international community, several friends may be moving away . . . or you might be the one moving.

It's a hard time. It's a busy time. It's a time of mixed excitement and dread.

And it's a time when we often let things go.

While flexibility is important when dealing with big changes, there are some things that shouldn't be pushed aside, even in the midst of the go-go-go of summer months.

1. Personal Health

  • If you must eat out most of the time, choose the healthy options on the menu.
  • If you're far from a gym or left that DVD at home, there are sidewalks for running or chairs for triceps dips. Really, exercise is portable.
  • Jet lag is a killer, but don't make it worse by denying yourself sleep. (You can read some tips on how to tackle jet lag faster, especially with younger kids, in this post.)

2. Bible Study and Accountability
How do you read the Bible when you're on the move? Here are some ideas:

  • You can listen to an audio reading of Scripture (in the car, on the airplane, while you're packing). Whatever it takes, keep hearing the Word.
  • Join an online Bible study. This gives you a reading schedule, accountability, and connection with others. 
  • Use the Internet to keep connected with someone for accountability and encouragement.  You can form a Facebook group or private blog with a few close friends, and it could become a place to "check in" and feel anchored even when your world is spinning. 

3. Parental Consistency

  • Even when vacationing or visiting friends and family, our children need the rules upheld. Keep disciplining. 
  • Know that all the changes around you may make you more apt to react negatively as a mom. Recognize what triggers you and work to prevent those situations and/or have a battle plan to prevent Mean Mom from emerging. (I get really upset when the kids mess up my packing or unpacking. So I need to make sure they're totally engaged elsewhere, or I need to do it when they're sleeping.)

Some people thrive in unpredictable circumstances. Some prefer to be off-schedule and spontaneous. Some just don't. But no matter what category you find yourself in, staying steadfast in these three areas--with our bodies, with our Bible study, and with our mothering--is being faithful with what God has given us. Summertime may change up our routine, but it is not a season to let things go.

Thankfully, even as we bravely face (or dread) the arrival of June, we have a perfect example of steadfastness in Christ Jesus, who is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). If you feel yourself wavering over the next few months, grasping for a hand to steady you, know that you are invited to speak to the Lord about your concerns. 

He is unchanging, and He cares for you. 

Abide in Him,

What will you be doing this summer? Do you have advice to add about staying steadfast through a changing schedule?

Related articles you may also appreciate:
Flying with Young Children (a 3-part mini-series)

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