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Finishing Strong

Ok. Here it is. You are arm in arm with your children as you approach the turn into the last quarter of the school year. You are looking ahead and can see that you are approaching the finish line…the same point from which you started the year. You are tired. You likely have been on an emotional roller coaster along the way. You are finding yourself short-tempered at times. Maybe even down-right angry because of having to face unexpected situations. First, recognize this: this is the normal journey that all parents will find themselves on at some point during their parenting experience. In fact, you will probably find yourself experiencing this more than once between now and when you see them exit your home for the last time.

That is not to say that you have not had any joyful moments. Moments of glee and excitement. They also make up this journey. But it is important to remember that there is an enemy out there. It is called EVIL. And it will use something to throw you off the successful completion of your year: FATIGUE. You will find yourself battling this as you set your sights to finish well this school year with your kids. So what should you keep in mind?

First, remember that God is on the throne. He orchestrates everything to serve His will for us. In Romans 8:28, the Apostle Paul writes “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Knowing Jesus personally means that God has an overriding purpose in everything that we experience.

Second, hold your tongue. It is so easy to let something fly out of your mouth when you are tired, irritable, or just plain frustrated. This is a normal human condition. Remember…once it is said, you can’t put it back “into the toothpaste tube”. So seize the thought first, reflect, and hold off on letting the words come out before you have had time to consider the impact of those words.

Third, pace yourself with your kids. Encourage them to keep their eyes on forging ahead and finishing strong. In most athletic competitions, it is the person who has the endurance that usually comes out victorious. And let’s not forget that we are all running our own individual races. So don’t look left or right. Keep your eyes (and your kids’ eyes) focused on doing what needs to be done properly to cross the finish line.

Each school year is a growth year for both parents and students. Growth includes struggle. Improvement will not come without it.  Embrace it and learn from it. Don’t forget…your kids are watching!

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