There is something about the first day of school that makes me so giddy. I just love fresh starts. I think that’s what it is. Newly sharpened pencils and fresh crayons. All of your attempts at organization get another chance. Something that feels dead gets resuscitated. Atleast that’s how it feels for me.
There was a little wrench thrown into my “fresh start” this year, however. When we went out to buy NEW things for a NEW school year, my ten-year-old refused to participate.
Her backpack, she insisted, worked well (even though it had a rip along the zipper causing it to occasionally get caught).
Her clothes, she argued, still fit just fine (even though they looked ball-ey and faded to me).
Her shoes, she claimed, were great (even though they were purchased a year ago).
Now I love to conserve money and make things last as long as they possibly can almost to a fault. But…what about the new beginning? And…oh my word…these shoes…
Two things that I highly value (fresh starts and frugality) had come into conflict. How could the first day of school feel right with clothes from last year and shoes that were fraying?! All of the other children would be getting dropped off with new backpacks and outfits and…would I look like a neglectful parent? Would the first day of school FEEL like the first day of school or–God forbid–just another ordinary day? It wasn’t until my sweet child informed me that I care too much what other people think that I realized my “fresh start obsession” had become an idol.
So, there you go. There is my first-world-problem-of-the-day.
All this talk and think about fresh starts has really got me thinking lately. Isn’t it amazing that we don’t have to wait 12 months to have a fresh start if we follow Christ? Isn’t it amazing that a fresh start is available to us–not just every day–but every moment? No matter how often our crayons break, our markers fade, and our glue sticks dry out, there is a constant exchange that Jesus offers. He is always taking our sin and brokenness and exchanging it for forgiveness and love. I hope this isn’t too cheesy. Or too much of a “Jesus juke.” It’s just what I’m thinking about today on this (close to) first day of school…(Hey, I said “close to”).
P.S. I DO have four children and I just realized that it is kind of pitiful that I didn’t get a picture of all four of them on the first day of school (two of them are homeschooled and were probably inside still eating breakfast)…But, considering this was the first day of school picture from three years ago, I think I’m making progress?