Right now. Tonight. I feel like a mix between an overworked farm mule and a dementia patient. I am so tired I can’t remember my name.

It’s amazing what perspective can do. I have been the stay at home mom who had a little party after I put my kids on the bus in August. I lounged in my pajamas drinking coffee in my quiet kitchen. Back to school was like a celebrated holiday in some ways. I love my kids and we had fun, but after two months at home together, it was time.

Now, I am a working mama getting six children ready for school. I’m a teacher getting ready for my students to come back. I was lulled into denial this summer by days at the pool, vacation, movie marathons, and time with girlfriends.

Then the stores put out those school supplies sale posters in July and ruined everything!

Seriously, I feel like we just finished the school year yesterday. How can it be time to start all over again? I feel like I’m at the starting line for a marathon realizing that I have not trained. Anyone else with me on this?

However, I don’t think we could survive another month with everyone at home. One child eats when he’s bored. Today? A whole bag of croutons and a box of cookies while I was work. The other boys have slowly morphed into zombies. Mini Me has baked every new recipe and made every craft she could. Overachiever just wants to get back in the action. Tall Girl has complained more about working at Kroger than she did about school. Not to mention Hot Pastor who just wants a quiet moment to read and study.

It’s time. It’s time for routine and a little structure. It’s good for our crazy big family. Good, but so hard to transition to from our summer of swimming and snoozing.

So. For those of you still trying to figure out how to transform your classroom from something out of a funnel cloud to a peaceful, welcoming space for Open House (tomorrow), just breathe. And for you mamas bracing yourself for the 4,287 pieces of school paperwork that will come home with your little ones in the next week, just breathe. For those whose stomachs are queasy thinking about the 1,080 lunches (180 school days x 6 children) that must be bought and packed this year, just breathe. Let’s not forget the home school moms who are not counting down the days until freedom, but instead are searching for that perfect curriculum that will solve all their problems, and magically make teaching their children something close to a Hallmark movie, they need to breathe too.

We must pause and take a deep breath. Let’s breathe in the peace that comes from knowing that our God will supply all of our needs. Join me and inhale the truth that his power is made perfect in weakness. Fill your spiritual lungs with relief as you accept your savior’s invitation…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

[Matthew 11:28-30]

This season for our family resembles chaos at best. My brain resembles a bowl of fruit loops at best. Our calendar in all its color-coded, highlighted glory taunts me and laughs at me as I try to keep up. Jesus reminds me that he would not give me a mission without the time to do it. He whispers in my soul, challenging me not to let this life and all its busyness compete for my worship. His Holy Spirit living in me stirs up wisdom once learned – that I cannot add anything to my life. I can only replace something else.

Going back to school as a teacher, working full time replaces my freedom, some time with my family, my first choice class at the gym, time to keep my house organized the way I like, meals requiring more than five ingredients. I pray today that my heart is acutely aware of anything that threatens to replace my worship and my time in his presence. No matter the level of chaos.

 I see his faithfulness in the sunrise this morning, and I breathe. I can’t create that kind of beauty. And I can’t live this life he gave me on my own. So I just breathe.