By Tara Dowden
6:00 a.m. Alarm goes off. Six year old runs in room giving hugs and tells us he has already had three bowls of cereal.
6:15 a.m. Eleven year old walks in room complaining of uniform issues, leg pain issues, anything that could possibly be an issue.
6:30 a.m. Alarm still going off.
6:35 a.m. Three year old demanding milk and tells us he has wet his bed
6:40 a.m. Peel out of bed. Need coffee!
6:45 Make breakfast and lunches.
7:00 Kids complain about breakfast and lunch and list all foods they refuse to eat. Need coffee!
7:05 Six year old spills cereal.
7:10 Three year old has temper tantrum, throws food on floor. Need coffee!
7.15 Dog barking to be fed.
7:20 Seven year old cries, whines, and screams while having hair brushed. Need coffee!
7:35 All of Dowden household on a mad hunt for Adoniramʼs shoes.
7:40 Kids off to school.
7:50 Sit down with cup of coffee. Three-year-old yells from bathroom needing to be wiped. Need coffee!
School mornings are not for wimps! At the Dowden house, they are fast paced, loud, and on repeat. I have to be honest I have never been a fan of school mornings! During my senior year of high school, I got ready in twenty minutes, put make-up on in the car, parked in staff parking, and sprinted to Mrs. McCarty’s AP English class. I’ve never been a model student of time. Thankfully, I married opposite myself. While I grumble until 10 a.m., my husband wakes ready to tackle the world, usually singing and whistling LSU fight songs. A fight song is much needed to tackle the hour before school and come up on the winning side of chaos!
Summertime, schedule-free mornings end quickly and the reality of school mornings, homework, snack baskets, homeroom mom, school projects, and after school-activities hits hard. As parents, we worry over our children’s time with us and away from us. While at school we hope our children are having a good day, obeying their teachers, doing well on their test, being included on the playground, eating their lunches and being kind to others. The after-school hours quickly pass by with soccer, ballet, tennis, homework, supper, bath time, and bed. Many days, I feel as if I have only been a taskmaster and have forgotten the true purpose of parenting.
In Deuteronomy 6, God instructs the Israelites, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorpost of your house and on your gates.”
What a great reminder of what God wants of our parenting days, to recognize His authority, to love Him with everything, and to teach His words to our children.
God instructs us to teach His word in our everyday life and He doesn’t leave out a single moment of the day. When we sit in our home, eating dinner, going over homework, watching television, visiting with neighbors, or using our phones, Christ says, “Teach them about Me.” When you leave your house taking children to school, picking up from school, carpooling to soccer practice, “Teach them about Me.” When you put your kids to bed, “Teach them about Me.” When you wake to prepare everyone for their day, “Teach them about Me.”
Our loving Father knows our children will need Him, not so they will become “perfect” kids, but because they are imperfect (along with us) and in need of a loving, sovereign, gracious Savior. This disheveled, non-morning loving mom has a bigger need than just coffee to survive the school day routines. My need for coffee is great but my sin is greater—and Christ’s love and His word are sufficient to guide my parenting through the hectic school days with my children.