Something More Saturday: Back to school thoughts and reflections

My children have exactly two weeks of summer left, and I have slightly more- four weeks. What usually happens is the kids go back to school, I get bored and lonely, so I end up going back to work early. This is not a bad thing, as there is plenty to be done before school starts back.

I always have a list of goals and “resolutions” for the new school year, not only as a teacher, but also as a mother and wife. Something I always struggle with is finding the balance. I am the parent of two very busy competitive dancers. Between mine and my husband’s work, the kids’ school, church activities, dance practice, and the farm, life can get pretty tenuous. My goal is and will always be finding the balance.

I want to share this quote with you all that I found this week:

“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.”

-Thomas Kinkade, painter 1958-2012

You may be familiar with the Christian painter Thomas Kinkade. He was called the “painter of light” and is known for his beautiful paintings of stone houses with colorful landscapes and cobblestone streets.

My daughter’s math tutor has a quote hanging on his wall that says this: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. How you use it is your gift back to Him.” To me, this lines up perfectly with what Thomas Kinkade said.

God gives each of us a talent, an area where we excel. A gift. Those gifts are not to be used to serve ourselves, to seek attention, or to inflate our own egos (even though that happens often). We are to use those gifts to serve others, and in doing so, serve Him. For instance, if you’re a talented chef, how can you use that gift to serve others? What about artistic talents? Musical talents? We could continue this list of talents all day long, but at the end of the day, we can use any and all of our talents to serve others, and in doing so, serve God.

So how does that relate to finding a balance? First, we identify our talents and how we can use them to serve others. Secondly, when we use those talents to serve others, it brings us joy. Being filled with joy then brings us peace and contentment. My challenge to myself this school year is not only to balance our busy schedule and know when to step away and take a break, but also knowing when and how to use my talents to serve others.

What is your challenge to yourself this school year? What goals do you have for your families this year?

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