Update: Congrats to Catrina for winning this giveaway!

The long days of summer are just about over. While most moms look forward to sending their kids back to school, we don’t always enjoy the return of a full schedule and full plates. It’s easy for stress levels to rise when we think about all we need to do — getting the kids into new routines, helping with homework, driving to after-school lessons and practices, as well as keeping up with church activities.

But take heart! There are ways to make time for you during these busy back-to-school days.

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Enjoy the quiet. Whether you’re an early morning riser or you prefer a later bedtime, making time each day for yourself while the kids are in bed can give you the spiritual recharge you need. Keep the television or radio off and pull out your Bible or an inspiring devotional or book and spend a few minutes reconnecting with God. Ask yourself this question: How can I embrace today?

Mix fitness with friends. Drop off the kids at school or put them on the school bus and meet a friend for a quick 30-minute walk or an aerobics class at your local community center.

Use the car line to your advantage. If you pick up your child from school, consider arriving 45 minutes to an hour early to park and use that time to relax and refocus. I know many moms who will keep a book or favorite magazine to read during this time or catch up on phone calls with friends. You can also use these spare minutes to work on a Bible study.

Speaking of Bible studies … Many churches launch their new Bible study classes in the fall. If your church does not offer these types of classes, then look at other churches in your community who do and consider signing up for one. Quite often, classes are offered on a wide range of topics as well as days and nights and times of the week that will fit your busy schedule. Not only will you receive spiritual encouragement, but you may also meet new friends!

Form your own breakfast club. Invite four or five other moms to join you once a week for coffee or breakfast after the kids are at school. If some of you still have little ones at home, consider meeting at a fast-food chain with a playground. Make it a regular weekly appointment on your schedule to reconnect and discover that you’re not as alone (or crazy) as you thought you were.

Your women’s ministry can be the HOPE moms are looking for

If you’re a leader with your church’s women’s ministry, you already know the challenge it can be to bring women together. Moms, especially, have such busy schedules. But with so many responsibilities on their shoulders, they are looking for encouragement and connection with others who understand. You can be that ray of HOPE.

Hold a “Back-to-School Celebration for Moms” and invite the women in your church and community for a night of fellowship. Offer refreshments and ice breakers that will allow women to meet others they don’t already know. For entertainment, recruit women to present funny skits, perhaps spoofing the popular women’s television shows or movies.

Offer a wide mix of Bible study class times and days during the week. Be sure that childcare is provided so mothers with younger children can still easily participate.

Pair up women who are new to the church with women who have been members for a while. This helps new families plug into church activities and the church family more easily when the wife and mom has an “automatic” friend to help her get acquainted.

Encourage moms with a weekly or daily e-mail from your women’s ministry that can serve as a brief touch point and an inspirational start to their day.

Sara Horn is a mom and the executive director of Wives of Faith, a faith-based military wives support organization.

To jumpstart the school year, we are giving away a $25 giftcard to LifeWay! Enter to win by leaving a comment with one thing you do throughout the school year to encourage your kids. Let’s share ideas!

By entering today’s giveaway, you acknowledge LifeWay Christian Resource’s official promotion rules found hereToday’s giveaway starts at the posting time of this blog and ends next Tuesday (8/6/13) at 11:59 p.m. CST. You must be 18 to enter, and you may only enter once. The winner will be selected at random. For questions about the rules and regulations of this giveaway, please contact Bud Harlan at One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-140.

Comments

  1. April Dupree says:

    I homeschool our son. I feel that more times than not that he is encouraging me in some way. Somedays are harder than others, but if we (YES WE) learn one thing that day and it is wrapped in God’s love then I feel that day was a success.

  2. Hug my kids every morning (even my teenage boys) & text them just to check in!

  3. I talk to my kids about their day (whether they want to or not). Sometimes we go for a slushie or ice cream after school just to catch up on what we all did. It gives us some down time before we get home to do homework or other after school activities.

  4. My kids are grown now with the youngest leaving for college in 22 days. (Yes, I’m counting them!) I made it a habit to always ask how their day went. I plan to text my youngest several times during the week to give words of encouragement as he enters a whole new world.

  5. Robin Roberts says:

    I pray out loud over her as I drive her to school of the mornings

  6. Joanne Borchert says:

    I encourage my kids to spend time daily reading from
    “Jesus Calling” for kids. We actually started reading
    It together as a Family. An incredible blessing.

  7. Lisa Breakfield says:

    I pray for them. I encourage them in all that they do.

  8. Misty Wyatt says:

    I buy them cards to celebrate accomplishments. If I would send a friend a card upon a particular achievement, or when they are dealing with a difficult time in life; why not do this for my kids? It always means so much to them!

  9. We eat dinner together as a family every night we are all home. Also, we talk to each child individually before bed and go over the highs and lows of the day. Really makes it special for them and us. :)

  10. I put little notes in their lunches. Not every day (I did at first, it became a little tedious to them), but at least once or twice a week. They never know when it will be. Sometimes I write on their napkin, or put a post it in there. Just telling them one special thing about themselves, or praising them for something good they’ve done recently, or just an I love you :)

  11. I put little notes into my son’s lunch, sometimes a goofy little card or something to tell him that I love him while he’s at school. We talk to him and find out all about his day at school and spend time helping them with homework.

  12. I make sure my kids hear me thanking God for them, and thanking Him for something specific about them. Usually something about them that is wearing me down, like their noise level, or abundant energy ;) So my prayer may be something like “Thank you Father for the energy you have given my kids, I pray that as they grow they will put it to good use for Your glory” or “Thank you God, for my child’s strong will. I pray that as they grow, they will stand strong for You.” Or something along those lines. The kids love it, and it helps me calm down and take joy in my children.

  13. Elizabeth Bradford says:

    Say how proud I am of them.

  14. Heather Williams says:

    I try to pray over him on way to school every morning.

  15. I pray out loud with my son on the way to school. I also pray in front of the school once a week with another mom. I pray for protection over the school. I also pray that my son will be a light in the school and that God will make himself known to every staff member and student there.

  16. We pray together before school. He gets very anxious about situations, so prayer and special treats in the lunch box
    help and on really tough days, it’s McDonald’s and we have a special plate that we use at dinnertime. It’s a red plate that says, you are special today. :)

  17. Lisa Wight says:

    I pray over my sons each morning while we wait for the bus. I pray that they would make wise choices that would be pleasing to the Lord. I pray for their safety and for clear thinking.

  18. Jenny Kerr says:

    We pray in the car on the way to school each morning. Each of the 2 boys has their “day ” to pray aloud. My day is Wed. If my husband drives them that day they tell him it’s his turn to pray. Glad we started this family tradition a couple of years ago;)

  19. Heather Brooks says:

    Every morning we talk about being their best self , helping others, and trying their hardest…which is what is important. I also remind them when they feel hurt, mad, sad, frustrated or whatever to let God know how they feel and ask Him to help them through it. Right before I drop them off, we hug and kiss and I tell them how much I love them and how great their day is going to be. When I pick them up we talk about their day whether good or bad and try to come up with ways to make it better the next day (if it was a bad day). I always hug, kiss, and say I love you when they come and go!

  20. This is our first year of school, so I’ll be reading along for ideas! Of course I’ll give him lots of hugs and kisses and tell him how much I love him and how proud I am of him.

  21. Stephanie McCreight says:

    My girls, and their friends, always hated book reports until I showed them a little trick. Take how many school days you have to do the project, minus 2-3 days for the report, then take the remainder of the time and divide it how many pages of the book you have to read. You now know that all you have to do is read that many pages a day and you will finish the book with 3 days to spare to do up the report. Works everytime.

  22. Singing Good Morning to You every morning. Start the day with a smile and a song in your heart.

  23. We pray on the way to school every morning. A great way to start their day!

  24. kelly wells says:

    I write inspiring messages or verses on my girls’ bathroom mirror in a dry erase marker!

  25. I pray with them often & tell them how much we love them & how special they are. This is much more well-received by our 6 yr old then our 14 yr old right now.

  26. We start daily with prayer and Bible reading. I think my son is more of an encouragement to me. If I tell him we are going to take a week off from school (we home school), he tells me… “We have to persevere, Momma!”

  27. The last thing she ALWAYS hears before I drive away when I drop her off is, “I love you!!”

  28. We pray together every morning on the way to school. I pray for protection, that he’ll stay focused on his studies and be an example of Christ to everyone he comes in contact with.

  29. Kristina Miller says:

    we pray before school each morning during our drive. Sometimes its over something specific such as a test or academic competition and other times its a more general prayer: safety, friends, teachers, good day, good choices. We also listen to contemporary christian music after our prayer. Both of my girls deal w/ anxiety issues so I sometimes sneak in a little verse specific to what is going on in their lives into their lunch kits.

  30. I encourage my sons by leaving them (or reading to the younger ones) “I love you because…” notes. On a side note, does anyone have any helpful back-to-school tips for working moms? I’m a teacher and will face similar challenges but can’t really afford a lot of the things mentioned in the article.

  31. Denise Cragg says:

    I encourage my son to have a devotion time- I look for helps that match his interest (military, history)

  32. Angie Miller says:

    My son starts preschool next week, so I don’t have any school day tips, yet. I’m looking forward to this new season.

  33. I hug my kids and tell them to just so their best and to always remember that God is with them.

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