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.
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 here. Today’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.