My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

How To Do More Than Survive

I hate September. Well, maybe not everything about September.

After all, there are sweatshirts and apples and cool nights. Those are the saving graces, because the rest brings me to my knees.

Do you long to go through your days doing more than simply surviving? These two tips will make all the difference.

Shifting from a summer mindset into a school mindset is rough. I’m not just talking bedtimes and early wakeups either.

There’s first days and open houses and picnics and back to school nights. The sports schedules get underway and the school supply lists get longer every year. And the beginning of the year forms are enough to make a grown woman cry. And it’s a lot.

And we’re supposed to do it all with a smile on our face, a homemade dinner in the oven, and perfect hair. (I’d settle for one of the three!)

I made a note in my planner last week. {{side note: I love this planner and I have $10 off for you!}} There’s a spot to write your weekly focus. I wrote one word for last week. It was the week my kids went back to school and my one word was: SURVIVE. Yup. That was it. That was my goal. And if you’re reading this, it means we did.

We survived the shopping and the lunch packing and the what to wear to look cool but not like you’re trying too hard. We survived the I-can’t-sleep the night before and the early wake-up. We survived it all.

I should be celebrating but I still feel overwhelmed.

So, I’m turning the page. Clean slate, new week, new word.


I’m going back to last year and relearning a few lessons. And while I’m there I think I’ll look for a bit of the JOY I’ve been seeking this year. I have a feeling this will be a month-long pursuit until the leaves, and my heart, begin to change and settle into new rhythms.

Make today a great day...from My Ink Dance

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

20 Replies

  1. Girl! I’m with you!! Laughing because my boys missed the bus this morning! In part because my 6th grader had a melt down when he realized he had homework that didn’t get done over the weekend. But there’s grace for that, too, right?!?! Ahhh….September!

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s all grace friend. Glad to know we’re not in the trenches alone 😉

  2. Those transitions are not easy. I’m glad you survived! Remembering grace is important, and just taking it one step at a time.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yes! One step at a time!

  3. Yup! Been there, done that. And sometimes I miss the crazy. Two things helped me from being too overwhelmed. Sunday evening family meetings. 30 minutes to prepare for the week: math tests, Boy Scouts, choir practice, etc. The second was a big color coded calendar (25 years ago that meant using a 4-color pen, one color for each of us). Prayers for peace and confidence, Becky, as you gallantly forge ahead into fall.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Such great tips Alice! Thanks for your encouragement today! So glad you’re here!

  4. M girls started school July 31, so we are well into the school year. It is grueling for everyone and I am proud of you for getting through it! 🙂

    1. Becky Hastings

      Wow! July 31! That’s a whole month before us. It just means you’re ahead of me in the transition 😉

  5. Yes to a clean slate — and we get new mercies every morning, so thanks be to God!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Every.single.morning. Amen!

  6. Becky, this morning the theme seems to be “September is the new January” and I see the value of that. CLEAN SLATES (of course every single morning we wake up with a clean slate because of that new mercy thing HE promises us in Lamentations!!!) Hang in, friend, Jesus is still on the throne and rides on the wings of the wind!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Holding on to this encouraging truth today! Thank you friend!

  7. Becky, we’re beginning to find our school groove. It’s so hard! Mine are both in transition years, too. Seventh and ninth grades. It’s been a crazy few weeks for our family. Good job on surviving. 🙂

    I’m your neighbor at Holley Gerth’s. It’s nice to meet you!

    1. Becky Hastings

      So glad to have you here (and in the trenches with me!) 🙂

  8. Oh so true, I always get a little blue when my kids return to school and the warm weather fades. I hunker down and hope to glide through it all, like you, with a smile if I can. Every year it seems to get a little more difficult to watch them walk out that door.

    1. Becky Hastings

      You are so right Deanna! I am grateful to know I’m not the only one! 🙂

  9. ((Hug)) It is a lot, isn’t it? Trying to do this mama thing well is no joke! — I’m normally all about Sept and the unofficial start of fall, but this year, I’ve been trying to hang on to my “summer of rest” as long as I can. And, it recently occurred to me that trying to keep summer around is going to cause me to miss out on fall. I want to embrace each season (literal and figurative) as it comes. That takes some discipline, doesn’t it? — Taking on the joy challenge with you. ((xoxo))

    1. Becky Hastings

      Holding on to that summer of rest is such a blessing, but you are so right about fall having blessings of it’s own! Wishing you a fall filled with autumn joy!

  10. Where I’m at back to school means something different for me. As a missionary in Belize working with those who’ve been abused and exploited it means I’ll be back at work seeing kids from various schools again who’s home lives are less than ideal. I love seeing all the kids. But, it saddens me that they carry so much pain and shame with them at such young ages. I am grateful that I have until the middle of month to get my head back in the game!

    I pray that your kids have a great year and may they grow up to know how blessed they are to have a mother committed to giving them the best childhood possible!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Alida, I so appreciate your perspective! You are doing good work and impacting kids lives for the Lord! I know that it must be difficult to see all they are going through. I pray God gives you all the grace to love them well!

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