September 1, 2021

Guide Yourselves Back

My family and I recently made the decision to move from our long-time home near my small city’s center to one of its surrounding suburbs. If you’ve been through the buying/selling and moving process in the past several months, you probably winced as you read that, because you know from personal experience how daunting a task this is.

Moving is never easy, of course. It always involves sorting through belongings to decide what to keep, donate, or discard, as well as packing up what’s retained. Because we see our homes differently when we decide to move, it also requires that we deep-clean and repair things we otherwise ignore. And then there’s the whole process of finding a new place to buy!

In many communities around the country, that latter task has been ridiculously complicated for many months. We’re in the midst of an unbalanced sellers’ market in which inventory is so low that buyers feel compelled to engage in crazy bidding wars and sellers are, thus, raking in tens of thousands of dollars above the appraised values of their homes, often accepting inflated offers just days (sometimes hours) after listing. Though my husband and I never intended to bid irresponsibly, this meant we had to drop everything to see every possibly-viable new home almost immediately after it hit the market. We toured 17 homes in just one month and made offers on – and lost – two before finally getting an accepted offer at the beginning of August.

Needless to say, my husband, our adult daughter still living at home, and I all felt a bit frazzled during that time; in fact, sometimes it was a whole lot more than “a bit.” We know the importance of putting our faith and the facts ahead of our feelings, and we embrace the value of maintaining family unity in the midst of stressful situations. We did, however, sometimes let our feelings get the best of us anyway, causing us to think and even say unkind words to each other.

You may not be in our exact predicament at the moment. But if you’re raising school-aged children, I know you’re probably dealing with a great deal of stress at the start of another new school year. Whether you homeschool or have enrolled your kids in school away from home, this time of year is almost always too hectic – and this year (as with last) your angst is undoubtedly heightened due to all the complications related to the various and sundry institutional responses to COVID-19.

Though my family hasn’t dealt with our moving stress perfectly, we do regularly remind each other that our relationships with each other are more important than anything else – and we purpose to repent and make amends when necessary. The same is true for your family in the midst of new-school-year chaos.

Despite your best intentions, you will sometimes snap at your kids. They will dawdle so much that they miss the bus or cause you to be late for the first co-op meeting of the year. School paperwork or the fancy new curriculum you purchased will drive you to tears…and rants.

But remember that this too shall pass – you will find your groove in a few weeks. And no matter what, your family relationships should take primacy. Don’t allow busyness and stress to block your view of that truth. Repent and make amends – and coach your kids to do the same. Whatever “ick” is swirling around you, always guide yourselves back to the touchstone of relationship.


Photo Credit: Country Living

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