When Mondays are Hard

I asked her if she was scared.   “A little,” she replied with a shy grin.  “Okay, maybe a lot.”

The truth comes out and I can see the trepidation in those beautiful green eyes.   “What if I lose my binder?”

“You won’t.  You have to take it with you to every class.”

“What if I forget where to go next?”

I smile and remind her that she won’t be alone … all the new sixth graders will be learning how to navigate that maze they call Middle School.

“That doesn’t really make me feel better,” her honest reply.

Have you ever been where my girl is?   Knowing that others are facing difficulties or new experiences but also realizing that doesn’t make you feel any better?  I know I have.   This summer has been filled with change for our family … we’ve moved back to Alabama,  Scott joined the staff at a new church,  we’ve lived in two different houses (ugh!) in our new town, and – to be honest – it’s been hard.   We’re certain we are where God wants us.  But leaving all things familiar and safe and known has been challenging … and scary.

This morning, we did our best to give our girl the best start possible for a Monday that was going to be hard.   Perhaps these are some simple ways you can face the hard times in your life.

1.  Connect with people who love you.

 We ate breakfast together and Daddy prayed for the girl’s first day at school.  But most of all, we just laughed and made sure she knew we love her and believe in her.   When Mondays are hard, when life is hard, be sure to spend time with people who love you.

2.  Do the normal stuff, as best you can.

Get a shower, brush your teeth … Do the stuff you don’t really have to think about.   On those days when your brain and your heart are filled with burden and care, it’s okay to work on autopilot for awhile.   Plus, it’s ever so much easier to face life’s difficulties when you’ve had a good shower! 😉

3.   Don’t worry about the mess. 

Obviously, this is not the preferred way for the girl’s room to look.  But this morning, we let it slide.  Because sometimes life is messy and what we need is an extra hug or even to try on one more outfit … and the mess will still be there.   Yes, she’ll have to pick up her room later today.  This morning, though, it just didn’t matter.   One of the hardest, but most important, lessons we can ever learn is to let the small things go.

I don’t know what you are facing today.  I do know I have friends whose lives have brought enormous challenges over the past few months.  Perhaps your Monday is looming large over you and the week ahead feels overwhelming already – may I offer you these precious words from our Lord?

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  John 14:27

Today, will you rest in His peace?   How do you face the difficult days?

15 Replies to “When Mondays are Hard”

  1. Brooke McGlothlin says: Reply

    We didn’t have a middle school where I grew up…just k-7 and then high school. My big brother graduated from HS right before I entered in the 8th grade, and like what you described above, I was so nervous. During orientation, they had showed us how to use our locker combinations, but when I got there that morning, I couldn’t make mine work! I had to carry around my big backpack and all of the books I was getting in class all day long. I was mortified!

    I walked through the door of my house that afternoon in tears while my brother was watching TV. After hearing about my horrible day, he loaded me up in his truck, drove me over to the HS, walked all the way to the end of the hall with me till we found my locker, and taught me how to work the combination. I was fine from then on.

    I’ll never, ever, forget how that felt…being rescued from humiliation from by my big brother.

    Prayers for C and for you guys as you minister to her!
    Brooke

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Thank you, Brooke! What a great big brother you have. {And we have practiced combination locks for the past three weeks … but she was still a bit nervous this morning about that too.} Appreciate your prayers and your friendship.

      1. Brooke, what an AWESOME big brother you have!

        We logged lots of locker combination practice time in, too. And how in the Sam Hill did our kids get big enough for lockers, anyway??

  2. What a wonderful post, I remember moving to ‘middle school’ so clearly, and after this many years too! Anticipation joined with terror and then a relief that things went okay. Thanks for sharing this, and for totally unschool related reasons your reminders for burden filled days were just perfect. Bright blessings!

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      So glad, Shanyn, that this spoke to you today. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. TL, I love this. Practical advice that applies not only to us mamas of middle schoolers, but to every woman alive. We are only two weeks into the new middle school years, so the change is still relatively fresh. I will take your words of wisdom to heart!

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Thank you, sweet friend! Amazing, isn’t it, how our children’s difficult moments point us to such universal truths?

  4. Sweet girl, I needed to read this today. Last night my heart was so heavy with all that was “looming large” on my Monday…I needed that verse! Thank you!

    And Kiddo started 7th grade today. But since we homeschool, he didn’t feel much change. His big nervousness came when he went into the youth group at the beginning of summer. He’s still getting used to that. : )

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      I’m so glad it spoke to you, Heathahlee! Love you, girl. And continuing to pray for you always.
      Teri Lynne Underwood recently posted…There’s Just No GuaranteeMy Profile

  5. Lovely post – my oldest son starts middle school next week. aack! He doesn’t’ seem too worried about it, but sometimes I wonder if he’s just not showing concern. Then again, he’s really excited that the middle school has a robotics club AND a chess club! And he’s excited that he won’t have to share a school building again with his little brother until he’s a senior in high school. I guess those pluses outweigh any negatives that may be weighing on him. These ideas, especially saying a prayer, are things I can use to help him make the transition easier.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      That’s wonderful, Rachel. It is an exciting time … and with all the great things your son has to look forward to, he’s probably not dreading it at all. 🙂
      Teri Lynne Underwood recently posted…Our High CallingMy Profile

  6. Oh, I love this. Our Monday was hard/good too, and I just closed my girl’s door. 😉 And I think #3 is for taking with use wherever we go – I think it was how I made it through college! Praying for my 2 to have the wisdom to know what to let slide and what to hold on to with a death grip. 🙂

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      I’m so glad your children had a good day at school. And yes, #3 is rapidly becoming more and more true to me … hard less to learn, though.

  7. I so love you for this quote:

    “Because sometimes life is messy and what we need is an extra hug or even to try on one more outfit … and the mess will still be there.”

    I need to tell myself this, not just Monday – but every day!!
    Stacey recently posted…Back to School Week :: God Did Not Call me to a Quiet HouseMy Profile

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Stacey, this summer of chaos has certainly taught me about messy … and I need that reminder stitched on a pillow or something!! 🙂

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