new things

It’s Friday evening. Inside, there’s the peace of sleeping children; outside, a chorus of crickets. (I love that so much!) Tonight, I’m tired. My feet ache, my eyes burn, tired. But that’s okay. You’re supposed to be tired on Friday night. Especially when it marks the end of a packed-full-of-new-starts week:

On Monday, Beatrice started walking. She’d been taking a couple of steps here and there for several weeks — and then Monday morning, she just got a fire in her eyes and walked across the room. We’ve been highly entertained by her adorable, tipsy walking all week long. Do I have any videos of this adorable walk? Of course not! She drops to her hands and knees the minute I pull out my phone. It really is cute. And shocking — I’m still caught off guard when I look up and she’s walking down the hall. My baby is growing up.

On Tuesday, we implemented a new fall routine. I’d worked on it a few weeks ago, trying so hard to sort out priorities for this year and make room for it all. I finally got it all squeezed into 5 24-hour slots. Phew. Then Ryan casually said, “As long as you still have plenty of time for Bible reading,” and I read somewhere that one should consider “starting your day slowly.” Ugh. I knew I hadn’t quite gotten the priorities accurately sorted. So I went back to the drawing board, asking the Lord to help me let go of the unnecessary “good” things — and I feel like He really did. Granted, it’s only been a week, but still — I’m shocked by how much “slow” time there has been each morning. Time to smile, to wake up a bit slowly with a book and an afghan, to eat a real breakfast, to slip in a few minutes outdoors before gathering at the table. Starting our days with that sort of pace just seems to help us.

I am walking. Thirty minutes, early in the morning, I have been slipping out the door for some exercise. It’s working. There are some seasons when fitting in any form of exercise has seemed like an insurmountable impossibility. But right now, with these three kids at these ages, it’s working. I’m really happy.

Wednesday was our first day of school. Books have been arriving via UPS for weeks, but I kept them tucked away in my closet. On Tuesday night, I tied them up with ribbons and slipped a card for each boy into their stack. It was like Christmas. They couldn’t wait to start! Jameson is in 1st grade, and is eager to learn to read. William is happy to be included at the table with all sorts of pre-K activities. Along with reading, math, history, and science, Jameson is starting piano lessons. He is over the moon excited about that! He slips away to the piano all through the day, happily practicing his two-black-key songs. It’s pretty cute!

This isn’t exactly new this week, but it’s still relatively new: Ryan’s got a beard. He’s very worried I’ll get him mixed up with George Clooney, but so far, I’ve been able to keep them straight. I think he looks very handsome.

The best new start of the week, by far, was the one that happened every morning — or even more often, depending on how regularly I needed to stop and start over. How thankful I am for grace that never gets old, for mercy that makes all things new.