When your back-to-school plans #fail

When your back to school plans fail  

I didn’t plan on writing a back-to school post.

But then. Last night.

My big “start the back-to-school week off with a bang” plans were a colossal #fail.

And I thought….. Maybe some of you are already feeling the back to school #fail too. So we should talk about that for a sec.

Sunday morning I said to Mike, “Since the boys start school on Wednesday, I want us to get back into our Sunday routine tonight.” He was all in.

I had BIG plans, friends.

After family dinner I wanted to read a new book to the kids entitled, “God Made All of Me.” (Unfortunately, the need to read this book to our children is very real.) We’ve already spoken to the boys about this topic but the start of school is a good time for a refresher.

After that, we were going to get back on track with giving the kids their weekly allowance and reinforcing responsibility and chores during the school year.

And then, we would get back into the habit of memorizing a Bible verse each week with the help of this book that we began using last Spring.

See. Big plans.

But instead, I went to bed at 7:45 and did none of the above. (I have an excuse. Mike and I are expecting a baby, God willing, in the Spring of 2016, and all I want to do right now is eat and sleep. But mostly sleep.)

I was in bed at 7:45 with a mean case of nausea and the guilt wrapped around me like a warm and familiar blanket.


I tossed and turned, restless and guilty. The voice of the merciless critic was loud. “The year hasn’t even started and you’re already dropping the ball.”

Maybe you’ve felt that guilt too, whether you’re three weeks into the new school year, or like us, you’re just about to start.

Either way, I bet you have big dreams and high hopes for how this year will unfold for your family. I know I do.

And there is nothing wrong with that. We’re supposed to have big dreams and high hopes for these kids we love so much. But too often our hopes and dreams are accompanied by unrealistic expectations and intense pressure.

Shiny new backpacks= shiny new beginnings.  Right?


Lying in bed, feeling the weight of my #fail guilt, I remembered a story a very wise friend of mine shared in our monthly prayer group last week.

She said that when she was a young mom, her counselor asked her a very important question that brought her so much freedom from the guilt she carried over the mistakes she made.

The question was this, “If I asked your children if you loved them, what would they say?"

My friend knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that her children would say “YES!” And that, at the end of the day, just sometimes has to be enough.


My kids came up a few hours later to kiss me goodnight. One by one, they came to the bedside and planted a big fat kiss on my check. Yes, they know they are loved. And tonight, that’s enough.


As for my colossal fail……  This I am coming to learn:

[Tweet "Despair and defeat will always prevail when we focus on what we aren’t over who God is!"]


So in those moments when we are painfully aware of our weaknesses, or our shortcomings, or our inability to execute our best-laid plans, we must remember the greatness of God’s grace.


My grace is enough; it’s all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9


If this verse has become too familiar to you, don’t skim past the outrageous good news it holds. I do that too often.

I can default to, “Yeh, I know. His grace is enough. But my kids need me and I FAILED them!”

So we need to remember- daily- that this verse isn’t just a feel-good quote. It is the life-changing truth of God’s word.


God is an expert in working through our weaknesses. That’s His thing.


God isn’t relying on us to be enough for our kids. Only He is enough.


By His grace, and through His Spirit, God will equip us for the children He has entrusted to us.


God will equip me for the children He has entrusted to me.

God will equip you for the children He has entrusted to you.


And when we fail (not if, but when) and that guilt tries to make it’s home in our hearts- let’s make a pact to remember who He is over what we aren’t.

“Lord, help me remember that the hearts of my children are not wholly dependent on my performance as a parent. Help me rely more on your infinite grace, and less on my finite resources, to reach and shape the hearts of my kids. Help me remember that your grace is more than enough for me, AND it’s more than enough for my children. Thank you that you work through my weaknesses to reveal your strength and draw my children closer to you.”


With Love,



PS- A little personal update. While I while be doing less writing here (at least for the upcoming season) …...  I will continue writing for The Better Mom, Fox News, and a few other great sites each month.  So I’d love for you to subscribe to my updates so you’ll be notified when I write elsewhere.

Also, I have a fun fall speaking schedule planned so check out dates/cities here and please join us if you’re in the area! I’d love to see you there!