cha·os
/ˈkāˌäs/

noun
complete disorder and confusion.

“snow caused chaos in the region”

synonyms: disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, madness, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, furor, frenzy, uproar, hue and cry, babel, hurly-burly; 

Does this about sum up your September, so far? If you have children between the ages of 5-18 you are probably experiencing some sort of Chaos in your life right about now! Why does it seem like September brings so much disorder and disarray? 

I remember so well when my children were between the ages of 5-15 and September brought about the start of everything new… the beginning of a new school year, sports, lessons, kids clubs, church groups, bible studies, Sunday school, church meetings, school meetings, etc., etc., etc.…. it seemed to never stop! 
I got more and more buried with papers, assignments, 
due dates, not to mention extra monies needed for school pictures, athletic fee’s, new instruments, books, shoes, clothes, school supplies and on.

Every August I would try to get as prepared as possible in hope that I would not drown in September. Through the years, I learned a few great “must do’s” but mostly, I just buckled down and got through it. Looking back, I can say that there were 6 very helpful tools that helped me to bring order to the September chaos.

1️⃣ Keep a Master Calendar
2️⃣ Be Grounded in My Devotions
3️⃣ Be in the Middle of Healthy
4️⃣ Have a Plan for Alll the School Papers
5️⃣ Create a Space for Backpacks and School Necessities
6️⃣ Have a Family Compliance Act

Keep a Master Calendar 🗓

For me a large desk calendar that I could keep out on my kitchen counter worked best. I needed lots of space to write each family members daily activities, and anything else that I would need to remember for that day (like preschool snack). Before school started, I would spend an evening going through the school calendar and filling in school related activities (no school days, classroom parties etc.). I would then add all the birthdays and anniversaries from family members, doctors’ appointments, lessons, games etc.… My goal was to have written down PRIOR to School starting everything that I would need to know to be considered “supermom” for that day. In the end, those calendars became my diary with so much “life” recorded, it made it hard to throw them away.

Be Grounded in My Devotions ✞

I don’t know about you, but I can find myself in seasons of needing to switch up my “time alone with God” aka devotions, but I never wanted to be switching my devotions up at the same time school/September was starting. I made sure that anything new started in early August so that I was well established in my devotions and could remain grounded and connected to God. I have learned that when my walk with Christ is not strong, I am not strong either.  
If you have found yourself in a pickle with your devotions, ask someone to hold you accountable to daily be in the word. If getting up a few minutes earlier to be in the Word is not possible for you then consider listening to a sermon series… either way commit to being in God’s Word!
(I am loving the sermon series by David Platt on 
Revelations; see the link in the comments) 

Be in the Middle of Healthy 🥑🏋️‍♂️

Stress takes a tremendous toll on our bodies and if we are not on top of it, stress can lead to illness, fatigue, moodiness, larger health issues etc. It is important to eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of rest (see the post on Sleep 8/28/2019 and 9/4/2019) and manage your stress. 
God designed our bodies to eat foods that make colorful plates, move and oxygenate our muscles, sleep 7-8 hours each night, and give our worries to Him. When that is out of balance, we are out of balance! If you have found yourself way out of whack with your health, take baby steps to get right. We are not our own, we belong to the Him… our bodies are Temples of the Lord!

Have a Plan for All The School Papers 📋

The absolute, most difficult task when you have young school-aged children is to Stay on TOP of ALL the Papers!!! WOWZA!!! I would quickly and easily drown if I let up on all the papers my children would bring home from school. Lunch menus, weekly classroom news, games, spelling words, memory verses, you name it… if it was due or needed my attention it came home on a paper. TIMES FOUR! (I had 4 kids so everything was always times four!) 
My solution- I had 4 clipboards that I hung on hooks in my pantry for each child. Anything I needed to know for that child went onto that clipboard. I would cycle through all the papers once a month so it was manageable, but it worked amazing! I truly believe organization is half the key to successful parenting. 

Create a Space for Backpacks and School Necessities 🎒

Mornings can be chaotic and set the tone for the rest of the day, so by having a few things done the night before you can alleviate a lot of stress the morning of. I found that having a place for backpacks, shoes, uniforms, show and tell or whatever it was that needed to go to school with my children the next day was set out in a special spot and ready to be picked up and go. We simply had things neatly lined up against the wall, by the door. There are many cute and creative ways you can make for “Backpack stations” but I think in the end, it simply comes down to… prepare the night before.

Have a Family Compliance Act 📜

Summer is all about freedom and fun, and when school starts again it can be tough to get back into the structure of schedules. I found that to have a family meeting before school started and set some boundaries and clear expectations on after school routines made that after school and homework time a whole lot smoother. 
We agreed, as a family, that once our kids got home from school, they would get their homework finished and then be able to go play. If your kids are young and need your help with homework, you may need to do homework after dinner, but either way by setting some expectations and boundaries of when things like play dates and screen time happen both parties will have clear expectations. Our children thrive when they know what is clearly expected of them.

Chaos can wreak havoc into our life and affect so many different areas in negative ways… our marriage, our parenting, and our health. In the end, it is about making choices. We are given the freedom to choose what we will do to create balanced lives for ourselves and our families. There are some things that will just be new and busy and we will have to get through, but there are other things that we can control and need to control in order to bring balance into the chaos. Our God is a God of balance and order, ask Him to help you… He will. And, lean into your tribe… we are rooting for you.

Together we are building Kingdom Kids.

“However, be sure that everything is done properly in a good and orderly way.” 1 Corinthians 14:40