It’s the beginning of May and that means the kids are starting to stare at calendars and count on fingers to measure the time until the last day of school. Forget the weeks – they’re down to counting days in the low double digits.

We all feel it as we begin to rise up the hill, the final push for the last frantic weeks of tournaments, testing, celebrations, and eventual goodbyes that will lead to warm hellos.

The Spiritual Discipline of Beginning Where You Are

Hello hamburgers and float nights at the pool.

Hello South Carolina coastline and Spanish moss hanging lazy over the low branches of the live oaks.

Hello bright mornings stretching out into rowdy afternoons.

Hello learning again to move to the slower beat of a summertime rhythm.

It’s hard to imagine we’ll be motivated to start school all over again in the fall.

But we will be.

Here’s photo proof from the end of summer last year, just before school started, serving as evidence of the motivation that will come back around again.

Before school starts

The pencils presented themselves new – fresh, sharp, ready. They were optimistic and so were we as we anticipated the first year of middle school at our house.

And so we’ve almost made it through the whole year, but it hasn’t come without scars.

Here are those same pencils today.

school is almost over


I don’t even know, you guys.

They wear the year weary and have collected a few strays along the way.

At least they are honest, bearing their journey on the outside. With worn down tops and broken ends, they aren’t ashamed of their mistakes.

Each grayed eraser declares the truth: it’s okay to mess up. Just don’t be afraid to begin again.

Even as we approach the ending of the school year, may we continue to remember each ending is the start of something new.

Perhaps this ending isn’t going the way you hoped. Perhaps you’re feeling more frazzled than you wanted to, more anxious than you imagined, more easily frustrated or discouraged than you have before.

You can start again today.

My dad Gary once said, “Wherever you are is a good and important place. Start there.” I like that. I hope it encourages you today.

Really anything can be a spiritual discipline if you do it in the presence of God and if the action creates space for you to know Him better. If you like this unconventional spiritual discipline series, you can find other posts like this one here:
The Spiritual Discipline of Touring Your Own Hometown
The Spiritual Discipline of the Long Walk
The Spiritual Discipline of Wearing Better Pants
The Spiritual Discipline of Learning Nothing

Want a reminder to begin where you are today?

Sign up here and receive this free printable created by artist Annie Barnett.

Because wherever you are is the only place to start.

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