It’s that time of year again!  Back to school comes with excitement for the year ahead, and sometimes sorrow for the years left behind. For the most part, I’ve always looked forward to settling into a new routine, the smell of sharpened pencils and fresh schoolbooks. My kids don’t always share my enthusiasm, but the new school year forces me to evaluate my priorities and remind myself to focus on being faithful in what God has called me to do. I’m thankful for the grace He continues to give me in this season.


My husband, Vince and I have six kids and this year, school for the Bueno family is looking a little different then years past. Our oldest begins his first year of college, I homeschool two of our kids, two attend a charter school, and we have one in public school. We aren’t normally this spread out, but this is the direction God has for us this year.


So whatever grade your kids are in, or whichever way God has directed you to school them, I’m right there with you, navigating the start of a new school year. But most importantly God is with us and fills us with the Holy Spirt to accomplish what He’s called us to do.


I like to remind myself what the Lord told Paul when he was feeling stretched. “Each time he said, ‘My strength is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).


As much as I look forward to a new school year, it comes with challenges. There will be the usual school messes around the house…unsharpened pencils, felt markers drying up with no lid to be found, wrinkled papers, scattered water bottles (also missing lids) and piles of books that won’t look nice and fresh much longer! Daily attempts to get everyone out the door on time means clearing the usual hurdles with my kids unable to find matching socks and only one shoe.


There will be late nights helping with homework, which often tempt me with feeling there ought to be an award (or at least a high-five) for all the effort I put into that homework assignment!


Or is all this just me and my house?


And yet, when I look around at the end of a long day, I can’t help but smile and be thankful for the grace He has given me during this season of parenting. There is no comparison to the joy our children bring, the stories they tell, looking at life through their eyes and the childlike faith they have. I wouldn’t change what seems to be a crazy time for anything less messy.


When I find myself losing perspective of what God has blessed me with, I meditate on verses like, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).


I am confident that God will abundantly provide all I need to raise my kids according to His will. When I choose to rely on His grace, He faithfully pours it upon me. My daily tasks are then filled with joy, strength, contentment, love and delight.


When I turn to God’s Word, it shifts my perspective.


I realize the very things that threaten to drain me can become wells for God to pour grace into. The wonderful thing is that God doesn’t just fill them—He overflows them! As a result, that overflowing abundance washes into the lives of my family, and those the Lord sends my way.


My need for grace becomes a means of grace for my loved ones.


Parenting can be hard at times with all that may be on our plates. But when we meditate on Him and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, we have the strength to glorify God. In all we do. Big or small. Seen or unseen.


Now, if I can just continue to dip into God’s well of grace for those early morning hours with little one and those late-night talks with teenagers…


Whatever the season, whatever time of day or night it is, His mercies are always new and He will use us as a channel of His undeserved favor in the lives of our kids!



The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. – Lamentations 3:22-23