26 Aug 2021

Start Strong, Finish Stronger

It is during this time of year, the latter part of August and early September that my feelings usually lend themselves to me being somewhat melancholy and pensive. My husband and I were recently reminiscing about how when the summer is winding down, we were never those parents who were anxiously waiting for school to start again. This isn’t an indictment against anyone with opposed viewpoints, just a mere observation. We often heard and still do, parents making statements like “I can’t wait until these kids go back to school so I can get them out of the house”. Not that we were in any way model parents, nor that our children never wrecked our nerves! But I must say we enjoyed and treasured quality time together as a family and our summers together were very special. I find myself amazed and grateful, because when our girls were young, those were some of our “leanest” years — by no means was money in abundance. We didn’t have the wherewithal to take grandiose vacations to explore exotic territories. But whether it was a staycation, traveling to visit family, or someplace we could afford, it was precious family time and memories were made.

I believe those special times, whether the summer is filled with exciting trips and activities or relaxing weeks at home, they help to shape the framework and foundation for our children’s return to the classroom, promoting academic excellence. Even if the choice is made to take a break from academics, the summer months are prime opportunities to impart positive affirmations and make every effort to instill in our children the greatness which is achievable and very possible. I feel very strongly about that because this year’s return to school is filled with much uncertainty and apprehension due to the ongoing pandemic. It is so important that we do everything within our power to ease their anxiety.

As the children return to school, ironically, we find ourselves in the final quarter of the calendar year. While it is imperative that we get our young people off to a great start, the calendar year is coming to an end. Nine months have passed and there are three remaining in the current year. As the students return to school with the anticipation and ambition to accomplish and learn great things, we have a responsibility to live in the realm of all the possibilities and promises God has purposed for each of us. The word “responsibility” may be considered strong by some in relation to the concept of the statement. However, God does in fact hold us accountable and responsible for what we know. This unquestionably has been one of the most bizarre and challenging twelve months in our history. At best, during our months of isolation froStart Strong, Finish Strongerm most of the outside world we had more time than ever to do some real introspective soul-searching in order to make assessments of where we are in life and where we are going. What do we have, and what are we doing with it? Where have we been, and where are we going? What have we accomplished, and what have we yet to accomplish? These are questions that we can only answer for ourselves if we aspire to finish stronger! The strength of your FINISH is key to every aspect of your life — how you finish an assignment; how you finish a relationship, how you finish a job, how you finish a course; how you finish a dispute; how you finish a challenge . . . The strength of your process will determine your FINISH. It is a proven fact that it isn’t so much about how you start, but it is all about how you FINISH!