Cyclical Review

Within most classrooms you will find a packet of activities in each child’s desk. This packet is called their “Cyclical Review”. The idea is to bring questions from various disciplines (math, science, history, art) into the student’s day so they realize the world sometimes functions in all areas at all times – it doesn’t follow a class schedule.

The other purpose of a cyclical review is to remind students of math problems and grammar questions from previous years. Students are constantly learning new concepts during the year and we need to help them retain the old while grasping the new.

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to an awesome group of women in Missouri. They are a MOPS group and they were having a retreat – focusing on the Kaleidoscope of life and the ever-changing landscape that we manage as mothers.

When I heard about their theme I immediately thought about the different seasons that pass as our children grow. God gave me some wonderful insight that I first applied to my own life and last night tried my best to articulate what I had learned.

Because these Moms were willing to be real and were truly gracious women, we had a GREAT time discussing things and learning how to apply what God had shown us.  I heard so many stories and ideas coming from their sharp minds.

A precious member of this group, Esther, came up to me after our meeting. I complimented her name because my Grandmother carries the same one and I think it’s beautiful. Esther is a Mentor Mom and she plays a vital role in bringing wisdom and perspective to this group of Moms.  The really great part was that she did the same for me.

After hearing me talk Esther had something to add.  I had never really spent a lot of time thinking about the point she made but it has stuck with me. Esther reminded me that all the seasons and stages we are enduring as mothers don’t stop when our kids go to college.

“In fact”, she chirped with a sweet twinkle in her eye, “you relive each one through your grandchildren, but you have to handle them very differently because these children already HAVE parents”.

I smiled at her and wondered what it was like to look back over so many years and yet feel like she was right in the middle of things once again. We had a wonderful conversation and I thanked her for opening my eyes to the reality that I’m in and the one that awaits me.

I started to think about my parents and my in-laws.  I have a wonderful relationship with my mom and my mother-in-law and for that I am truly grateful. I will ask them to tell me stories about my husband and I’s childhood. The funny thing is that they not only share multiple details, they usually refer to one of our boys to help illustrate their point.

They can see my husband and myself in our children.

It really is cyclical.

It’s all repeating over again and yet, it isn’t.  We’re parenting our kids as best as we can but it helps to hear how things use to be done and what our parents and grandparents experienced in raising us.

My grandparents are still alive and my boys have heard more stories and discovered more love from them than most children get to experience when it comes to their great-grandparents. We love going to their house and just hang out with them. At 90 and 94 years old, my grandparents have been married for 70 years and they STILL live in their home together. I’m simply amazed by them and cherish each moment we have to share in their wisdom and laughter.

I pray about and appreciate the effort our grandparents and great-grandparents have put into knowing our kids. They are investing in our family and giving us so much! I WANT my children to hear their stories. I NEED my boys to understand what their generation endured in order for our current reality to be realized.

Each night the boys pray for all their grandparents. Hearing our guys pray for the ones that have gone before us makes me smile because soon the tables will turn and I will be the Grandma – I pray I will measure up to the examples in our life! I also hope my grandkids will pray for me – I’m sure I’ll need it 😮

One day my boys will be someone’s grandpa and I want them to know what it means to be a good parent, grandparent and family member. It’s all cyclical – I just can’t wait to see what’s next on my little orbit around the planet of parenthood.

No matter what comes my way I know I’ll make it because I have an amazing support base and for that I am truly thankful.

I hope you’re able to think to the future just long enough to appreciate your past and present. We can’t live in the future and worry about controlling things, but I think we can be mindful of what’s coming in hopes of appreciating what is and what has been.


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