Last week was the first day of the rest of my life…

Do you know the phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”? My mom cross stitched and framed that phrase and it hung in my bedroom. It became ingrained in my head and I still think about that phrase often.

Although it is true everyday, last Friday it was especially true for my life. This past Friday was the first day of the rest of my life without a child in elementary school.

When we awoke Friday morning, there were two middle-schoolers in our home. I can hardly believe it. There is just something about not having a child in elementary school anymore that says your family is getting older.

I recently realized that our children will be home with us only 6 and 7 more school years. I don’t know where the time has gone. Oh how I pray that we make the most of every day that lies ahead!

Leaving Elementary school wasn’t my only life chapter that recently closed. In May, I taught my last Bible lesson as the Teaching Director of our area’s Community Bible Study. I served in that capacity for three years, and am so grateful for that ministry. The Lord taught me and grew me in so many ways, and incredibly blessed me through the ladies and children in our class. I will miss them next year.

***If there is a CBS class in your area, I highly encourage you to check it out. It’s one of the best and most thorough study of God’s Word that I’ve ever been a part of. You can see if there is a class near you by clicking here.

When the Lord called me to step down from teaching CBS, He didn’t tell me why. He just led me to trust Him and obey Him. So I did. And to this day, I still don’t know what He has planned for my future. He hasn’t revealed much to me except that I’m not to fill up my days with activity, and that I’m to focus on serving Him through serving my family. (And for the first time, I’ve actually had joy in doing the laundry!)

The Lord has given me several different verses for this new stage of life, but my favorite one as I type this is Isaiah 42:8-10:

“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth…”

That’s what I’m learning to do in this new phase of life…Sing to the Lord a new song… as I do the laundry, vacuum the floors, cook the meals, and as I love & serve my Lord, my husband, and my children.

What about you? Are you in a new stage of life? Is the Lord doing a new thing in your life? If so, I’d love to hear about it and to pray for you as we both transition into this “new thing” together.

May our Lord bless each of you and keep you… because… Today is the first day of the rest of your lives! Love ya!

PS: I found a picture of the actual kit for the saying my mom made for us. It looked just like this one! 🙂

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. Jennifer,

    Loved this post. I woke up to 2 high schoolers and 1 middle schooler!

    Amazing how time flies. Enjoy your summer.

  2. Oh jennifer enjoy every minute with your kids… They grow up so darn fast.


  3. Praying for you ..hoping you have a good summer!
    sandy toe

  4. Jennifer Sweetie, I am all over this message.

    I so understand what it means to watch your children and family growing and maturing and for us we have one empty nester for the last 3 years and the final one leaves in 2 years. While I know they all must grow and go it's still hard to let go but I am also looking forward to that season with my hubby and the continuation of ministry to those God puts before us.

    As for what He's doing in my life? You've already been over to my blog where I shared just a small portion…too much to write. I just give Him all the praise. He is rearranging things, deleting and adding other things and it's a beautiful journey and an awesome time.

    Today indeed is the first day of the rest of our lives. I know God has continued plans for you and your family. As you rejoice in loving on your family and tending to the house hold needs know that your heart is so pleasing to the LORD.

    My prayers and love are with you. Thank you for your encouragement over at my blog as well and the outpouring of prayers for me and my family.

    Love you.

  5. Goodness…did I enjoy your post – and your scriptures today! I'm just stepping into a new phase – the empty nest phase – and sorta struggling….especially this week. God surely has great plans for us in every stage – and I don't want my emotions to cause me to miss His leading and blessings! Thanks for sharing..

    Congrats to your new middle schooler!

  6. Kim@Seasons of My Heart says:

    Oh…I can relate to your post….yesterday marked the last day of school as a junior for our son Andrew. This fall…will be the first day…of year full of LAST'S for our family.

    Change can be hard, and difficult..YET…with each step of my journey I'm realizing with that when the times come and I feel as though I cannot trust God's hand as he leads me…I can ALWAYS trust his heart!

    God's moving in your life…he's preparing the way for new and exciting things…and I cannot WAIT…to read about each one of them.

    Have an AMAZING summer…with your family.

  7. Kim... and Her Coffee says:

    I'm so happy for this new season of life for you my sweet Friend! Praying your summer is going so wonderfully ~ praying it's your best summer ever!! Hugs and love, Kim

  8. bluecottonmemory says:

    What a blesing blog! I have 5 sons. My oldest gets married next week, and my youngest will be in 3rd grade. Since our children are always growing, there'll always be new stages. However, I must admit, it makes it easier with the younger ones to at least recognize the stage when they're in it now. Your blog encouraged me Thanks!

  9. You were such a blessing to our CBS class. I know God has great things in store for you! I'm still waiting for Him to show me the "rest of my life" too. ( :

  10. Stacie Gerathy says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    It is funny. I just posted that very same thing on my facebook status…Saying "Can't believe how time flies and that I have a highschooler and last year of elementary school kids next year…God is really showing me to focus on my family for they leave the nest so soon. I really enjoy your blog. I might attend the Siesta Scripture Memorization event maybe we can meet then!!! —Stacie from Michigan—