Wednesday, July 26, 2017

For when you are saying goodbye to summer

For us in the southeastern states this is perfect timing as those of us with children have been scurrying about gathering all the supplies needed for going back to school.

Come this Friday or next Monday or whatever the day of the week within these last moments of July and early ones of August there will be an inundation of comments from our friends in other place across the US as we post our precious babes all cleaned up with backpacks on ready to tackle this new year.

Yes, we know it is still July.
Yes, we know it seems early.
Yes, we know you do not start for another month.

However, whether the first day is tomorrow or a month from now, there is still that mix of feelings from excitement and anticipation of new adventure to sadness for the waning summer.

Years ago Myquillin Smith, aka The Nester, shared a thought about how we each only have 18 summers with our children before they go off to college.  While there, lord willing, will still be plenty of contact after that 18th summer, life, relationship, and influence upon that child will be so very different. That is why, around here at least, summers are full of both fun activity as well as lazy togetherness.

Lots of things take backseats during the summer months so that time with three little, not so little, boys can climb up securely into the front seat.  Even my wonderful homeschooling mamas can relate to this. While they do have more one on one time due to the education they have chosen, there is still a nice reprieve from "teachering" and a greater ability to just BE.

Honestly, single or married, kids or no kids, school aged or not school aged, life is not so broken up by a yearly calendar as much as it by a school calendar.  Businesses, tv shows, amusement parks, churches and many other places make their plans around what happens from August to July, instead of January to December.  So, while the first of January is a typical time to set goals for all parts of life, it's this time of year where more plans are laid and more thoughts are going towards what the desires for life will look like over the next ten months until the next sweet summer comes around again.

What do you want your next ten months to look like?

The other day, as I was standing in the kitchen looking at the piles of recently separated school supplies that had just been purchased and feeling exhausted from a running ALL the errands day all while knowing the state of a summer filled house is more than a little overwhelming to think about putting in order I noticed that the inside edge of our back door was disgustingly dirty.  How does a part of the door that no one touches get that filthy.  After making this comment to my husband his response was, "Isn't it interesting, that when anything in the world is left to its own device it goes downhill instead of getting better."

Y'all.  I just stopped in my tracks.

How often do I think life will maintain itself?  That items or feelings or goals or people will just stay exactly as is until I am able to come around to them again.

A plant cannot grow without sunshine and water.  Gardens become overgrown and full of weeds without the loving hands of a gardener.  Are other living things any different?

Lives need caretaking.  Schedules need caretaking.  Goals and dreams need caretaking.  Left to their own device they will also become unruly, overgrown, and hidden by situational weeds because they are in the world.

But first and foremost, before we are able to take care of anything, we have to realize how much we are taken care of.  

In Genesis 28:15 God says behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land.  For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

It is out of this promise, it is with this Hope and this Hope alone that we are able to care for others, It is with this ever present hand that are able to help care for the life He has given us and planned for us.

Over the next few weeks, as we all are beginning to leave those lazier, not so scheduled days of summer and jump back into the swing of regularly scheduled programming, we will explore this topic a bit deeper.  Stepping into these next ten months and making plans on how to care for them the way God has called us to.  Not just hearing, but listening, to His call for you.  Not just seeing, but focusing on the way that is being brought before you.

I hope you're as excited to join me as I am to join you on this mini journey of more ways God is constantly changing our inner dispositions to be more like Christ.

Until then, let your mind wander and let your heart begin to listen to what may be coming up inside for you, all the while remembering that the care you can give to other things is there because you are so unbelievably cared for.

 I'll be praying for this beginning of the next ten months, pray for me.