Summer Adieu

I’m grasping, reaching just a little further, trying to grab on tight, but it slips through my fingers.

Summer is elusive and I confess that it has gone too quickly. I want more.

More fireflies.

More naps in the hammock.

More sounds of splashing in the pool.

More chalk drawings, swinging in trees, campfires, and trips to the beach.

At the same time, I see it just ahead of me. The promises of Autumn.

The changing colors above my head.

The crispness in the air.

The structure of school time.

The sweaters, the boots, the pumpkin everything, and football.

Change is inevitable and this year I am welcoming it more than ever. I love my past and I am fully embracing my present, but I long for the future. I don’t want to stay where I am. Amidst the delights of summer, there has been a dark cloud of unfinished and unknown and unexpected (but not the good kind!). I need something to follow the question marks. I need resolution to the uncertainties. I crave consistency and connection and completion.

And so, we say goodbye to summer. To this new season, we invite you in with joyful hearts. The notebooks and colored pencils, the compass and protractor, the index cards and folders, the textbooks and backpacks- they are all ready to go. We step gingerly into this new year with titles like “sophomore” and “kindergartener” and enter the last year of middle school and the year to decide what instrument to play. We will take on new roles as teachers to high schoolers and figure out how to teach our youngest to read. We’ll move into newly renovated spaces and be able to look out of real windows.

It’s a big year. Momentous. Epic.

I feel a bit like Elastigirl- holding onto Summer while reaching out for Autumn. It’s why I feel stretched thin. And so I relinquish my hold on what was and turn my eyes to what is and what will be.

Things I’ve Learned This Summer~

One of my favorite bloggers/writers/podcasters is Emily P. Freeman. Every quarter, she hosts a “things I’ve learned” writing prompt and while I probably won’t link to it (it has been way too long since I joined in with blogging linkups and I’m not sure I want to jump back in!), I’m feeling the desire to share some of the things I’ve learned in this tough season. So here goes!

  1. Taking a vacation before Summer officially started was one of the best decisions we made. We knew that my husband would be busy with church renovations during this time, so taking time away before it all began was wonderful. There were many amazingly beautiful experiences in the Outer Banks, but one of my favorites was flying kites. It was glorious and magical, one of those never-to-be-forgotten days.  Lesson learned: When presented with the opportunity to go anywhere, take it and make the most of it!
  2. Friendships can be difficult and challenging, but they are worth fighting for. Lesson learned: Be willing to work through difficulties and be grateful for the friendships without pretense.
  3. Working through a book of the Bible over the Summer is one of my favorite things to do. I started working through Jeremiah at the beginning of Summer and made it through Daniel and Ecclesiastes as well. It has been a life giving experience and I have learned a great deal from this focused time. Lesson learned: The more you read the Bible, the more you WANT to read. 
  4. My oldest worked for a week at a local camp and then went back for another week as a camper. When we dropped her off for her week on service crew, I realized that I was not prepared to have zero contact with my teenager for an entire week. She didn’t know anyone at the camp and as a result, I found myself struggling a bit with worry. It made me realize that I have some heart work to do as I prepare to launch my kids into their futures. While I still have some time (three years for my oldest and thirteen years for my youngest!!!), this experience made me realize that I need to prepare myself for what God might want to do in their lives. They have a bit of wanderlust in them (especially my oldest!) and so I need to relinquish my worries and grow deeper in my trust of God’s perfect plan for each of my littles. Lesson learned: Love your kids so well that they are confident in stepping out into the places God has for them.
  5. On my 40th birthday, I was given a gift certificate for a hot air balloon ride with the love of my life. For three and a half years, we have been trying to schedule our ride, but every time we have tried, it has been cancelled. I was hopeful this year. The day started out beautifully, but when I called later in the day, it was cancelled AGAIN! I was so disappointed. We had scheduled the ride to be a part of our 20th wedding anniversary celebration. But earlier in the week, I had decided to work on setting up a fire pit area in our backyard as a gift for my husband. Turns out that we were able to use it that night after enjoying a lovely meal together. Lesson learned: Life is full of disappointments, but working hard at creating special opportunities is always worth it.

It has been a full time in our lives, one fraught with difficulty, but also some significant moments that will not be forgotten (losing the last first tooth, conquering a fear, given access to a neighbor’s pool, being honored for Godly behavior, first time singing on the praise team, going on a zipline, learning how to dive, giving up naps AND sucking a thumb, making new memories with old friends and meeting new friends who we get to support as they prepare to go on the mission field).

So, adieu, Summer! You have been good, but it’s time to make some space for a new season. Until next year…

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