Summertime is finally here! I have longed for the sunshine and the peaceful rhythms of summer for so long, but now that it’s here, I’m realizing that I have not prepared for what I would like this summer to hold.
My oldest two plan to work at camp for most of the summer which completely changes the dynamics of our family. A family of six feels very different than a family of four. I have grown accustomed to having another driver in the family and being able to make plans with friends without concern for the littles being taken care of. Our chore schedule, though loose, is affected as well. I will be doing more loads of laundry again, BUT washing clothes for four instead of six actually sounds amazing.
There will be two weeks when we will be a family of three- one when my younger son goes to camp and one where my youngest daughter does the same. They are both excited for their weeks of camp and I am excited for them. Camp was a huge part of my summer for all of my growing up years. I’m thankful that the Lord has made it possible for my kids to have these similar experiences.
My husband and I both worked at camps as well and the impact those summers have had on us affect us to this day. Serving the Lord, growing in our faith, serving others, developing leadership skills, being poured into by wise and godly men and women, handling unexpected difficulties, working with many different personalities and learning to submit graciously to the authority of others in leadership helped to prepare us for ministry today. It’s exciting to consider how God intends to use this time in the lives of my kids. But honestly, it’s a little terrifying too. I know the trajectory of my own life and the reality that following the Lord’s plan for my life took me away from my beloved parents and my beautiful Pennsylvania.
This summer is a further opening of my hands as I release my children to the Lord and not only allow, but encourage them to follow the Lord’s leading. My oldest is an adult now (gasp!) and this transition is way harder than I imagined it would be. She still needs me for many things, but she’s also becoming her own person. And I struggle with letting go, because that means that she will fail at things AND I JUST HAVE TO LET HER!! That’s hard. But it’s also really good. I assume that if you have gone through this already, you completely understand.
I have just written 438 words about my summertime plans and most of those words have been about my kids and not about me. Such is the life of a Mom! And that is why I found myself in this place of uncertainty. I’ve written before about times in my life when I have felt like I am in a holding pattern and if I could adequately define the events of the past couple of years, that seems like a good metaphor to describe it. I’ve been surviving, trying to keep everything going smoothly, but I desire so much more than just making it through.
I intend for this summer to be some deep dives into what the Lord has for me in this next season. How will I thrive and not just survive? What does success for Becky Daye look like? This question is a big one for me, because I have allowed the weight of others opinions determine my steps for far too long. Even asking that question feels selfish to me, but I am learning that it’s actually the opposite, because I truly believe that success is an individual job. It’s found in figuring out who God has made me to be and then faithfully living that out. It’s not about measuring up to what other people consider success. This feels very freeing and I’m excited to continue pursuing God’s Word and allowing Him to define my success.
I have been reading a ton and intend to keep doing that. My hammock is one of my favorite places to be and I intend to spend a lot of time there planning for the next school year, getting lost in delightful fiction, digging deep into truth and maybe even taking naps. I want to explore the beautiful parks that surround our home in Western New York. I have two little adventurers who will benefit from these treks as well. I want to challenge myself to bake more, to effectively use the grill and to try new recipes that will bring new excitement and life to our meal times. Anyone else in a serious mealtime rut? Again, surviving rather than thriving!
I want to chase sunsets with my husband. I want to go on walks with friends. I want to listen to my camp staff children tell me about their experiences. I want my littles to have playdates with new friends and enjoy their long time friends. I want to dream and plan. I want to love others well and be kind no matter what.
I want to continue to walk through grief with my eyes fixed firmly on Jesus. My study Bible talks about David having a defiant hope and ever since I read that, I have been contemplating what this means. David had been promised that he would be king and so when others attacked him and tried to take his life, he continued to walk in faithfulness, because he knew the hope he had was sure. My life has been rocked by grief, yet I can have a defiant hope knowing that this is not the end of the story. Jesus has defeated death! I have life in Christ! What can man do to me?
Summer 2021 feels like the beginning of a new chapter. This last one was not my favorite, yet it has forced me to confront sins in my own heart and I am emerging from this time as a woman more determined to pursue Christ and to seek truth. I now understand why my Daddy always started his day reading scripture. This is no longer a negotiable for me. I desperately crave God’s Word. Would I change that for anything? Nope.
What does this summer hold for you? Whether it is a busy time for you or a season of rest, I pray that you too would find hope, joy and peace in Christ. Here’s to a great summer!