Friday, August 30, 2013

Last Days of Summer

I'm grieving the end of summer.  It was too short!  There were so many things I wanted to do but didn't.  What seemed to overshadow the summer was my surgery and the doctor visits afterwards and then all the work we did for 4-H.  That's what stands out.  I'm feeling deprived.  I think I'm forgetting the good things.  And I'm forgetting that my life is not my own.  It's about doing what needs to be done.  It's about people and giving.  I need to let go of my plans, my control, my perceived needs. 

Once school starts life is all about the girls and my job that will help pay the bills.  I've been called to homeschool.  It's my God-given task right now, so I have to make that my priority.  My teaching job at the co-op is God's provision for our family and I take that very seriously.  But sometimes when I try to do all the other things--be a good wife, a good mother to my other kids, a good grandmother, I often get overwhelmed.  I get tired.  How about some peace and quiet!  How about some alone time?  I need that.  And summer was supposed to provide that and didn't.  So here we go again into a new school year.

So now I am "alone" while the girls sleep, as I am almost every morning.  What do I do with that time?  Do I read the tempting headlines on yahoo?  Do I peruse Facebook?  What a waste of time the internet can be.  A young man we know wrote a great blog post about his smart phone.  See it here:

Instead of playing around on the computer, I could go downstairs and watch the birds leave the bamboo grove and center myself with prayer and God's word--communion with the Creator of the Universe!  Do we realize what a privilege that is?  Sometimes life's best gifts are left unwrapped and unnoticed because we don't stop our busyness to see them and open them.

So I will spend that treasured time with God and he will give me peace, contentment, purpose, vision, clarity, gratitude, strength and joy.  NOW I'm ready for the day!  NOW I'm ready for a new school year!  Now I can set aside my regret over a lost summer and remember what made it good.  I think of...

Adirondack chairs on the deck made with my own husband's hands, watching the sun set with cricket song.  Fred's good grilled meats and watermelon and ice cream and lush tomatoes on my countertop.  Flip-flops on our feet and sunshine on our skin.  Bluebirds on the wire and a cloud of butterflies around the butterfly bush and Liana running for her camera.  Our okra forest--what a funny plant--and noticing for the first time that bees are doing all the pollination that produce those beautiful flowers.  We harvested a bounty from our garden.  I think of Arielle delighting in new friendships and teenage girls giggling around our table.  We witnessed baptisms and changed lives.  We had barefooted babies to love and hold, babies that will be running  around next summer, struggling to be free of our arms.  Then there were bike rides along the rivers and cold water that refreshes us and laughter with the wind in our ears.  I'm grateful for it all.  It's been a great summer! 

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