It certainly seems that we’re all in the throes of summertime. Graduation party announcements are stuck to my whiteboard, an expected wedding invitation will arrive any day now and a quick glance at our family calendar tells me we’ve got plenty of things scheduled. Any casual conversation during a grocery store run-in indicates that summer is in full swing and we’re all “busy.”
If I take a step back from over-analyzing and fretting about those calendar squares, I see there is goodness within these summer months. My perennials came back to life this year in full abundance, exceeding any expectations I may have had during those cold winter months. The garden was planted weeks ago and is shooting forth good growth while we begin to anticipate its fruitful vegetation. Another homeschool year is complete and I’ve already begun ordering and planning our next school year. A couple of bigger outdoor landscape projects that we were determined to finish before July, have come to completion.
It takes a different mindset to retrain our focus and find the correct perspective, doesn’t it? As someone who is a planner and organizer, the over-filled squares and the endless list of “must do” can get me anxious. There’s never enough time in the day, the weeks are too filled and I’m too tired at the day’s end. It does take me numerous times throughout any given day to stop myself and look around. I only need to seek what is the next thing that needs doing. What does my day look like today (not the full week or month ahead)? Who needs me most this day?
When the world and life is swirling, my restless heart begins to do the same. My children notice my stress and rushed pace, right along with an unhappy household.
When I take a deep breath, rest in the Lord and pray a silent prayer, the outlook is much more simple. Do you know what I see? I call them “pockets of grace.” Moments of beauty, calm and living life uncomplicated. Do they last all day? Very rarely. I again get caught up in the bothering of daily life. BUT, I know they are there. I know that only through the grace I’m sent each day am I even able to accomplish the smallest (and largest) of tasks that my life and vocation call on me to do.
I look forward to this season of summer, even if it flashes by in a blur. I desire to be intentional this summer. To make time for people and not screens, relationships and reconnecting rather than disengaging in frustration, days of rest, a treasury of books read and picnic lunches at playgrounds before dropping off my older kids at rehearsal. I remind myself that these days are passing, things will slow down again when we cozy up with blankets on dark winter nights.
How can you make this a summer of slowing down? What small ways can you reconnect with family, friends and with Christ this summer? Look for the pockets of grace in your day and go to bed each night with a heart of gratitude. Maybe it’s just for surviving the summer carpooling, drop offs at VBS, swim lessons and other social events or maybe for that chance you were granted to serve someone.