Monday, July 8, 2013

SAVING SUMMER: Can This Summer Be Saved?

There is a special time for everything. There is a time for everything that happens under heaven...   He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put thoughts of the forever in man’s mind, yet man cannot understand the work God has done from the beginning to the end.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11, NLV ~

When I read Gillian Marchenko's 5 Thoughts About Summer From a Mom Who Fears It a couple of weeks back, I was greatly relieved.  For years I have struggled with the thought that I am a "bad mom" who never seems to create the storybook Summer when my 3 children are home from school in June, July and August.  While other moms are creative with planning days at the beach or the zoo, I am still on edge trying to figure out how to work full-time from my home office while keeping 3 developing individuals from being either computer zombies or slaves to chores all day.  As other kids attend team sports activities, mine wrestle with developing and maintaining friendships over these weeks.  What a comfort it was to know that another mom has Summer battles too, and gets stressed out during that time of year when all of her children are home all day.

In my home this year, things became even more discombobulated by ending the school year with one child having surgeries that resulted in complications, only to have another hospitalized with a serious emergency related to his disorder just as soon as the first one was beginning to heal.  Trying to get our "sea legs" this Summer, with some sort of routine, structure or plan has been virtually impossible.  It has been enough to make me feel very defeated and hopeless about the precious time we are allowed together as a family.

"But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head." (Psalm 3:3, AMP)

 

As so often happens, God lifted my head reminding me that my downward focus at my troubles and my chaos only steals my joy.  Lifting my eyes up to Him, his glory, the work that he is doing in and around me, all result in a heart that is full.

What I have learned is that while Summer may initially seem like a complete flop to me, God can and does still redeem, right here, right now.  He has opened my eyes to the little things, things that are important, that have been going on or that need tending to as we move through the remainder of our "vacation" days.  He has shown me where He is working in my life, my family's life, and how we can unite our souls to Him resulting in a stretch of weeks that don't end up feeling like they were a total waste.  Because God is ever-active in our lives, we need only to step in sync with Him and our time will be fruitful.

Are you feeling defeated or discouraged this Summer from the lack of structure?  Are you overwhelmed as you discover that ESY (extended school year) isn't all it was cracked up to be?  Are these weeks bringing you immense stress rather than joyful family memories?  Then take this journey with me.  

Over the next 2 weeks, let's take a look at saving Summer together.  Let's pause and reflect on what God might be doing, and how we can be making the most of what takes place in its perfect season.  He does make everything beautiful in its time.  We need only to slow down, quiet ourselves, and reflect to perceive it.  When we do so, we will find ourselves with greater satisfaction and deeper contentment as the children head back to school in the Fall.

PRAY:  Father, thank you for making everything beautiful in its time.  My life feels so ugly right now.  Make order out of my chaos.  Redeem my time with my children over these Summer months, all for our good and Your glory.  And help us arrive at the school year with a deeper joy and peace.

1 comment:

  1. Just ran across this terrific article that echoes the extra support we parents need over the Summer: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/jul/08/no-summer-break/. Kudos to Brainerd UMC of Chatanooga, TN for how they live the Gospel through this program!

    ReplyDelete