Friday, August 1, 2014

Savoring the Last Bits of Summer

 I recall the many miracles he did for me so long ago. Those wonderful deeds are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about them.
~ Psalm 77:11-12, TLB ~

Sometimes we receive the best strength to go forward by looking backwards.

While some of my friends are already beginning a new school year in their area, the beginning of the 2014-15 school year is just around the corner for the rest of us.  Ramping up to the new academic routine can be a real energy suck, so why not fill the family tank to equip ourselves for the journey ahead!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a great love for photography.  While it may just seem like a nice hobby, I think there is eternal value in those snapshots we take.  There is nothing like the joyful reflection of looking back on good pictures to strengthen us to go forward.  That makes it critical that we not only capture those summer moments when they happen, but also take the time as a family to look through them before the summer comes to an end.

Some of the highlights of our summer included a happy visit with the kids' favorite aunt from California.
(I call that look on our youngest daugther her "Jim Carrey face".  It creeps me out every time.)

Of course, what summer would be complete without a flesh wound of some sort.
Our eldest received her first set of stitches after losing a fight with a can of blueberry pie filling.

And what All-American summer would be complete without a family trip to the ballpark?

Our clownish golden doodle left us with plenty of smiles jumping off of our boat to swim.

But the most memorable part had to be the adaptive water-skiing.
At our annual family picnic for the ministry, our youngest took the sit-ski out for a trial run with my husband side-skiing for the first time ever right next to her.

Our eldest, whose joints were unable to handle regular skiing got to try the sit-ski.

Our son had the experience of a lifetime by availing himself of this opportunity.

And by the end of the event, our youngest had discovered a new sport, learning to do regular skiing off of the long rope.

How can we not look back on photos like this and praise God as we remember what He has blessed us with this summer?

Taking time to enjoy such visual gifts multiplies the blessing.  And the fullness of our hearts as we savor the last bits of summer strengthens us to be emptied out another day.

PRAY:  LORD, remind us to take the time to reflect on all that You have blessed us with this summer, so that we may be strengthened for the school year ahead.  Thank You for the gift of photography to help us recall some of life's sweetest moments.

~ Barb Dittrich

 *Marked photos courtesy of our Master Photographer, Thom Jewell Photography

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