Summer is one of my favorite seasons…well, it’s top 3 anyway. (I love fall and spring in equal measure). Summer brings so much to our lives and as a mom, I feel it differently than I did before. There is urgency and lull in the same breath. There are different challenges and opportunities that arise between May and September. I am so grateful for my sweet friend Jen over at manythegifts.blogspot.com for bringing a truly beautiful perspective on the summer of each year and the summer of our motherhood. Please enjoy her writing and sweet point of view. I may have already read it three (or four) times. Jen is a mom I look up to and am thankful to have met. Feel free to share your words of wisdom about enjoying the summer in the comments.
God hasn’t called me to be successful. He’s called me to be faithful.
My friend Ashley asked me to write a guest blog post about the summer, and I was honored to do so. Not because I am any sort of summer expert (I’m more of a November gal), but because I’m still sorting it all out, too, and writing always helps with that! Ashley and I have a lot in common. We’ve got kiddos in the same classes, we live in the same ‘hood, we love the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and we’re both in the “summer” of our lives. We’re tending the garden of children: pruning, watering, digging, planting, working, waiting to see how it all turns out. Nobody harvests in the summer. The summer is hard work. It’s sunup to sundown and sweat and dirt and watering and weeding and wondering. It’s also warm and glorious and occasionally lazy and full of fellowship and sunsets and fireflies and soft grass and flowers and joy.
I am sure of one thing, that this is not my season to get anything “done”. I hardly got anything “done” today that won’t promptly get undone ASAP. Anything I check off of my list pretty much goes back on the list within a day (or a minute!) – dishes, laundry, sweep the floor,dry the tears, correct the behavior, pick up the toys, open the mail, pay some bills, answer the phone. (Maybe) apply sunscreen to squirmy children. Go to park, run off energy. Give baths and showers. Apply lotion. Read stories. Do a million tuck in’s of the same four kids. Repeat. Few lasting completed projects exist from this phase of my life, but the Spirit is teaching me to graciously accept that this is not my season for completion.
I have learned that I need to do two things- 1. Embrace the undone and 2. Be gentle with myself. I will not get anything done. As my friend Sarah says, I just need to Elsa that right now. Let. It. Go. The one thing on my list may be “call the doctor for a refill on the lotion” and it may take four days for me to get around to it, and the Pinterest projects can continue to be some escapism in my imagination because I have yet to do a single one of them. Most of my grown up to-do’s get sacrificed for the urgent needs of tiny people who want me to change their wii remote batteries or give them a Band-Aid or find their blankie or put the arms on a Lego minifigure.
I am inspired always by Mother Teresa. She said that peace and love begin at home, so my goal is that as the sun rises, I will wake up, show up, and be faithful. Not successful, just faithful. I will praise God in the midst of the chaos and thank God for the privilege of this season. These four little boys are known to spill lots of milk, lose their train of thought in any sort of chore-like activity, and wrestle like tiny bear cubs. They wipe their noses on everything but a tissue and reserve the Kleenex for squishing bugs. They are constantly hungry and sometimes give me the strange feeling that I am tethered to my kitchen sink by an invisible string. But, God, I thank you for their kind spirits, their innocence, the dandelions pulled and offered in chubby fists and lightning bugs cupped and offered from tiny hands. Thank you for their boisterous energy, their surprising gentleness, their sweet little boy smell, the unique voices that call me Mommy, and the way every single one of them reaches out to hold my hand in a parking lot or tries to put a hand on my stroller or shopping cart, just to stay close. God is showing me His glory though His four little creations, as he is through all of His children. I’m going to take a deep breath while tethered at my kitchen sink as I watch my guys digging up worms in the backyard out the window and remember to praise Him. The harvest is later, the season to grow is now. They’re growing, and I right along with them. What a privilege and a blessing it is.