Saturday, June 11, 2011
dear Summer, I'm glad you came.
I think it's safe to say that it is officially summer. The temperatures are risin', everyone's out of school, So You Think You Can Dance is back on TV (yay!), and I have a sudden and strong desire for frozen fruit bars. And since we actually had a spring here this year that lasted longer than two days, I find that I'm rather excited and ready to welcome summer!
That's just what we did this past week. We slipped into summer mode and enjoyed a week off from piano lessons following the big recital, a week off of school for Emma (shhh, don't tell, we're not *quite* done with first grade yet), and a week off from running around all the time doing this and that. I read an actual whole book, the kids played outside and inside, we watched movies, we caught up on library books, we went to the park, we stayed in our pj's longer than is acceptable, and we loved every minute of it. I don't think I even realized how much I needed a lazy week, how much we ALL needed a lazy week, until we were in the midst of it and I began to feel truly refreshed again... it was wonderful.
I hope this summer will bring us many more such days of refreshment and even a bit of laziness too, but I'm realizing that I want us to have a purpose for these next few months as well.
I want this summer to be one of...
simplicity. I don't want us to always be running from one thing to the next. We don't need to spend a lot of money doing extravagant things. We really do enjoy ourselves most when we cut out the unnecessary things and simply spend time with family and friends and each other in different ways. Summer always speeds by way to quickly as it is without us making it crazy and hectic.
adventure. Whether it's a nature hike in the woods, a day trip to the beach to hunt for seashells, or a safari in our backyard, we're going to explore whatever surrounds us and seek out amazing memories.
creativity. I am blessed with daughters who love to learn new things and definitely have a creative side... and I would love nothing more than to grow and expand that with them. I want to teach them how to bake, how to sew and embroider, how to paint furniture (think what a unique piece that could be!). I want to dive into the music that surrounds us every day and learn new things about it. I want to write stories and draw murals. I want to encourage them in every way to be their uniquely imaginative selves... and I know they'll teach me something along the way too!
together-ness. Whether it's just our little family, or with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, the band family, our church family, through phone calls and skype or in person, it's so important to me that we get to be with the ones we love, to grow closer to them and to enjoy them, to encourage one another and show love and support, and to make memories that our children will remember for years to come.
servitude. This one is really important to me, quite near and dear to my heart. My desire for my girls is that they will have servants' hearts and really want to give of themselves to others and for the Lord. So, while I have no problem with just having fun and seeking to enjoy the many blessings God has given to us, I want us to share those same blessings with those around us, especially with those who might be less fortunate. Our first thought should not be what we can get out of this life, but what we can give of it to others, and how we can glorify our Lord with our gifts and abilities. Sadly, this is something I've found myself rather lacking in of late, but God is gracious; He has been convicting and spurring me on to really think about these things, and to act upon them. I'm so excited to seek out ways that our family can serve, and I'm praying that my girls will see what a wonderful thing it is to not live unto ourselves. When our lives are turned inward, we miss out on so much, and we gain nothing except fleeting enjoyment. The reward and blessing that comes with loving God and others first and best, the heart-happiness that is ours when we serve willingly and faithfully and truly unselfishly... THAT is something that never fades. Isn't it amazing how such a simple thing, how even a small sacrafice, can reap such a great and lasting reward? God is so good. And that is what I want us to discover anew this summer in as many ways as we can.
So, now, do tell me.... what are your hopes and plans for this summer that stretches out before us in all its sunshine-y goodness?