Monday, June 30, 2008

Summertime, and the Living Is . . . What?!


Summertime, and the living is . . . you’ve got to be kidding! Isn’t the next word supposed to be “easy”? Now where did that ever come from? Any of you finding living “easy” these days? If so, please write in and share your secret!

Today’s the last day of June. Depending on how you count it, Summer is one-third over. Maybe more—for those of you who live in the South, where schools get out earlier and start again in mid-August.

And whatever happened to the “easy” living? So far at our house, we’ve had a wonderful, terrible, and everything-in-between summer. We had a glorious week with our girls and our grandsons. Abby and Kelly gave a delightful baby shower for Erika. We had a fabulous anniversary trip to California. We savored an all-too-short visit with two dear friends who came for a weekend. A wonderful way to start our summer.

But we’ve also had a hard-drive crash which wiped out most everything and has led to ongoing computer problems. A flooded basement—not nearly as bad as some people have had it around here with flooding—but still a great big mess and months of work ahead of trying to get it put back together.

And just last week my aunt, one of my mom’s two younger sisters, died rather suddenly. It’s brought back all kinds of memories in a month heavy with memories already. June was full of tough-memory days: my mom’s birthday, my dad’s birthday, their anniversary, Father’s Day, the three-year anniversary of my dad’s death and the 6-month anniversary of Mom’s death. A month laden with memories.

So far, it’s been a full first-third-of-the-summer. There is much to rejoice in and be grateful for. Family. Friends. Forty wonderful years (and I really mean that!) of marriage. Some places of deep sadness. And lots of everyday hassles. The kind that can drive you crazy. But easy? Nope, I haven’t found “easy” yet.

Which leads me to think of you moms reading this blog. School’s out and the kids are home, so it’s a more relaxed schedule now. Maybe. Or perhaps just a different schedule! You’ll have an opportunity for some vacation time as a family. Maybe. But then again, with the price of gas, airline tickets, and everything else going up, maybe not. Whatever your summer has been so far, I’m guessing that “easy” might not be the word that comes to mind.

Whatever the season of the year, being a mom is a 24/7 job!


In the midst of all this—whether it’s kids-constantly-at-home or flooded basements or computer crashes, I’ve been thinking about how not to miss the God-moments in our summer. Maybe it’s because I’m reading a great book by Leighton Ford called The Attentive Life:Discerning God’s Presence in All Things. Maybe it’s because I just read a book (The Shack) which ends with this quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “Earth’s crammed with heaven,/And every common bush afire with God,/But only He who sees takes off his shoes;/The rest sit around and pick blackberries.”

I don’t know about you. But I don’t want to miss the “bush afire with God” because I’m just busy picking blackberries—or dealing with insurance issues concerning flooded lower levels—or yelling at my computer.

So I’m wondering: How are you doing at staying alert to God-moments this summer? Sometimes they come in the smallest, most ordinary ways. For those of you with small children at home, there’s plenty of opportunity right in your own backyard. Even in my mundane struggles with household “stuff,” I’ve seen God surprise me with a phone call from just the right person when I was near despair over finding a repairman or getting an insurance quote. Or with a verse which brought powerful comfort when I was missing Mom. Or with a friend who cared enough to ask me just the right question at the right time.

What are your God sightings so far this summer?

Keep your eyes open!