barefoot summer

Barefoot Days and Hot Summer Nights

As we hop over the halfway point of the summer of 2017, I realize that this summer has been a lot more busy than I had anticipated. While we had no travel plans this year, the kids did make a wish list of sorts of things they’d like to do and places they’d like to visit on the island. Throw in to the mix a handful of clinics, camps, and practices, necessary trips to the beach/pool to cool off, and a few more odds and ends, and our weeks became more jam packed than a regular school year.

When does school start again?

I say this with both expectancy and anxiety. You see there’s a part of me – quite possibly the introverted, “I need my peace and quiet,” part of me – that can’t wait for those precious few hours during the day to recharge my batteries, get some actual writing and house cleaning down, and get my soul quietly fed without having to worry about keeping another human alive….occupied. In fact, my soul became so over-stimulated that I found I had to take a break from something.

It’s easy to blame it on the kids, blame it on summer, because that’s the biggest change of the season. So the easy answer is to take a break from the kids…. Right?

In my busyness, I realized I hadn’t had made time to connect with God too often. And as usual, I was dialing Him up only when things were getting disheveled in my soul. Well, God was quick to point out that I had slipped onto the easy path, and off His path. Yeah. In the managing of schedules, responsibilities, and all that “fun,” summer became more work. You see on the easy path, it’s easy to whine about changes in routine. It’s easy to fall into lazy habits. It’s easy to give up when things are hard. It was also easy to let the kids eat when they were hungry, watch tv whenever, and do chores occasionally. And then I would get upset when things wouldn’t get done! Well, duh, Jenn! In taking the easy path, I neglected to set some clear summer expectations for everyone – including myself. What I was really missing was rest. But where and when would I find it?

barefoot days

I began to reflect on this one afternoon while putting groceries away. I noticed that the girls hadn’t stepped foot in the house yet after being out and about for most of the day. Weren’t they tired? I was definitely pooped. Didn’t they want to get some rest?

When I investigated, I found them blazing around the patio, alternating between scooters and bikes, already deep in their imaginary world. Bags and slippers thrown haphazardly on the side, they were soon on a search for bugs and lizards around our property. I watched as they lived freely through play. I watched as they play game after game, the summer sun slowly setting off in the distance. I watched as they dug holes to plant their seeds – special seeds, which any ordinary adult would think were just pebbles.  I watched as they created new lands and discovered new friends and caught and battled Pokemon. I watched as they continued to play when the sky got dark and the street lights came on. I watched and in that moment, I felt the heart of the Father connect with my own as I sat with Him watching them. We were all finally at rest.

This.

This is His path.

Fading dreams

And while it’s not the easy path, it’s not a hard path either. Sure, it requires more intentionality. It requires me to focus more of others and less of myself. In this case, it means NOT taking a break from the kids, but rather the opposite. For me, Summer is ALL ABOUT MY KIDS. After all, they were loaned to us – not their teachers or caregivers, and as difficult as it is sometimes, we are pretty much responsible for their upbringing. The number one ministry that my husband and I have is discipling these youngsters. Not cleaning the house. Not reorganizing my closet. Not reading thirty books and writing one. Not losing twenty pounds. Not anything else under the hot summer sun. It’s about investing in these kids I love so dearly. Learning, teaching, and most of all having fun doing it.

I need to embrace this time and all it has to offer. Because next summer they will be one year older and this summer will have passed. So here’s to barefoot days and hot summer nights. Lazy morning brunches and late night movies. Messy craft projects and laundry sorting. Room cleaning and entire days at the beach. Leading them to live loving God, and learning together how to love people.

Let this summer be our sabbath.

~ Are you changing up your summer plans? What was the best part of your summer so far? Share it below. I’d love to hear your stories! ~



This week I’m reading:

So far it’s been a great read! It’s amazing the impact society has over the way that we see ourselves. Perfect for every woman, and helpful for those raising women of their own.

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Check out some of my other favorites at here!



 

1 comment
  1. Well said, as I read and reflect back, well it’s too late to redo as my babies are married and have their own kids, but I find summers are for re- bonding, for getting to know your kids once again…. in the school year gone by they have learned new things, experienced new things as well as maturing to a new phase in their lives, they not babies but young individuals with different minds…. and so we grow with them and nurturing their hearts with love, patience, understanding and full of joy….. proud of you, Jenn!
    Ps…. love the pic ( Hawaiian style toes… lots of puka between, cute!)

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