The days are getting shorter and cooler.
As summer comes to a close, I’m looking back and reflecting on all God has taught me. Here are the top ten things I learned in this summer:
1. Healing is a slow process that demands I slow (and it always takes longer than I think).
When the doctor looked straight into my eyes and told me I was overdoing it, I shrunk a little in my chair and hung my head. My expectations for life to return to normal (almost) immediately were unrealistic. Slowing does not come easy, but I learned (the hard way) it was the best way. I prefer doing and going and checking things off of a list. Watching life go on around me from a sofa is not easy. But slowing and resting are necessary in certain seasons, and we must embrace them too. And God’s voice is so much more audible when the swirl of life slows.
2. Love is an action, and when it’s not, relationships suffer.
Even (especially?) after twelve-and-a-half years, marriage needs to be intentional. When it’s not, it soon becomes obvious. This summer has been an intentional effort of re-investing in our marriage and setting the pattern for the future. Love that man!
3. Waiting is a grueling exercise in patience and trust.
Some say the waiting is the worst, and at times it has been hard. The majority of the summer was spent waiting for test results to see if the cancer had spread or was contained. But God has been teaching me patience and trust through whatever He allows into my life. And when the news finally came, I was so grateful for the journey to that end.
4. Life is often hard but God is always good.
We all go through seasons of difficulty that God sovereignly allows in our lives. But He can use those seasons to refine our character and reveal Himself to us in ways we never thought possible. He is never more near than when His children are suffering. In some ways, it’s a sweet time.
5. Good neighbours are a great blessing.
So thankful for the community of kids on our street who rang our doorbell and jumped on our trampoline and formed strong friendships with our kids all summer long.
6. I recharge in solitude (and that’s ok).
I am a talk-to-me-one-at-a-time kind of mom. I wish I could do the happy chaos of many children and activities all swirling at the same time – I can for a while – but then I like quiet. When asked if I prefer to spend the day fishing with the whole family or being left alone to read and write, I chose the latter. And I’ve come to realize I’m a better person, more capable of serving others, when I am intentional about choosing periods of solitude.
7. Living life distraction-free is a breath of fresh air and reminds us of what is truly important.
After eight days off the grid, I almost dreaded going back to the pull of technology. It was wonderful not to reach for my phone and instead reach for family. Distractions can keep us running from what matters most.
8. Camp can bring new levels of knowing God.
They came home wonderfully exhausted every day from Bible Camp. And I’m in awe of the glimpses of growth I see in them. In the midst of all the glorious fun, they definitely met God.
9. A singular event can evoke the most opposite of emotions.
A family wedding brings laughter and tears all mixed together. The summer closes with the wedding of my baby sister and her man. It was a day filled with great joy for the happy couple and great sadness over the one whose absence was so painfully obvious. My mom would have loved to see her beautiful daughter get married.
10. Home is always the place I love most.
Summers are full of vacations and travelling and enjoying a slower pace of life, but I always love coming home to this life God has given us. I love getting back into the routine of school and ministry. Looking forward to what the fall will bring!
What has God taught you this summer?