The end of school and the month of May is becoming one of the busiest times of the year! As a mom with kids in school, there are so many different pressures trying to get our attention. From end of the year banquets, award ceremonies, special field days, test finals and graduations, the calendar becomes quite full and everyone is waiting for a moment to breathe again in June.
Summer is the best! However, the pressure may be relieved from the school routines but summer comes with a different kind of pressure. I remember back to when my kids were younger and the long days of summer. I felt torn between the joy of having more extended time with my kids and the feeling of being overwhelmed with the new daily routine of trying to entertain my kids all summer long. The struggle is quite real. On one hand it is the best to not have rigid school schedules and a million demands but on the other hand it is a little lonely and challenging to try to come up with what all to do to keep everyone happy day in and day out. I also felt like keeping the peace in the house without bickering between siblings, complaining, or arguing going on was a daily challenge for me. I know your kids are probably perfect and these things I am describing were never an issue for you. That is so wonderful! However, for the rest of us that feel the weight of summer and the conflicted emotions that come with it, I want to share some words of encouragement.
The conflict I am talking about is the feelings of wanting freedom from the daily school grind, but now this freedom is also causing a feeling of despair. I am not saying that everyday is filled with despair, but rather the ups and downs of the moments within the long days with our kids over summer. In the past, I have truly fallen into a place that I didn't want to go. I have "fallen off of the wagon" per se in my relationship with God. I have stopped the normal routine of spending time with God early in the mornings, because now my schedule has changed. I can't even tell you how many summers in the past that I have let my emotions rule me and push me around to tell me what to do. I have let the circumstances dictate my emotions rather than running to the resource of life and joy, Jesus, to fill me up every morning so that I can live full of peace and joy. I don't know if I had just decided to get "lazy" in my spiritual life because of the mentality of the "lazy days of summer", but I somehow ended up in this place year after year. I would run on empty spiritually. I was doing my very best in the natural to keep up with everything and make the summer a great experience for our family, but somehow my efforts would fall short. You see, the difference was, I was living from my own ability and my own efforts instead of connecting to the power source, Jesus, to receive the power and ability daily that I was needing.
One summer, I finally figured out that I wanted off of the merry go round and let's don't do this again. I decided it was time to make a change. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me make this change and intentionally have a different summer. I set my alarm and got up and continued to seek the Lord first thing in the morning. I got my favorite coffee and sat in the same designated comfy chair and opened my Bible morning after morning. I decided to spend time seeking wisdom from God and what He had to say about my life and my circumstances. He has so much to say. He would begin to give me fresh perspective time and time again and renew my mind to think differently. My heart was refreshed. There is no substitute for spending time with God and being in His presence. The renewed strength, the fresh perspective and the power that flows into our lives is the most valuable thing. He longs to sit with you and me and download His perspective on life. His Word, the Bible, is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword and it changes us from the inside out. I learned that not only did I approach life completely different after spending time with Him, but my whole household benefited from me putting God first place every day. We had so much more peace and joy in our home. My kids listened better and the atmosphere was changed. I still had challenges come up, but I was prepared to handle them because my cup was full of wisdom from God and not completely empty.
My summers have just literally gotten better and better each year as I have chosen to fill up every morning with the Word of God, prayer and worship. It is truly the difference in joy and despair. In His presence is fullness of joy. Everyday, we can choose to fill up with the presence of God and live from a place of fullness. He delights in helping us navigate life. Today, will you and I choose what will truly bring the joy and satisfaction to us? I challenge you to "do summer differently" this year. You will be so glad you did and the results will be you will look back at the end of the summer and say " this was the best summer ever". He desires to do a work on the inside of you and me. He desires to change us into His likeness. The more I seek Him, the more I find Him and He infuses life into me. God is ready to meet with you today. Will you make a decision that you are getting off of the merry go round today
and you will have the best summer ever because you are fully alive with the presence of God inside of you?