Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Summer days, driftin' away. . ."

Trista at The Pumpkin Patch is hosting an End of Summer Party. She is encouraging everyone to write about their favorite summer memories of 2007. I thought this an appropriate blog carnival for me since I am so. in. denial. that summer is ending. Not because it is so hot here (it is hot, but not unusually so), and not even because the time has flown by with nothing to show for it. I am so sad that summer is over because we've had such a great time! Our summer was lazy, relaxed, and packed full of time spent with family and friends. Everything a proper summer should be.

In the past, I have lived for the day that school would start, so I could turn the reins over to the school systems and let them entertain the teenagers for a while. And just like every other season of our lives during the last year, being out of youth ministry has changed our perspective, approach, and attitude about summer. This summer I was able to watch every member of our family stretch and grow.

Honey and I began the summer totally pumped that we would no longer be traveling as much as we were used to, but we really missed the relationship building with the teens that was always inevitable when forced to drive 14 hours with the same 7 people in a brown Astro van down a highway you'd just been on a week earlier. Traveling companions don't get much better than the person riding shotgun who can hold the spit cup steady enough for you to get your sunflower seed shells in every time.

It didn't take us long to realize that this summer was a time for us to redefine who our family is. We discovered the values we wanted to teach our own children, and we recommitted to making our own children disciples of Jesus.

As a mom, I loved every minute of planning for and entertaining our three little ones. These kids of mine are really in a great stage! Age 7 & 3 are so fun!! They are old enough to enjoy playing at the park, swimming at the pool, and bowling with the Wii. It's a joy to have friends over, and the twins are independent enough that all of my energy is not spent on just caring for their basic needs.

Bubba was a little bummed when he found out that we wouldn't be going to any camps this summer. He's always been the "youth group baby". The kid that's age 4 going on 15 and always more interested in what the 9th grade boys were doing than kids his own age. This summer, I've watched him transform. When given the opportunity to experience 7 year old things, he loved them and I saw a little bit of that age attitude disappear. He really is a kid at heart and I have loved meeting him on his level and and encouraging him to just be a kid!

So to ease the transition back in to a school schedule, I've come to a realization. I have decided that the things I loved about summer don't have to stay contained within the months of June, July, and August. I can still plan for and have fun with my kids. I can still spend my days discovering the joy of being part of a family. I can still enjoy the company of friends. I can continue to grow and learn about the path God intends for my life. I can do all those things whether it's summer or winter, spring, or fall, and I intend to . . . just not while I'm in the pool.


A D said...

It is so good to hear you so happy. I also decided to work harder on helping my kids become disciples of Christ. I have even set up a time for praise/worship and bible reading. They love it! I have also tried to be a good example for them. In fact the other day, Elizabeth asked me why I am always reading about Jesus. We are to teach them how to be Christians and to walk in love - I love to see and hear how much they love Jesus and how they are making choices by doing what Jesus would do.
You are doing a great job!

SJ said...

Amen, Sista! Dont take this wrong but I'm glad yall are out of youth ministry and can focus on your own kids more. I can see how it would be hard raising a 7 year old that thinks they are 15...yikes! It's hard enough raising a 7 year old with a 7 year old attitude anyway!

Ya know, it's just so easy to get distracted by "life" that we dont refocus on what's most important (lessons I'm having/needing to learn too).

I'm glad you had a great summer and will have a great fall, winter, and spring as well!! (And I LOVED seeing you, btw, and wish I could do it more often).

Larissa said...

That was a really good post. It is obvious that you have done a lot of relecting and growing since your move out of y.m. Reflection is such a good thing!!!

Larissa said...

I just saw the comment you left on Lisa's blog about getting your girls trained before they were 2!!! Okay, that is crazy! How in the world did you do that? I've been impressed with you, but you're at a whole new level now with that one!