Friday, August 3, 2018

Remembering and Celebrating Summer

She blows the whistle with three short puffs to signal the other guards. Then all the lifeguards together blow one loud, long, blow signaling the end of free swim and the beginning of the 10 minute rest break.

The children scamper out of the shallow end and away from the line for the diving board to meet on beach towels and eat small snacks around the perimeter of the local, public pool.

It was 5 o'clock yesterday and somehow that whistle seemed extra lonesome as I found myself wishing that sound somehow wasn't symbolically signaling the end to my summer.

I know that by the calendar, summer has over a month left. Here in Tennessee we can and will have summer type temperatures and weather patterns clear into November. (Or we could trick-or-treat in snow!) Summer, by many standards, is far from over -but according to my rising 10th grader, none of those indicators really matter.

School starts on Monday.

Dance classes for my daughter starts next week too.

Bedtime enforcements, packed lunchboxes, and set alarm clocks return to the norm in the Vinson house.

There's not a pumpkin-spiced anything in the cupboard - but summer is OVER.

I am not one of those moms that wish away summer for school to start and the kids to be out of the house once again. I have loved listening to the play, to the giggles and to the squeals. Yes, in all honesty and complete transparency, the bickering, the fighting, and the crying do get old - but in the grand scheme, they are worth the price of admission to get the time, to make the memories and to relish in the blessings.

We went on trips. We visited with friends and families. We tried new recipes in the kitchen. We had adventures. We did new things.

It has been a great summer and I am honestly sad to see it end.

Yes, I have missed my little friends and co-workers at the church weekday preschool and I am excited to see them all again next week, but for now, I am more than a little blue to turn the calendar page to August.

I understand the need of structure, school and routine. God set up the seasons, but He also instituted holidays to break from the mundane and remember.

In the Old Testament, He set up festivals and times to acknowledge His goodness and provision. Passover is an example of how the Israelites were supposed to commemorate how God had delivered them from the Egyptians and to celebrate their freedom from slavery.

In the New Testament, Jesus calls on His followers to regularly partake of the "Lord's Supper" to remember His ultimate sacrifice for us and to celebrate the end of our slavery to sin.

This summer has held a bit of both remembering and celebrating for me. As I've had a break from the school year routine, I have had the opportunity to do both. I have tried to be intentional to remember God's gracious goodness and thank Him for the bountiful blessings that have filled these summer days with joy. I have also been intentional to stop and to soak up the slower place, leaving something undone and realizing that it really isn't a necessity. I have relished time in Bible Study and relaxing around that same pool with good Christian sisters too.

It is the structure, school and routine that make me appreciate the summer so very much. So, as this season ends, and the next one begins, I want to be intentional this last weekend to remember and celebrate - to let summer linger and last as my family transitions back into the busy.

I don't know when summer ends for you. Maybe you haven't had a whole season, but maybe a week's or weekend's vacation. Maybe your kids have already returned to school Regardless, take the time to remember and celebrate His goodness and His grace.

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