The daylight hours are getting longer as spring descends—slowly but surely—on the New England coast.  We’re in a constant flurry these days, with the kids having just wrapped up their basketball seasons, preparing to launch into baseball practices, and the girls’ gymnastics heading into their end-of-year preparations.  Then there’s the SAT testing looming ahead of us, along with all that must be done to wrap up the school year.

I love each season in turn, but I must admit I’m especially glad for this year’s transition to warmer weather.  It’s been a long winter.

With so much time inside each day, and early evenings dedicated to sports—not to mention church and youth group obligations—we’re always on the go.  And somehow, more daylight makes it feel a little less rushed.  A little less frenzied.  No, that’s not really true.  I suppose it’s more accurate to say that it feels a bit more manageable.

So my kids are doing their math assignments as I take a few moments to type this entry.  The sun is beckoning them, I can tell, for I must occasionally admonish them to focus on the task before them.  It’s hard, I understand.  I’m distracted, too.  So ready am I for summer vacation and a few months of reprieve from the many commitments and responsibilities.  There will still be some, but they will be buffeted by time to relax and time to play and time to visit with friends and family and time to…just be.  I can hardly wait.

But then I think of last year, when I was also quite anticipatory of the break.  It was less than idyllic, for two of my children had squandered so many hours during the last quarter of the school year that I necessarily relegated them to summer school.  Nothing too strenuous, but a lesson needed to be learned.  School is important, and every student has a responsibility to make the most of his or her class time.  I want my kids to learn on purpose.  It’s important.  So, summer break was shorter, and the school year longer.  An exhausting lesson to learn.

But  I digress.  This is a new summer, and so far I’ve seen nothing close to the level of disdain for learning which I observed last year.  Maybe they’re just more sneaky with their inattention.  Or maybe they’re really getting it.  Or maybe it’s a little of both.  Time will tell, I suppose.  Whatever lies beneath the surface, it would seem that our school year will draw to a close on time this year.  In a little over two months, by my calculations.  I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

I’ve spent many a spare moment contemplating the family’s vacation plans for the summer.  The budget can’t take much more stretching, so we need to be creative.  I’d love to visit our families in the Midwest, but there are other things to consider as well.  Church camps, summer sports, local trips, all of it.  Which leaves me wondering something.

What happened to my nice, relaxing summer?

God’s Word says, Be still and know that I am God, but do I really have time for that?  I mean, between this obligation and that responsibility, with the plethora of items from each family member’s summer agenda thrown in the mix, when exactly am I supposed to stop and just let God fill my senses?  I mean, summer is short enough here in New England as it is.  If I add one more thing to the list, the season will be over before I’ve had time to enjoy it.  Right?

But what if the answer to my ingrained longing for a restful summer is in stepping out of all my plans?  What if it’s my ideas which are the problem?  What if all the business is elevated because of my attempts at just the opposite?  Hmm.  What then?

God’s admonition is, at first, simplistic.  Of course I know who God is.  Of course I know that He is. 

Or do I?

I mean, when I have my quiet times with God—my truly quiet times—I feel refreshed at the end of our time together.  I feel energized and more patient and more discerning.  When life is too busy to fit those devotions and prayer times into my day, then I can’t seem to get much accomplished at all.  It snowballs and I end up with a longer list of to do’s than with which I began.

Yes, life is busy.  I can accept that, and I can even embrace it.  We are a family of six individual personalities, after all.  But it doesn’t have to be hectic.  For that implies a lack of peace and purpose.  It implies a sort of flailing about and attempting to grasp onto things which can’t really be held, anyway.  It implies desperation.

Our God is a big God.  And if He wants me to shh—to stop what I’m doing from time to time, and just be still and let the concept work its way through me for awhile, then maybe—just maybe—He has a pretty good reason for it.


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