My summers are not taken lightly. They mean the world to me. It's the time of year when I reflect, relax, rest from a year filled with intensity. As you know, I'm a teacher. I have many teacher friends who work in the summer, but I decided way back when I was a beginning teacher that I would do everything possible to not work a second job during my summer breaks. I actually do work all summer long on lessons and plans and projects. But, I'm not complaining. The Lord has given me this time as a gift and I appreciate it to the fullest.
Each summer takes on a new theme, not a planned one by any means, one that unfolds naturally. For example, last summer the theme was my kids' move. The entire summer was filled with planning, packing, preparing and finally parting. It was a difficult one for me to say the least.
When my kids were little, summers included lots of trips to swimming pools, birthday parties, Disney World, play dates and ice cream. Oh yes! Lots of ice cream. As adolescents, our summers included teenagers coming in and out of the house, taxi-cabbing, shopping and cleaning. Oh yes! Lots of cleaning. Then my kids became adults. My summers included wondering if they would be home for dinner, waiting for a call, hoping they'd let me know something, anything. And worrying. Yes, lots of worrying. Then there was this summer, just my husband and me, peaceful, nostalgic, and quiet. Oh yes! Lots of quiet.
Letting go physically is a completely different than letting go emotionally. I've seen the changing of seasons in others, including my own family members, but it's quite surreal when the one who is changing is you. It's taken most of this year for me to feel at ease with the changes. The word I feel the Lord had me choose this past January was "release". Let me tell ya', it's easier said than done. It takes effort, quite a bit. Letting go doesn't just happen because you want to, or even because you need to. It's a process, a journey, if you will, a daily release of those things that are so comfortably attached. Thank the Lord I'm in a much better place this summer. For that I am also thankful.
Interestingly, this summer I've learned of other things I need to release, aside from my kids. The Lord sometimes takes moments of rest and stillness to bring to our heart's vision some things we might have been ignoring or avoiding or denying. We believe certain things about ourselves, but those beliefs may not always be true. When we are still and rested our hearts are more willing to listen and accept the truth. And, we have a better mindset to hear God's leading on how to release those things that are so tightly gripped.
So, as this summer is quickly approaching its end, I'm releasing my grip and falling into His. I'm safer and freer and much more content there. And, if I'm moved to re-grab what I worked so hard to let go of, I'm counting on being so far away with God that they will be out of my reach.
Before I close today, I'd like to say a prayer for all the teachers that are beginning a new season, a new school year, 2016. New school years come with great promises, but so many unknowns.
May His wisdom guide you.
May His grace sustain you.
May His love envelop you.
May His Spirit comfort you.
And, may His power sustain you, this year and every year.
You are appreciated and you are being prayed for.
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