While this spring has certainly not been warm or very sunny in the Northeast, it has sure has made me look forward to the upcoming summer even more. I absolutely live for summer! I love everything about it--the warmth of the sun, the heat of the day, being outdoors, swimming, biking, taking a ride with my husband on his motorcycle. I could go on and on... I just love the summer! I look forward to it all winter long and have wonderful visions and expectations of what I'd like my summer to be.
To be totally honest, though, I have found the last few summers that, my visions didn't quite materialize the way I had hoped they would and my expectations weren't completely met. As my husband and I sat down the other morning to coordinate our children's summer schedules and plans, I was reminded of this once again. Between day camp at the Y, gymnastics camp in Pennsylvania, gymnastics class, soccer camp, travel for work and our family vacation to Myrtle Beach, we are going to be very busy. I could get tired just thinking about it!
Instead, I have decided that I am going to enjoy my summer as much as I possibly can. Sure, there will be lots of things to do and places to go--some fun and others not so fun--but I choose to enjoy every moment of it as much as it's up to me. My oldest son is entering high school in the fall. I'm not sure how much longer he will still enjoy hanging out with his mom and dad rather than spending time with his friends. So this summer I want to enjoy my time with my husband and my children because they sure do grow up fast.
How will I do that? I will lower my expectations, that's for starters. At times, my expectations are unrealistic and, rather than enjoying myself, I find myself disappointed that I/we didn't accomplish everything. I'm also going to adjust my goals for the summer. What's really important here? Doing things or spending time? I want to appreciate my children, engage in conversations with them, listen to their hearts and celebrate their uniqueness. To get to know them all over again as they continue to grow and mature and change.
That kind of stuff doesn't need to be scheduled. Perhaps shouldn't be scheduled. For me, it's about being totally present and available when I am with them. That can happen anywhere--in the house, playing kickball in the yard, driving in the car, going to the store, swimming in the pool. I want to make sure that when I am with them I am not distracted by other things and I am free to laugh and play and chat and listen. And to take advantage of the time without homework to do and sporting events to attend and just "be" together.
"Being" is so very important and is something that is often overlooked. We are called "human beings" and not "human doings" for a reason. When God created the universe and all that was in it in the first five days, He said it was "good." And on the sixth day, God created man and, you know what? He didn't say that man was "good." No, He said that it was "very good" (Genesis 1:1-31). Imagine that! Just the mere presence of man on the earth changed God's description of his creation from "good" to "very good!"
Man had done nothing at that time--God had just created him. There was nothing for him to boast about, no goal accomplished, no special deed done, no To Do List all checked off. Nope, he just was. Was himself. And the best thing about this is that just being himself was more than enough. He was doing exactly what God wanted him to do--be himself.
When my life gets busy and my calendar is filled with many commitments, I sure can get caught in the "human doing" of it all. But not this summer. This summer I am going to practice "being" exactly what God wants me to be--his daughter. Sure, like you, I have roles and responsibilities that I just can't step out of for two months. But I'm not going to add a lot of extra things to my calendar. I'll manage what is on there and practice "being" me. There'll be plenty of time for "doing" when the summer is over.