My friends Myquillyn and Emily (and their dad) host a monthly podcast covering all sorts of themed topics. Their most recent, and the one I listened to yesterday, was titled What Only Summer Can Teach Me. They talk about the things they have learned this summer and I was so inspired, I decided to join the party and do some thinking about what the summer has taught me. We’re about half way through and so stopping to reflect seems fitting. What has been good? What has been not-so-good? Where could I change things? What random lessons have made up the summer? You get the idea.
So here’s my list of things I’ve learned this summer (so far):
sunshine does the soul well
We live just outside of Seattle and our summers are typically the most gorgeous time of year here, but they usually don’t show up until after the 4th of July. This summer, however, we’ve had nothing but sun, sun and more sun since the beginning of June. It has been glorious. Waking up to the sun shining does wonders to my mental state.
there is a two day period of funk when the kids transition from in-school to not-in-school
It happens every year. And every year I forget that it’s a thing, this transition-into-summer funk madness. The first couple days of summer are a struggle – squabbling children, no routine, a never-ending stream of messes in the kitchen, the compulsion to do every fun thing all at once! forgetting that we have 8 weeks ahead of us to spread it all out. It takes a few days to figure out the rhythm of summer. I just need to remember and prepare myself for this again next summer so I don’t feel like locking myself in my room on day one of summer break.
I’m selfish and also introverted and sometimes that doesn’t make for a happy mom
Apparently it takes having 4 kids in the house at all times to remind me of how particular and selfish I can be. I got used to having them off at school for a few hours each day and I guess I enjoy a clean, quiet house where I can work or do a project or run errands or just be more than I realized. My selfishness and compulsion to have a spotless house has reared it’s nasty head more than once and it’s not pretty. Thankfully, the kids love me and the Lord is working on my heart in these areas.
if you need long torso swimsuits for your daughter, try land’s end
Our Audrey is a growing girl. She’s pretty tall for her age and has grown out of the swimsuits I bought for her at the beginning of the summer. Finding modest, little-girl suits for a long child has not been the easiest, but I just ordered a bunch on sale from Land’s End and they fit great. This one and this one are our favorites.
Lash extensions make life easier
I’ve talked about it on here before, and I’ll say it again: lash extensions are so great for summertime. I decided to take a break this spring and make sure my real lashes were still there (they were), but once summer hit and we were headed to a waterpark for a mini-vacation, I decided to put them back on. It just makes things so much easier for this light-lashed girl. No need to wear makeup = easy summer face.
Audio Books are not just a thing of the past
The last time I listened to a book on tape, it was literally a book on cassette tape. I think it was Bridges of Madison County that my mom had on while we drove to California. I probably tuned out most of it because I don’t have much of a recollection of the story and maybe it wasn’t that appropriate for a 15 year old? I don’t remember.
Anyway, audio books are not a new concept, but I’m a recent convert. I had no idea that when you order a digital book on amazon (I use the kindle app on my phone and ipad to read), you can add the audio version for just a few dollars more. I started reading Secrets of a Charmed Life and didn’t want to stop reading, but I had to go pick up my kids from their grandparent’s house (bless all grandparents of the world who offer to take the kids overnight) and so I ordered the audio version and listened while driving in the car. Then I popped in headphones and listened while baking a pie. It was amazing. You can switch back and forth between reading and listening and the app will keep up with progress on both formats. Game changer.
The slow pace of summer suits me just fine
I like working and doing and checking things off my list as much as anyone (um, my name even means diligent worker) and summer just doesn’t allow for that. It has forced me to slow down, take a break and as I talked about a little bit in the podcast with Jamie Ivey, God has been speaking this message to me and Ryan: Rest. Be still. Let Me handle the plans.
It’s not easy, I’ll be honest, because I like coming up with my own plans and I like keeping busy and feeling like I’m productive. We’ve done a little bit of productive work, but mostly, we’ve been learning to step back into reading scripture, wait on His timing and direction, pay attention to moments, take the time to reflect on all the things and it is resulting in a great trust in Him.
I’m grateful for the physical necessity to take a step back (what with multiple children and vacations and sleeping in and swim lessons and all) which has given me the chance for my heart to breathe a little more. There is a time for hustle, but right now it’s a time for rest.
And one last bonus one:
11, 9 + 7 year old boys are really fun
They swim in cold lake water for hours, go on the scariest upside-down rollercoasters over and over (I would puke), hug their mama often, play monopoly and card games, and dress up in ridiculous outfits just to get a laugh. They’re loud and messy and physical and whiney at times, too, but mostly I’m enjoying this stage with them. The boys don’t get a ton of screen time on here or instagram, but that’s not a reflection of my love for them. They just don’t dress as cute as Audrey :)
I’d love to hear what Summer has taught you so far. Anything big? Or little? Do share!