Summer is one of those sacred times for me. I think it's because I grew up on a farm and my mother was a teacher. Summers were about family time. Working hard, playing hard. I love the outdoors as well, and summer is prime time to be outdoors. Hiking, biking, swimming, camping, sitting under a tree or on the grass by a lake.
This summer didn't go as planned. At the beginning of the summer I thought I'd be working at our church's Bible Camp. Within a couple days of when I was planning on leaving to head up, I learned that those plans had fallen through. I was disappointed. I love camp. It's a special place. My boys were looking forward to being up there for half of the summer as well.
But being around meant I got a chance to develop a friendship with a woman I had gone out a few times, but where the relationship had been delegated to just being friends. After not too long we clearly saw God's hand at work bringing us together, and that our friendship had become more. It's been a relationship I didn't expect but have longed for.
I also had the blessing of going with our youth group from church on a missions trip to Ecuador. It was an amazing experience. One where I saw God at work, where I learned much. I learned about hospitality and seeing the other.
The kids and I had a couple really good camping trips. We enjoyed the outdoors. Hiking, picking wild raspberries and gooseberries, swimming. They were moments where summer was at its prime, where the boys were boys. Exploring, playing, enjoying.
I had a few trips to the North Shore. It's my happy place. My spiritual place. It renews me.
I had somet time with my extended family. Watching fireworks, cheering on family runners in a 5K (including my son and nephew for their first race), sitting at a parade, playing lawn games, laughing.
I didn't get to many outdoor concerts. Only one movie in the park. Only a few bike rides.
Meanwhile school starts this week. I've already been there for staff training for two weeks. Fall will come soon. Seasons change. More opportunities to be had. Many will be missed. But I'm learning more and more to be present in the moment wherever I am, whoever I am with.
I will take the space to reflect on the blessings of each day, to make note of what I'm grateful for. I will see those around me, noting their presence. I will live, and worship, and love.