If you missed the post on Monday, start here.
If you have been a reader here for awhile, you know how I feel about memories. In case you don’t know me that well yet, I’ll go ahead and tell you. I think memories are incredibly important. It’s part of the reason I wrote Seeking Christmas. In an effort to make books of memories, I create expectations for myself that leave me disappointed with feelings of unwarranted guilt if I’m not careful.
If I expect summer to give me rest and fulfill my desires, I may be disappointed. If I expect to encounter God while serving my family, I may just find myself pleasantly surprised with the joy I find in hidden places.
Summer To-Expect List
Expect exhaustion – but anticipate falling asleep knowing I gave everything I had to give. Summer will require me to work a bit harder, and I will work as if I’m working for the Lord, knowing that while I’m serving my peeps, I’m serving Him.
Expect the grocery bill to double– and expect to feed their little souls while I fill their bellies.
Expect to trip over army men and step on Kapla blocks – and hold tight to the memories of the days when imaginations could create anything they wanted. When life didn’t step on the air hose of their imagination.
Expect to get nothing accomplished – but know that a day will come when I will have time to get everything done. And I will miss these days. Remember that my greatest accomplishment in a day might just be to remind them they are loved and cherished.
Expect to have little or no quiet and time to myself– and love that they are healthy enough to make noise. Learn to celebrate the life in them- noise, mess, and all. Be grateful that they want to be near me rather than annoyed that they won’t leave my side. When I feel like saying, please get out from underneath my feet, may I bite my tongue and say instead “I love having you near me.”
Expect to feel as if I’m preparing meals, cleaning, preparing meals and cleaning – and remember who I am truly serving when I serve them.
Expect to break up fights and wonder where I’ve gone wrong – and be thankful for opportunities to train in conflict resolution.
Expect the volume to be uncomfortable – and plan to hold my tongue until I escape outside for some fresh air.
Expect them to complain and grumble – and look for opportunities to cultivate thanksgiving in their hearts.
Expect the days to feel long – and rejoice in the length of days that allows the conversation to go a touch deeper. Be thankful for the randomness of our conversations because there is ample time to chat.
Expect to fight a losing battle between a clean house and a lived in house – and decide instead to train these boys to be helpers to their wives one day, to let them take ownership with me in keeping house, and releasing my ideas of what a “clean” house actually looks like.
Expect moments of time I will treasure – but be ready to accept they may look drastically different from last year. Celebrate the change, don’t fight it.
Expect moments of mommy failure – and be ready to seek forgiveness from them and from God. Most importantly, when I lose it and I’ve asked forgiveness, remember the guilt may try to hang around. Be quick to kiss it goodbye so it can’t threaten the moments ahead waiting to be claimed and redeemed.
Expect to look at the calendar each day and panic at how quickly fall is approaching – and decide instead to taste, touch, and experience each day to the best of my abilities. I will decide not to dwell on how quickly time moves and instead thank Him for the gift of today and this moment.
Expect to have moments that feel more than I can bear – and learn to be ok with that because it’s just one of the many ways I will experience the presence of God.
This summer I will expect to encounter God throughout my days. I will expect to experience true joy. I will expect to live so intentionally full each day that the night before school starts, I will cry my way through the house. But I will expect those tears to be happy tears, not tears of regrets. I’m deciding now that I will expect nothing more each day than to love on my family while encountering God moment by moment. And now you have to hold me to this.