Goodbye, cruel summer. You with your long days and sleepy vibe. It has been good.
I have a four-season soul. But I live in a state with only two seasons; summer and winter. Summer takes up 80% of the year.
But the real summer, the summer where the kids sleep in until 11 and there are no lesson plans, dance recitals or late-night basketball tournaments, and endless math facts and spelling lists – she’s the real deal. The real summer is the season of my goals. I will get a bikini-ready body in 30 days or less. And, I will finish the 6 bible studies sitting on my nightstand. Oh!, and I will eat a raw vegan diet, feasting on berries and melons. We will laugh, stay up late watching movies, have ice cream for dinner, and watch the sunset by the pool.
These are the lies of summer.
These are the fallacies I fall for every June 1st.
The dreams I cling to are similar to a Coppertone commercial, and every year, for the better part of 30 years the commercial plays out more like an ad for an anti-diarrheal. Like a Popsicle slipping off the stick, I am continually disappointed.
And yes, we did go to Disney on vacation this summer, and no, no offense, but it was hot and expensive and the magic was lost on me.
I was confused 98% of the time. I was in the bathroom with a woman that had 68 Mickey Mouse tattoos. SIXTY-EIGHT. One for each of her trips to the Magic Kingdom. And the size of the tattoo was indicative of the amount of fun she had. I overheard her and a woman with only 37 Minnie Mouse tattoos with the same brilliant aspirations for her body ink.
This is a curious life goal for me. But who am I to say? If your heart’s joy is a theme park in 98-degree weather with 200% humidity, a tat to commemorate the insanity and you can afford that and a $13.00 ice cream cone, party on my friend.
Honestly, I haven’t known exactly what I expect from summer.
I am certain it is a carry-over from the happy days of youth.
Summer meant freedom, beaches, snow cones, and water parks.
Gone are the days of old. In my 40’s I know how many unfortunate carbs are in that snow cone. Worse still, the damage from the iodine-baby oil concoction I smeared over my virgin skin and baked fearlessly in blazing 1988 ozone depleted UV rays, is showing its glory now; hopefully, not in the form of melanoma.
Between my poor judgment, sizzled skin, aqua net zap-fried bangs, and blue mascara, it is a wonder I am not married to a dude who plays bass for a garage band, living in his parents’ basement.
Yes, picture that, and I in a “Frankie says relax” t-shirt caring for our pet ferrets, Madonna and Emilio Esteves. And there is no going back.
I don’t think that summer means to lie, it is just that she grew up, she learned to balance a checkbook and her thighs got dimply.
When Banana Rama sings Cruel Summer, it is only a nasty reminder that the Karate Kid was the “old guy” on Dancing with the Stars this season. Anthony Michael Hall probably isn’t really that good at Algebra and Tom Cruise is just creepy. I don’t have any idea what happened to Val Kilmer. But I do know, if he came around like I used to wish he would and found me sunbathing, I would call 911 – not make out with him and then tell him I am busy for the rest of July and August.
This is the last of summer 2019.
She will be unbearably hot for at least 3 more months.
The real tragedy of her passing isn’t that my swimsuit this year was a size 14 – although, ugh.
The real tragedy is that I expected summer to do something for me that I could have done and missed the opportunity to do.
I don’t rest. And, I don’t mean napping on the beach. No matter the season, I cram a massive amount of junk into an allotted time frame and then I use that gauge to beat myself, my plans, my hopes, the scale, and swimsuit size into submission.
And this is the first last days of summer where I have consciously decided not to regret how I spent my time.
I have committed to myself and God to stop marking my walk as seasonal. If I stop whining and start leaning into Him the seasons might stop looking like failures and more like days of the week. And the summer days of the week are just part of an ongoing opportunity to be still, lay my head on His shoulder, and rest in Him. My Help.
He is not seasonal.
He is constant.
While everything around me is indicated by start to finish; the school year, potty training, lent, advent, holiday, tax, semesters, and grades, I am praying to be set free from the confines of schedules and just be with the God of the universe moment by moment. No more constantly starting over on Monday. Now, I want to be fully present and fully at rest in Him who created me to be His. And being His isn’t the hard part. The daughter-ship where I grow in my love for Him and the learning process of resting in Him, believing Him is for the season called my LIFE.
Sure, I have a new school calendar, and yes I have begun to fill its pages with publishing deadlines, menus, school activities, lesson plans, speaking engagements, conferences, doctor appointments, and blog posts but the God that motivates me doesn’t change within those pages.
He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is fully available to me in every nanosecond of my journey.
I needn’t wait for the next thing to pass or be crossed off my list. I needn’t ask anyone else to intervene on my behalf. He is season-less. And He is mine.
If I were to commemorate this summer as historical with a tattoo it would say, “Summer of Truth.” And while I might start something new and end something old, He is at all stages of every single page.
These last days of this summer are the days where I intentionally decided to bask in the rays of His glory, soaking up the light of His Holy Spirit. Here I can cast my worries to the hot dry dust and floating in a sea of peace and rest.
No sunscreen required.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
“For I the Lord do not change…” Malachi 3:25
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