Summer has settled upon us and ushered in a new season lacking in routines and trending in refereeing daily arguments (my go-to line: “figure it out!”)
I resolved a while ago that this summer would be different than last.
I did my best last summer, but it was too much. With the launch of my book in August, a couple of big trips that took us to opposite ends of the country, and a very full season for Evan in his career, most of our days felt like a spinning top that took a long while to slow, finally throwing me out, off balance, somewhere in the middle of the fall.
As the end of school approached this year, I recognized a huge desire to do a little less seeking and striving, and a little more being and growing. And the thing about that is that you need to leave room for it.
It’s not so much a feeling of burnout as it is a heightened awareness about this way of life I’m currently desiring. A simple change: a wanting to feel and think and even write but without the need to consider documenting, capturing, publicizing it all.
It’s not about the calendar season, but a personal season for me right now where I’m finding myself setting comfortably into the middle. Sometimes, the appeal of trying to become the best, the most, the greatest takes over, and it’s easy to forget how wonderful the middle is; it’s really quite freeing.
I’m currently reading the book The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg, and though the title is a bit cliché, the content is stirring and compelling. Ortberg quotes G.K. Chesterton in a section about the joy that resides in the heart of God.
Chesterton reminds us that children have abounding vitality, a free and fierce spirit, and they usually want things repeated and unchanged. ‘Do it again!’ they exclaim over and over. Adults, however, are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But “perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.”
Every day, God says to the sun and to the moon ‘Do it again!’ And they do. And he never tires of marveling at their beauty.
As this new season approaches, a summer filled with opportunity but also repetitiveness, I’ve been making room for joyful monotony.
In Romans 12:2, God invites to be transformed – not to transform ourselves. To do this, we need to allow room in our lives, space in our minds, to let Him in.
I’ll be stepping away from my blog for the next couple of months, to enjoy the middle without striving, to savor the joyful monotony of these summer days.
I only have one summer where my kids are 5 and 7, and each day opens with bouncing excitement about the “adventures” that await us – in between chores and camps, there is the clear blue of the pool and the sweetness of a surprise doughnut treat and the spontaneity of a picnic dinner with friends at the park.
Do it again?
Yes, we will. Yes, we have the space. Yes, we have nowhere else to be but the joy we are experiencing right here.