You know you’re ready for summer when sitting outside Michaels waiting for a kid to emerge from her search for end of the year project necessities feels like a beach moment.
When a shady parking spot, a strong breeze blowing in through open windows and the hum of Central Expressway traffic sounds like waves rolling in from a distant ocean actually induces dozing, I think it’s fair to say – someone needs a vacation.
“YAAHHH!!!!” pops errand girl from below my window. After laughing at me jumping out of my skin and screaming, she added, “Were you asleep?”
Her sister chimed in, “Maawwwmmm!!! That is so embarrassing.”
Embarrassing?! What does she mean, embarrassing? Clearly I’m tired. And how rude to abruptly end my moment. I could almost see the cabana boy at hand, ready to bring me a cool and refreshing drink.
And on my beach I was alone.
And it was a deserted beach.
Well… a deserted beach with staff.
“I might have dozed,” I defend before I’m hit by another barrage of to-do’s. Other daughter goes down her list: “Okay, so I need a green t-shirt. And on the t-shirt I need to have a recycle logo…”
“You need this tomorrow?” I ask? Hoping the answer involves the words “next” and ”week.”
“Yes. Oh, and I also need a lab-coat.”
“A lab coat?!”
“Uh-huh … and a skirt that goes all the way to the ground, kind of like a peasant. And a ruffled white shirt, and boots, and an apron … but maybe I can make that… of course I’ll need material. Okay and let’s see….”
End of the school year. All I can think say is – “stick a fork in me, I’m done. … Shut her down, boys. She’s pumpin’ mud.” Nothing like a little West Texas baking and oil field jargon to describe how the end of the year leaves a mom. And the kids, too. My exam taking crew looks like walking zombies. They’re digging deep to cross the line of their own.
Welcome to summer. Where we can breathe and wake up late. And rest. Away from the hectic and all the keeping up. Where we can hopefully be still. At least some of the time. Because the rest and the still seem so important. And so left out.
I think about that a lot. It seems like life during the school year does everything it can to snuff out still. Still takes on the life of an event… something we have to schedule. Which seems ridiculous. And I think it back-seats something I want for my kids more than anything … knowing God. Because I’m pretty sure that “still” and intimacy with Him go hand in hand.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Hmmm… Still. I’m not sure what that looks like right now. But I’m beyond thrilled at the prospect of leaning in to it.
So, here’s to fighting the urge to fill a calendar. Here’s to quiet. Here’s to training slow (or at least slower.) Here’s to lingering rather than racing. Here’s to practicing still this summer.
Maybe in the still we can grasp what seems accessible only as we’re quiet before God. Maybe in the still we can know in deep and meaningful ways that “the Lord Almighty is with us,” that he “is our fortress.” Then maybe as the next school year begins, we can schedule everything else around the still rather than visa versa.
Thanks for walking the road with me.