A couple of days ago was the summer solstice. The very first day of summer. We celebrated with playing in water and swinging on swings until little bodies all around me were drained of all energy (shocking, I know. who knew it was possible?) and eyes drooped while we read books. We spread a table of summery food and lots of flowers. It was perfect, except that once that full strawberry moon rose high enough to see its beauty, my girls were too sleepy to wake and take a peek at it. Maybe next year.
I love solstices and equinoxes. (In reality, I love all random and real holidays.) But, some holidays not only give you a reason to eat extra special food and celebrate, but they also signify something. I particularly enjoy the ones signifying something new. A new year. A new school year. A new season. and they make my spirit breath deep and sigh with relief. First day of… it doesn’t even matter what comes next. It’s my first day of it.
I have another chance.
I am in constant need of another chance. I am desperate for them. And so, I am always grateful for them, even if only the symbol of them, because just because it’s officially summer now doesn’t actually change anything. But it does if you let it. I didn’t do everything I wanted to do in spring. That’s the way of life. But, once that solstice comes, it’s too late for what if’s and pouring over wishes. It’s time to dust my hands off from trying to catch up to my own expectations, sit and have a long day, a long dinner, a long anything that will make me laugh and let me look ahead to a new season. That also includes making plans…it’s who I am, after all. I love planning and laying out ideas. But, I know that even these new plans won’t be completed 100% either, badly as I wish they would.
And that’s okay.
Because I’m human. Because some days look like waking early and drinking coffee while I read my Bible and watch silently as the sun creeps up. Some days look like marking off my to do list like a boss and answering my children patiently, gently rebuking and guiding them toward the right path in love. Then other days? Other days, it looks like me staying up too late the night before because I’ve procrastinated my homework or because I’m terrible at time management..or both. It looks like me being awakened by the screaming of small people, demanding that the other sister give a toy back and then I’m peppered by their tiny machine gun mouths that spit out incessant demands and questions before 8am. “I’m hungry, can we have pancakes for breakfast?” “Can I go swim in my pool while I wait for breakfast?” “Can I eat fruit snacks?” “Can we watch a movie?” “Are we going somewhere today?” “CAN we go somewhere today?” “Yeah! can we go to the park?” “the library?” “the park AND the library?” and so on. and because I JUST woke up and still have some patience, I squelch the urge to tell them NO to everything they just said, or that the library won’t let us in because it’s supposed to be quiet there. And then the day basically goes downhill from there. I have a to do list that I don’t even make out, because that would require motivation, and I lack the motivation to even make the list, much less complete it. I plan for nothing, look forward to nothing, and basically spend the day surviving until Lance comes home. Which of course makes it all warm and fuzzy for him coming home. all in all?
Some days, I lose hope.
Do you ever have days like that? When you feel behind before it even starts, and at every turn of the day, it’s one more mark on the list of mess ups instead of a mark on the happy “Done!” list? One more mark for losing my patience and responding in anger. One more mark for staring blankly or escaping with the help of my distracting phone instead of getting work done. One more day of wondering why in the world I can’t get a handle on my sin and JUST CONQUER THIS ALREADY. One more.
I have those days. The thing about those days, is that sometimes, they have a way of having a snowball effect. And a day rolls into another, and another, and another. Until it’s a week of being in a funk and not knowing how to shake it off. It’s a constant battle of trying to gain ground while you’re still slipping down a muddy hill. Shoveling snow in the middle of a blizzard. Fighting your own anger and pride in a house full of people who need you to show them what serving looks like. Before long, I don’t even know what caused any of it or what the deal is. I just struggle against letting the way I feel affect what I know. Because what I feel is unhappy. and I feel useless. I feel unappreciated, unloved, unimportant. and then, I base my decisions on those. On “what is the point??”
But, oh boy, am I blinded to the truth in those times. What I really need is a reset button. And I know. I know that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. I know every day is an opportunity to reset. shoot, every minute is an opportunity to reset. But, I am stubborn when I get stuck, and I need a big reset…or a slap in the face, but everyone around me is much too kind to do that.
Then, a shift comes in the form of something new starting, like my school semester or the girls school year. Or, a new season begins. *sigh* there is my reset. And I’m so grateful that God already knew how flakey we’d be when He created this world. He knew we’d whine and gripe about cold weather, and He planned for winter to end and spring to come. And then, He knew we’d whine about the rain. We’re human, and He loves us in spite of that, and that is just wonderful. He is kind because not only did He know we’d just need a change because we’re human, but He knows that we get so desperate to peel off these sinful bodies in this fallen world. He knew I’d get tired of myself. So, He gave us reminders that none of this is forever. One day, we will be free of the cycle of sin and the chains of time…never enough time. We’ll be made new as He makes us new again and again and again, until finally we are complete because we are with Him. and that is worth buying extra fresh bouquets of flowers from Kroger’s clearance rack and spreading a table to taste of His goodness while laughing with friends and family.
Dust off your hands, child of God. It’s a new day.