Kara’s Collection: Summer Grace

from an article originally posted April 15, 2014…

Oh my dear summer,

Hot days, late nights, long slow mornings of sleep and coffee and starting slow—I can hardly wait for you to arrive. We need to slow our pace, connect in the hot, meet over a calendar that is open. I long for the close connection that a huge amount of time together brings.

We dream of having the car packed for the moment daddy walks in the door from working to run away and go camping. Camping alone, camping with friends, camping in a new place, camping in a favorite place. Jason and I have talked of refreshing our rock climbing gear and introducing our children to an old love of ours. It’s time.

Oh camping, away, together, fire, peeing outdoors, coffee, food, always good food, bikes, joy, uncomfortable sleep, early mornings. The preparation for camping can be daunting for a mama. Endless packing, planning food, organizing, checking lists, and knowing we are returning dusty with everything happily dirty. I pray, I pray, I pray I meet the challenge of planning and move towards running away with my children and my love. I pray I fight my tired and know the effort is worth it for the memories we will embrace in the running away for an adventure.

We have an exciting trip planned as a family. More on that later. But today, we have today. And I pray we meet it with joy, we embrace a slower pace, and we begin to look one another in the face, put down our endless screens and enjoy life next to one another. Nothing fancy, but together. Grace.

Every summer I have high hopes of reading. Reading alone, reading together, reading as a family. I love books, and want to encourage this love in my children. I would love to hear your favorite books you have enjoyed with your children. I have a large age span, 4-12, so some days the read aloud books feel challenging to find for us all to love. But I know they exist.

When the edges come this summer, when we grow tired, when we relationally struggle, I pray the grace arrives to walk through our conflicts together and not around. When I grow tired of planning joy, I pray I don’t become passive and allow the TV to be our lifeless planner, time stealer. I pray we meet ourselves, push through our tired, look for grace and forgiveness to live well together, and live, really live together well.

As the farmers’ markets fill with bounty, I pray we would enjoy creating healthy meals together. Everyone holding a knife, everyone, we will chop and chop and chop and enjoy the joy of eating well. As a family, a team, let’s crowd our table with the unique brand of love around our table. I pray we would capture love and give love to those who enter our doors. Oh, long nights, I can hardly wait for you to arrive! I have plans of filling our back porch with twinkle lights for those many evenings loving, eating, and playing in our back yard. I pray we completely wear down our grass with our joy this summer and come in dusty and spent from living fully.

Let’s dance slow, kiss often, meet in an embrace, walk slowly, and dream big this summer. Let’s hold hands, read books, nap, eat, laugh. Let’s meet new neighbors, enjoy yard sales, have a lemonade stand, and play music loud. Let’s love our little neighbors and give their parents a date together. Let’s kiss the heads of all the babies we know, not worry if we don’t make our beds, and rock in our new rocking chairs on the back porch. Let’s get sick spinning on the tire swing and play endless games of pig in the back yard. Let’s pack up the neighbors and run down to Pueblo and go to the drive in theatre. Let’s pack food and stay up late watching a double feature. Oh summer, I love you.

Oh the faces that pass through our living this summer—come, be loved, meet us in the joy of the best of life. We know we are all wondering how many of these summers I will be granted, those thoughts are always present. But join us in living, not worrying over those future moments. Come capture life with us. Won’t you?

What dreams do you have for your summer? Where will the tension of seeking grace be difficult? When does summer become work and not joy? How can you ask Jesus to meet you in that edge of living?