Summer delights me. It always has. I love pauses and changes in schedules even if they are brief and just illusions. I remember when our children were younger some things about summer were harder because our schedule changed just about every week. Swim lessons, Vacation Bible School, Mission Trips, Vacations, Sports Camps all caused us to regroup and adjust on a weekly basis.
Now with our empty nest, times are a little simpler and so I’m back to savoring summer. In Texas our weather gets so very hot that it bakes everything. I even savor that, noticing how good a breeze feels or a shade tree or air conditioning! Ice cold water becomes a treat. Fruits and vegetables peak, ripen and become plentiful. Pools, lakes and oceans call to us.
This summer we’ve celebrated our son’s engagement, our 34th wedding anniversary, our grandson’s 3rd birthday, the Fourth of July and our youngest son’s 21st birthday with him halfway around the world.
There is no delight bigger than watching a 3 year old anticipate and savor his own birthday. The next best thing was watching him witness his first fireworks show after his mom got him out of bed to come see the fireworks on the beach. His crazy uncle was loudly, goofily OOOHing and AHHHing and our sweet three year old was loudly mimicking, the two of them creating surround sound awe. Precious joy.
We’ve been on several fun trips and we have one more to an island in the Caribbean, Roatan. My husband and I’ve been talking about this for ten years. We are finally doing it. I think he’s trying to distract me from missing our youngest son too much in these last weeks before he returns home from Kyrgyzstan. What a smart man I married, distracting me with an island.
At first I thought, “Between the two trips, that’s two whole weeks at the beach. Could that be too much?” Then I realized, “Heck no that’s not too much. What is wrong with you? Did you really just ask yourself that question?”
At the place we are going, supposedly everyone pauses at sunset just to watch the sun go down. So, just a heads up. I probably will never come back because I will have found my people. Also their signature drink there is called a Monkey La La and it is named after the Monkey La La/Jesus lizard and these are all the facts I need to know to make me happy in advance. Oh my goodness, I just looked up the Jesus lizard and it can walk on water, thus the name. I can’t even.
What are you savoring this summer? Trips? Exploring new places? Milestone celebrations? More time with your people? Relief from the heat? Meeting a lizard that walks on water?
A very good, easy and fun spiritual exercise for the season is to simply make of list of what you are savoring right now. As I write, I’m feeling the cool breeze of the ceiling fan in this room. It’s just lovely. I am going to add it to my list.
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see–how good God is. Psalm 34:8 The Message
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, Mimosa to Keller and Pace, soon to be mother-of-the-groom, breast cancer survivor and newest fan of the Jesus lizard and possible newest permanent resident of Roatan.
P.S. Thanks to all of you who enjoyed my last Inner Circle piece about pastors. My August 1 Top Ten List is in process now: a Top Ten List for Parents. Sign up for the Inner Circle by July 31 to receive it. I’ve also added some upcoming speaking dates to my calendar, so be sure to check that out.