Tag Archives: savoring

Sweet Summertime

Yesterday, I spent a little over an hour relaxing between a lake and a pool. It was a cooler than normal Texas Sunday afternoon, with a breeze. The puffy white clouds provided a regular respite from the sun. I had a good book and a big glass of iced tea. It is ridiculous how happy I felt in that one precious hour, soaking in summertime.

Our family is about to spend a week together at the beach so I’m feeling in vacation mode already as lists are made; the most relaxing clothes packed; our favorite games set aside for fun in the evenings.

For all you moms of older offspring, I had a brilliant idea this year. I decided everyone who is anywhere close to being an adult would be in charge of a day of meals…not just me. I told them if their menus/shopping lists were submitted early enough, their cooking ingredients would be provided by a super shopper. The most amazing thing happened, menus have been planned that I would have never thought up. I will get to do about 1/7th of the work I usually do. The person (who will remain nameless) in our family we thought might not be on board, submitted the most amazing menus which included a Tex/Mex breakfast entrée, an afternoon fresh pineapple appetizer, a sweet fire chicken dish for dinner and some kind of rice wine served (get this) out of a hollowed out watermelon. My sense of awe cannot be measured. Moms, delegate and relax for a change.

I’m wishing for all of us this summer a little extra measure of down time, relaxation, wonder, sea air, mountain air or whatever fills you up. I’m wishing for you homemade ice cream, really ripe, juicy summer fruits, porch time, grill time, a breeze, some shade and all the wonder of nature.

Poet Mary Oliver wrote, I do not know exactly what a prayer is. I do knowhow to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass; how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

We don’t know what the future holds. But, we do have this day. Hopefully, we also have this one wild and precious summer to pay attention to. I pray you drink it in (maybe even served out of a hollowed out watermelon, with someone else doing the hollowing out).

Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, writer, mom, Mimosa, breast cancer survivor and so much more. In honor of sweet summertime, her blog will be on vacation for a bit as she savors a wild and precious summer.         



In the wee hours of June 28, our 31st wedding anniversary, the home phone rang. With the birth of our grandson approaching, I answered it on the second ring, broken ankle and all. My daughter said, “Happy Anniversary, Mom…I think we are going to have a big present for you.” In a pure excitement fog, we packed up, and headed out of town as fast as we could; monitoring her labor all the way.  Of course, of course, of course there was a tire issue about two hours into the five hour drive.  We told the man at the tire place that we had a grand baby on the way.  His had been born the day before. “My baby had a baby yesterday, I know how you feel. We are going to get you all on the road.” He hurried his workers for us and we were back on the road in 30 minutes.

We arrived at the hospital at just the right time, about 5 hours ahead of little Keller’s birth.  We had pre-arranged that my daughter would have both her husband and myself with her during labor.  We made a fabulous team. I forgot how hard the pushing was and found myself in a full body sweat, pushing with her all the way. I have no words for how it felt to see my daughter’s strength and stamina; her husband’s love and encouragement; the wonderful work of a physician and team of nurses; the birth; the laughing and tears all mingled together; a slightly scary part where the baby had to go to the nursery for 30 minutes to be monitored at first; and his return to them, all pink and healthy.

They live in a place where every sunrise and sunset is more gorgeous than the next. I broke my ankle trying to capture a sunset  with my camera. And now, in between my sunrise and sunset pictures; this baby, picture after picture. I wanted to capture his littleness, his softness, his faces, his stretches. I wished I could take a picture of his sweet smell. At the same time,  I wanted to capture those sunrises, the pinks, the corals, the  yellows. I wanted to drink it all in because what I know now, that I didn’t use to know, is that that these moments are fleeting and so unspeakably beautiful.

Two days after his birth, I found my daughter in tears. She said, “He’s growing too fast.” I had no words of wisdom. None. I was looking at a grown young woman, a mom, who I just gave birth to myself. Our tears mingled as I said, “I know.”

I know we are to savor. I know we are to be grateful and in the moment. I know real moments are better than I-phone ones. But, wouldn’t it be so sweet if we could just pause  on the beautiful holy moments just a little bit longer than all the others? God is so good.