Tag Archives: summer

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.         

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Real Life Infused with the Sacred

I love the word infused.  It means to fill or pervade or even to soak, like a tea bag in a cup of water.

As school starts today, summer pretty much ends, except the hot, humid weather part. Everyone in my family started school today except the dog and me. Our daughter started her job today as a grown up speech pathologist.  Our middle son began his teaching and coaching career with his first day in the classroom today.  Our youngest began his junior year of high school.  My husband began his 30th-or so year in education.  While they were all out educating or being educated, I was left with a quiet house and a semi-empty schedule to reflect on the summer.

It has been infused with sacred summertime moments.  I made batch after batch of homemade ice cream this summer due to the no Blue Bell ice cream thing we had happening here.  There is something sacred about homemade ice cream, especially that first “test” bite right out of the container.

We all got to go the beach together for a week–porch time looking over the ocean, long walks in the mornings, shared meals, a 30th wedding anniversary, games, cards, good books, long naps, shrimp, shrimp, shrimp.  Sacred gifts all.

Lake time. There was lake time for my husband, puppy and me.  More porch time looking over the water. Floating in the lake, becoming a landing pad for blue dragonflies. A nap on a screened in porch with a storm rolling through with thunder and everything.  I cried, I did, it was so relaxing, gorgeous and rainy.  Our friends joined us there too. People we’ve known for 35 years.  How sacred and deep are friendships like that?

At the Farmer’s Market sacred things happened this summer as we took our time and bought peaches, watermelon, vegetables, cantaloupe, tomatoes. The joy I had tipping the little girl who helped me. Doing the same exact thing again two weeks later to the same little girl.

In between it all, the rhythm of work, worship, our daily routines, ministry. In the midst of the summer,  school supplies were provided for all those children I was worried about plus 1600 new backpacks. The fair happened and it was a beautiful coming together of the community on behalf of children in need. It was infused with the sacred.

At church we are starting a new sermon series which explores how God is present in the routine and rituals of each day. I’m excited about it.  God, infusing our seasons. God infusing our days. Thanks be to God.      .

School’s Out

Ahh, the last week of school, remember that feeling?  We used to say, “No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks” and laugh together as we left school feeling so incredibly free. As students bask in their summer freedom this week, my heart is heavy thinking about next fall already.

I’m part of a non-profit organization, Connect, http://www.connectgcisd.org, which began four years ago to specifically address the needs of economically disadvantaged students in Grapevine Colleyville ISD.  Even in our affluent community, a stunning 1 in 4 students are economically disadvantaged.  For the past few years, Connect has worked with other community groups to sponsor a Back to School Fair for these children in which they receive all kinds of resources plus a new backpack and a complete grade level appropriate school supply pack. We believe that when the poorest children are equipped and ready to learn, all children in our community benefit.

So why the heavy heart?  We have a record 1600 children already pre-registered for the August 8 fair and only enough funds to provide school supplies for a little over half that number.

Since founding Connect, there have been several times when we’ve had to rely on faith and the goodwill of others to provide the resources for these children.  The need just seems a little daunting right now.

This week, as happy children shed their backpacks, used up supplies and books, I’m praying for full backpacks, for every child, this fall.

To directly purchase school supply packs for these children go to http://www.educationalproducts.com/shoppacks. School code GCE000, Or, you can donate to the GCISD Education Foundation/Connect, PO Box 292, Grapevine, TX 76099, write Connect School Supplies in the memo of your check. All funds will go directly to purchase school supplies.