/ / Summer, We’ve Only Just Begun

Summer, We’ve Only Just Begun

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Why is it when summer begins it feels like we have so much time to rest, to enjoy it, to vacation, to get all kinds of things done?

We get to be slow on purpose, and in some ways, time does not matter very much — after all, it is the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Summer gives us a chance to practice living life even in the mundane, living with intention, and cherishing our time with one another. This was our summer, we mourn that it is over, but celebrate what it was.

We swam in crashing waves in our favorite city by the sea; waded in calm crystal creeks; floated in the the warm, turquoise gulf; and drifted in rough channel (yikes, not intentionally); splashed in many puddles and rain-soaked streets; and jumped into a pool or two maybe, three, no I think it was four.

We kayaked (a kayak and a paddleboard had us drifting at sea- read more), we paddled, body-surfed, and boogie boarded, hiked, and we biked.
We rode for miles around the island until we reached the grilling restaurant, to hunt for a future summer house, and to visit and “porch-sit” with trusted and dear friends.

We rested with the sun warming on our face. We sat on the beach with our feet buried in the sand. We rocked on our chairs, sat on benches and on our outdoor sofa reading and catching z’s alongside one another.
We embraced all of the lazy days of summer.

We flew south into one airport, rented a car or two to drive miles and hours to our home for a few days, visited a new coast, flew home from a different city and out of another airport. The path we mapped and traveled felt like a roller coaster all on its own.

We ran through Disney World in record time without missing a boat except when we ran back for our rain ponchos –and we actually missed the boat. So we walked instead and sauntered a different path we had not traveled before. We learned sometimes “missing the boat” is worth more than we think.

We experienced the magic, the rollercoasters, and a beloved firework show –a favorite of my dad’s – that is set to have its final appearance. It was reminiscent of our many trips over the years, but most especially the one that feels like yesterday but was four long years ago.

We sometimes slept more than necessary.
We overate pizza, ice cream galore, crafted plenty of delicious
food, and a drivers license was earned by our second teen. We used him like Uber to get our said pizza and ice cream.

We laughed, we cried, we had disappointment and felt defeat
Yet we still know our strength and more.
We searched for peace and maintained that when we fixed our eyes on truth and love, we really lack nothing.
We discovered peace and sometimes found there is still unrest.

We prayed for each other, for ourselves and for friends,
we held hugged and held hands more times than we can count on those hands.
We’ve continued to press on and not to give up
but sometimes gave in and said yes more than no.

We were challenged, we grew up.
We understood our worth and shared our truth.
We let go.
and we’ve held on tighter than ever before.
We know our hearts will always be woven together.

We lingered and listened.
We grieved.
We hugged and ached with those we love because they have experienced a frightening diagnosis and an unimaginable loss.

We cheered for one another and so many others
We sang and danced — sometimes out of tune but mostly because we love to “Look Up Child” and met a great faith singer.
We walked miles to learn more than ever about ourselves.

We blogged and wrote more words and chapters for a book
We were interviewed by a news reporter
and recorded podcast episodes while we’ve stayed in the “Hear and Now.” (click for a special new podcast about her hearing loss journey).

We were brave and even were bold
We made choices and commitments that seem out of the norm – but if you know me/us, we would never dare live inside the box. Some might say we are very unconventional — we do it anyway, ask us why we’ll happily tell you more.

We watched faith grow stronger when it might not make sense,
We watched warriors pray in numbers by the ocean and strengthen across distances for moments and events that could force us to give up but instead consistently give hope.

We lived genuine hospitality as we opened our hearts and our doors to old and new friends and to those experiencing loneliness.
We loved our people and increased the size of our village.
We connected with those who we missed beyond measure, but the racing hands of time have kept us apart.

We had sleepy mornings and very late nights.
We rested in easy.
We wasted much time,
We believed in ourselves and stretched our minds beyond measure and realized our gifts have a place in this world.

We had a front seat from inside our front door as a family of birds built its nest in the wreath under a sign that reads, “GIGGLE.” We really did laugh and giggle A LOT and watched in awe how birds resemble life.
We greeted the four growing birds each morning, as we watched the eggs hatch, the feathers take over, and the birds find the courage to spread their wings, as each took its very first flight.

We watched angels and cartoon characters dancing in the clouds
and we were given an art show in the form of many magnificent cotton candy-colored skies.
We watched the sun greet the day at the water’s edge, and storms brew in rage in distant skies. We continue to find ourselves always looking up.

Sometimes we wondered why life and certain things are often so hard to manage and comprehend.
We looked back not in regret but to celebrate and remind ourselves how far along we all really have come in spite of those tough things. We hold on to the belief that all things are really out of our control.

We shifted our perspective
We surrendered to time and God’s Will
and often answered His call even when we’ve been unsure. We’ve been grateful for the grace and mercy we’ve been gifted because we patiently waited for our prayers to reveal the blessings disguise.

We embraced this summer in all its beautiful sunrises, blooming flowers, windy days, chirpirng birds, clapping thunder, warm breezes and nonstop, torrential rain.

We have come to accept that summers and life don’t always turn out like you expect –sometimes they become something beyond our imagination, too much to comprehend.

We learned we are still going to try new things even if they may not work, even if we fail.
We learn that what might look like failing to others, may be nothing more than lessons and a source of our greatest strength.

We healed, we restored, and we lived on and beyond the edge of this summer.
We said our goodbyes as we watched the last sunset fall below the trees, leaving us with a blazing sky that matches the burning ache in our hearts that summer has come to an end.

And yet it feels like we’ve only just begun.

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