Monday, September 2, 2013

September Here

September now. The land is parched, the hillsides are brown, and crickets chirp in the night like summer breathing heavy with old age.

The summer heat is here now too, fiercely competing with the cool breeze of the ocean. Sun dresses are my favorites these days, otherwise it's my swim suit. But the nights are cool, chilly even without a sweater, and reminding me that summer is passing. With the world of children returning to the classroom, I say we need to take advantage of the vacant beaches. That's why we had a school day on this holiday Monday, to spend a different day out minus the crowds.

Thursday night we went to the pier to see the sun set, then enjoyed an evening at an open air farmer's market till well past my kids' bed time. Friday night brought us back to the beach again, this time with our church's youth group. The kids played volleyball, swam in the surf, then we were all blessed by a time of recounting God's kindnesses toward us around the warmth of a fire.

The yard work started even before breakfast time on Saturday. It's such a rewarding thing to us, seeing the heap of branches and yard clippings mounting and the slow restoration of a yard and house once long neglected.

Michael later worked in the heat of the afternoon while the rest of us cooled off in the pool. He was all decked out in thick army gear, of all things! He saw what needed to be done and did it without being asked. For this I am thankful and proud of my growing boy.

I've had Sarah McLachlan's song "Ice Cream" in my head recently (remember it?!) and just couldn't resist treating my kids Saturday afternoon in between errands and signing up for fall sports at the Y.

Trading tastes...

Sometimes inviting pathways must be explored, even when there's little time to do so. I am always having to remind myself that it's the little extras, the things that don't fit neatly into a schedule, that are remembered most fondly. We are not robots, but people with senses craving to delight in the beauty and wonderment around us. Ultimately, we are creatures craving the Creator.

Running jumps, flips, and dives. 

There is no such thing as a quiet swim for Jon. He automatically becomes the propeller of children, the circus master of young acrobats.

You see? No such thing as a leisurely cool down in the family pool...

Resting on the warm hard scape--

Blurry pictures that the boys would want me to post nonetheless--

I look at these pictures and it makes me happy to see play and smiles and relaxation. Truly, it feels like an inaccurate depiction of our life! But they are true depictions from the last few days, snapshots amidst the seriousness and labor of the rest of life. I am thankful for both the work and the play, the seriousness and the laughter. I am thankful for the giving of ourselves, and for the blessings received.

A few verses that have been especially meaningful to me this recently:

"The Lord is near to all who CALL on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them." Ps. 145: 18-19

"I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my please for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will CALL on him as long as I live." Ps. 116:1-2

"ASK, and it will be given to you; SEEK, and you will find; KNOCK, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the wine who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his so asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Matt. 7: 7-11

"To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! ...Our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us." Ps. 123: 1, 2c

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." Ps. 34: 4-5

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who WAIT for Him."
Isaiah 30:18


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