The summer that was…

Hard. Summer was hard. I’m not one to dwell on negativity, because really, there is just so much of that in the world. But, I’m learning that acknowledging the hard things doesn’t have to be negative. It can be good for the soul. I think we call it processing, don’t we?

This summer was a season where the pressure to have fun was overwhelming. Maybe you can relate. This summer was one where my husband and I were only able to focus on building what was right in front of us. Our work efforts required everything we had. It was time to dig deep and slog through many battles and fun was just not going to be a reality for us no matter how much we “needed” it. And that was hard. If I’m honest, it was pretty stinky to be on the outside looking in. I had a pity party or two. Or three.

End of Summer 2015-1

We had to make due with simple pleasures and our summer was probably similar to the summers we had as kids. There was no pressure to keep up with everyone else’s adventures and stuff back in the day. Kids played outside. They had a Popsicle or two. They went to the pool occasionally. And they were happy. The end.

But, this summer I really lost my way in remembering truth. I had to fight for truth. I won. I won because I was able to take my disappointments and refocus them on what really matters. I was able to journal my way through my thoughts and turn them right side up. There is still a twinge of pain lingering over a summer I wouldn’t have chosen, but I recognize those old familiar feelings and speak truth to them a little more quickly these days.

End of Summer 2015-2

My kids? They had a fun summer. They played outside. They had a Popsicle or two. They went to the pool occasionally. And they were happy. The end. Actually, our oldest had a blast youth grouping all summer long. So her tank should be extra full.

While I am in many ways in need of a grand do-over, I am thankful that school begins again next Monday. School is the great equalizer and we all suffer together. LOL.

Our work loads won’t be any less, but I feel that I have a better grasp on what I need to do to build a solid foundation for the year ahead. It still requires digging deep and slogging through some things, but as our fortune cookies so wisely put it: Your investments of time now will lead to success later. You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily. <— This, yes this.

Those aren’t “fortunes”, but just some good old common sense with truth that rings through. I needed the reminders that none of this summer was in vain. No matter how stinky it felt at times. I am better for walking the valley. We all are if we look at the valley as a teaching ground rather than something to avoid. Comfort, while good, is not always a friend.

This morning as I was flicking through Instagram I was blessed with another great reminder which simply said: Steady Construction, Not Hasty Assembly. (Thank you Little Bit Funky) So often we want life to be an Ikea flat pack on the road to we are going. Very often, that’s just not how things work. I would love this in a frame to hang because wow, that is exactly how I need to approach this coming year. Steady construction. In all things.

I’m thankful for those that cheered me on the sidelines with those quiet don’t give up calls, and for those even louder ones that jarred me straight back to the construction zone. Oh, how I need that.

I’m praying for a fruitful season ahead, because I need that, too.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

signature

Little Things Thursday

Hello, strangers.  Well, that’s how it feels since I have had to pull back on blogging the last week or so.  I can only keep up with one post a week right now, but thank you for still connecting here, meanwhile. I’m trying to give myself permission to take care of all the pressing things so I can get back to a regular routine soon. I’ve gotta have it together by a week from Monday, so I’m almost there.

I’ve been swamped with preparing for our new school year, and working my photography business.  I’m just in a stage where the devil is in the details. I just need those around me to say that it is okay for these things to take time to complete. I can be such a hamster on a wheel. I forget that most things are a process and not a run into the ground race.

Enough about that though, because I have a girl to celebrate! Yesterday, Gracyn turned 14! I could lament the years here, but you moms already know. It goes quickly.

And she got a phone.

2015-07-27_1438040228

2015-07-29_1438175328

2015-07-29_1438196622

She’s pretty pleased about the phone situation. We’ve been one of the last hold out parents of kids her age. There are still a few others, but we were definitely in the minority. I don’t regret waiting, but feel that now is the time with high school on the very near horizon. I just need to be able to reach my kid.  It’s more for me than her. So, it’s definitely a little thing bringing much happiness around here. Her dad and I are cool after all.

How’s your week going, friends?


signature

Little Things Thursday

What happens when the corn crop you so desperately looked forward to dies?

You create a backdrop out of it, of course! It’s the whole lemons and lemonade drill.

Jasper in corn husks 01-blogOur corn just didn’t produce like we hoped. We managed to get 2-3 respectable ears and many tiny weird ones.  Our garden was essentially a big failure except for the basil, tomatoes, okra and berries. In many ways my garden became a metaphor for my summer.  Disappointment.

I envisioned refreshment.  There were bits of that, but not on the scale that I felt I truly needed to be refreshed to begin again. But, the thing about need is that what we think we need may not be what’s best for our growth, overall. I’ve grown all summer long, but I’m weary. I guess you could call it growing pains.  I’m planting and planting and planting.  The harvest sometimes looks like disappointment on the surface, but rather it is the fodder for a greater harvest to come.  I believe that.  Because disappointment, when used correctly, causes us to grow. We dig deeper, and make adjustments. I’m no quitter and I also believe that God wastes no circumstance that He allows.  We just have to be willing to accept and learn from our circumstances.  It’s not easy, but it is necessary. While not getting a vacation or other luxuries this summer was disappointing, I do think I’ll look back on this time as pivotal. My souvenirs aren’t seashells and T-shirts, but I believe that my take-aways are valuable.

We have less than 3 weeks before our new school year begins and I am furiously working to shore up loose ends so that I’m not crawling to the first day of school.  I apologize for not being as available to participate and visit.  I hope you know that my desire is FOR those things, but that well, honestly, I’m struggling to balance duty and delights. Delights have just had to retire to the backseat over the last month or so.  There has been just so much on my proverbial plate that needs attention. It’s nothing serious, but as you know, when things pile up life can feel overwhelming.

I do have a couple massage gift certificates that will be a balm once I get through the bulk of the crazy.  I’m looking forward to those.  I’m still going to be around, and I’m trying to make room for delights as I can. Soon, routine will win the day once again and I’ll be back on the saddle. Less than 20 days to go! How’s your summer?  


signature

Little Things Thursday

OK, this week is turning out to be an absolute blur! Summer totally stepped on the gas peddle and is flying by. I almost missed this Little Things Thursday because of not knowing what day it is!

My family decided to hit the local water park today to squeeze in that item on our summer bucket list.  So, we will be out splashing and sliding today! It’s a needed break from being glued to my computer.

I’ve been editing hours per day to catch up on summer sessions, but I love providing happiness and memories for others.  This is one from my last session that I adore.

Johnson 01-LTT-BlogTo me, this feels like life in these young family years. And, it is perfect! How’s your week going? Let’s see what life feels like in your part of the world!


signature

Summer Scenes

Summer is waning here in the deep south, and I don’t think I can talk about it much.  I’m in denial.

There is still so much to fit in in these 3+ weeks until school begins again.  I’m just not mentally ready! But, meanwhile here are a few summer scenes as we seek to soak it all in.

July 1-13 2015

The kids are getting their summer tanks full, it seems. It doesn’t take more than long days playing on our street, snow cones, pool days, and youth group events to keep them happy.

I think we will keep doing these simple things for the rest of the summer. I hope your summer is full of happy!

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

signature

Little Things Thursday

I had planned to have something more exciting to post today, but life hit us in the bumper.  We got in a little fender bender this afternoon and it threw a wrench in my plans for getting anything else accomplished.

But we are okay! We just need a new bumper, and that bumper will be paid for by the at fault driver.

G at church-blog

As I picked up Gracyn from Youth Group, I saw this little pocket of light and made her go sit in it because I desperately needed something to post for Little Things. And the light was lovely.

Of course she kept looking over my shoulder to see if her friends were watching.  I mean it is embarrassing to have your mom take your photo in front of people. Especially teen type people.

In the end it’s the perfect post because life is a series of little events.  Some of those things we celebrate and others maybe not so much.  But the good and the bad are the make up of life and we gotta take them both.


signature

I Think It Was The Fourth of July (unedited)

Saturday in the [Grove]

I think it was the Fourth of July

lemondade stand-blog

friends-blog

People reaching, people touching

A real celebration

fourth of july 01-blog

Rosie-blog

Watermelon-blog

watermelon in backyard 2-blog

watermelon in backyard-blog

Rosie with hippo-blog

corn for the grill-blog

bug assault-blog

Listen children all is not lost
All is not lost, oh no, no. 

ribs and corn on the grill-blog

dinner 2-blog

dinner-blog

dinner 3-blog

blackberry cobbler 2-blog

sparklers 1-blog

sparklers 3-blog

sparklers 2-blog

sparklers 4-blog

I’ve been waiting such a long time for Saturday.

Hope all of my USA friends had a wonderful Fourth celebration!

Linking with Good.Random.Fun and Songography |Saturday in the Park| Chicago

signature

Little Things Thursday

You might notice a trend of kid in the rain imagery lately.  It just means that our summer pop up rain showers are an almost daily occurrence. They don’t stop the play, unless the skies rumble.

But if the skies just leak a little, the kids keep right on…until Mama forces them to finally stop and come home.

summer nights 01-blog

Can’t you feel the excitement of this homeward call?

Aw, Mom!

An InLinkz Link-up


signature

Dance With Me

Dance with me, I want to be your partner

Can’t you see the music is just starting

Dance with me

Night is falling, and I am falling
Dance withe me

Sunday I had the honor of photographing this 30 year strong couple. They truly are the happiest, most loving people I know.

They are the definition of blessed.

One of their passions in their semi-empty nest years is ballroom dancing.  I asked them to give me a little demonstration of their favorite moves while standing in this field.

They more than happily obliged me.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun., Songography| Dance With Me|Orleans, Black and White Wednesday and Wednesdays Around the World.

signature

Little Things Thursday|Rain

I love a good cleansing summer rain.

rain wash

After days of hot, steamy weather I look forward to seeing the thunder clouds roll in with the promise of renewing the parched ground and spurring on growth.

Everything the rain touches breathes a sigh of sweet relief, including our tired souls.  From a distance the rain may seem menacing, a foe.

But as the saying goes: There are no rainbows without a little rain. Everything is grace. Even the things for which we struggle to give thanks.

When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know. 

Also joining Black and White Wednesday.


signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...