GOODBYE MAY, HELLO JUNE
Honestly, May has been a busy month. It has gone by quickly and has brought with it change. The weather is changing (most days, at least). We are preparing for the end of school and Awanas. Wedding season has begun, as has yard work season. All of these changes are beautiful and wonderful. The ushering in of summer, gardens, playing outside. The entering into family time, vacations, and memory making. The beginning of new relationships, new family, and renewing old friendships. The times of barbecues, seeing neighbors, living in community within your neighborhood! I love all of these new things, all of the change. The reinvesting of time into the outdoors.
But change is hard for me. I hate saying goodbye. I hate pressing pause. Even for a few months. I look forward to us all being home, and at the same time, it terrifies me. Will they drive me crazy with their arguing? (the answer is: OF COURSE!) Will we get on each other’s nerves? Will we be able to do fun things? Will we be able to find our own quiet times? Will I be able to find my own quiet time? Then I look ahead at the summer. At our plans. At our adventures planned and ideas still unplanned. And excitement builds. And I remember (You know how I love remembering!). We’ve done this before. We’ve survived. But really more than that. We have thrived in summer. We have flourished. And that makes me excited once more.
The grace of today and yesterday is still there. It is just changing. What is most amazing about this changing grace is that it is changing me.
LIFE IN MAY
So today I sit. I remember May. I spend time in gratefulness for the adventures we have had and the new ones to begin. The lessons learned this month and the ones we are still learning.
We are still in the thick of busy season for my husband’s work. It has extended longer than it normally does, and really, it has just been a little tiring. Add to that the busy-ness of May, and we are just plain ready for a vacation! Luckily, one is coming up in June! But May hasn’t been all bad. In fact, most of the busy-ness has been good. It is just a pace I cannot sustain and do not like to sustain for long. But I recognize that certain times require that pace. So we sprint. And find rest where we can.
Really. I rest a lot. I do my quiet time in the morning. Which, honestly, has been shorter than it used to be (you can read more about my quiet time here). And then in the afternoon, I exercise and rest. It makes it harder to finish all the work that needs to be done, but without these times of rest, I don’t think I could make it to the end of the month. The end of the race.
It was also Mother’s Day. My littles bought me flowers and made me presents at school. This may have been one of the best Mother’s Day (for presents. I got sick on Mother’s Day, so that was definitely not fun). This is the best picture I could get with most of my clan. I’m not even sure where my littlest was. Well, this is life with 4 children. And really. I don’t think he picked any flowers out for me anyway. Or made me a gift, now that I’m thinking about it.
We celebrated family this month, as well. We spent Mother’s Day at my sister’s celebrating lots and lots of moms and celebrating her newly remodeled home! We celebrated Greg’s cousin getting married with a yummy candy bar and some ice cream after the festivities! We celebrated seeing Greg’s brother and his family. The kids loved seeing their baby cousin L. I love the bonds the kids have with their cousins. It is something truly so special. We (or really, just Greg) helped his brother and sister-in-law paint their new home. And we celebrated my parents and their 25th wedding anniversary. All the celebrations were wonderful and spending time with family was beautiful. And really, the treats that go along with each one were pretty great too. But really, I feel so blessed by the family we have and that we call them all friends. What an amazing blessing that is.
MAN-CHILD has had lots of soccer games. Thankfully, most of the days have had pretty decent weather. Sadly, we have had a few games in the cold rain. And let’s be real. Man-Child and I were not cut out for doing anything in the cold rain. He also had his AWANAS Awards Night. I am so proud of how hard he has pushed himself to achieve the 2 book award.
GOOSEY-GIRL had a sleepover at the beginning of the month. My niece came over. It’s wonderful because they are just about a year apart. And E is about a year older than Boy-Child. Everyone loves having E over. It’s like she’s the missing piece in our own family. We played lots and had wonderful adventures climbing trees.
Goose had her last school field trip, which I was, thankfully, able to attend. And then, just a few days ago, Goose graduated. From preschool. I cannot believe that we have a kindergartner in our house now. I am so excited and proud of her. And oh so sad to see her growing older.
BOY-CHILD has been enjoying this beautiful weather. This week, I wrote a post about our journey. Of his journey. I would love for you to check it out: Hope in the Journey.
BABY-BOY is officially no longer a baby. He hasn’t been for a while, but that won’t stop me from calling him ‘Baby-Boy’ for a little longer still. It doesn’t help that he is fairly confident that he is at least 5 years old. You should see him on the playground. Oh my. But really, though he thinks he is older, we are in the heart of the toddler years. He has lots of outbursts and lots of emotions which he is trying to understand. He loves being outside, cuddling, reading, playing. And something new – watching tv. I was shocked. We actually don’t watch a lot of television and really only have it on on the weekends for a few shows. But this littlest caught on and now points to the tv daily. It’s cute and terrible. He has also been loving meeting new friends and I cannot wait for him to have more opportunities as it gets nicer and we see more people at the park, the library, and on our adventures.
I have been enjoying the Psalms again this month. And like the changing grace I have been experiencing, I have found that the messages I am reading in the Psalms have been changing. The way they are speaking to my heart.
The other day I read Psalm 111, and I want to share a little bit of it with you.
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart…
Great are the works of the Lord…
He has caused His wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides…for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever.
He has shown His people the power of His works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy…
He sent redemption to His people…
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.”
(Psalm 111, emphasis is mine)
I love these words for so many reasons. But today I am focusing on thankfulness, on gratefulness. Right there in verse 1, my heart is addressed. I try to practice gratefulness daily. Really, throughout my day. But some days, in some circumstances, my heart is only slightly thankful. I write the words. I practice the act, but. But I am not wholly thankful. I am still in a posture of complaining and disobedience. My heart is not wholly praising and thanking my God. I am reminded that I am called to give thanks with my whole heart. With all of me. With my very breath. Thankfulness in spite of the hard. In fact, thankfulness for the hard. The mess. Pure thankfulness.
I can practice thankfulness in the hard times, in the messy seasons because of the promise in verse 2. “Great are the works of the Lord…” Our Creator, our Father only operates in greatness. With glory. Frequently I think of His works as the world around us. The beauty in the creation. But today I remembered that I am one of His works. What a beautiful song, a beautiful promise to each of us. His works include what He is doing in our lives. The big and little things we are thankful for each day. His works include our redemption. Our refinement. So here I stand. With every breath. Thankful. Thankful for His marvelous works. And that He should choose to grace me with them.
If that was not enough, it continues, in verse 5-6: He provides, He remembers, He shows, He gives. God’s gracious and glorious love is displayed in these actions. In these simple verbs. He provides for us. He provides those big and little things we are thankful for. He provides that which we cannot provide to ourselves. He remembers us. Even when we forget Him. Even when we turn away. He remembers us. He cares for us. He loves us. He shows His power and His love. He works in us. Miraculously. Lovingly. He gives us an inheritance that we do not deserve. He is gracious. He is loving. He is Father. And in this remembering, in this knowledge, we can give thanks.
Verse 7 reminds us that even in the hard seasons, we can trust that God is faithful. That we can still give thanks. It seems so counter-intuitive. Giving thanks in the hard seasons. But we can rest in the truth of His word, in His promises. So even when life, the world seems messy, or even wrong. He is faithful. His works are not wrong. He is just and merciful. We can KNOW that all is for His glory. Our story, our journey will show His glory. And what an amazing grace. That we, we can be a vessel of His glory. I rest in thankfulness for that. For the amazing privilege. The blessed promises.
Today I pray you find time to rest. That you pause from the busy-ness that this time of year so often brings. That you take time to wholly remember the ways God has provided. Of His faithfulness. To fully give thanks. Find rest in gratefulness, dear friends. Goodbye, May. Hello, June.