Spiritual Formation

So Long, Sweet Summer

 D & A on beach

Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.

Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;

Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgements.

Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers,

Consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation.

For this God is our God for ever and ever;

He will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 48:9-14

Like it or not, it’s transition time.

Tomorrow Peter and I head back to our teaching jobs. Next Monday our kids start back to school. We’ve been cruising along in 3rd gear for the past three months, and we’re about to kick it straight into 5th.  I can already feel the jerking and the grinding of the gears. This transition always shakes me up.

You would think I’d be an old hand at this by now, having been on one side of the syllabi or the other for just about every year of my life. But I’m here to admit that I still feel sad every time summer and I have to say good-bye. Sad and anxious and resistant. Like I just want to stomp on the brakes, screech to a halt, and throw the whole world into reverse.

This year, though, I’m longing to make this shift more smoothly—gracefully—gratefully—if not for my own sake, for the sake of my husband and my students and the two pintsize passengers who are unwittingly along for the ride. I can’t stop the seasons or the spinning of the globe. Clearly I don’t have that power. But what I do have is a choice and a God who will be our guide.

So this morning, while the rest of my family enjoys a final opportunity to wake at their leisure, I’m sitting in our breakfast nook, sipping green tea, pouring over an unlikely Psalm, and praying for peace.

I’m counting towers and considering ramparts.

I’m remembering waterpark escapades and late night family time around the fire and a successful septum surgery and picnics with friends and all the ways He has shown us His unfailing love.

I’m choosing to trust and to tell the next generation that this same God will be our God into the fall and for ever and ever. Even to the end.

What about you? How are you handling the summer-to-school-year shift?

5 thoughts on “So Long, Sweet Summer

  1. I really needed to read that! Thank you for sharing from the heart. My husband and I dropped our oldest son off at MBI yesterday and now we are on our way home with our 2 younger boys and we will both begin new jobs this week. Although I know God ordained it all I feel the resistance to begin. You encouraged me to shift into gear!

    1. Wow, Karen! That’s a lot of change in a short amount of time! Many prayers for patience, resilience, and a smooth transition. We’re excited to have your son here at Moody! Praying that he, too, transitions well.

  2. It seems as if everyone makes the transition into fall seamlessly. They genuinely feel ready and grateful for what the new season brings.

    The week at home between my summer job in Northern Wisconsin and my move to Chicago has been filled with preparation. New-better-smelling-shampoo? Check. Haircut? Check. New dress for swing dancing? Check. Thrifting for the perfect fall clothes? Check. Home-made dorm decorations? Check. As my mode of “I Want” grows big and ugly, I live off the thrill of “what can I become?”

    I can control, micro-managing, and reinvent myself, but I can no longer deny that I feel out-of-control and completely helpless during transitions. I can check things off my list all I want, but I know what this transition will bring, as it has every other time: weeks of anxiety and many sleepless nights.

    The difference, however, between this transition and others, is the post I stumbled upon. It caused me to sit in silence and stillness for 10 minutes. 10 minutes felt like an eternity, yet I could feel the dust start to settle and I realized some of the discoveries above.

    I might look like I’m in control, but am I ever? My prayer has been simple: sufficient grace for the transition. God has pursued and touched my soul this summer. Why am I so quick to believe that He will abandon me as soon as I drive 2 hours south? Thank you for inviting me into the promise I have cried over; I will join you in the battle cry: For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.

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