Savoring the Seasons

Summertime.  There’s just something about that word that makes you feel lazy – in the best possible way – isn’t there?  The sun peeks over the horizon a little earlier.  It lingers a little longer at the end of the day.  Grass grows, flowers burst, gardens yield, rains soak, and we all breathe a little deeper.

be still

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When I taught elementary school, summer was practically life itself.  Magical.  Restful.  Even though my kindergarten munchkins definitely thought that I was just going to camp out at school over the summer (because teachers live at school, right?  Bless ’em.), trust me, I was just as giddy as they were when the calendar marched closer to June.  Bring. It. On.

PEI

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Now that I’m married and have the flexibility to work from home part-time, I’m learning a new appreciation for the seasons.  The year no longer consists of just two seasons – “school-year” and “summertime.”  This, of course, could also have something to do with the fact that I moved from Florida (land of two seasons – “humid” and “less humid”) to country-life-Mississippi, which definitely takes humidity to new levels.  But Mississippi also offers the reprieve of fall leaves, occasional snowflakes, and spring flowers.  I’m learning to watch for and embrace the gradual shifting of season to season.

sunflowers

Here’s the thing…when I rush from day to day, checking things off my to-do list, my eyes focus narrowly.  I miss those seasonal changes because they are not on my list.  Oh, but they need to be.  I need beauty.  I need sunsets and flowers and dogs chasing cats – or their tails – and lakes and streams and freshly-mowed grass.

I need to periodically ask myself the questions posed by Needtobreathe, in their song “Stones Under Rushing Water:”

Why don’t we dance anymore

I’m not ok with that

Why don’t we laugh anymore

I’m not ok with that

The years go by like stones under rushing water

We only know when it’s gone

I don’t want to wait until the summers and autumns have passed to realize that I missed reveling in everyday beauty.  Oh God, help me to be still and….notice. Because it’s when I’m still, that I notice what God’s up to in the everyday beauty all around me.

In one of my favorite songs by Nichole Nordeman, the Spirit of God moves like a rolling river:

Rolling River God

Little Stones are smooth

Only once the water passes through

So I am a stone rough and grainy still

Trying to reconcile this river’s chill

But when I close my eyes and feel you rushing by

I know that time brings change and change takes time

And when the sunset comes my prayer would be this one

that you might pick me up and notice that I am

just a little smoother in your hand

Sometimes raging wild sometimes swollen high

never have I known this river dry

The deepest part of you is where I want to stay

and feel the sharpest edges wash away

And when I close my eyes and feel you rushing by

I know that time brings change and change takes time

And when the sunset comes my prayer would be just this one

that you might pick me up and notice that I am

just a little smoother in your hand

God is the one doing the rushing, the moving.  We are stones, silent and still.  And Lord knows, even though by nature I am very laid-back, internally, my brain. won’t. quit.  I SO want to be that woman who slows down, shuts off her internal dialogue and comparisons, and notices beauty.  Who uses her iPhone to snap a picture capturing this fleeting moment, instead of staring at my endless Facebook feed (for the 37th time today).  Beauty has a way of making me do that.  Beauty causes me to stop and take a deep breath, to inhale and exhale without worrying about production.

*While writing this, I was so worried about the fact that I hadn’t posted anything in about three weeks that I attempted to rush through, just so I could hit ‘publish.’  #preachingtomyself

sunset

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daisies

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dockside

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So here’s to slowing down and savoring the passing of each day, each season.  May each season bring change, the kind that washes those sharp edges away, and makes us a little smoother in Jesus’ hands.

Blessings friends.

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