Gift of Summer

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  James 1:17
                                                                    

Moonlight, summer moonlight

by Emily Bronte 

‘Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.

Emily Jane Brontë (1818 – 1848) was an English novelist and poet.

 Autumn used to be my favorite time of year.   Bushy-tailed squirrels scurrying up tree’s festooned in leaves of russet, gold, and crimson acquiring nuts for winter’s cold. Birds in “V’ formation flying south to sandy beaches and warmer temperatures.  Fields brimming with large round pumpkins waiting to be picked and carved into jack-o-lanterns.  Tree limbs hanging low, heavy laden, with bright red apples.  Shorter days and longer nights, warm days and cooler nights; the air laced with the smell of wood smoke. Scented candles glowing bright.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16.  Tasty treats:  caramel apples, doughnuts, pumpkin pie, and apple cider.

Over the years, however, I have come to love summer.  I still enjoy the bounty of fall, but summer has become my favorite season. It’s a gift free of all the hustle and bustle that the other seasons seem to bid.

I want to encourage you not to miss out on all that summer has to offer. Soak up as much sunlight as time allows (it helps to improve depression as well as give you a healthy glow). Enjoy time in the pool, take a hike at a nature center, or go on a bike ride.

Blow bubbles with your children, draw with sidewalk chalk, read a book, or just take a nap. Drink in the beauty of all that the Lord has created: blooming flowers, bees and butterflies filtering about,  cardinals and robins searching for worms, gardens lush with vegetation, blue skies with fluffy clouds,  waterfalls over cliffs, and river over rapids.

I could go on and on with the many gifts summer has to offer, but I’m sure you get the picture.  I was visiting the in courage webpage the other day. I thought these tips Melissa Michaels and Tsh Oxenreider wrote about summer were great.

by MELISSA MICHAELS

Here are six tips to help you enjoy your summer at home!

1. Shut down the computer!

2. Don’t waste time feeling depressed over what you can’t do this summer.

3. Create your dreams.

4. Let go of the guilt.

5. Strive for imperfection!

Allow yourself to aim for imperfection on purpose this summer. What things do you do that you could do less of? What tasks or expectations could you cross of entirely this summer? What could you spend less time on and do “less well” in order to have more time for play? Being intentional about what we do and don’t spend our time on might make the difference between a summer we savor and a summer that rushes past us!

6. Slow things down and embrace a simple life.

The world seems to spin faster every day, and it doesn’t necessarily stop for us because it is summer. News flash, the world will keep spinning even if we don’t keep chasing it. Let’s step away from the race as often as we can and live in the moment this summer. Only YOU can decide your pace. Wouldn’t it be far better to choose just a few simple pleasures this summer and embrace them fully than to try to be wonder woman in everything and not enjoy anything at all.  Enough said. –Melissa Michaels

The summer is a great time to set aside our usual rushed routines and embrace a slower pace of life. We pare down extracurricular activities, and we just enjoy being together. Instead of saying yes to the pressures of school, church, and outside obligations, we just… live. We take time to rest, reflect, laugh, and learn for fun–Melissa Michaels.

Find Your Greek Island by Tsh Oxenreider

Grown-ups need a “summer break,” too. I’m not talking a full three months of eating popsicles and watching The Facts of Life reruns (or maybe that was just me)—I mean a deliberate mental break from the craziness of life. We need time to go on long walks, dig in the dirt, read a novel just for the heck of it, take a dip in the pool, and just sit on the couch and talk to our kids over ice cream. No checklists, no pressure to move on to the next thing. Just time to be yourself and be with the ones you love.–Tsh Oxenreider

The text in green and purple type were written by Melissa Michaels and Tsh Oxenreider.

Count blessings, Kasey
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