Memories of the end of summer always made me think of boredom. Oh, some may say it's relaxing, those few weeks that are too hot to really enjoy being outside, where the grass turns brown and flowers fade and trees threaten to lose their leaves without turning into the loveliness of autumn...but for me it was the boredom of a neighborhood of kids, all WAITING for school to start....or my own kids, breaking into their new homeschool books for those 8 years we homeschooled...begging me "PLEASE....DON'T MAKE ME WAIT UNTIL AFTER LABOR DAY...." or Jason heading off to soccer camp, football camp, and finishing up baseball (ugh - SUCH a long season!!) and the girls heading back to college...sigh. Ok, some memories are bittersweet.
My grown up life is much different for me. A sister scheduled a family reunion at her home in Hot Springs, AR (appropriately named, for late July), and since I got home from that event, I've hardly had time to sit down.
I have a hard time with this time of year, daylight decreases, and while I'm beckoned to sit in the sun and soak it in, my common sense tells me to forgo the tanning and just enjoy it from inside the coolness of our small air conditioned house (MUCH cooler, thanks to hubby who changed out all the dust filled filters!!). I mosey on out in the cool of the morning and enjoy my morning glories that have made themselves at home along my fence railing....or skittle out in the afternoon shadows to water and pull weeds while Abbey runs rampant around the neighborhood (and yes, I follow up after her with a bag blowing in the breeze...). Ahhh...summer...sigh...will soon be over.
I'm sort of caught off guard with the schools here in our part of KY going back to school in early August! There is something that I remember about the first day of school...dew on the grass, and a certain feeling in the morning air. I haven't experienced it, but yet the kids are loading on the morning busses and my neighborhood is quiet till they bound off of it in the afternoon heat...having been restrained for too long in quiet classrooms and hot bus seats. The heat of the day doesn't bother them a bit, glad to be free, they scooter around and yell up and down the street, asking where Abbey is (my dog, watching safely from behind the storm door).
We have a houseguest right now...sort of a son, someone my husband has shared life with for a number of years (and more prayers than that) came to live with us about a month ago. Steve arrived with a girlfriend and a dog - we were not fully aware of until they were on their way (and the dog, not until they arrived!). They came the day I left for my reunion trip, and had a week of bliss with an empty house and meals eating out with Mark in the cool of evening. Then I came home and ruined it all! LOL. I think it was a shock for his young girlfriend, and at one time Mark heard her on the phone say "You don't understand...I'm STUCK here!!". She lasted a week with me home, leaving not so much because I was home, or because we broke her bubble with the reality that she needed to be checking in with her P.O., but more because she missed her kids (she has 2 young ones...which still baffles me, seeing she spent the last 7 years in jail...). I can understand that, missing kids, but can only imagine her complaining now at how "stuck" she REALLY is. She wants Steve to have a house, for her to fill it, but it's going to be a little while before he has his life in order to support them, and in his words "she doesn't know the value of a dollar" - so when her PO suggested that she get a job and work to support herself to show her maturity and ability to move on (wanting to transfer to KY), she had nothing to do but call and complain to Steve. :(
Our prayer continues to be that God will work in her heart, and life, and that God will do whatever HE sees fit to do to bring her to a place of repentance and a willingness to live under HIS authority. Right now, both are foreign words to her.
Steve, on the other hand, arrived with a heart and head READY for change. He kept saying that he needed a new start, a fresh beginning, and recognized that everyone he thought was a friend was not, and that he needed to "surround myself with people like you..." (meaning Christians, but not knowing how to word that then). He was caught in between the rock and hard place while his gf was here, and felt relief when she left (by bus - since no one was willing to come and get her - and just in time to appear at her court dates). They talk daily, and Steve longs for her companionship (although she is still legally married to another man, the father of her kids). But Steve longs for God more...and that's what I keep praying for!!
What is it, that takes a broken soul and restores it to a newness of life that it's never known before? As we all sat in our small group last night, Steve recounted how thankful he was that everyone from our group was there last weekend at his baptism...so special. He has a long way to go, on this journey with God, and I trust Him to fill his heart with new loves, for God, for the ones He seeks to save (yes, even the gf), for the global lost. I expect Steve to learn more about God, the Bible, and creating a HIStory of Steve's past, riddled with jail time and running from the law and how he was tired of running - so he ran right into God's arms. Peace. HIStory will be made, and continue to be written, and told for generations to come.
In the meanwhile, I'm at home...running from event to event (church meetings, mission team formations, church events, a leadership conference, small group retreat, Bible study, and hanging out with my own girls that bring joy to my life), and take lots of time in prayer (for my kids, grandkids, extended family, people battling for their lives with cancer, people battling for their souls from sin, people living and working in other parts of the world, and people looking for work...). I haven't read much non-Bible reading lately, but hope to...seeking to find a sunny window before too long, wanting to get caught up in my bookshelf of good stuff to read. Romans FILLED me with joy and new life, and I admit, I was a bit sad to have moved along to 1 Corinthians, although I trust God has words for my own heart there too.
I'm setting goals, things I MUST do, things I WANT to do, things I SHOULD do...and perhaps they are, in fact, just one list. I hope to reason myself into the idea that there is no reason for me to have a craft room...and hope that by selling most of my items there I can raise some money for an upcoming m trip. It would also allow us to move the bunk beds back into the house (from the garage) and allow room for at least 2 more people to stay, should the need arise. I want to be available for God to use our home as He wills...a place of refuge.
REFUGE! That's another new thing on my calendar...each Monday night as we pray for people working around the world, and people that need the gospel and love of Jesus to soothe their souls. Part prayer, part worship, part eating with fellow sinners (some redeemed) as we meet as community to break into smaller groups of Bible study, prayer, recovery, restoration. I'm thankful for this Crossroads' ministry.
OH, OK...I've rambled on long enough. My bottom's sore from this kitchen chair (yes, I really AM at the kitchen table today!) and I've got random acts of housework to do today. Thanks for reading this far... leave a note if you'd like - and prayers are appreciated!!
Until the whole world hears...