Nervous About Summer

This piece originally appeared on Everyday Exiles.

I don’t know about y’all, but I went through a few weeks where I was a little nervous about summer.

You know what I mean, right? No schedule, no plans, wide open space… sometimes that’s a little scary for a mom with three younguns, who also tends to get frustrated sometimes (on my best days) or get full-on angry (on my worst days) about stupid little stuff. I don’t like getting angry or being frustrated with my children, and so having all that unstructured time with any number of options as how to fill it? Lord Jesus come quickly.

So I signed them up for some camps, went ahead and put our VBS on the schedule, and looked at a good time to go visit my parents in Georgia. We’ve recently renewed our children’s museum membership and our pool membership, so things are already looking a little bit less boring. You know what else I did? I came totally clean about my fear and anxiety about the summer with a friend. I asked her to pray for me and with me about multiplying my patience and dividing my frustration. I shared with her something I’d heard recently about how we pray so often for God to GIVE us things… stuff, people, jobs, circumstances… and how it might be that sometimes, we need to pray for God to take some things away.

So this summer, I’m asking God to take some things away – right here on the internet so y’all can see and keep me accountable if you notice I’m trying to hang on to them.

God, please take away my anxiety about unstructured time. Take away the fear that it won’t be “fun” or “easy” without a few hours of school each day. Take away the anxiety about sibling fights or complaints or whines that get under my skin quickly. Take away my concern for filling every moment of time with fun or learning, and allow me to just go with the flow.

God, please take away my need for control. I don’t need to micromanage as many things as I think I do. So take away my desire to control every variable of every situation. Take away my tendency towards being in charge of my children, instead of letting them tell me what they need and want, or DON’T need or want.

God, please take away my short temper. Take it right away, because this mama ain’t got time to get mad about stupid little stuff, or to just to conclusions that make me angry, when I haven’t checked out the situation fully. Take away my frustration and anger that creep out, even when I don’t want them to.

Lastly, please take away any expectations I have about how the summer will go. Anytime I have a perfect vision in my head, it doesn’t come to pass quite like I think it will. That isn’t always a bad thing, but there is disappointment even if it still goes well. So take away any ideas I have of perfect park picnics or easy trips to the pool. My children are small and unpredictable, and I want to enjoy them in this way instead of expecting them to ask like they’re older.

Sometimes, all it takes to dispel your fears is a little vulnerability, coupled with prayer. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, he says much about how praying for each other is an essential part of living in community. Take your anxieties and fears to a friend or mentor, and ask them to pray with you. That first step might be the hardest, but it’s also the most effective.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy our funnies!

Me: Would you like some applesauce?
D: Applesauce is my life!
Me: Quoting Frozen again?

D: I want watermelon!
Me: I don’t have any cut. How about cantaloupe?
D: Yeah! (Proceeds to eat approximately half a cantaloupe, right after lunch.)

D about everything (inanimate objects, that is) he likes: ______ is my best friend ever.

J, seeing a teenage boy riding his bike, obviously without training wheels: That is a really talented boy.
Hubby: Here ya go, D. Your smoothie is ready.
D, running to the stairs: J! EK! Smoothiiiiie!
Me: You’re such a good brother.
D: I’m not brother, I’m D!

D, potty training naked, toots, then looks behind him on the floor, sees a piece of a brown leaf: Mom!! Pick up that toot!

 

Currently

July has been such a busy month around here, y’all! So this currently post isn’t a link up and it isn’t on time, but it IS an update on what’s been going on over here with me! img_5993Celebrating || the 4th of July with an impromptu family cookout – minus Hubby, boo! Look at these cousins!Visiting || West Jefferson and Todd, NC. Our friends were super kind and let us stay with them for a day and a night at the cabin they had rented in West Jefferson, and the next day, we went tubing (read: floating not rafting!) in the neighboring town of Todd, on the south fork of the New River! That was a BLAST. We went through Wahoos Adventures, and the kids LOVED it. We already are looking for dates to go back and do it again! To be totally honest, I love the beach, the wide expanse of the ocean, and the pure sunshine, but the mountains are where it’s at for me actually feeling relaxed, experiencing the Lord’s creation in it’s fullest sense, and being refreshed and rejuvenated. This view might have something to do with that.Wearing || my Chacos every single day (obvi), and lots of easy, casual dresses. It’s too hot for pretty much anything else around here! I have a couple of “traveling” dresses, one from Costco (it’s great!) and one by Patagonia (also great, and obviously a little more expensive) that I’m digging for their ease, their cuteness, and their support if I want to be active in them. I hiked in the Costco one in West Jefferson and it was very comfortable!Loving || the new podcast, No Thanks We’re Booked! I found out about it because one of the gals on there, Katie, is on another podcast I listen to through the Everyday Exiles podcast network (it’s called Pictures and Pages when you click on that link up there) and I’m super excited I get to HOST HER on Pictures and Pages next month! I’ll put up that link when it’s up!Reading || a lot this summer! Which I’m happy about, of course! I’ve finished up The Nix (Nathan Hill), Everybody Always (Bob Goff), Radium Girls (Kate Moore), and How to Walk Away (Katherine Center) all of which I highly recommend! I’ve already loaned out Radium Girls and Everybody Always, so if you’re local, let me know if you want to borrow one! I’ve started up Southernmost (Silas House) because it’s his new one and I love his writing. I literally saw it on the “new arrivals” shelf when I was getting another book, and snagged it as well. You might remember my review of A Parchment of Leaves, since it was his first I had read. Clay’s Quilt is the other of his I have read, and I’ve got The Coal Tattoo to get to soon.

Things Toddlers Say

Hey y’all, and happy Tues…Wednesday! Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind with a lot of work, and then a concert out of town… we saw I’m With Her and they were INCREDIBLE and inspiring and I cried a lot. Anyway, between those things, I just completely forgot it was Tuesday, and didn’t remember I hadn’t put up the funnies until this afternoon. My apologies!!img_0259

J, giving compliments: You’re a genius!
EK: Or you could say rock star.

EK: Oh! My foot’s asleep!
Me: Oh no! *I rub her foot*
EK: It’s okay. It’s time for the rest of me to go to sleep too.
Me: That was easy.

J: Wait Mom!
Me: *waits* Ready, Freddy?
J: *pause* Yeah, Frank!

J, seeing a Harley Davidson commercial: They look American!

We clearly have a little more to teach D about gardening…
D, watering the kale: Look! I planting tomatoes!
Shooting the water in the air: I watering the sky!

J with a scratch: This hurts even badder!
Me: …than what?

EK: The pool is close to our school. There’s only one school, one restaurant, and a Reynolda House till we get there.

Well I hope you enjoyed the Wednesday Edition of Toddler Tuesday! Leave a comment to tell me what your kids are saying these days!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Sorry so late, but we just hopped up to the mountains yesterday and today, and got home around dinnertime tonight. We are so full of mountain love right now – with no plans for the 4th! What are you doing??

Here are some funnies from our week… we took two days away for our anniversary (Praise Him!) and then internet was spotty in the mountains, and we were unplugged there for a couple of days (thank goodness!) so this is what I’ve got! Enjoy!

EK: D doesn’t weigh that much.
Me: He’s actually pretty heavy, just not as heavy as you and J.
EK: Yeah, cause we been working out a lot.

Me: Did you miss me and daddy while we were gone?
D: Yeah! And I had fun at Meta Kate (our sitter)!

J: Wanna be a fisher girl and I’ll be a fisher man?
EK: I’m thinking of working at Disney.

Hubby trying to put goggles on D…
D: I got a big noggit. (Noggin)

D, at the Asian restaurant: How about we could our dumplings?!

D, exclaiming: Holy mammoth!

EK, remarking on the weather: What is it, like, a hundred twenties out here?!

Friend: Is that sandwich good?
J: You knew it was.

J: A popsicle a day makes the future a gooder one!

J: Can I walk the dog?
Friend: Well… she’s big. How much do you weigh?
*pause*
J: I didn’t eat that much this morning….
Friend: I just meant she’s way heavier than you are!

What is it that your kids say to make you laugh?! Tell us in the comments!