Sights and Sounds of Summer, Part 1

There’s probably no argument that the beginning of summer is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. Christmas may compete with summer for generating the most enthusiasm for its arrival, but for the 2/3 of the country that experiences winter in all its splendor, we eagerly anticipate ‘school’s out for SUMMER!’ The NFL’s summer is abbreviated when compared to the rest of the world, with all 32 teams shutting down the football operations for either four or five weeks. Our team, the Minnesota Vikings, breaks for four weeks. So, while little league baseball families can finally head to vacation destinations after the championships, our family is back home and ready for the grind of an NFL season. Training camp began today.

I have always been independent ~ not fiercely, ‘I don’t need any help’ kind of independent; more of a capable independent. I am used to being on my own most of the year and if I’m not careful, I forget to involve Mike in pertinent discussions and decisions. Because of that, it takes me the first few days of our very short summer to navigate through my mind how to surrender and plug myself back in the role of a co-parent. I’m used to condensing conversations because he’s got two minutes until the next meeting; I’ve grown accustomed to saving discussions for the weekend, when he may be a little more present. It takes a bit of time for me to appreciate his listening with his eyes, and not just his ears. But once the re-structure is adapted to, we enjoy every precious day of the break, valuing each and every minute, careful not to begrudge the slipping sand in the hourglass of our summer. Many of the football wives I follow on Instagram and Facebook posted pictures of their husband in jersey with his number indicating the days or weeks left until football. Even though it made for a cute countdown, I am too busy holding tightly to each remaining minute to celebrate the ticking of days.

The term Best Summer Ever is perhaps over-used, but I agree with those who feel that every summer should be the Best Summer Ever. There are certainly unfortunate circumstances that can rob us of joyful times, but as quickly as possible, we need to get back to the business of making each and every one the Best Summer Ever. For us as a family, the Singletary’s did, indeed, experience the Best Summer Ever. As background, Mike and I usually spend some time away from the kids, with friends or alone, but this year all of our break time was spent with at least several of our kids. We started the tradition years ago when the kids were younger of sending them to camp for two weeks while we enjoyed traveling as adults. Now that most of our children are adults, they wanted to vacation with us.

This year, Becky was invited to play in a Volleyball Showcase in Hawaii. So we thought we’d build a family vacation around that tournament, and were fortunate to spend two weeks in Hawaii. Not hard to take at all. The beauty and splendor of the islands is evident everywhere your eye can see. The pace is decidedly relaxed, a sweet fragrance fills the air from the moment you step out of the airport baggage claim, and the rolling ocean waves have a magical way of overtaking any stress you may have brought in your carry-on luggage. What a gift.

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The inability to adjust to being five time zones away affected the first several night’s sleep, so I was up before the birds and the sun. But that minor inconvenience afforded me the opportunity to slip outside on the deck and wait for the sun to make it’s morning debut. Focusing on gratitude seemed effortless for me in that setting. Looking at the magnitude of the ocean, my problems and concerns were put into proper perspective. I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving, knowing that a God big enough to orchestrate the creation of all that my eye beheld could certainly handle my life and it’s seemingly insignificant details. How reassuring it was to spend morning after morning in solitude with The Creator. There’s no possible Best Summer Ever without tapping into peace and joy. No matter how you find it, may I suggest you make a concerted effort to do so. Whether it’s through morning solitude or a bustling house full of kids and grandkids, make a place for peace and joy. Re-calibrate your pace and choose to surrender your cares to the One who cares the most for you. Peace and Joy, my friend…

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(In order for this post to stay a manageable size, I’ve broken it up into a few installments. Part II will be coming soon.)

 

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Comments

  1. connie jacobsen says:

    Love you, Kim….thank you for your post and most specifically the reminder to surrender my cares to the Lord….Love you 🙂

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