A Random List and a Summer Read {one of them}

“What are you most looking forward to about the beach this year?”

Brent stood beside me as I stuffed an old Adidas bag full of a half empty shampoo bottle, a round brush and my hair dryer.

“Honestly, I look forward most to sitting in our van, backing out of our garage, and driving away from Knoxville. Away from my to-do list. Away from my dirty hardwood floor. Away from laundry baskets.”

{However, the laundry must have followed us out}

There was a day in my life that I would have said a car ride was my least favorite of the trip. Nine hours of reading Clifford, changing music CDs, handing snacks backward in assembly line fashion, and all but standing on my head to entertain three restless boys.

But iPods, Magic Tree House and Geronimo Stillman books have healed many a wound and curbed many an “Are we there, yet” itch. Nine hours are actually a retreat for me.

I had no idea when I shared my biggest anticipation with Brent exactly what God had in store for me on the car ride here.

Nine hours in a semi-quiet van with my family and Jesus stirred much in my summer-hungry heart. I had the chance to look ahead to a new season. A new beginning of sorts. New mercies. New routines. A new focus. A time to dig my heals into the hearts of my boys and make intentional investments that aren’t cluttered with home school, baseball, and extra demands a school year brings.

Are you starting to look ahead, too?

Being a list maker to my very core, I jotted down each dot and tittle I heard from the Lord on our nine-hour drive. Here is the list I heard (don’t laugh.  Some make little sense to anyone but me and Jesus)… No certain order of importance:

1. I want to circle my family in prayer (note: my Mark Batterson terminology). This summer I want to identify cyclical sin patterns in each of my boys and pray counter-actively with Scripture against these patterns.  (More to come on this).

2.  I will (finally) read through Revelations…Jenny Martin, I haven’t forgotten us.

3.  Random: I am rethinking Preschool for Luke next year.  Gasp.  Lord, give me clarity on this.

4.  I am determined to write something on this screen almost everyday.  Blogging brings me life.  When I am not writing, something dies a little inside of me.

5.  I need to pursue quiet, selfless acts for others all of the time.  Everyday. And more than just motherhood.  Intentional acts of selflessness.  When I don’t do this, I turn inward and I confuse life with being my own.

6. I wonder if I can change my love language?  I am a quality-timer.  And I have never had a big physical touch need, but every time I rub Brent’s back, hold his hand or give big hugs, I feel so much closer to him.  And my boys need that affections from me, too.  I need to be less task-oriented and more touch-oriented.  Lord. let’s talk more about this. {grin}

7.  O.K. so I am praying about …starting to pray about…moving Ethel in full-time.  Gasp.  I just said that out loud (and no you didn’t read that wrong.  Do you ever have to pray about when to start praying about something?  Prayer starts the process.  We want the timing to be right and we desperately want His perfect will on this.  The answers are always found in prayer.)

8.  Referring back to #1, please don’t think I am not aware of my own ugly sin patterns.  Oh,  do I ever have them and are they ever ugly.  This summer the Lord is setting out to intentionally work on my own cycles.  The first one, and in my own shameful opinion the worst, is my tendency to come unglued at my children.

I have written about this before.  Remember, Confessions of a Yelling Woman?  My mama was a yeller.  My daddy not so much a yeller, as a growler {we all know the hot ear whisper!}.  And then there is me.

My Mommy pattern is this: patient…patient….patient… (lip biting)…patient (frustration boiling)…tick, tick, tick …BOMB!

Anybody?

I bought this book one year ago and just now getting around to it.  With each line of its Truth and encouragement, I am feeling the bonds of screaming slavery loosen.

Unglued, by Lysa Terkuerst

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Have you read it?  What did you think?

As the Lord unveils His plan of action in me, I will share it with you.

So here is my first of many blog posts this summer.  Just a raw look at my rather unedited thoughts.

Pull up your lounge chair and let’s hash it out together this summer.  Would you?

My favorite verse today:

O Lord, you have searched me [throughly] and have known me.  There is not a word in my tongue [still unuttered], but, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.  Psalm 139:1,4

{This verse offers me such encouragement.  He knows my sin patterns.  He knows the harsh words I have previously spoken and the words that wait unuttered in my heart.  I believe whole-heartedly that He can and will change any unhealthy sin patterns. This is what He does!  I receive it.  Praise the Lord.}

So what is stirring in your heart for summer?

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5 thoughts on “A Random List and a Summer Read {one of them}

  1. This is really great, Becky. Thank you for sharing. I have mixed feelings about long car rides…I love all the prayer time. And, my kids are 8 and 10 now, so the intense (wear mommies out) needy stage is past. My issue is that I have car anxiety. Soooo, my car prayer time often morphs into “Lord, please help me not to flip out. Help me not to make Andy feel like a bad driver. I need your peace. Peace. Peace…” A good prayer, for sure 🙂

    I digress…To answer your question: What’s stirring in my heart is embracing every moment of this summer with my kids and my husband. Since my mom passed away earlier this year, I have a renewed focus on embracing and cherishing moments. And, one of the gifts out of this hard, sad time is that I am able to see my family more as gifts. That doesn’t mean I don’t lose my patience with them (totally relate on the “yeller” problem), but I just look at my husband, daughter and son right now and want to hold them in my heart. So, I’m excited to just do regular things with them but enjoy them a lot. I keep praying that God will make us one as He is one…that He will draw us closer and closer to Him as individuals and as a family and through that, to each other. Really wanting to be flooded with the Spirit! 🙂

    On a not so fun note, we will also be catching up on homeschool cuz we are waaaaay behind this year. Not so wonderful, but with God’s grace hopefully not too miserable!

    Blessings to you and yours in Christ,
    Natalie

  2. I feel like I have been so busy I haven’t set any goals for summer. And I felt bad/guilty about that because I usually do. The last week I decided that I wouldn’t have any. My firstborn heads to middle school in the fall and I am determined to NOT be intentional about much, but instead stop, laugh, and listen. The too do list is what makes me unglued and unfun, and I just feel like this season is so fleeting and I already miss so much due to my busyness. So that is my goal. We’ll see how it goes.

    • Heather! This makes me want to CRY! Middle school! Ahh! Yes, soak up those sweet kiddos this summer. I can’t wait to spend time with you this summer, too!

I means so much to hear from you!

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