Oh how I love the lazy crawl of summer. The late mornings, the late evenings, the long popsicle pool days. The only things in my laundry basket are beach towels and swim suits. I love summer so much that I wanna marry summer. But although June, July and soon to be August have showed up, “summer” has not. Because there is nothing late about 5AM alarm clocks for 6AM running practice. (Just to be clear, my 15 year old runs. I do not run. Ever.) There is nothing lazy about doctor appointments followed by lab work followed by nutritionist and specialist appointments in the never ending toddler skin battle. And there is nothing long about unpacking one suitcase only to pack another, replacing the light laundry basket for the ironing board. So summer, you have failed me. Or did I fail you?
Or did you teach me? Have you been a 10 week training course of prioritizing, discovering and questioning? What will this momma do when all three of my birdies head off to school on Aug 9? (And ya’ll, I apologize now for the post to follow when that little caboose of mine marches out the door for big school. That little firecracker that tests my patience and my limits like no other breathing creature ever could…she will leave me soon.)
I got my week at the beach with my people. All in one place, all together. And thanks to hurricane season, we were really together, all the time. One couch. Lots of college baseball and Fox News. All together. All. Week. Long.
New York came calling and Abby and I answered. She danced by day and we shopped, toured, ate and laughed by afternoon and night. My girl, who has been dancing since was two years old, stood on the stage where legends have performed. What a moment for a girl like her….to plant her feet on the same wood that decades of Rockettes have danced and kick lined. When you’re raising that kid with big dreams and the brain to pull them off, time is limited. No matter how tight you hold on to her ankles, every day she takes one more step towards the door. And despite my sales pitch on our local college and the benefits of living at home with her super cool parents and sisters, she’s got other plans. So you take the time and the opportunities that God provides and you make the memories and have the fun. And maybe show her along the way how super cool her mom really is, so maybe she won’t go too far.
And speaking of dreams, I followed an opportunity to pursue one of mine. I put on my big girl panties and jumped on a plane and went to a big girl conference with 800 other women looking to get published or speak on a stage. I’m so big. And I was so fancy in my business casual attire, heels (yes, wedges count) and all my jewelry with my business cards. I was so big that as I was waiting on my flight I was texting my soul sista, with tears running down my cheeks, I changed my mind. Please come get me. What am I doing here??? But she didn’t. She told me to suck it up buttercup and go see what God had planned. So I did. The cover of my new notebook said “She trusted in His plan even when she didn’t know His path.” I took 37 pages of notes. From the first verse of the first song of the first minute of the first day of the conference, He ripped me wide open. Raw emotion and utter peace all at the same time. I soaked up all 48 hours of talks, workshops, sessions and prayer. I learned, learned and learned some more.
Women from all walks of life, all shapes, sizes and colors and all across the globe in one room feeling called to write, speak, testify, minister and lead. There were a million stories in that room if there was one. And a million avenues to pursue these passions. Most of the roads were filled with terms like platform, brand, shares, tags, and the measuring stick of 25,000 followers. But amongst the abundance of information and noise, I heard a repeated whisper. I recognized a recurring theme. And I remembered the thread He keeps weaving. I’ve written more than once about the power we have to change the world within our own families. Then I met a woman who was writing a curriculum for both public and Christian schools on the premise of changing the world from the classroom. And then I heard a speaker talk who said to change the kingdom we must go home and love our church. Home, school, church.
In a culture obsessed with social media, selfies and stupidity, there has never been more information available and accessible. And yet we still don’t get it. We still search. But it has never been so simple. Home, school, church.
God bless that man of mine who let me step off one plane and onto another a few days later. Both times leaving him behind to handle daily life with littles and on top of that, his job. When I asked if I go to this conference knowing it would be right after a week in the Big Apple he said, Go do your thing. I got this. So I did. And God showed up. The dream I went there to chase wasn’t in that conference center. I’m already living my dream. The family I raise in the home we built, at the school we attend, at the church we pray is the dream meant for me.
Some of us girls are called for “big” things. And thank goodness for that because we all need someone to write the books we read and the give the speeches we listen to that fuel us and motivate us in our faith. The words both spoken and written that encourage us to do another day. And some of us girls are called for “little” things. Some of us are called to “just” raise families with Jesus at the center, support and encourage teachers who shape and mold His followers and serve in churches where His Word is alive. Home, school, church. Some of us are called to change the world.