Two and a half reasons I hate summer
I hate summer for 2.5 reasons.
Reason 1: My expectations aren’t met. I expect harmony and relaxation and fun…all the time. Summer sounds like laughter and the Beach Boys. It tastes like homemade ice cream and smells like suntan lotion.
But I’m beginning to think that my expectations are resentments waiting to happen. My expectations and my reality rarely intersect.
In reality, summer sounds more like arguing and whining, and me saying “no” on repeat. It tastes like peanut butter sandwiches that I make every – single – day for lunch, but not watermelon because my girls are crazy and don’t like it. Summer smells like chlorine and sweat.
Reason 2: I feel responsible for everyone’s happiness. And on this count, I fail miserably. I hear more arguments and complaints than a United Airlines flight attendant. If one child is happy then the other is not. I take on the responsibility of their happiness, so it’s my fault if one of my people isn’t happy—which leads me to reason 2.5…
Reason 2.5: I work hard to keep everyone happy. I’m wearing myself out being a cruise director. I’m exhausted trying to do all the things, stop all the fights, and end to all the whining.
What do I do with my clearly out-of-line expectations? What do I do with the false beliefs that I can make people happy and am responsible to do it? I know that the way out of my summer-craziness is not to send them to their rooms.
Here’s my plan: pray.
I’m going to lay down these expectations at God’s feet and commit my summer to Him. I’m going to pray us through this summer, and it’ll go something like this:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me to be alert as I remember that my enemy is like a prowling lion. The last thing the father of lies wants is a unified, loving family, so he picks battles within our ranks. He’s using jealousy (she got more ice cream than I did), selfish ambition (I want to play this game, not that one), and arrogance (she doesn’t know what she’s doing, but I do) to create disunity. Let me be aware of his tactics so I’m not surprised when the fighting comes.
Give me the power to cling to Your promises. I hold fast to these promises because You’re faithful to keep them.
- You give peace. (John 14:27) I ask that, where there is disunity, it will be cast out. I pray that our home will be a place of Your presence, hope, mercy, and gentleness. Only You can make this happen, so I’m asking for it now.
- You’ll instruct me on the way to go. As you look at me with love, You’ll give me wise counsel (Psalm 32:8). Daddy, I don’t know how to live this out Your way this summer, so I’m clinging to the promise that You’ll help me every hour.
- You’ll give me the right words. (Luke 21:15). So often, my angry tongue reacts first, so I’m gripping tightly to the promise that You’ll give me gentle words to say exactly in time.
Remind me that I have what I need to live a godly life. (2 Peter 1:3) Help me to live and love and act and speak in the knowledge that I possess the same power Jesus did when He defeated death. (Ephesians 1:19–20a)
This summer, help me to be loving, patient, and kind. Let no unwholesome words come out of my mouth, but let my speech be full of grace. Allow me to fervently love our girls because that love covers a multitude of sins. Help me to pursue things that bring peace and build up the girls. Remind me to encourage them to be loving and to do good.
Daddy, the summer I’ve outlined here is less about food and vacations and more about love and peace. We can only do this with Your strength, power, and protection. Let this summer be fully committed to You. You are good. Your seasons are good…even summer.
I love you,