I Love It, I Love It Not

I can never decide if I love summer or hate it. I don’t welcome the heat and humidity, though this summer hasn’t been bad at all. I love the beginning of summer. A respite from early mornings, hanging out with the kids, the promise of fun things to do. By the same token I love the end of summer. A respite from the kids, hanging out with my homies, a structure to the chaos.

The biggest problem I’ve had with summer since I started staying home is the lack of routine. Everything suffers, but nothing more acutely than my quiet time. When the kids were younger it was easy for me to blame it on them. That was back during the days when they were up early and demanded much more attention. Now I’m the one demanding attention so I can’t use them for an excuse anymore.

Right now I feel like a total poser. I’ve been a Christian for a long time now so I’ve learned how to talk the talk and even look like I’m walking the walk. If it weren’t for my loathing of drama I would have made a great actress.

My Distance-Between-Me-And-Christ litmus test is my thoughts more than my actions. Generally my actions belie the turmoil in my head and my heart. I become more judgmental, but I keep those thoughts to myself. I become less patient, but… okay. Maybe this one is seen by my family. I become more hateful in my head. I find myself desiring more in the way of possessions. Jealousy, envy, and a whole host of ugliness take up residence in my heart when I’m far from God.

Being a Christian is a responsibility. It’s my responsibility to be a good example to my children. Um, I think they’re doing way better than I am at the moment. It’s a responsibility to my friends – iron sharpening iron and all that. I have my Little Homies to think of and women in and out of church as I embark on an incredible Women’s Ministry adventure.

I’ve always sort of wanted an icthus (Christian fish symbol) on the back of my car. I’m certainly not ashamed of my beliefs so shouldn’t I let everyone know? But do you know what’s held me back all these years? I’ve always said that Christians do the most harm to Christianity. What if I had a Christian symbol on the back of my car and yet drove like a demon? What if I lost my patience with the person in front of me? That happens way more than I like. I don’t want to damage anyone’s tenuous faith and sometimes all it takes is a “Christian” doing something less than Christ-like.

Well now I find myself living less than Christ-like and it’s not just a moment. Oh, I’m not doing anything bad. I’m not leaving my husband or beating my children or drinking in the closet or, well, you get the idea. But I haven’t been spending time with Jesus like I need to. My tank has been on empty for a while now and I’m cruising on fumes. But those fumes eventually run out.

When summer is over I’ll have my daily routine. I’ll be back in home team and studying the Bible with other women. I’ll have my morning quiet time over coffee and things will be as they should. But school doesn’t start for another two-plus weeks. I can’t wait that long. So this morning I did what I should have been doing all summer. And that is I did NOTHING until I’d spent some time with God. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did let Sookie out. THEN I spent some time with God and His word. I gave the reigns over to him and yet I felt more in control today than I have for a long time.

I love that God is such a gentleman and doesn’t push himself onto us. When I’m so weak and undisciplined I almost wish he’d push just a little, though. Oh, I feel the nudges of the Spirit when my conscience twinges, but that gets easier to ignore over time. But more than God’s polite and patient ways I love that He’s right there, arms open and waiting for me. Every.Single.Time.

After thinking about it I’ve decided I really do love summer. Especially now.

0 thoughts on “I Love It, I Love It Not

  1. Glad you like summer. Summer is good. And I have the same feeling about a car fish — no more blaring my horn and shouting at the guy in front of me.But that would probably be a good thing.

  2. oh I hear you, sistah. boy do I.My Distance-Between-Me-And-Christ litmus test is my thoughts more than my actions. Generally my actions belie the turmoil in my head and my heart. I become more judgmental, but I keep those thoughts to myself. I become less patient, but… okay. Maybe this one is seen by my family. I become more hateful in my head. I find myself desiring more in the way of possessions. Jealousy, envy, and a whole host of ugliness take up residence in my heart when I’m far from God.me too, me too

  3. Man, I swear you and I are twins separated at birth! Your style of writing really speaks to me, and everything you say makes me say, “Crap! That’s what I was gonna say!!!”I am in serious need of the same things you’re talking about. I’m spiritually undernourished, and I desperately need some other women to be in the Word w/ me and to fellowship with. Where I live and attend church is really not affording me that. Sure, I can pursue things on my own, but I have tasted and seen just how good the Lord is in the midst of believers, and I crave it daily.

  4. Um…it’s clear that your cyber homies (me too, me too!) are feeling you, Jenster. I agree with everysinglethingyousaid. And I have avoided the ichthus for the same reasons. Yet, I have a Wag More Bark Less sticker!? Here i sit, checking blogs before i check in with Him. Yes, I will. Yes,I’m making some time for the Lord each day. But…minute for minute compared to everything else I do? Pitiful. Thank you for being my iron today. And thank You, Jesus, for speaking through my friend. Amen.xxxooogretchen

  5. That reminds me. I really should have my quiet time BEFORE I start reading blogs, even if they are (like this one) wonderful blogs that talk about relationships with Christ.Have a great day!

  6. I struggled serious with those issues for a long time. I was grievously disappointed over and over by people who were in positions to make that difference (pastors & other religious leaders), but the unfortunate difference they made was to give me cause to back away. Over time I found my way back, and I have a lovely peace in my relation with God. But along that path, I had the same conclusion about how people display their spirituality. I've chosen to represent my faith in actions rather than symbols on my car. I don't always succeed, I'm afraid, in being the example I want to be, but at lease people have to be close enough to me to know what I represent to know if I live up to it or not!I love your last paragraph about God being a gentleman. 🙂 Now, if he would just back off the humidity a bit, I'd really be impressed! And I'm glad you love summer again. Awesome post, girl!

  7. You totally nailed it for me. I always knew things got all dicombobulated about this time every summer, and struggled with guilt because always, without structure, my quiet time goes out the window. Except for me, I blamed it on the flurry of extended family birthdays (oy, the birthdays!) we have this time of year. Really, it’s me letting the most important part of my day get sidelined.I’ve got a yearnin’ for my Abba.PS…you’ve got really great kids to be walking with the Lord as they do.

  8. Funny you should post this. This morning I had a loooong talk with God about my negligence. It’s so easy to put Him on the back burner especially when there are so many superficial things in front of you that seems so much more inviting.There is this awesome song that says, “I miss my time with you, those moments together. I need to be with you each day and it hurts me when you say you’re too busy…” Right up my alley!Thanks for being so open, Jen.

  9. I feel like you are saying the same things I did last week, my friend. How much farther away from Him can I get? I am reading Scripture. I have committed myself to reading the Bible in a year, which requires me to spend thirty minutes a day in both the Old and New Testaments…and there are eleven more Books in mine. Remember that we are not perfect, we fall short of the glory of Father, but He knows what’s truly in our hearts and in our minds.I have an auto Rosary hanging from my rear view mirror, and when I get frustrated, angry or impatient, I lift my hand to it and ask for Divine patience to get me where I need to go. I figure that it’s the most obvious sign of my faith in Him…people also know because of the Crucifix around my neck, and I also grab ahold of that in times of distress and remember in that moment to pray for the solutions.You are not alone in your fears of being so far away from Father, Jen. We all feel that way-shoot, I WAS THAT far away from Him for a very long time…when I looked again, I realized that He was NEVER THAT FAR AWAY FROM ME!! He showed me you, and your life, along with several other friends, and reminded me that HE is forever near.I will share one thing with you that always helps me, a prayer:”Father, help me to get through the day with patience, grace, dignity, your mercy and with You ever before me when it comes to my thoughts and actions. Lend me Your strength and love throughout my day. I love You with all of my mind and all of my heart, show me how to be like Your perfect Son. Amen”And before bed:”Thank you, Father, even through moments of chaos in my day, You stilled my heart, and You gave me all I needed to be. Your unending love is my guide, help me to be more like Christ when I wake up tomorrow.”The word Christ means “annointed one”…being a Christian means “little annointed one”. So, we must figure out how to be Little Annointed Ones, and each must come to it ourselves.At Mass, I always send a prayer out for you and yours…I will just add a little extra for you and Father.Bless you, dear friend!!

  10. Oh, and you hit on something here with all of the people here. He spoke through you for a reason….maybe you needed to hear that you aren’t alone, and there are others out there who feel the same way. If you want a little boost of encouragement in your Bible readings, let me know, I love discussing His word-my email is in my profile. Walk in faith my friend!

  11. Oh, Jen, thank you so much for this post. It could not have come at a better time. I have been feeling so spiritually ill for the past several month. This week I have made a point of spending time with God each night. I always feel so much better. It makes me realize even more how I need to get back to church on a regular basis and start doing more with the women’s ministry. I know these things make me feel so much better and at peace, why I start distancing from them, I can’t figure out. I walk with you in faith.XOXOXO

  12. When my kiddos were little, summers were spent drawing closer to God, spending even more time with Him and guiding my children to do likewise. But I have a confession. The past few summers, this isn’t true. You are not alone this summer. Tomorrow is our last day of summer here, but why wait???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *