Sunday, August 12, 2012

12 Things I Learned in Summer 2012

1. To drive a 4-wheeler. Do not laugh. I do realize most people learn this when they are 13. Reverse the digits and it all makes perfect sense.

2. To change a horse’s leads. No, not the lead rope, the lead foot. Don’t worry. I never understood either, but at least I now know what is SUPPOSED to happen. Better yet, at least I got in 8 or 10 good days of riding this summer.

3. To read the paper. You’d be amazed what you can learn - check this out from the police blotter:

The American Legion Post in Santa Rosa reported criminal damage to property on Saturday afternoon, June 30. According to police, somebody cut a section of rope out of the rope from the flag pole, taking part and leaving part, as if they needed just a smaller piece to tie something down.

A Santa Rosa woman reported a larceny on Sunday afternoon on Camp Avenue, after she left the windows rolled down on her parked vehicle and then a purple, metal cross disappeared from inside.

4. To score target shooting. All you do is add up all the numbers and colors. Wait! I don’t know how to add colors. Anyway, you see what I mean. I don’t bother to show my prowess by adding my score; actually, I’m so good I don’t shoot the target. I just shoot mice stuck to sticky traps.

5. To not become a bee keeper. Seriously, watching them is fascinating, but it’s not fun when I’m as surrounded in smoke as everyone else, but standing farther away... and I’m the only one who gets stung.

6. To swim. Or at least, I now know how to practice swimming. My dear friends concluded I might drown in the abundance of water I encounter daily here in drought-stricken eastern NM. Despite my argument, one proved an effective instructor and I can now imagine how someone could enjoy said swimming movements.

7. Paint scrapers are fun. As long as the paint (or wasp blood) is on the windows and I don’t have to do the painting. Scraping is much more interesting than washing the windows.

8. Jail breaks are not illegal, if they do not involve jails or breaking anything. It is to this strange phenomena that people refer when speaking of phones and ipods. Actually... I still don’t really understand this. But I don't have to have a computer tech tell me to plug in my monitor, and I can have an actual texting conversation. 

9. PLUMBING! I’ll never make $40 an hour, but I know how turn valves on and off, I know what a “female coupling” is (it has no ethical implications), and I can go back and forth between water systems like a pro. Motivation is great when you realize the alternative is an unexpected pause in your shower.

10. I like pickle juice slushies. I also like conversations with “teen-agers” when those teen-agers have soft hearts and big smiles. Even though they have crazy ideas like pickle juice slushies.

11. Just because, in my opinion, “I don’t need to meet any new friends! I have quite enough,” isn’t reason enough for God to stop changing my life. He both gives and takes in relationships, as in any other part of life.

 12. No amount of sleep, food, or exercise has the same effect as the joy of the Lord. All summer, I’ve wakened full of anticipation of His Word, and He has not yet failed me. The end of my summer has not been restful or healthy, in the truest sense of either word, but still, I’m ready. I’m ready for 3rd grade (it only took me two years to pass 2nd, apparently!), I’m ready for a challenge, I’m ready for people. I think. I think  I’m even ready to leave summer... Maybe.


A season. To everything there is a season. My submission is tested in reflection on the seasons of life. 

Perhaps it is not wholly an antipathy toward change. Perhaps it is a reticence, a hesitance in the process. I enjoy the changing seasons as far as weather is concerned; I’m so excited for coffee and snow in the winter; for green grass, fresh breezes, and sunshine in spring; for cool sunrises and long warm nights brought by summer; for fall’s gift of sweet smells and overcast days. These seasons, though, are different; they come gradually, almost unnoticed. Living in NM, we have a few unexpected days scattered throughout each season, but we know these will disappear into the endless cycle. By the time the cold ends, we will be ready to shed jackets; when the sun disappears, we’ll be so glad to turn the air conditioners off and walk outside without sweating. The seasons are welcome.

The seasons of life are much more difficult for me. The changes come more suddenly, or so it seems. I certainly wasn’t ready to leave the spring newness of actually knowing what I was teaching to hit the long adventure of cultivating the same lives for another year - but in a different grade. I didn’t notice the diminishing sunshine before the clouds of my siblings’ departure hit our family.   Smaller changes have the same effect. I’m not ready to distance myself from a friendship because someone else has come into the picture; yet just as snow brings much needed moisture and beauty, I know these relationships will not serve only to isolate me. And what of spring, of fresh hope and longed for freedom? Do I always see this coming? I didn’t. I didn’t see the joy I’d find when God moved me to Santa Rosa. I never dreamed of the fresh blooms He’s growing around me in my “family of God.” And truly, the breezes of His presence are something “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived...” (I Corinthians 2:9).

And so, as seasons change, I will look to the Maker of the seasons.