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Summer Setting

Posted on Aug 3, 2017 by in Faith, Family | 4 comments

The sun is setting on summer.  The kids start school August 10, and I start August 16.

Last year, I was eager for a fresh start in teaching.  It was a great year and I am thankful for it, but this year, I am holding onto the last shreds of summer a little tighter.  I feel we have made the most of it, but I could use just one more week…

One of the things I miss most during the school year is lazy mornings of coffee in my cozy pink robe while the kids frolic around in pjs, alternately playing and watching cartoons.  Those are my favorite.

Yesterday, on the way to my school to dust off the classroom (more like sweep up all the legion of dead bugs and spiders), we ran over a small box turtle.  We turned around and found her and took her with us.  Google helped us figure out she is a female turtle and we named her Toughie for obvious reasons.  Toughie is living on our deck now and gets LOTS of attention. Maybe one day she will like us. :). (update: Toughie escaped.)

Some days, the kids squabble and are exhausting and I  But more often these days, I look at them and I am amazed.  Each one is a unique, developing little individual with quirks and foibles, shortcomings, amazing strengths and talents. More and more, we sit at the dinner table and have enjoyable conversations instead of just parenting and correcting and serving.

Recently, Isaac told me that he “just wanted to sit outside and watch the day go by.”  I love his sensitive little soul and the way he words things.  Also while pondering the name “Garden of the gods” he told me that, “Really Mom, the whole world is the garden of the God.”  Indeed, buddy.

Sometimes these days I find myself talking to Abby like a friend.  I try with intentionality to help her be a ten-year-old girl, and it makes me happy that she has recently renewed her interest in her American Girl doll, but it’s also true that she is such a good companion on long car trips.

Benjamin told me yesterday that he tried on two different pairs of pants, but both of them were too short or too tight.  He is growing at the same speed he does everything, breakneck.  I think Ben has enjoyed summer more than anyone. He loves staying home, building with his Legos, and going to the pool.  One thing I will remember about Ben this summer is how many times he looked at me and spontaneously declared, “I love you, Mom.” He has a new awareness of character and many good conversations have come out of that.

And Susanna.  Well, Susanna, like Betty Bunny, is a handful. She has a shirt that says “sassy sister” on the front of it, and if you comment on it, she will shout at the top of her lungs, “I am not a sassy sister!!”  I love her to the moon and back, but last night as she got out of bed for the third time, I pondered that the true test of parenting is not how your older two kids turn out, but the younger two–when you are thoroughly worn out and aging rapidly.

And then there is my husband. I’m so proud of the man he has become. The way he does pastoral care–Biblical, bold, compassionate. We reached our 12 year anniversary last Sunday and the privelege of watching him become the pastor he is today; well, I’m grateful.

I’ve always thought that most of us are like butterflies in that we can’t see the beauty and design of our own wings.  Too many days I get stuck in the butterfly perspective, stressing out over small, insignificant things and not seeing that even while there are stressors, we’re ok. God is at work in us.  There is a grand design and each day is just a thread in that tapestry.  Anxiety steals my joy.  Taking a few moments out of the busyness to write about the bigger picture restores my perspective.  Thanks for reading, reader. Much love.



  1. “Anxiety steals my joy.” Oh boy can it. Thank God He is Lord over our stress and shortcomings (and I say that with more headful determination than heartfelt peace). Thanks for sharing your life, Ashley. You were a lighting bolt of hope and friendship while we had our time together in TN. I love that I get to continue watching you and your family grow through your graceful words and honest pictures. Love you! GOD BLESS!

  2. Beautifully said as always Ashley. I’m sure there are many moms nodding their heads in agreement. And some grandparents too! Thank you~

  3. I agree with Marsha! Time flies by, and soon you are a grandparent, wishing you could have had sweet snuggles with your kids, instead of rushing off to work! But there is a time and reason for everything, so enjoy all you can!!!

  4. I loved this summary of your summer. And needed the reminder to step back and enjoy…

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