We haven't hit summer vacation in the Booker Academy of Brainy Brilliance just yet. (The name is a joke.  I promise we don't call ourselves that).  We have a few more books to finish reading, and we're still plodding away at Math.  But, it's starting to feel like Summer vacation, nonetheless.  Our days are starting to have a different rhythm, and the tone of the house just feels more relaxed and cozy. We're on vacation - just with a little Math thrown into the mix of it all...

Summer in Maine is to be savored.
I feel like June and July are the Sabbath of the seasons, and they are not meant to be wasted.
Just a few weeks of glory, and then it's gone.

So here's to a few weeks with no agendas.  No schedules.  Sunshine and growth.  New life and firefly evenings.  To paying less attention to what time the kids get to bed.  To their hair getting blonder, and their tans going deeper.  It's milkshakes for lunch, and it's suppers on the back deck.  Fishing trips every other weekend, and camping with the Grandparents.  Redneck slip n sliding tarps out back and turtle eggs hatching in our kitchen.  Bike rides and BBQ's, and days spent with friends.

These are the glory days of Summer.
We'll fit Math around all of this.
Meet Wendy.  She rocks.
My dear friend Wendy Smith - whom I grew up with in the County - is the coolest, quirkiest, crunchiest, smartest Homeschooling (unschooling?) Mama that I know.  (She really is super smart.  To decompress, she likes doing things like memorizing the periodic table or learning some new concept of something that I've never even heard of - nor care to have fog up my brain.  I enjoy long stares into space for my decompression time...)  Anyway, she always wraps up the school year with an amazing field day at her house - complete with an obstacle course, relay races, build your own banana splits, gifts for the Mamas, fun food, and just sweet, sweet fellowship with other crazy Mamas like myself.  It's tradition.  It's Epic.  And she's amazing.  Thank you, dear friend, for the vast amounts of work you put into that day.  All the rest of us just show up.
Pie eating contest.
The boys have already been on two weekend fishing trips with their Daddy and some awesome friends.  Oddly enough, one trip happened right on Kaden's birthday, and the other right on Jesse's.  This was Heaven for the boys, and London and I kicked it up North to my Ma and Pa's - which was Heaven for us, as well.  We spent our days playing with Grampy and Grammy - blissy 4-wheeling, dooryard fires and camp coffee, tea parties and treats, and movies at night.  That sort of thing is Joy Fuel for me.
My Daddy-O.

Pastor Kirk has been talking about stress at church - and about taking a Sabbath - a true day of rest where no work gets accomplished.  From the days of our newlywed youth, Kev and I have practiced this together -- religiously, for the most part, and I'm pretty sure it's been our sanity.  Kev is the protector of our family.  I can tend to let things crowd in and just say:  "Well, it's a season"...and then we find ourselves months down the road, still in that season, with a different season coming around the corner...and before we know it, we've lost all semblance of Family Day, or Sabbath,....or even our sanity, for that matter.
Camp coffee.  Pot of water boiling over open fire.  Throw in some coffee grinds.  Boil some more.  Savor the flavor.
He keeps us grounded.  He keeps us connected.  And he's the one who has the better pulse on the heartbeat of our family.  Our Sunday is insane - blurring instantly into our weekdays where we pass like ships in the night for a few days.  So, come Friday or Saturday, we will disconnect from Life and we will unplug.  We'll play as a family, and we'll go on a date.  A lot can happen in five or six days' time where we're talking over kid's heads or kissing goodbye out the door....with no real time to talk or connect uninterrupted...always racing to places we need to go.
 I found a Mama Snapper hit by a car in the middle of the road one day.
I collected her eggs...we did a little research...and they are now in an aquarium in my kitchen.
23 eggs next door to my coffee maker.
Come on over....I'll make you a cup 'o Joe and send you on your way with a baby snapper...

This would be one of my biggest pieces of advice to young newlyweds...  Make the time.  Make the sacrifice - to be able to make the time - if need be.  Schedule it in, just like you would any other important meeting.  No pay raise... is more important.  Life will only get busier...and the disconnect will only grow wider.

If we let weeks and weeks go by before taking a day - or even just a date - for reconnecting, for hearing each other's hearts, and for going deeper....well, I can see how couples become strangers.  I get it.  You have to schedule dates and family time in just as seriously as you do any other important meeting.  And what meeting - what JOB - is more important than the one with your spouse called "Marriage" and "Family" where you assess and re-assess what's working....what's not....what needs are our souls....what's going on in our deepest places....tackling life and its problems together as the joint CEO's of our own little companies of HOME?  Nothing else will work right if the core is off balance.

Our society thrives on racing.
Our Country lives the Blur.
We're good at it.  We are expert the point where we do nothing well, and we are never fully present.

Excuse me whilst I step off of my soapbox now.  Sorry about that...
Preach it, Pastor Kirk.  Sabbath is good.  Sabbath is holy.  A day of rest....

It pushes our Reset button.  It fills us back up so that we can pour out.  It puts us back on the same page.  It connects us to our kids and to each other.  We've made some of our most life changing decisions over a burger and a cup of coffee.  No lie.  We've had some of our deepest conversations and shed many a tear together as our waitress was re-filling our waters in the darkest booth of some restaurant.  We've had heavy heart to hearts over Cribbage on some beach with our kids running wild.

We reconnect.
To remember our purpose together.
To remind ourselves that we're in this Together.
To refuel and reaffirm when the world has maybe beat us down throughout the week.
To cheer each other re-align our steering if need be...and to fuel up, to pour out....

Preach it, Kirk.
Preach it loud, and preach it clear.

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