Tag Archives: summer

Routine of Togetherness

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Summer is in full swing! Time to shake off those burdensome, tight schedules. Put on our bright, loose-fitting agenda-free days. School is out, kids’ activities are wrapping up for the season, obligations and meetings will finally give us that much needed break. Hooray, right?

As each last day arrived this year, I found myself feeling drained rather than rejuvenated. Not exhausted-drained. More like my cup was being emptied, like I was no longer able to replenish myself.

The first agenda item to go was my weekly Bible study. It started in September and ran throughout the school year. For two hours each week, I was able to fellowship with other women, pour into the scriptures, and make new, lasting friendships. Together we studied the book of John and learned more about the ministry and legacy of Jesus. The nursery attendants watched my little one grow from a itty baby into a mobile, playful toddler. Most Tuesdays this year, I was blessed to study alongside my sister-in-law, an extra treat before she moves overseas for two years.

In short order, Wednesday evenings also became free when our church children’s choir finished for the summer. On the drive home that fateful Wednesday, my daughter cried, sad that this weekly ritual ended too soon. When I reassured her we could connect with our friends all summer, she responded that she wouldn’t miss the socializing, group dinners, or play time so much. It was the opportunity to be with her friends, singing to God.

Next, the small prayer group from my daughter’s school held its last meeting. Whether I attended or not each month, I had relied on these mothers meeting regularly, powerfully praying over our children, their teachers, and one another’s families. The local chapter of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) wrapped up the same week. Soon thereafter, we said goodbye to church Sunday School classes, our daughter’s weekly Bible class (AWANA), and other obligations.

Finally! We were free! Our schedule was clear and the summer lay before us open, wide open. Almost desolate. Very quickly I found myself longing for something more. I missed my friends, my Sisters, and the inspiration I drew from them.

My daughter, with her 6-year old wisdom, had understood early what would take me several weeks to grasp. When we no longer fellowship with one another, spend time in community, study God’s Word, or pray out loud, we become drained. Dry. Our souls become parched, a place weeds choke out the flowers of truth and living water stops flowing.

Without those school-year routines, how can you and I make time to be together? To encourage one another, like we do the other nine months of the year? To study, learn, and grow through each other’s wisdom? To pray for one another, pour out God’s blessings, speak His promises into each other’s lives?

Can we maintain the routine of togetherness, despite the lack of routine? Can we retain our community without being physically present?

I believe we can! If you’d like to join me, please let me know. I long for communion with you, my friends, my Family.
If you’re local to me, let’s get together a few times this summer to talk about what God has shown us this year, how He is moving in our lives. Let’s pray with one another. How about my house, Sunday evenings at 5:00?
If you’re not local, distance will not keep us apart! Perhaps we’ll read a book of the Bible together? We can email, talk, text, FaceTime, message, whatever.

Let’s find time to be together without the pressure of schedule, agenda, or obligation. Because no amount of summertime freedom is as liberating as simply being together in Christ’s love.

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Employment Changes

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I’m starting a new job this week!! It’s my dream job, the one I’ve been hoping to land for years. I already have butterflies in my tummy and need to pick out my first-day outfit! Should I bring a bag lunch or plan to go out with my new office mates? This is definitely a “reach” position, one for which I am qualified, but just beyond my current ability. My background and experience make me well-suited; my willingness to learn and grow will determine the success or failure of the organization. I must hit the ground running, manage the financials, and say goodbye to daytime Facebook and blogging. And I’m going to have to work my tail off!

Starting Thursday, I’ll no longer be on maternity leave, medical leave (knee surgery), or the other medical leave (shoulder surgery). My oldest will be out of school, Bible study nurseries are closed for the summer, and my babysitters will have moved on to other positions. I will officially be a full-time, unemployed Stay At Home Mom. I have looked forward to this for years, hoping and praying for the opportunity. But with the start just hours from now, I admit I. Am. Terrified. No camps or lessons for the older, no sitters for the younger, no vacations for the mom and dad. It’s all on me … a woman who worked for the better part of the past 20+ years, is passionate about her career path, and believes working mothers add grace and power to society. How can I fully devote myself to my family, feel fulfilled and empowered, and turn this new post into a second career I can be proud of? I’ve decided to tackle this the only way I know how … like a “real job.” Because, although there’s no paycheck at the end of the day, it is a job, for real!

The past few years have taught me a lot about my working self, what motivates me, helps me be more efficient, makes me want to do hard work and then do more. The very characteristics that define me as a great employee apply easily to life at home with my Littles:
– I am most successful when I have defined goals, personal responsibility, and clear direction. [My girls and I are making lists of our goals for the summer: fun activities, household responsibilities, and areas for personal growth.]
– I work very well with others, I thrive on collaboration, but I need quiet, focused time each day to regroup and recharge. [Long days with two very chatty girls have the potential to exhaust me quickly. Nap/quiet/reading/writing time is non-negotiable, for everyone.]
– I tend to procrastinate the tasks that feel repetitive [laundry, breakfast dishes, changing the toilet paper], but completing them gives me the push to accomplish more complex projects.
– I am motivated by positive feedback, as well as much-deserved personal time. [Scheduled date nights with my best guy and time with girlfriends are also non-negotiable.]
– Flexible work hours and a happy environment encourage me to work harder and longer. [Although we need schedules to give our days structure, we promise each other to remain flexible to the joy of spontaneity.]
– Business travel is one of the great perks of working. Time to see the world, spend time with colleagues, change the routine. [Beach, pool, friends in other cities, Mom, we’ll be there soon!]
– Any day spent laughing with coworkers and colleagues is a good day! [Laugh, laugh, laugh with my little girls. Make a memory, big or little, each day.]

For the foreseeable future, my business card will read Leslie Vorndran, SAHM and I could not be more excited. Wish me luck!!