An Invitation; Summer Sundays at Seven
by Gabriele Replogle
I distinctly remember asking my mother as a child, “When does life slow down?” And my mom replying (likely with a kind chuckle), “I don’t think it does.” Apparently, even as a kid, I longed for those restful moments where there wasn’t something next, something to always be done. And now, as a mom of four kids in a span of six years, I feel it even more.
But there is always promise of SUMMER! Cruising down country roads, through fields of corn, blaring country music out my rolled down windows and feeling the breeze on my arm as I make waves. Or maybe, drinking lemonade swinging on my childhood porch swing, you get the idea. Summer, in my mind, is equated with carefree days of youth.
Yet, now the tables are turned and somehow I’M the one responsible for getting all those swimsuits, inflatables, snacks, drinks, sunscreen, hats, towels, goggles, flip flops, change, did I say sunscreen? Don’t forget sunglasses… oh and a change of clothes or swim diaper or whatever seems necessary to spend 45 minutes at a chlorinated pool.
Let’s just be honest. WATER + TODDLERS does not equal a ‘carefree’ easy moment. It is looming DANGER + impending DEATH= lifeguard mommy exhaustion. It doesn’t fit the picture of the summer in my mind. Me lazing in a hammock looking up at the leaves on a tree branch and telling my kids, “Hey, go hop in the pond out back, and hose off before you come in the house.” This hose/spigot also serves as water for drinking. Thirsty? Go fetch it yourself. Hungry? Go pick an apple off the tree. BOOM apple juice and snack in ONE!
Somehow, in our day and age (even if you don’t have littles), life has become wound even tighter, even more scheduled, more structured and seeming to require so much of us. Did I fail to mention that according to our cultural mandates, my kids should be looking CUTE in their said swimsuits and I should somehow be looking fabulous for the photo someone might post and spread all over the ENTIRE WORLD via the internet? Good thing with my flip phone, I won’t have the immediate access to see it. No thanks. My pool head will remain in my imagination– beautiful, curly (how did that happen?) and always cute. Don’t tell me ‘mirror mirror on the wall’ that I actually have a hat head and disheveled ponytail. 😉
So how can we be rescued from this state? Our world demands busyness and WORK & beauty, but our bodies and brains demand REST and FUN and a little bit of FAT from ice cream stored around our middle. We must carve these moments out, hacking away at the lame excuses of why they can’t occur.
Now, I know that not all of you are in a stage of life as hectic as me. And you wonder how on earth do I connect with people who seem too busy all the time? How can I find someone to sip lemonade on the porch with?
The wisdom given to us in Scriptures for burned out, busy, lonely people is the ancient art of Sabbath. STOPPING. Resting. Playing. Worshipping. COMMUNITY. This isn’t a list of to do’s to please God, but His RECIPE for a GOOD LIFE. Which, like any good recipe, comes with it’s own dash of personality and various ingredients, but the core ingredients remain the same. Each person may need one more than the other. So whether you are looking to STOP a little, rest a while, worship, and have communion with others the answer may be to redeem your:
Come celebrate the longer summer evenings and join Commonway Women with our SUNDAYS @ SEVEN events.
We’ll be having informal gatherings throughout the summer months to connect, laugh, and encourage one another.
HIKE June 9th @ John Craddock Wetland Nature Preserve & White River
SMORES June 23rd @ Terri Truex’s house
FROZEN YOGURT June 30th @ Berry Winkle
Contact: Gabriele Replogle email@example.com with any questions about how to get involved this summer!
About the Author
Gabriele Replogle is a Midwestern farm managers’ daughter, Biblical Literature and Philosophy Taylor University graduate. She had big dreams of one day becoming missionary of the year, to find that her mission was to truly learn to love her literal neighbors and that true love isn’t abstract but in the particulars. She got her Masters of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Counseling from Multnomah Seminary in Portland Oregon. She currently resides in the Muncie, Indiana with her husband and four kids .