May 18, 2020 • Written by Nicki Behnke
The Summer of 2020
I had planned to make the focus of this blog post about how to maximize your summer hopes and dreams as an all-star mom, but I have never felt so ill-prepared and unenthused as I do heading into summer this year.
For one thing, “summer” started in March so my mind wants to go into “back to school” mode. I have been constantly cooking, continually picking up after kids, trying to remember why knowing how to multiply fractions even matters, and losing my temper for a solid 3 months now.
As much as I long for “normal” to return and love summer, I feel tired and a little burnt out going into it. I think I want to skip summer for the first time ever. I want to turn in my badge, go on an extended luxurious kid-free get-away, and call it a year as if that were an option.
Please sense my high level of sarcasm in all of this because I do love and enjoy my children to no end. Some of the unique moments our family has experienced this year will be memories we cherish and laugh about for years to come. 2020 will truly be one for the books but my natural tendency as I stare at a likely very different summer is to chalk it up as a loss. However, that’s not God’s intent at all.
I read a quote by Jess Connoley in her new book You are the Girl For the Job that says:
“You are the one placed right where you’re at, on purpose, to love for His glory and to resist scary things. You were made to worship through fear. You were made to see Him and His hand as bigger than anything headed your way.”
Part of God’s plan for not only me but all of us is to not only be a part of this unprecedented season of life, but to be “Mom” to our specific kids or fill the role He has given us. I feel a lot like Moses looking at God with timid eyes that plead “you can’t possibly mean me?”.... But He does! What I accomplish in my life (which will include parenting my kids through the summer of 2020) has everything to do with God’s capacity and nothing to do with mine.
I am chosen and so are you…. And as cheesy as it sounds, we have been chosen for “such a time as this.”
This summer will be very different but not just because of the virus, it will be different because I am a different woman than I was even just last year. When trials come our way, and the heat is turned up, it intensifies both the good and bad in our lives. In the end it refines but in the process It gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the things that bubble to the surface. We get to choose if we will push it back down or perhaps this time, allow God to do something with it instead.
1 Peter 1:6-7 says “In this you greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise glory and honor when Christ Jesus is revealed.”
Maybe the trials that we are all facing in this unprecedented time is a gift in a kingdom sort of way. If we chose to allow God to deal with the “yuck” that is bubbling to the surface of our souls, refining work can be done in our lives. Don’t dismiss the work that can be done in the fire. Instead, may the fire be a defining moment in your relationship with the Lord.
May the summer of 2020 turn out to be an unexpected gift of spiritual formation not only in your personal life, but in your home and family as well.