Too often I come to the summer months in a sort of prostrate desperation. The school year ends and for weeks leading up to it, I soak in the muggy air that clings to your skin with panting breaths of prayer: we need rest, we need refreshing, we need our vision restored.
More often than not, the refreshment comes in some form or another. But it's like I'm grasping for it.
In a recent conversation, the topic of naming things we are grateful for came up. I've always struggled with the thankful lists, the ones written about in books that have been proven by staying atop the NY Times bestseller lists, to grow a life of thanksgiving through the naming of all the things; birds flitting through the cloudless sky, a dish left in the sink, the curl on a child's cheek. I'll have to admit, these naming of all the things has never worked for me. And I'm a pretty aesthetic girl. It must be some sort of connection failure on my part, or an exercise I just can't get used to.
But not so with worship.
And this summer, I came crawling on my knees much like every other year. Feeling small and humbled, needy and grasping. But there was a soft wind blowing, a sort of peeking of the sun over the horizon with a whisper of light saying, let's lift our eyes elsewhere. Let's spend these summer days with our eyes to the hills. Perhaps not physically, the way I think I need to, but with the eyes of the soul.
I told a friend the other day that I was naming this summer, my Summer of Worship. Not Summer of Refreshment, or Adventure, or Rest or all the things I think I need. But a devotion to praise, to adore, to bow the knee and the head, to accept and believe, to trust and hope, to magnify and rejoice, to give thanks and exalt. It's joyful, yet humble, she wrote. Expectant, but realistic. Looking to the heights and walking with grace through the valleys and high places.
It's laundry and ironing with peace, with a prayer. Because all of life can be walked through in prayer. It's fruit in the morning and whiney kids with a humbled appreciation for calling and all those mundane and frustrating moments as an offering.
It's loving the One who walked a lonely road for us, and yet doesn't call us to walk alone.
It's adoring His Presence more than his provisions.
It's letting burdens and fears lift and wrapping oneself in a garment of praise, of daily trust worked out first in quiet moments of reading and prayer and then a thousand moments of gritty daily life. They are not excluded from each other. I may not write the gritty moments down on a list and try to be thankful for them, but in them I turn from complaint and disbelief, to acceptance and hopeful praise. Joyful but humbled.