Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!
Jude 2, The Message.
I think Bob Marley may have just been channeling his inner Jude when he penned “Three Little Birds“, what about you?!
I love LOVE LOVE that translation from the beginning of the tiny, but quite mighty, book of Jude. What a beautifully poignant reminder from the inspired Word of God that every little thing is going to be all right.
(I am obsessed with Jude at the moment. Obsessed. More on Jude in the fall – I promise!)
The more I think about this cool verse, the more I want to claim it as my summer motto (actually, for my life motto)! Because really, what could be more joyful than knowing that everything is just fine, thank you very much?! Everything is all coming together! And Love is on its way!!
Now, this might sound a little weird to you but, summer can create a lot of pressure in a person! (Especially if you are a mom…) I mean, “so much time and so little to do”! Or maybe it’s “so much to do and not enough time”…!!! Can I get an AMEN?
During the summer, I can be tempted to get all caught up in keeping up with those proverbial Jones. Darn them and their amazing lives! Know what I mean?! I sometimes find myself striving to make summer the ”cool” adventure for my family that perfect Jones family somehow claims to create. Next thing I know, though, I realize I’ve fallen far waaaaaaaay beneath that bar! (If you’ve ever seen Cheaper by the Dozen 2, you can imagine what I’m talking about!)
However, as I consider my new motto, I start to realize that I cannot imagine the stress The Jones Clan must be under. I mean, to constantly set the trends of what new and exciting summer camps to send the children to; to create unforgettable “summer bucket lists” and miraculously finish them; to pull off sun kissed tanned (as opposed to streakily sunburned) trips to the beach; all the while making perfect s’mores that somehow don’t ooze out the sides and onto white t-shirts…oh my gosh – it must be exhausting!
I don’t want that pressure anymore. So I’m giving it up. Today. Right now. Want to throw in the towel with me? I’ve got a plan and you just might like it!
I’m cannon-balling into summer and letting my unrealistic expectations float out to sea.
A few years ago, Wal-Mart had this awesome ad for summer where a mom was shopping for a fridge full of food for her family. Her opening line in the ad was, “It’s summer and the kids are finally mine again”. I loved that. I resonated with me then, and it remains in my head and heart today.
This is our time to play! No need to create artificial opportunities for “amazing” adventures when they are already waiting for us at every turn. We don’t need to plan a fantastic outdoor picnic only to get all freaked out when it rains. Instead, a junk food lunch of Cheetos, cheese in a can, saltines, corn on the cob, strawberries, and soda in glass bottles await in cabinets to be put out on a blanket in the family room as the thunder booms and the skies pour!
Old movies and pouring over family photo albums can replace an expensive trip to the history museum. Sidewalk chalk murals stand in just fine for the latest and greatest art camp. Local swimming pools are equally as cool as a day at a crowded water park. Spur of the moment neighborhood barbecues can honestly trump intricately orchestrated dinners out.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a well-orchestrated ANYTHING and I’ll be the first one to jump at the chance to see new sights, experience culture, and go head first down the biggest waterslide in the country! But what I’m starting to see is that I don’t need to do it all this summer. Or even in ten summers. I’ll leave that up to the Jones.
This summer, I’m choosing the pure joy that lies in the simplicity of everyday life. Like going to bed entirely too late and sleeping even later! I want to choose cold pizza for breakfast, church in the park, sweating buckets at softball games. I want a bottled beer out of the cooler, foil wrapped corn on the grill, hopscotch with kids of every age. I look forward to itchy mosquito bites from catching fireflies after dark. I’ll relish sticky chins and fingers from melty popsicles on those 100 degree days.
Yea. I know. It won’t all be rainbows and cherry pie this summer just because I choose this route. But it also won’t be a summer wasted on worries over how “special” I can make it. Because as long as I have Jesus, every little thing will work itself out just fine.
Hey, Jude – I think you’re really onto something here. And I like it. A lot.
What’s up for Pure Joy Week 5 (yep, I said it – Week 5 already!!):
1. Rewrite/memorize our scripture verse of the week! And if you haven’t guessed by now, it’s the verse I started this WHOLE post with: Jude verse 2! See the top of this post for The Message translation!
2. It should come as no surprise, then, that our song of the week is Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley. Please. You do not need me to explain this one! Listen to it and let yourself get carried away to a tropical mindset with Jude!!!
3. Keep reading! Joy in = joy out!
4. Clear your calendars for the evening of July 16th – our 2nd Pure Joy Dinner (more info to come!)!
5. Keep up with the Joy Dare! I’m loving reading, hearing, and SEEING what is moving you to gratitude this summer, sweet friends!
Up Thursday: A reprise of some silly FUN from Daily Smooches!
Take some time to enjoy your week, dear friends!
Peace, love, and JOY!