The air is still. The sky is a crisp, clear blue. The temperature hovers just cool enough to need a warm cup of coffee around which to wrap my hands. I have a sweater on and a throw blanket over my legs. And I'm sitting on my wicker porch furniture enjoying the Northern Minnesota summer morning. My potted plants have reached full bloom, but are not yet getting leggy. The sand hill cranes are trumpeting. The hay field adjacent to my front yard has golden round bales scattered about.
I know that inside my house, I have dirty laundry waiting to pick up, sort and wash. Clean laundry to fold and put away. I have dirty floors and bathrooms. I have clutter to pick up in just about every room of the house. No, wait, make that every room of the house.
I have children to feed, cloth, train, and love.
I have three kids to prepare for the national Lutheran Youth Society convention to which they will be travelling on Thursday.
I have a list of things a mile long to prepare for our family vacation next week. As any other readers with a large family understand, I have to squeeze and tweak our spending to be able to take a nickel and dime vacation. I have to connect with my sisters to finalize our vacation destination, since the Yellowstone vacation we have hoped (and still hope) to take might be subject to the potential federal government shut-down. But unless something changes in Washington, we won't know for sure until the day we are scheduled to arrive and meet up from three distinct points of the compass.
Further off, when we get back from vacation, I have only two weeks to get everyone ready for school. I have to sort through all my multitude of semi-organized bins of hand-me-downs, and the heaps and piles of hand-me downs that never made it to the semi-organized stage, in order to find, for the younger set of kids, clothes that look decent and fit reasonably well. (The older ones thankfully no longer appreciate hand-me-downs, so they must provide their own school clothes.) I have to purchase and organize school supplies for six children. I have to attempt to get my head fully screwed on in preparation of the school year schedule.
By the time we get back from vacation, our Northern Minnesota summer will be breathing its last gasping sighs. The nights will go from cool and crisp, to cold. The garden will continue to produce cool weather crops, but the sun will no longer be strong enough to make much progress in ripening all the green tomatoes on the vines.
And sometime during the first weeks of September, we will wake up to a frosty morning. It's likely that by the end of September, we will have had our first killing frost of the season.
All these things are creeping around the edges of my mind on this beautiful summer morning here in Northern Minnesota.
It might be easy to fret or become anxious. It might be easy to give in to Satan's lies. He whispers that I'll never get everything done. That we can't afford a vacation. That I don't deserve a vacation. He tries to convince me that I'm a failure.
But I recall God's promises.
God will not give me more than I can handle.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.God will provide what I need, when I need it.
Take no thought for the morrow, what you shall eat, what you should drink, or what you shall wear. Your heavenly Father knows that you have need of these things.
Seek first the kingdom of God, and His Righteousness. And all these things shall be added unto you.Best of all, God loves me. God has chosen and adopted me as His child, through Jesus' suffering and death.
Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine.