Psalm 65:9-13 (NIV)When I picked out these verse this afternoon, I was going to start this post by commenting on the recent heat wave and decided lack of rainfall. Between then and now the sky turned several weird colors and we did get some legitimate precipitation, though it’s still north of 80 degrees a good hour after sundown.
You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.
The point of discussing the heat was to convey how we’ve gone against the summer break grain this week and essentially stayed cooped up inside. Kristie is pretty uncomfortable at this stage of her pregnancy, more so because the kid’s size is about two weeks ahead of schedule. She’s big, it’s hot and our air conditioner is begging for mercy. The kids have been outside to play a few times this week, but always at night, after dinner, when I’m home to be the outdoor supervisor.
Hopefully the forecast is right and a mild weekend will lead to more tolerable temperatures for the end of the month. Then we can look back and refer to this as a difficult week instead of just the start or a miserable stretch run. It seems almost too early for this, but there’s only four full weeks of summer vacation left. Time tends to fly when you’re having fun, but it drags miserably when your rambunctious children are more or less cooped up indoors for days at a time.
When I worked full-time at the newspaper, one of my weekly duties was editing the weekly crop report. About a dozen farmers from throughout our coverage area would submit a paragraph or so each week discussing what they did, the status of their crops, how the weather affected the growing season and what they expected in the coming week. Having grown up in the suburbs, but with moderate exposure to rural life, I was fascinated to better realize how much the weather affects grain farmers, nearly dominating their very existence.
Aside from how frequently I must mow my lawn and if I’m able to exercise outdoors, the summer weather has little actual impact on my life. I am quick to tell folks I greatly prefer summer’s heat to extreme winter weather because you don’t have to shovel humidity. But honesty requires me to acknowledge a heat wave is not without complications, and it goes far beyond my boys turning the living room floor into a cross between a gymnastics studio and a boxing gym.
A lot of my current sensitivity is heightened because there is absolutely nothing I can do to ease Kristie’s current burden. The kid is in there and not coming out for nearly three months, and getting from here to there will not be easy. Once he’s out I’ll be able to contribute a great deal more. We’ll both be tired and probably miserable, but when you’ve gone through pregnancy four times the waiting gets more and more difficult. I’m not a distance runner, but I imagine it’s something like getting ready for a marathon. At some point you just want the race to start — not so it can be over faster, but because you’re excited to prove yourself ready.
Our family has been enriched abundantly, and one more child will be yet another blessing. I don’t always make it clear how much I appreciate the way this has worked for us, especially when considering those who have longed to be parents in spite of mounting difficulties. Whether cooped up inside or shrieking gleefully around the cul-de-sac, our boys are doing their best to enjoy summer, and I’m just happy to be their dad.
A prayer for July 19:
Lord, thank you for the calm of summer break. I am grateful for the shift in perspective made possible by schedule changes and hope we are becoming fully refreshed for the school year that begins next month. Please help us remember the importance of tolerating one another’s quirks when circumstance forces us into close quarters for long periods, and further remind us that even inevitable bursts of independence are not indicators of broken bonds, but healthy explorations of personal preference. Thank you for uniting us together as a family and for being the central bond that will hold us in comfort and care forever. Amen.