Squeezing the last bit from summer

This summer, more than ever, I wanted to fill our family’s basket full of sun-warmed, garden vegetables, juicy, ripe berries, and golden honey—but also memories. I dreamed of picking experiences and adventures that would blossom into unforgettable moments. 2020 taught us the need to soak in any opportunities and embrace all a normal summer has to offer, like the county fair, Vacation Bible School, and a visit to Great American Ballpark complete with peanuts, crackerjacks, ice cream, bobbleheads, and a credit card bill.

If last year taught us to slow down, this summer pushed us full throttle. Now, I feel like I’m in an Indiana Jones movie, desperately racing from the prized beach vacation or summer matinee, with the earth shaking and heavy boulders threatening to close us in (again). But if perspective is everything, maybe it’s not all bad. These anticipated changes pushed us to squeeze in every drop of summer. Lemons are good, but how much more satisfying is that sip of cold lemonade? Grapes are delicious, but I can buy those at the store for two-bucks a pound. Press and process for a fine wine, and how much more valuable does that fruit become?

I think I was stringing beans at midnight when I remembered: we’re all judged by our fruit, and I don’t mean 4H/county-fair style. As a mother, I’d do anything to help my children establish strong roots of trust in Jesus. That they might grow, bearing good fruit because they abide in the true vine. That despite absolutely whatever wordly circumstance, restriction or freedom bestowed upon them, that they would bear love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

I don’t particularly love that formative years of my children’s lives could be dominated by Covid, but if they are, it is because we failed to put life and purpose into perspective. Every generation has been squeezed or hard pressed. For my grandparents, it was World War II, producing the richness, boldness, and honorable Greatest Generation. For Baby Boomers, they were challenged by a changing culture ushered in by the sexual revolution. We’re pressed now, and what effects will it have? A canceled vacation? More masks? Or debilitating physical and mental health, educational, and financial disparities for far too many? Or will we rise above, reaching like the sunflowers toward the brilliant sky, testing the limits of charity before ending the season with the fruit of countless seeds of faith ready for the Farmer to sow in His time? 

That’s my pick. Oh, and what a beautiful harvest it will be! 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 

*Feature Photo by Cristina Anne Costello on Unsplash

Author: Neena

Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, and beekeeper. Her first novel, THE BIRD AND THE BEES, is a Christian contemporary romance available now. Visit her at wordslikehoney.com.

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