What you don't want to miss this summer

I'm writing from the front porch of a friend’s beautiful home on Edisto Island. It’s one of those rare days in South Carolina—the humidity is 33 percent and the temperature is 77 degrees—at four o’clock in the afternoon. 

I smell the scent of jasmine whenever the sea breeze blows, and Spanish moss dangles from nearby oaks like feather boas on southern ladies. 

My daughter reads on the porch swing with our dog at her feet, and friends talk quietly nearby. The gentle rhythm of their rocking is tempo to the wind chimes’ melody. With our stomachs full of pimento cheese, boiled peanuts, and sweet tea, we marvel at God’s goodness. 

Those of you with younger children will soon enjoy a break from early start times, homework, and sports practice. Those with older ones are celebrating as your college students sleep again in their childhood beds, partake of family meals, and keep you up too late talking. Even those without children benefit from summer break—less traffic in the morning commute, entrepreneurial teens willing to mow your lawns, and ambitious interns to share the workload. 

Summer is permission to slow down, stay longer, and pause. 

As you enjoy the summer, may I encourage you to savor the simple things—children’s laughter, a good book, and nature’s bounty. They are gifts from above. 

Families are gifts, too, and deserve to be savored. During the days when it’s hot and slow, why not plan a special evening together? Turn off the computer, throw the cell phones in a drawer, and enjoy some real face time. Make memories that will linger long past the season. 

And don’t forget your church family. Is there someone you’ve wanted to get to know better? The grill is calling. Why not fire it up, cook a few burgers, and share a slice of life? 

And be sure to talk about the Father of lights who fills our days with good and perfect gifts (Jas. 1:17). It’s a conversation topic with unlimited potential. 

Happy Memorial Day weekend, and happy summer. 

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