Summer is here y’all!
Which means it is time to shift gears and slow our roll a bit. Time to kick back and embrace rest.
Time to make bucket list and eat popsicles and run through sprinklers.
In other words, the time has come to observe a Homespun Summer.
Here at Preservation Acres we try our best to order our days around the ancient rhythm of the Christian Calendar (aka The Liturgical Calendar, aka The Church Calendar,) and it just so happens that in this system summertime is also known as Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time is a season that calls all of us to rest, to slow down a bit, to take our time, to invest in the earth, our communities, and each other. I love this season so much that I even wrote a whole chapter about in A Homemade Year (but I think I could have written a whole book instead!) Here is a little excerpt from the end of that chapter:
Embracing the ordinary is something that even the church honors. Built into the liturgical year are seasons called Ordinary Time, a series of slow, repetitive, highly under-scheduled days, that bridge the more robust seasons of the church year together. Our entire planet spins and turns according to the rhythm of the sun, creating in every living organism a pattern of rest and work. In Genesis, God himself goes to the trouble to give us a pattern for our seven-day week, providing one day fully dedicated to rest (and how many of us, myself included, have just turned that into another day of to-dos?). Just as our own individual lives take on daily patterns and just as we have created a year-round rhythm by the annual repetition of birthdays, anniversaries, memorials, and vacations, the church year also follows suit. The liturgical calendar has created a pattern within our twelve-month rotation that provides for seasons of rejoicing, mourning, work, and rest. Perhaps the church forefathers and foremothers knew what modern Westerners have a hard time admitting—that no one can sustain the intensity, activity, and emotion that Christmastide and Holy Week require for three hundred and sixty-five days of a year. Everyone needs a break from even the most extraordinary moments in life, even followers of Christ. And so, built into the church year’s rhythm is a time that calls us to stop, rest, and enjoy the everyday. A time to honor the simple and the ordinary, an open invitation to quiet, to stillness, to turn down the shouting of our busy modern lives, in order to once again hear our heartbeat and the heartbeat of God within us. – A Homemade Year; The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together
I don’t know about anyone else, but right now I need to turn down the shouting more than ever, and hear the heartbeat of God within me.
It has almost reached critical mass.
This summer is going to be different for all of us because this is the first summer since Miles began kindergarten that the boys will have a full summer off (their previous school was year-round. ) It is also the first full summer where I am working, because of course, unlike a school year, the church life year carries on through the summer. This transition has made us all a little edgy, me more than anyone, since I have lost my much needed and appreciated alone-time at the house. So together we are all learning a whole new way of being this summer; Figuring out how to balance our days together and apart. It is important to me that we are intentional with the summer break, but without over-working and over-scheduling ourselves. The truth in the pudding is this: We are homebodies. And we are doing our best at giving our boys a Slow Childhood and living a Slow Home life. As a family we are trying to learn how to value and observe restorative rest (aka not just vegging out in front of screens,) as much as we value and love to go on exciting new adventures. So what better time to work on hushing the noise that fills up our days, than in the summer, when schedules are loser and the heat is often too stifling to move faster than a snail anyway?
I am calling our quest a Homespun Summer and I am inviting you to come along with us on this journey if you would like.
My goal is to post bi-weekly, here on the blog, one idea or challenge to help us all remember to rest and not go into our default Juggling All The Things mode. I will also be posting on Instagram using the hashtag #homespunsummer, and I would love to see you are living a #homespunsummer through post and updates as well, so feel free to join in the hashtagging anytime.
I know this will not be a perfect experiment. In fact it will probably be one big beautimess. But that is okay. This is how we grow, this is how things take root in our hearts – slowly, intentionally, imperfectly.
The first thing any journey like this needs is a rough outline of an itinerary or a map. Something with a basic outline, but with room for fluidity.
So the first Homespun Summer challenge is to make a Summer Bucket List.
This is a great way to be intentional about your summer, to give a little bit of form to the season.
Make sure to include restful activities (such as naps, lazy walks, pool floating etc,) and not just busy activities like camps and vacations. If you have kids, let them contribute to the list too. Some things may be more doable than others, but it is always fun to see what everyone comes up with.
We made our list on our chalkboard, but you can make yours on a poster board, a piece paper, or make a collage “list” using old magazines pictures instead of words (I think I might put a collage craft on our list now!)
Use this list as an inspiration for things to do when the days drag on, as a reminder to give thanks for how bountiful your life is, and as a motivator to work towards creating space in your days for rest.
You can also find great inspiration and ready-made bucket list online. This is a printable I made a few years ago of one of our bucket list – feel free to pin, print, copy, and pass along if you would like.
And if you want to even go a step further, and incorporate some faith traditions into your Homespun Summer, consider ordering a copy of A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together. The summer activities in this book are some of my personal favorites, and I am all ready scheming on how we can have a St. James Day inspired shrimp boil in July…
So, are you ready for a Homespun Summer?
Happy Summertime Friends!