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Reflections by the Sea: Summer

By Betsy Ore Glass

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

The summer season is here! This week, the calendar changed from spring to summer but it feels like summer has been here much longer! The hot, lazy days of summer brings all kinds of memories to mind like the excitement surrounding the last day of school, summer babysitting jobs to make money, watermelon eating contests and family picnics at church softball games. And things like Sunday ice cream socials using the old homemade ice cream machine and tree-picked peaches, the smell of fresh-cut grass, the sweet fragrance of a summer rain, homemade lemonade and packaged Kool-aid. Best of all were those great memories of swinging on a porch swing and going barefooted ’til September. A great season for great times. I have come to realize that whatever season I am in I seem to love it the most!

We go through seasons in life and it seems once we get used to something, the season changes and we must adapt and reshape our thinking and perhaps our life to accommodate the adjustments. Summer is the season when many families pack up and move to another town for a better opportunity. Kids are packing for college; kids are coming home from college. Summer weddings in June are plentiful. So many life changing moments and events seems to happen during this time of year.

How do we handle the changes in the seasons in our lives? How do we teach our children how to adapt? Do they see us frantic and resistant to change as we try to maneuver our way through life? Hopefully, we know from our Christian walk that God has already supplied us with the graces to deal with anything that comes to us or happens to us. His mercy and grace gives us the enthusiasm to accept things we cannot change, the peace to move forward, the joy for a new adventure and overall contentment for where we are. So much of our joy is tied to our contentment. God does not make mistakes. He has placed us in every season of our life. We can look back, not with regret, but with gratefulness. We can look forward, not with fear, but with confidence that we have all we need. There is no reason why we couldn’t prosper in whatever season we find ourselves. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. – Psalm 1:3 NIV

As empty nesters, my husband and I had an adjustment to make and it coincided with a move to another state over 2000 miles away. I did have regrets and sadness, but now know it was wasted time. If we can accept willingly where we are and do our best to be obedient to God, we can expect to see good things revealed in our future. So much energy can be lost through deferred contentment such as thinking, “I will be happy when I can move back home,” or “I will be happy when this happens or that happens.” We can have joy and contentment now. Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

I met a 99 year old woman the other day that was upright, walking on her own and we shared a bench together for a brief visit. I asked her what did she attribute her long life to and she said long ago she chose to be happy. That was what I needed to hear that day. Was that just a coincidence? No. Was it another divine appointment? Yes, I believe it was. Another reminder that how we approach life can have a profound effect on us regardless of the season we are in. Happy Summer!

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at betsyglass1@gmail.com or read additional Reflections at www.betsyoreglass.com.

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