A Sweet Summer


This summer has been one of miracles and joy.

****Our daughter graduated from high school with honors, marking the end of an era.

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Doug and I did it. Just like that (so it seems), our formal parenting journey is over. Both kids have graduated. Josh is now a sophomore in college and Julia will begin her freshman year in August.

Time races on like a raging river. I am so grateful that He has taught me how to slow down and savor each day, quietly counting all the gifts I have been given, an overabundance of riches spilled into my life on a daily basis by my very good God.

*****In one wonderful day, Doug and I experienced an outrageous, amazing, and totally unexpected outpouring of His grace. It was a sheer miracle, one that we will never forget as long as we live. It was yet another reminder that He does all things well, that He has resources we know nothing about, that He is faithful and trustworthy no matter what, and that He always honors faith.

We still  have more questions than answers, but our future is not a mystery to Him and we rest in that.We have been on a wild journey where we are walking only by faith and not by sight and it has been the adventure of our lives.

He’s got this.

****We were able to go to Washington DC for Julia’s college orientation. It may have been one of our last road trips as a family and I treasured every moment of it. (Well, I suppose I didn’t treasure the extreme humidity on the first day we were there when it was 105 degrees!).

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The entire time we were in DC, I found it surreal that we were there to prepare for Julia’s freshman year of college. It was exciting and a bit sad all at once. But mostly exciting.

****Due to the generosity of sweet friends offering us the use of their cabin, we were able to visit Acadia National Park in Maine, which is absolutely one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen!

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It was the desire of my heart to be able to go on one last family vacation this summer, but it just did not seem possible. However, two of the sweetest words in the world are, “But God….” Not only did He grant me my heart’s desire of having one trip, he gave us two. Incredible, lavish GRACE!

Next summer, both kids could conceivably be taking summer classes or working in the cities where they go to school.

I thought about these things as we drove home from Maine. At the cabin, there was no Wi-Fi, so we were gloriously unplugged. We talked, read a lot, played a game or two, slept in, explored. It felt like a magical time.

And as we sped toward home, tears filled my eyes because I wanted time to slow down. I knew that once we hit our driveway, the rest of the summer would travel at warp speed. Josh will be 700 miles away, Julia 600 miles away.

From the recesses of my mind, a William Blake poem that I had studied as an undergraduate came to my mind:

He who binds himself to a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.

Kiss the joy as it flies is excellent advice for this time in my life.

****I have had the great joy of having my son work for me this summer as my second shooter at all my photography events. Before he came home from his first year of college, he texted me and told me he wanted to spend the summer learning photography from me. Music to a mom’s ears!

We have worked together at the prom, weddings, anniversary parties, senior portrait sessions, headshots, etc and I have had the privilege of helping him make some fine art pictures.  He has a razor sharp artistic eye and wild creativity and I have loved having him by my side. To know that he has my back and will consistently produce quality work has been invaluable.

Seeing him with his lovely red Nikon makes me all kinds of happy.

Acadia-90*****I decided to do a Golden Hour series of photographs, since it is my favorite time of day, as well as the most magical. I started in my own backyard.

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Golden Hour-46For the rest of the summer, I will roam all over my small  town during the golden hour and be “a hunter of beauty” with my camera (as Ann Voskamp says in her book 1000 Gifts).

Summer is the most enchanting season. There is so much beauty everywhere. I hope you are searching for it in your neck of the woods.

Then followed that beautiful season…Summer
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
—-Longfellow

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “A Sweet Summer

  1. It has been a sweet Summer for me too. I’m so encouraged to hear how God is blessing your faith, Susan. A time of jubilee. *^_^*

  2. Susan, I had to come back and tell you how helpful you were to me today. My sweet little boy was playing in the living room, his small voice narrating the game he was playing and my heart near-exploded with the cuteness of it all. And for a moment, I got sad because I couldn’t capture it and hold onto it forever. It was only now and it would end. Then I remembered the words you posted: “Kiss the joy as it flies…” And that was so helpful to me. Savor it while you can and then let it go.

    Thank you for sharing that. ♡

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