I've been waiting all summer for this weekend. This is the weekend everything changes. The weekend when we transition from summer to Fall Semester.
David and I have been thoroughly grateful for the cooler temps that blew into Arkansas (and much of the South) this week. It's made gearing up for the Fall Semester THAT much more exciting. Pumpkin things are popping up everywhere, Razorback decor is on every other front door, we even have leaves on our back deck.
It's seems kind of ironic, but things in our home will feel as if they've returned to normal pace on Monday.
I mean, technically, our days and evenings and weekends during Fall Semester will be filled with more extracurricular activities and meetings and service opportunities etc, and of course David will be taking another full load of law school (and doing an internship), so you would think life would be feeling as if it were picking up, but to me it just feels like it will be getting back to normal.
My dear friend Libba and I were talking about this wonderful time of year just this week. As we talked about the transition that takes place between summer and Fall Semester, we both agreed, we prefer Fall Semester to summer. Of course, there's so much excitement in the Fall (cooler weather, holidays around the corner, football games) ... We both love these things, but mostly we prefer the routine that comes along with it.
I feel like I learn so much more about myself with every passing season. My mother will laugh and my father will smile as they read this, but this summer I officially learned that I prefer structure. I like knowing where the lines are. I like routine. To an extent, I can go with the flow (David can certainly testify that I'm getting a lot better with this), but I do better with go-with-the-flow when it's the time or place for it.
I think about how God established order in Creation, and I'm so grateful to see that this preference I have is something Our Maker is quite fond of Himself.
This week, as I excitedly welcomed this transition, I came to another understanding about summer. While Spring is ending and Summer is approaching we're excited about the unknown adventure Summer brings. All of us are. (Even those with seasonal depression look forward to summer!) Summer is when you'll learn that thing you've always wanted to learn, you'll finish that task that's been on your to-do list since New Year's, you'll meet THE ONE and fall in love, you'll go an adventure to somewhere new or someplace incredibly familiar where you always feel yourself... Summer is a blank slate of new beginnings and opportunities. But, for most of us, no matter how wonderful our summer might be, the reality is our summers never pan out to be exactly what we expected them to. Sometimes they're better! Sometimes they're not. Summer, quite simply, if full of the unexpected.
As I chew on this realization, I feel that perhaps summer reminds us of the reality that life itself is incredibly unexpected. That we all look back 5, 10, 20, 50 years ago and marvel at the experiences we walked through and say, "If you had told me 5, 10, 20, 50 years ago that this is where'd I'd be, I'm not sure I would have believed you..." That's when I'm glad life wasn't up to me. When I'm glad I gave up the pen to my story some time ago. That it's only through the unexpected, unplanned adventure of the story God's writing for me that I've become the woman I am today.
So, although I gratefully embrace the routine that's beginning this weekend, I remember that routine is not control, routine is simply order. I like order. But I don't want to control my life. I want God to do that. He did a pretty good job with the World. I think He can handle my life. We surrender this semester to Our Maker. And we pray that if it too is filled with unexpected twists and turns, He'd faithfully remind us that He's still in control.