There is beauty and rest in this day, if I search for solitude, silence, and contemplation.

What will my summer entail? Meaningful moments usually involve simplicity, creativity, space to dream, freedom from schedules and requirements. Yesterday, my twins closed their lockers on Sixth Grade, and will return to school in August as Seventh Graders. Our eldest already anticipates her Sophomore year of High School.

So, what to do? Do? No! Who are we to BE?

The becoming is more important than mere actions: the shaping of hearts and refining passions, the deeper understanding of what shortcomings my kids demonstrate and strengths we can stretch to build. This is what makes sense to me, in my mothering journey, right now.

I’m encouraging my girls to set goals, clear clutter in their rooms and hearts, and discover ways — in our shape and giftedness — we can love the people around us.

It looks different for each person, I realize, but our summer will have open times of nothing, lengths of music, then quiet, boredom, and cultivation.

I love the time required to rest the mind and allow a child’s gifts and dreams to emerge. This takes a great deal of time, so mothering patience is required. And space, so my girls can explore a book, or the outdoors and dream. All morning? Sure. And the afternoon? Yes. Don’t miss the golden ten minutes of sunset, when light shifts and temporarily bathes our world in golden possibilities.

We seek gentle pressing toward maturity and an honest evaluation of which character traits our kids lack and need deeper facilitating of how each can grow where each need that growth.

As I recall, each type of flower needs a different: type of nurture, sun, pruning, unique for each… the same as I consider each of my girls.

As an optimist, I always search for the sunshine to filter through the trees; I seek the suffering I face to create a love for others and the ability to carry shared burdens. This hasn’t always been possible for me in prior years of singular grief and pain. I’m growing as a wife and mother. But we learn together, and lean into infinite optimism.

May the same be for you in this season: connection with loved ones, service which challenges, and growth along the way.