The Summer of … Intentional Memories

“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” Romans 15:13 (NIV)


Our family planned a fun weekend to officially celebrate the beginning of summer. On Friday night we chose to start with a bonfire. As we were sitting there listening to the Christian radio station in the background, talking and catching up with each other by a crackling fire, I sat and took in the moment. I realized I felt happy. Not for anything in particular, but happy sitting around with family enjoying a fun family moment “just because.”

Saturday we invited a few of the kids’ friends and spent part of the day watching the newly released Incredibles 2 movie. Then Sunday, after enjoying time at church and a meal at Applebees celebrating Father’s Day, we went to the beach and I spent time watching the joy other families had spending time and making memories with each other.

God reminded me during those moments scattered throughout the weekend of the freedom He gave me last year when He healed me of depression, then the bonus “joy” I felt when He healed me from holiday depression six months later.

I had allowed Eyeore to take up residence in our home approximately 11 years ago, but God, in His grace, kicked Eyeore out once and for all, making room for Tigger to come back. While I still feel sadness and disappointment and a myriad of other emotions from time to time, they are very different from the heavily weighted down blanket of depression. I find when I do struggle with darker feelings, I’m usually needing to work through another layer of “life” and once I surrender to God whatever it is I’m holding back, His peace and joy quickly return.

I decided during that weekend I was going to be more intentional about making fun memories this summer. We found out a few days later our oldest had the opportunity for work 2 ½ to 3 hours away, which means he would need a ride there and back. I’m already thinking about the “road trip” and what I can do to make it more fun than just “six hours in the car” twice in one week. Our kids are getting in on the fun too. Suggestions have been made about a family scavenger hunt that will last all summer, the alphabet game while grocery shopping, and spontaneous trips to the beach, zoo, and library.

Eyeore has officially moved out and he’s not welcome back. Tigger may have to remind me once or twice how to bounce, but this summer I’m ready to learn.

© Cheri Swalwell 2018

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