Summer lovin…

Can we talk about how summer has FLOWN by?!?! I haven’t even had time to get a tan yet (also known as burn, aloe, peel, pinkin’, repeat). These lazy, hazy, crazy days are still here for sure – you can tell by the humidity – but they are slipping by so fast! And you know what? I am THRILLED!!!!!!! Me being a winter girl in a summer world is tough. Granted, I know we have about 5.5 days of winter plus the random freezing mid spring – but still. The cozy comforts of the illusion of fall and winter are my absolute faves. Maybe ’cause I’ve never been a beach babe – my skin burns fast like a piece of bread in the pit of an overused toaster oven. Or maybe ’cause the heat gets to a point that you can’t go outside without water involved – which for the pool-less Followell family means just basically hosing each other down in the backyard. Praise Jesus though – we finally got a snow cone stand. We will now survive on sugared ice – add sweet cream please. But the thing about me not loving summer is kinda twisted because I will more than likely always live in the beloved – eat the humidity with a spoon, 1,000 on the heat index scale – south. Sure, something could change, but if we are being honest, I will probably die here, and let them bury me in the backyard if that is permissible (which I hear it isn’t for humans – bummer).

I. LOVE. THIS. PLACE.

So – I will be stuck in the place where it is summer 9 out of 12 months of the year and need to learn to be happy about it. This season is so long. But isn’t that how adult life is? When growing up, so much is changing. You are in school, but class, friends, grades, teachers, and subjects all change every year. We change our look, our tastes, our passions. Maybe we go to college, but even that feels a bit the same. Not quite free, not quite wanting to be. Seasons are intense but quick (insert the fact that you could not pay me to do middle or high school again – never would I EVER back-to-the-future that past of mine – Sorry Doc and Marty. Eww).

Now I am an adult (so “they” say). And although there are things that do change, a lot is staying the same. There are many things that have no escape. You can’t always drop, quit, change, move, start over. You can’t redo your character or uproot easily. Maybe some of you can. Or maybe some of you are under the illusion that you can. All that pondering to say – sometimes, we have to stick out the season. And although my life in general is filled to the brim with goodness and overwhelming amounts of grace and love, there are parts I’d rather bypass. There may be  large parts you would rather bypass. And maybe some well-meaning folks are trying to fix the season you are in, or maybe you are desperate to change it – but just like the Mississippi heat, there will be no escape.

So here is what we are going to do – party, people. We are going to take responsibility for our own joy. No more letting circumstances that change with the wind control us. No more letting all these moody people determine our worth and satisfaction (we all moody – for reals). No more allowing ourselves to be sky-rocketed into happiness only to plummet to the depths by the smallest or biggest occurrences in our season of life (or heaven help us if someone does not like our Instagram post – you mean selective likers!). We can have a solid rock that is not wavering, even though the whole world, including ourselves, is a hot mess.

To those of you who worry over others – let me tell you – I am so joyful right now! This is more of a lesson I’m trying to learn so that when the next shoe drops I don’t go dropping with it. Enough of that having control over me (but if you think you need to send me a meal because you feel bad for me, I’m always accepting 🙂 ). I’m just learning to surrender being defensive, nagging, frustrated, resentful, and bitter (LEARNING – not MASTERING). There is just no energy for all of that any more. None. Zero. Zilch. And I have found that joy, humility, compassion, and serving are WAYYYY more energizing to myself and others.

Everything is not about me. It isn’t. I want to make it that way sometimes. A lot of times. Almost every day.  But I’m desperate for that chain to break. And I believe that it can. If I get walked on a little, my rights aren’t high on others priority list as I’d like them to be, or my voice isn’t heard nor my opinion worshipped – so be it. We’ll all be a little better for that.

Learning to be joyful is not necessarily an easy task but one I believe is worth fighting for. What are some ways you have stayed joyful through life’s chaotic rollercoaster (or sometimes flat plains of no changed and silence)? Would love to get some insight on other fighters out there.

much love,

Jess

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