when the dog days of summer set in and life is messy

Yes. It is that time in south Alabama. The dog days of summer have officially set in and everyone in the house is out of sorts.

It is too hot for anything. Lemonade stands have closed down. Hide and seek games have come inside. And, yes the house is a wreck. Even the dogs are too lazy to meander outside for a potty break in fear of being left out a little too long. The A/C is working overtime and I am sure, you like me, have someone in your house who is in constant distress that those of us left at home are not keeping the thermostat up high enough throughout the day. We won’t name any names. Thank goodness for them! Our A/C would have blown up long ago if I had been on duty.

With most of the family severely on edge and the thought of school only a few weeks away, children both young and old are sent into a summer reading frenzy! Bless us all. The fight is finally over!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

Unfortunately, these days can be a bit overwhelming. Too many things to clean. Too many mouths to feed. And, very little time for me. Especially my quiet time. Where I can refuel and renew for the next day. Where He meets me in all my messiness and makes me feel loved and cherished – dirty dishes and all. Not good, friends. This is when we need Him the most. And, He works the greatest. In our weakness.

Yes, these days I can become way too focused on the messes. In a time when Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram overload our senses with perfection, my heart aches for a summer fairy to come in and take over. To do all those things I see myself lacking in.

In fact, truth be known, yesterday I completely forgot to pick up my oldest and taxi him to football. He called and asked if I knew football was at ten and I replied with a quick, “Yes!”. Followed by a hurried, “Why? What time is it?” It was 9:55a.m. by my watch. The last time I forgot him, I think he was 3 or 4 and I left him at Mother’s Morning Out a little too long. Yes, I cried all the way to my destination and cried again when I got home and saw his sweet, little towheaded self. Yesterday, I simply sent him a little “I’m so sorry” text and had a little chuckle over how much times have changed. Trust me young mothers, there will be days you fail in a big way, but thankfully those don’t define us – in their eyes or in His.

Over the years I have become convinced that God isn’t really concerned about perfecting all of our household or mommy weaknesses, but more worried about perfecting those of a spiritual nature. Our unmade beds will probably never impact anyone else for good. Our empty fridge is not nearly as alarming as an empty heart. Our messy attitudes and our messy thoughts have a much greater eternal impact than our messy houses. Without time with Him that is where I end up every time. Just plain messy.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like messes!

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh every morning.” Lamentations 3:22,23 NLT

During these hot, dog days of summer, I am determined to let go of the messes and mistakes and grab hold of His message. One I love is His promise that His compassions are new every morning. I once heard this verse explained in a very simple way, yet life-changing for me. The teacher of the class I was in said that because He knows just what we need for what is coming our way today, He will supply it. New mercies. Every morning. What a relief. He already knows exactly what I need for today. I am depending on it and already thanking Him for it. Now that, my friend is better than any cup of coffee!

Somewhere, each of us has a friend who could more than likely use a gentle breeze to blow in and cool down her parched heart. Maybe just a hug. Or, a quick text. Just a bit of encouragement, reminding her that she is not a mess and that He is strong when she is weak. She may have a popsicle melting on her just cleaned counter. Perhaps her dryer is officially not working and there are wet clothes all in her laundry room (this one hits way too close to home for me!) Or, maybe, she like me forgot the all important family’s weekly schedule and messed up someone’s plans for the day. Whatever her mess may be, a kind word and gentle nudge to draw a little closer to Him in the next few days may be just what she needs.

Please follow His prompt when He puts it on your heart to take a little summer time out with Him. To forget about the undone chores and just sit at His feet for a few minutes. His presence is refreshing. His spirit provides renewal. And, His mercy trumps the messes.

And, for that friend He puts on your heart today, please say a little prayer and reach out to her. She, too may need all the goodness of Him to survive these dog days of summer.

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