June is one of my favorite months of the year. Long days. Mornings are cool, and afternoons aren't too hot to enjoy. Strawberries are fresh and ready for picking; corn is inches high in the fields. The kids play outside from morning til dusk. Schools are on summer break. Churches advertise vacation Bible school. Swimming pools are open.
The last two years, I have missed June. When I think back, it's like I skipped right over it without a moment to indulge in the perfect beauty that is June. We moved in 2011, and we lost some school time, so I intended to teach right through the month of June. I was less excited than the kids about this prospect, but I pressed on without complaint. It didn't matter because Daddy landed in the hospital the first week of June that year, and, even after he was home, he was so weak that I was needed nearly everyday.
So what I remember about two Junes ago are afternoons sitting beside his quarantined hospital bed, donning a pale yellow hospital gown, gloves, and a mask that made me sound like Darth Vader when I breathed. Long drives to Zanesville, Columbus, and Mount Vernon to take Daddy to see specialists. Trips to Millersburg to take Mom to her favorite grocery store because...
that June? Mama was in remission. I still praise the Lord for that moment when the doctor pronounced her defeat of cancer, round 1. What a blessing it was to have those cancer-free months with her.
When I think back to all those car rides and all those hours spent in doctor's offices, I feel so unworthy of the blessing that the Lord gave to me. It is a remarkable role to be the support person for someone going through a major illness, and I was that person for both my parents. Sure, they had each other, but neither of them was fully strong that summer, and I was able to be there for them. It was an honor, and it allowed for hours and hours of conversation with each of them that I will cherish for eternity. It gave me the privilege of hear old stories again and stories I had never heard before, and it gave me the privilege of understanding each of my parents in ways I never thought I would. Divine privilege, it was. I am grateful.
Fast forward to June 2012. Once again, I intended to teach through the month, which I sort of did, but Mom's health wasn't so great, and I was spending time each week taking her to treatments in Columbus and procedures in Zanesville. Toward the end of the month, she landed in the hospital (again) with blood clots. It was my wedding anniversary. I was stuck at home with the kids because Eric had taken her to the doctor that day, and then the doctor sent her to the emergency room. Eric sat all day with her and into the night, waiting to find out if they were admitting her or sending her to another hospital (they did). How many sons-in-law would do that? Mom and Eric had a sweet bond. In fact, I think both Benjamin and Eric would agree when I say that Mom was the ideal mother-in-law to them.
As this June approached, I had big plans to teach. It goes without saying that the middle of our school year was rather rocky. Still, when I looked at all that we had accomplished this year? I was satisfied. Eric was satisfied. We chose to be done.
And I am resting.
For the first time in three years, I am resting.
I still have things that I need to do for Mom's and Dad's estates, and I'm still running my household, but there is time to rest, and I am taking it.
I think the Lord gives us seasons of rest for so many reasons, and I think we too often overlook them and even glorify the busy life. God is growing me right now, filling me, flooding my soul with His love, healing my soul. So often I hear people, women especially, almost bragging about their busyness. I don't know that God intended us to live that way. It pushes Him right out of the moments. Rest is required for healing. Rest is required for productivity. Rest is going to get me through this season so hard.
That's what I'm living right now. Rest. In June. My favorite month.