What You Have to Do to Come to Peace with This Season of Your Life

When I get to sit and listen to Emily Freeman, I always feel more alive. Her luminous words hand you your rightful birthright: to be as creative as your Creator Father. Read them and exhale. Emily’s got this  way to really wow you awake to who you are meant to be. Jesus is using her to change the world in a million little, profound, ways. Not to mention, she is winsome, brilliant, and beautifully down-to-earth — and reminds me of the most captivating old soul? Emily comes to the farm porch today with words that stir beautiful things:

 

photos & text by Emily Freeman

At 6:51 am EST on June 19, light from the sun hit directly on the Tropic of Cancer —

marks the longest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

summer solstice 2014 emily p freeman

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Topsail Island - emily p freeman

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At that very moment, I was standing in the kitchen of a rented beach house in North Carolina, sipping mediocre coffee from a borrowed cup, watching the waves massage the shoreline as the sun lifted above the horizon, already higher than I would expect for so early in the morning.

While half of the world was lit up for the longest day, the other half settled in shadow for the shortest.

If God had made the world straight up and down, we would have no seasons or change; just the sun shining straight at the equator all year around.

Instead, He chose to tilt it on His axis, making a way for strawberries, red leaves, quiet snow, raging hurricanes, spring showers, and sunflowers standing high in salute.

The tilt made a way for long light as well as long darkness.

The tilt made a way for change.

The earth moves, giving to some, taking from others, but then spinning around and giving something back again.

When transition comes, I’m learning to take small cues from the built-in rhythm of the world.

seasons - emily p freeman

Our three kids attend the public school in our neighborhood and June marks the start of their ten week break.

It’s petty and kind of embarrassing, but I have been known to spend lots of time forcing and squeezing, trying to fit my school-year work schedule into the summertime days of our family.

It never works out well.

I sometimes long to live in a tilt-less world, one I can maintain and predict. Keep the sun at the equator, please. I don’t like to move with the change.

When change comes, I may lose the rhythm I had before. But I gain something, too.

These days I have gained the mid-day bingo, the fireflies at dusk, the snuggles on the couch with a movie again tonight.

I have gained my nieces coming over to play at 8 in the morning and hours of listening to them create little worlds with their dolls.

checkers - emily p freeman

I have also gained more chaos in the house and a few more headaches, a shortened temper and a reminder of my graceless-ness when we’ve been cooped up too long together on a rainy day.

But those reminders aren’t always bad. They re-introduce me to my smallness, my limits, my need for help and God and coffee.

I have remembered how much work can be done in the dark morning hours, how time can slow when you pause to savor it, and how productivity isn’t as important as I sometimes think.

I have remembered to pace myself with both the work and the play.

It can be easy for me to live with a fractured soul – the kind that pulls in ten thousand directions, the kind that insists I compete, do more, and live up until finally I crash down.

It’s no way to live which is why I grieve when it starts to feel normal.

Like the world, my soul needs a solstice —  a predictable rhythm of change.

It’s true, this season comes with her own kind of gifts but it’s okay to acknowledge the things she takes as well.

emily p freeman

As schedules shift, so must our souls.

There is a strong stillness deep within me, the place where God lives. He is not pulled in ten thousand directions and in Him, neither am I.

In long light, in deep darkness, and in all the layers of shadow in between, Christ came first and holds us together even when change comes rolling through.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

And so we welcome this new season, whatever it may bring, because we must, because to press on as we have been doing hurts too much.

Instead of fighting the changes and the transitions —

what if we leaned into them instead?

 

 

 

 Emily P. Freeman extends a daily-ish invitation for women to create space for their soul to breathe on her blog, Chatting at the Sky. She and her family live in North Carolina where she sees the world in ways that helps the rest of us breathe deep.

The author of three books and the co-creator of the internet wonder that is known as Hope*ologie, a membership site that offers a monthly collection of hope in the areas we need it most – home, family, and soul – her creativity and down-to-earth brilliance is a breath of fresh air.

Her most recent release A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live is a must summer read — it will change the way you think and decide and choose to live your one wild and love life. Highly recommend.

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