Summer days bring hours of time missing from the daily grind. Time, that illustrious gift we all desire. Days of running in summer meadows, picking blackberries. Days of building forts and making dams. Hours of fun playing hide and seek among the leafy trees.

Summer is also full of insect bits, hay fever and sibling squabbles, but nothing’s perfect this side of Heaven, so I guess we’ll roll with the seasons and embrace the good bits.

What are the Goldby family up to during these heady summer days? The oldest two boys have ventured north to undertake the NC500, driving the northern tip of Scotland with friends in tow. They’ve eaten and slept under the stars, swam in waterfalls and embraced the exhilaration of youth.

And what of the others? Still more adventures awaited them. Madeleine has ventured forth to the rainy, but very beautiful coast of Wales. She’s been given an amazing opportunity to work and train at a stables where they train horses in liberty work and dressage, think horses doing tricks on film sets. She’s learnt to cook for herself and is thoroughly devouring her first foray into independence.

Elizabeth has thrived at school, where she has been attending for the last two terms. She’s now ready to tackle GCSES and is revelling in her last summer of freedom before the work sets in.

Matthew has built, with Stephen and Hannah’s help, this rather cool fort in the garden. With hand sewn flags, hand carved shields and a super powerful catapult from which they have fired windfall apples. I’ve been as delighted in the team work as I have with the construction, this joint venture seems to have bonded this little team together.

Michael often joins in with these exciting games with his older siblings, but sometimes is content to ride around on his bike with Katie, or build furniture out of logs, cut down from the storms last winter.

Timothy has undertaken the challenge of walking and is delighting us all with his wobbly but determined steps.

Phil continues to juggle small holding life, fatherhood and holding down a full time job, working with folks in the UK, Asia and the U.S., which often means late night meetings and more recently a couple of trips to the Big Smoke. He’s recently being laying cables for the new solar panels we’re fitting, ready to increase our energy independence and hopefully save some money as well.

I’m gaining head space, something I deeply crave. With schoolwork off the summer menu I can consume the delights of time. Time alone and time with less pressure. Space to garden and potter in the greenhouse. I’m loving the weather this summer, warm enough to work outside and cool enough to work in the kitchen…perfect.

Today we’ve picked French beans and covered some unused beds with sheeting, hoping to avoid an invasion of weeds. A friend visited and the children played with her children whilst we chatted and prayed together. What a gift fellowship is, so much more than friendship, a connection on a spiritual level, true sisters.

I’m just thankful for these everyday activities, our life filled with gifts from God. Some days I struggle to focus on the positive and get dragged down into negativity, dwelling on the grumbles, squabbles and plain hard work; but then I pull myself up by my bootstraps and reframe my thoughts. When I put my challenges in perspective I can see them from further off, I can see the patience God is trying to grow in me, the tolerance the children develop for people who push their buttons(their siblings) and I see so much to be thankful for. When I give thanks in everything my mood changes and I see the beauty in the everyday moments.

What are you all up to this summer? Sending you all blessings, Vicki

3 thoughts on “Summer Activities

  1. Proverbs 31:26-31
    New International Version
    26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
    27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
    28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
    29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
    30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
    31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

  2. Jonathan (messianic jew) says:

    Proverbs 31 is the 31st and final chapter of the Book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible.

    Verses 10–31 of this chapter, also called Eshet Ḥayil (אשת חיל, woman of valor), form a poem in praise of the good wife, a definition of a perfect wife or “ideal woman” in the nation of Israel, who is ‘an industrious housewife, a shrewd businesswoman, an enterprising trader, a generous benefactor (verse 20) and a wise teacher (verse 26).[2] This “Woman of Valor” has been described as the personification of wisdom, or in some sense as a description of a particular class of women in Israel, Persia, or in Hellenistic society.[7] Some[who?] see this as a praise directed from the husband to his wife.

    It is one of the thirteen alphabetical acrostic poems in the Bible, where each line begins with a successive letter in the Hebrew alphabet.[2] The word חיל (Ḥayil) appears in verses 10 and 29 of the passage, thought as the summary of the good woman’s character. Traditionally it has been translated as “virtuous” or “noble”. Some scholars have suggested that it rather means “forceful”, “mighty”, or “valiant”, because this word is almost exclusively used in the Tanakh with reference to warfare.[8]

    Aberdeen theologian Kenneth Aitken notes that in view of the warnings against women portrayed as dangerous or adulterous in chapters 1 to 9, it is “fitting” that the book ends by “directing the attention of prospective bridegrooms to the ideal wife”.[2]

    Verse 30
    Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
    But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.[9]
    The key to the woman’s industry, acumen, kindness and wisdom lies in her “fear of the LORD”.[2]

    This chapter is recited on Friday night before Shabbat dinner in some Jewish homes. (And Messianic Jewish Christian homes)

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