ordinary time.

It is the last day of school and the long lazy days of summer are finally upon us. For the church, this is ordinary time. I was first delighted by the phrase “ordinary time” on a bulletin in church a few years ago and every year I am delighted to see it come around again. Not “ordinary as in plain or uneventful, but ordinary as in without special emphasis: rather than looking at one aspect of Jesus’ life, we are looking at the big picture.” The church calendar helps us make space in our lives for grieving and hoping and remembering and celebrating, but summers are for ordinary time.

My life is ordinary in both senses of the word during the school year: I shelve books and sweep the floor and roll trucks down the hall. But to say that our summers are without special emphasis is to put it mildly. We do little projects around the house and we wander over to the pool for some serious lounging. One day blends into the next without feeling wasted.

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“Atticus is a child of his own. He makes choices and sticks to them,” his progress report said this week. Apparently he refused to pretend to play the drums while on a bear hunt and instead insisted upon playing air guitar. Now his class can pretend to play any instrument they want, thanks to Atticus. I was fiercely proud when I read that–my child is creative and he is a leader! (But my heart sank a little bit, too, because I know that his teacher was really just saying that he is stubborn.)

It’s a mom cliche, I know, but I was sitting on the floor and he flew past me with his wild hair and still-chubby ankles and I was struck by how foolish it was to ever think that he was mine. Of course he will always be mine and I will always be his, but now I see that he was, from the beginning, his own little person. A child of his own. I worry a little bit about wasting the days we have with him, and for this reason the season of ordinary time feels like a gift.

We spent the last few weeks of school testing testing testing and I spent a lot of that quiet time thinking about the summer ahead. I am not one to cannonball into the water or throw myself off the high dive. I prefer to ease myself in. Over the next week, I am posting some of my favorite poems and prayers and words and songs and books for ordinary time as a way to slide into summer.

It’s true, ordinary time began a while back, but I mark time with the church calendar and the school calendar. I look forward to syncing the two over the next few days. How do you transition into summer?

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