This transcript is made possible by our generous donors. Learn how you can join them. This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Emily: Welcome back to another episode of Risen Motherhood! I’m Emily, here with Laura.
Laura: Hello, hello!
Emily: Before we jump into today’s show, we want to tell you about something you’ve been asking about for a long time: our launch team for the book! It’s going to be paired with something really exciting: some great additional bonus content in the form of an e-course.
Laura: We want to do things a little non-traditionally for a launch team. We’re going to have an e-course you can participate in. Each week, Emily or I—or probably both of us—will pop in and talk you through the framework we use every week to take a topic and work it through the gospel. You can take your own unique circumstances—whatever you’re facing in the moment—and apply the gospel yourself. There actually is a real system I feel we’ve developed.
Emily: Yeah, there are questions we process through every time. There are some dangers Laura and I have run into as well, so we want to share some things to avoid in the way you apply the gospel. We think this is really helpful stuff in addition to the book; we don’t really dive into this super deep in the book. We’d love for you to join us! So, how do you get into the launch team, Laura?
Laura: The first thing you have to do is preorder the book. Once you’ve done that, you can submit your receipt; there’s some technical stuff that we’ll have on the website. But then we’re hosting the group on Facebook. You can join by August 2nd, so think ahead right now to the summer. The actual group will run from August 5th to September 13th; it’s a six-week e-course training ground.
Emily: You’re going to get a PDF of the book, and we’re going to give you a bookplate, which makes your book a signed copy. There will be weekly giveaways. Since it’s a launch team, we’d love for you to come alongside us by reviewing the book and sharing it on social media. We’ll be giving you all the help to do that and cheering you along as you help us launch this book out into the world!
Laura: We hope you come and join us! We’d love to meet all of you in the Facebook group. It’s a great way for us to have a little more contact with you, which we think is really exciting.
Emily: Oh! There’s another thing we can’t wait for!
Laura: Oh! Ha! [Laughter] I wasn’t sure where you were going with that. But it’s true! Very good transition, Emily. I ruined it. I apologize.
Emily: That’s what we’re chatting about today: our summer expectations, hopes, and dreams. The weather is finally nice! We live in central Iowa, as most of you know, so our winter goes on and on and on…
Laura: It’s like six months. Maybe seven.
Emily: And when you think it’s over, you can wake up to snow scattered on the ground even though our plants are trying to come up. We’re always really excited when summer gets here.
Laura: Yeah, that’s exactly right. I love summer, because I love all the extra time. I think I’m going to be so productive. I’m going to read with my kids and do all these crafts. I’m going to turn into Pinterest mom, and we’re going to do all these dinners outside, and all this stuff. Some of that gets accomplished, which is really fun. But some of it doesn’t. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Emily: I’ve seen more and more these summer bucket lists people have.
Laura: Those are cool.
Emily: And you think you’re going to go to all these parks, every splash pad, and the zoo—
Laura: And read 100 books. We’re going to earn the personal pan pizza. For sure. [Laughter] It’s so important.
Emily: Maybe it’s something like all the playdates. I know that’s something Laura and I have been talking about: how we’re going to get our kids together more often. Another thing we love about summer is there’s usually less illness.
Laura: Oh it’s so good!
Emily: There’s not a cold every single week or a stomach bug. Like Laura said, the availability to eat outside and hopefully less sweeping. When my kids were really little, I remember making them eat lunch on a picnic blanket in the backyard. When they stood up, I’d just shake that thing.
Laura: Love it!
Emily: Shake those little sandwich pieces all over the yard. [Laughter] The birds would come eat them or whatever. In general, a lot of us look forward to travel, vacation, or memories. We think this is kind of the golden time for our kids when they look back and remember these super fun summers. There’s definitely a lot of pressure put on summer.
Laura: A lot of expectations. That’s for sure. One thing I think is hard too is for those who work, because a lot of times, work doesn’t slow down. It doesn’t for us at Risen Motherhood.
Emily: Work doesn’t know it’s summer! [Laughter]
Laura: Exactly. Our kids are home with a different schedule, but we don’t have a different one. That can be a tough part of summer. You might be piecing together childcare or different day camps. Some of you are teachers, so maybe you have a shortened schedule which means you might have more expectations placed on how you’ll spend the summer. But no matter what, in general for most people, the summer brings a pretty significant change in the schedule. For all of us, there’s something about the summer, where things just get a little...wild. [Laughter]
Emily: They do! It’s later bedtimes, longer days, and there’s an exhaustion that occurs over the summer. We think it’s going to be fun, but now we’re tired because we’ve been doing more than we usually do. What’s interesting is for some parts of the country or parts of the world, this is the time of the year they’re stuck inside.
Laura: Which is so strange! I can’t imagine spending your summer inside. But I’d take your winters; that sounds awesome. [Laughter]
Emily: Everything is a trade-off. But regardless of what this looks like for you or what you see as pros and cons, we want to give everybody—including ourselves—a little pep talk. We’re staring down the summer months; it’s May now and we’re making our plans. We know a lot of the things we’re about to talk about, but we still need a reminder of God’s grace and how that changes us.
Laura: We know some of you might be listening to this later in the summer. Welcome if you joined us over the summer for the first time! Know that we’re dividing this up by months, but any of these can be applied at any time throughout the summer or your year.
Emily: Yeah. So June. We need perspective. What we wanted to bring out in this June month is the perspective that we’re living for something eternal. We’re not storing up our treasures here on earth. Our lives aren’t meant to be lived for our own pleasure, or our own fun, or getting our bucket list done. We’re part of a bigger story. Jesus knew it’d be easy for us to take care of ourselves and help ourselves, but he calls us to something that’s greater in his kingdom.
Laura: He calls us to love others more than ourselves. In fact, we’ve talked in a previous show about how God sets the standard. He said, “I know you’ll love yourself so easily and so well, that I want you to love others the way you love yourself.” Christ calls us to love others and prioritize them. That includes our children and our husbands, of course; but also the poor, and the needy, and the hard-to-love, and those less fortunate. We want to think as we go into the summer: what does that look like for each family to make sure they are carrying out the Great Commission and greatest commandments? As a personal example, something I’ve realized is that I have to work pretty hard to find ways to involve my children in service or else it doesn’t really happy. We may make a meal or two when it crops up. But this year, we’re working with a nonprofit that works with transitional housing for those who can’t afford traditional housing. So we come and clean the apartment before the new person comes. When I first heard about this opportunity, we specifically signed up for it because we thought it was a good way to involve our kids. It has accountability and has been great for my kids to see not everyone lives the way we do. It’s also offered some great conversations.
Emily: To build off that, one of the questions we wanted to leave you with in this month is considering how you can live out the greatest commandments? How can you structure your summer in a way that shows not only how you love God but also how you love others? Our default is going to be to design these months to take care of number one and is about the betterment of our own lives and enjoyment. Can you think of someone you know you can serve? Is there a neighbor you want to get to know better? A mom with a new baby this summer that you can bring a meal or watch her other kids? Maybe there’s something at church you’ve been meaning to get involved in and now’s a good time to sign-up? Think about those things as you look ahead to your summer.
Laura: So, July. This month we need grace.
Emily: We need grace for all the plans we made in June. [Laughter] And all the good intentions we had that didn’t happen.
Laura: That’s exactly right. By June, it’s pretty obvious our summer bucket list isn’t going to be totally accomplished. The schedule has gone awry, right? Kids have gotten weirdly sick even though there’s less illness in summer. Maybe they were stung by a wasp or a bee. My daughter is deathly afraid of bees. If there’s a bee around, we can’t do anything. Maybe it rained on the day you planned to go to the amusement park or zoo. There are a lot of failures. Not just in our plans going awry, but in our hearts. The kids are fighting, bickering, and complaining; they’re impolite and ungrateful. For us as moms, we’re caught off-guard by our kids’ ungrateful attitudes. We’re kind of annoyed ourselves. We’re frustrated. We want a nap. [Laughter]
Emily: Exactly, which is why we need to remember grace. We talked about perspective in the previous month, and this perspective reminds us that we live a life in Christ in God’s favor. This means we get to experience his joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, love, and kindness even though we’re sinners who’ve fallen short of his standard. Whenever we realize that and think about how short we fall, and yet in Christ he gives us all of these pleasures—a lot like the pleasures we get to experience in summertime—our attitude is different. We also get to point our children back to him as well as we see these things that pop up during the summer that aren’t what we wanted. We get to tell them about the grace God gives us in Christ and all the gifts he gives us that we don’t deserve.
Laura: I think of the Greek word—I’ll probably mispronounce it—charis. Somebody out there is a scholar, and they’re correcting me. [Laughter] We’re not trained students in this stuff. It’s a way to talk about God’s favor. We don’t earn his favor. I think the summer season is a great time to remember that. And it’d be a fun word study if you’re looking for one.
Emily: For me, I can tend to be very future-oriented and idealistic. I always have these really fun ideas in my mind. But the reality is by the time we get to July, I have tension in my house that creates a lot of conflict. My older kids feel like they deserve to go to the pool everyday or do super fun things outside. I feel pulled because I can’t supervise them at that moment; I need to do housework, or stuff for our family, or get the little ones down for a nap. There can be tension that starts to boil up in our house, creating sibling conflict, tears, complaining. Things aren’t turning out the way we expected. But it’s good for us to sit down and remember. I’m prepping myself already for the days that will come in July when there are tears because someone didn’t get to do what they wanted to do. We can reorient our perspective: we feel this tension because we live in this world that’s fallen. But we can look to Christ and hope in him, not our circumstances. We can remember God’s grace.
Laura: Our July question and challenge for you is what verse can you post or memorize who you are in Christ even when things get hard? So Emily, get working on your verse.
Emily: I know! I probably do need to get one out.
Laura: Another nice challenge might be to find time to read a book or discuss with your kids the gospel theme. Working through all the stuff God has given us that we don’t deserve? That’s the gospel. Talk through what we deserve, what we’ve been given in grace and mercy. It’d be a great chance to remind yourself of some gospel hope. If you don’t know what book to read, we have a million on our website under the kids resources page. Or just go read a portion of the New Testament.
Emily: Yes! Last summer, we studied 1 John with my oldest son, and it provided so many opportunities because there are so many good verses in there. “Whoever loves God must love his brother.” “We must walk in the way Jesus walked.” It gave us a lot of natural opportunities as a day went south to recall that study with my son.
Laura: Your son was six at the time, right?
Emily: Yeah, almost six.
Laura: So, our Abide study cards are a great method to walk through if you’re thinking you don’t know how to study 1 John with your kids. Well don’t worry, we have provided all you need, moms. Excuses gone. [Laughter]
Emily: A free printable! Okay, so let’s get to August, when we’re in need of perseverance.
Laura: Gotta get to the end.
Emily: We’re nearing the summer finish line, but we’re not there yet. This is the point in the season when some of us are getting anxious about another schedule change coming in the fall. Things are on the calendar. Our kids are getting bored by all the things that sounded fun at the beginning of the summer. Things have been done or played through. It just feels like there’s dissatisfaction, even though we’re not quite at the end of the summer.
Laura: It’s when we want to give into our selfish desires, but now is not the time to grow weary of doing good or stirring one another up in love and good works. Just remember during this season—all the time but especially in August—because of Christ, we have the Holy Spirit. So now we have the power to live like Jesus, no matter how hard it is, how tired we are, how much we want to give up. Just remember you can change. Actually Christ is always changing you; he’s making all things new. He never leaves you how he found you. When God shows us his love, it does shape and affect our hearts. We want to encourage you during this season that you can turn to God in prayer, and you can read the word and ask him to make it real in your life in this season. Ask him to help you to keep loving others, even though it probably feels tiring and challenging. Maybe you’re starting to look forward to school. I know, for me, the hard thing about August is I’m ready for September.
Emily: It’s easy to think once our circumstances change, I’m going to pull myself together again. So once September is here and we’re back in the swing of school, then things will be easier or better. But that’s never the reality. We always need to stay the course right where we’re at. So the August question is considering what is one area you feel weak? What are God’s promises that sustain you in that area? Or how is he sustaining you in that area? Sometimes he is and we just need to stop and acknowledge it.
Laura: He always is.
Emily: Yes, that’s true. [Laughter] In Christ, he’s always sustaining us. But the unique ways…
Laura: Yes, yes, Amen, amen. [Laughter]
Emily: And let’s say, “Thank you God” for how he’s carrying us through something even though we’re not doing a great job.
Laura: So for the August challenge: put on some music and dance a little. Have a little hope in those lyrics, and help the whole family persevere to the end. I know music changes our heart attitudes. We have a whole episode on music if you want to learn about how it does. Take a look at your June goals, and remember it’s never too late to restart. Even if you only have a few weeks of summer left, it may be good to look back and think how you can love others and how you can serve people. Pull out the summer bucket list, because maybe you can finish a few things on there. It’s not about doing things; it’s about resting in God’s grace. I think it’s a reminder that it’s never too late to restart.
Emily: So we wanted to leave you with this little word picture.
Laura: This is all Emily. 1,000% Emily.
Emily: This is way too deep, but bear with me. We live among a bunch of cornfields in central Iowa, and more and more, I’ve gotten to the point where I think of things in terms of agriculture and farming. During the spring season, the farmers are sowing seeds. Even the hobby gardener knows you get out there and plant your seeds. But it’s really in these summer months that there’s a hard, daily grind of going out, tending to the crops. Or going out to your garden and weeding every day. This is when you’re getting your hands dirty and all your tools are out. Maybe you’re having to work from what feels like sunrise to sunset; it’s not the time to sit back and eat all the tomatoes and sweet corn. It’s not time to enjoy the harvest. It’s the really important hard time. I think this can be true of motherhood as well—especially in the little years. There’s this new life; we’re sowing seeds. But now is the summer season. Now’s the time we’re getting our hands dirty. We’re putting in the long hours and tending to their hearts, even though we haven’t seen the fruit of our work yet. We haven’t gotten to the harvest part yet. We want to leave you with that, because sometimes we want to be in the next season. We want to be in the part when we’re enjoying the fruit of what’s been done. But let’s stay the course. It’s summer, moms. It’s summer outside, and it’s summer in your home. It’s the time to cultivate the gospel growth and not giving up.
Laura: I love it. So with that, I think we’ll end. We’re signing off for the summer ourselves! So we wish you the very best for the next three months! We’ll return on Wednesday, August 28th with our fall season. We could not be more excited to get into that as we work through the book release, which is September 3rd. Don’t forget about that launch team we talked about at the beginning of the show. We’d definitely love to see you guys there. I think that’s about if for summer stuff! Head to risenmotherhood.com. We’ll be on social media—Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram—and releasing articles all summer long. Only the podcast goes on break; the rest of the Risen Motherhood ministry is going, going, going. Emily and I are doing lots behind the scenes. We look forward to being in your earbuds in a couple of months.
Emily: Thanks, guys!