As the summer months approach each year, I tend to do one of a few things:
1. Complain / dread summer
2. Threaten to move to another state
3. Complain some more and say "UGH!!!" a lot.
Living in Houston is a unique experience similar to that of having an annoying little brother. You can complain all you want about him, but once someone from the outside complains or makes pointed comments, you become defensive and find it unfair that anyone could ever speak so poorly about something you actually really love.
I've lived here my whole life and know all about entering a destination while airing out the back of my soaking wet blouse or being a kid in the summer time with your head out the window longing for relief from the heat in the family van with leather seats and no a/c or to have no comprension of anything more than two seasons other than what you see in Christmas movies or out of state family vacations. It's hot here. Some say "It's not so much the heat, but the humidity" but I sum it up and say "It's just Houston."
When we determined the baby's due date was in July, I was so purely excited to be pregnant I didn't give much thought to the fact she'd be born in the heat of a Houston summer. Amanda said "Awesome! Pool parties for her birthday every year!" And I thought "Awesome, I really hope she waits till after Sharathon!" (Our annual 3 day all hands on deck radio fundraiser in June.)
But once the sympathetic "helpful" comments from friends and listeners started piling up "Oh you poor dear, 9 months pregnant in July!" I started to get annoyed.
However, with each passing day I've realized this is just another opportunity to change my perspective on something in my life that's always had such negative presence. That I have a real chance to change the way I feel about this season and focus on what it's now going to represent from here on out: a new life!
So, I started to embrace the heat.
One day a couple weeks ago I was talking about this on my show and realized what a strong parallel it was to James 1:2-4 where we're challenged to ultimately find joy in tests and hardships, that if you embrace them, "your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure." And from there you'll be complete, lacking nothing.
I imagine myself in a time of growing and strengthening right now (and always) and by changing my perspective on this wretched heat I can instead be more open to so many incredible opportunities to notice the JOY and PEACE and LOVE that've actually been there all along.
Sometimes I imagine God above so patiently waiting, possibly even drumming his fingers on his kitchen table as I waste so much time focusing on crap that really doesn't even matter, but that I guess I do need to work through. Then, when I finally get it and let go, He springs up out of His chair, embraces me in celebratory mode, excited to reveal the beautiful things He's been waiting to show me all along.
So I've determined it's really simply just a choice. When I walk outside to get into my oven of a car, I choose to say "I'm so grateful I have a car!" When the sun is beating down and the humidity leaves me without air to breathe, I simply smile and choose to understand it only means we're that much closer to meeting the little missy.
And THAT is something to embrace. (Snow cones too.)