By LIBBO CROSSWHITE
It’s a tale as old as time: Summer seems to go as quickly as it rolls in. The word “August” sparks all types of emotions in me as a mom and educator. Summertime means I’m one year older, the pace is slower, and there’s time for reflection and a sense of presence in the pause.
If I’m honest, this has been one of the most sanctifying summers of my life. Making time to see a counselor has been an incredible gift for me. I continually remind myself of Psalm 18:19, which I mentioned last month. Seeing a counselor has anchored me back in the truth of my identity in Christ. It’s allowed me to make space, to remind myself that God both delights in and rescues me. It’s been a reset for me, and I pray that someone reading this will find hope and encouragement in what I’m learning on my journey.
I am learning that so much of my anxiety is anchored in the fallacy that each waking moment must be filled with achievement, accumulation of titles and things, and access to the next best activity. We got a reset in many areas last year, but many of our default settings remain: We’ve conditioned ourselves to believe the lie that busy = significant, and it’s causing us to feel more and more pressure to fill each moment with activities, lessons, and all the things — none of which are bad, but can deplete us and our children of time and space to just be.
Author Grace Valentine puts it this way, and it’s been an important daily reminder as I work toward just being: “Let go of thinking you are a human doing. You’re a human being for a reason. Life isn’t only about what you do, and your purpose isn’t dependent on your productivity. Be with Jesus. Be with His joy. Be with His peace. Be in His Word.”
A ‘Dawgs in 3’ mentality
You really thought I would go the whole article without mentioning the Dawgs? Listen, regardless of how you feel about Mississippi State winning their first national championship, what we experienced in late June was nothing short of joy for many of us, as I wrote about last month.
No, I’m not equating a national championship with what I believe to be the best gift I’ve ever been given, Christ’s gracious gift of salvation for those who believe. All I am saying is that driving from Mississippi to Nebraska gave me a newfound appreciation for the Israelites looking for the promised land in the Old Testament. And when that 12-hour drive turned into 16 hours because of my own inability to navigate, I finally understood the book of Numbers.
The truth is, as I drove to Omaha that Monday of the championship series and listened on the radio as MSU was losing game 1, part of me thought, “You’re driving this far to potentially get heartbroken again.” Luckily for me, I was with my dear friend Frances, who kept reminding me to keep the faith and remember that the Dawgs have never given us anything easy — and that it was the journey that mattered more than the outcome. Win or lose, we were grateful to be there.
Truth be told, though, we really wanted to win. “Dawgs in three” was the phrase we kept repeating with every wrong turn and every obstacle — it’s what just about every State fan used as a greeting as we walked the streets of Omaha that Tuesday before game two. Monday was a loss, but there could be victory right behind it — we believed it. You could feel it in the air, a word that is hard to find in many earthly places lately: Hope. “Dawgs in three” meant there was hope, and that’s what we’re given when we pursue a relationship with Jesus. That’s life as a Christian, right? On this side of heaven, there will be wins AND losses — probably more of the latter. But the end result? Victory.
Side note: As Clay and I pray through what God has in store for our family (read that for what it is: me having baby fever, and Clay reminding me that fevers are meant to eventually pass, but knowing God is ultimately in control of that too), I’m thankful that my middle name is Tanner and my father-in-law’s first name is Allen.
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay, live in Madison and attend Pinelake. They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 7 years old, and a son, Russell, who is 5 years old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison-Ridgeland Academy and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.