Fall Packing List: 7 Lessons I Learned this Summer

It always seems strange to me that summer doesn’t end until late September. My calendar revolves around the school calendar, and summer ends now. School is back in session bringing with it back-to-school nights and homework. For educators it also involves many hours of preparation for new students. School ends the structure-less-ness of summer.

I celebrate changes in the seasons every year, but this change seems premature, kids heading to classrooms while the temperature outside is still 90 degrees.

This summer we have been reading Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh together. The end of Anne’s time by the sea is coinciding with our end of summer. She packed just a few shells, reminders of her time at the beach cottage. I find myself wanting to review in preparation for a new season, choosing which lessons to pack and take with me into fall and which belonged just to this summer.

Here is my packing list as I move from summer into fall:



When I loosen my grip on some of my doing and agree to just be, I open myself for God … I must learn to be still, and wait. “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good for that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26, ESV)       

More on patience here.




God slashes away anything that keeps my heart captive and separates me from his perfect love. He removes relationships I look to for security, thwarts systems of coping that I think will bring me abundant life. In reality my sinful systems of living subtly keep me locked in anxiety or emotional sleepiness and separate me from knowing intimacy, joy and the peace of loving God as my first love. Ancient saints called this process of loss “purgation” as in purging.

More about simplicity here



We seek solitude so that we can hush the noise around and inside us and better hear the voice of God. He often whispers and rarely shouts. Solitude exposes the lies repeated in loneliness and replaces them with truth.

Nothing can destroy me because in life or even in death I am in God’s hands.

No one can control me because I am steadied from the relationship at my center.

More about solitude here.

Ebb and Flow:

ebb and flow

Clinging to what was as if by clinging I could keep the sun above the horizon at the end of the day…I tend to forget that my life has had the same number of sunrises as sunsets and that the moon waxes until it is full after every time it grows dark and disappears. I do not need to fear the ebb and flow of life.

Read more about accepting change here.

Letting Go:

Letting go

When there is one thing I think I can’t live without, it is likely that I am trying to find my safety and security and nourishment from it instead of from God. I am gradually learning to hold things and even relationships with an open hand. I enjoy them as gifts from God.

More about letting go here.



Conflict, stress, and other dangers are necessary to achieve deeper beauty, strength that is hard to describe.

More about love here.



God’s love is so perfect that it can make us careless. We can care less. We can love, drawing life and joy from that root of God’s love and loosen our grip on the need to be loved. This then, being “rooted and grounded in love” as Ephesians 2:10 says, is the way to grow into perfect love, to learn to kiss the joys instead of bending them and breaking their wings.

More about joy here.

What will you pack from summer into fall?

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One Response to Fall Packing List: 7 Lessons I Learned this Summer

  1. Merrie Lea September 7, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Amen! So well presented, truths to take to heart!

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