About the Author

Shannan Martin is the author of Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted, wife of a jail chaplain, and mom to four kiddos. She's a big believer in community and salsa, and blogs at ShannanMartinWrites.com.

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  1. Shannan,
    I, too, remember fondly the days of my youth that formed who I am in my 50+ years. I also wondered if I gave my children (now 25 and 21) a fighting chance at a childhood worth remembering. So, when I hear them gleefully recount their childhood memories – punctuated with much laughter I do know that God met them in the right here, right now. Having taught preschool, I do admit that I worry about our cyber infused generation. Imagination is increasingly being replaced by entertainment and these young ones that I see need to have their God given curiosity and imagination encouraged so that their right here, right now can be all that God created it to be. Thanks for a thought provoking post!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Morning, Bev!
      Thanks for the comment.
      I tend to agree with you, but I also have high hope that God can transcend our technology and all our cyber-craziness. I look at my kiddos and feel sure that their imaginations are as fully intact as mine was (is??) 🙂
      Us humans don’t love change, do we?
      It’s comforting to remember that the world around us changes, but God never does.
      Have a wonderful day!

  2. Beautiful reminder Shannan! Things change. And our memories for ourselves can’t always be repeated. I grew up in the city going to the sprinklers to cool off, the downtown ice cream socials and the movies playing at Penn’s Landing.
    My kids memories are going to be much different now that we live in the country/burbs. But they’re still memories. Berry picking, creek wading, park hopping.
    And we’re making the most of our summer this year. We’re knocking ém out one day at a time and enjoying every one!

    Have a beautiful week!

    • You’re living the bizarro-world version of my life! (See: Seinfeld.) 🙂
      I love that your story is the opposite of mine. This world is so weird and fun!
      Thanks for the comment and live it up in the ‘burbs today!

  3. I loved this! I too am a summer girl, raised partly in the summers im my grandma’s rural community. Thank you for sharing: God is in the right now mess of our lives. We just need to stop and remember that He is, trying to teach that to our children and grandchildren; to grab the right now and look for Him, see Him. He is with you right now, even if summers have changed.

  4. Shannan!! This was the perfect post for my heart to wake up to this morning. Needed it friend. Thank you for reminding me, especially on the days when it’s hard to remember, that {{this place right where I am}} is where the best of me lives!!

  5. I think I often forget the truth of this.

    Thanks for the fresh reminder to dive in and give it my all…

    Some days – it feels next to impossible. Other days I cave.

    But today!! Today is a new day and here we go…

    • Girl, I often forget it, too.
      Most of the time when I’m writing, I’m writing to *this girl here*.
      Here’s hoping today is a day where neither of us caves! 🙂

  6. “Some things change but who God made us to be never does.”

    So true! Thank you for the reminder to take in ALL of our days. 🙂

  7. So right, Shannan. The beauty of NOW is so easy for me to miss. I’m always dreaming and thinking of the future, but God is here NOW, and He’s working in my life now. I struggle to remember that. It’s so easy to overlook the beauty of the journey.

  8. Since my sisters passing on June 8th, 2014 I have been struggling with my childhood memory. Getting absolutely frustrated that I can’t remember what we did together as kids. Being filled with a lot of guilt. I am the oldest and my sister is the youngest by 10 years. We were oil and vinegar. We loved each other and had each others back in a time of crisis. I was blessed to be part of her final journey with hospice and her going home to Jesus. This summer is a summer of change. A time that I have sat and reflected more on my own life and my personal journey with Jesus and my friends and family. This summer is a season of change. Things new and different. I miss my childhood. I miss the Lutheran Church I was raised and played on the playground for hours. I miss flashlight tag and making puzzles out of dirt. However, as seasons change we too must change. I am reflecting on laid back days and Norman Rockwell weather.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss but honored you would choose to share it here, with us. Praying for an overflow of sweet Sister memories to find you today.

  9. I love that you describe nostalgia as a “mirage.” I get caught up in nostalgia all too often, longing and grieving for my own glory days. Thank you for reminding me that nostalgia isn’t worth all the time I give it. Thank you for reminding me that my life is happening RIGHT NOW!

    • Girl, you’re so welcome! I have to remind myself of this. Huge fan of nostalgia right here! But it’s not always the most productive path to wander. 🙂 Have an awesome day!

  10. So gorgeous, Shannan. I feel summer on my shoulders and under my toes while reading your shimmering words — even though I’m sitting inside my boring office! The power of good writing.

    So, yeah … I’m a summer girl, too. We’ve fished and hiked and scavenger-hunted through nature. We’ve campfired and lemonaded and garden-planted and sparklered. We swam a thousand laps around July already. I can’t get enough.

  11. A fabulous post, Shannan, full of lyrical lines as rich and juicy as the berries in the photo. But this one? THE BEST: “This is your life right now and it needs you.” YES!

    It’s easy to look back and remember only the good stuff. It’s scary to look forward and imagine only the bad stuff. That’s why God wants us to live in the RIGHT NOW. Thanks for the timely reminder!

  12. Shannan – love this post. I literally ache with nostalgia and honestly love that I do. I try not to let it divert me from the importance of life in the present, but for me it’s important to let those memories of my Kentucky dairy farm childhood linger. Hours upon hours spent on my “rock pile” playing all alone on those hot summer days. Wandering all over our farm for hours without anyone having to worry about me. I’m a 60’s and 70’s child and am so grateful that God placed me here during that time. Loving life now and loving your insights each day.

    Lezlie

    • Queen of nostalgia, sitting right here! ‘Tis a wonderful thing…as long as we don’t get stuck in it. 🙂 Thanks for the comment – always!

  13. Shannan-
    What a perfect post for this summer day that holds such potential. My children and I, for what may be the first time in our summer so far, have nothing but leisure awaiting us. You’ve helped me to see what a gift today is. I too am a child born in a 1970s summer and I grew up enjoying summers like those you describe here…especially the library basket filled with books. Our library was right beside of the community’s pool…perfection! May God bless your summer and your writing.

  14. I too am a product of the 70’s yet I’ll be 41 this August. I long for the days of simplicity. The days where as kids we didn’t have to come home until the street lights came on. It is a different world but one thing I know God has not changed. We move faster now and the demands continue to grow whether with our time or with our checkbook. As parents, we shift from first gear and seem to start in third with our children – play dates and extracurricular activities, etc. instead to let our kids see our eyes on Jesus. To see how we Trust Him in the pace of life. How He seems to make all the uncertainty of the future a peaceful resting place in these hot summer days.

    • I feel like EVERY generation must feel this way – like *we* had it best. This is why I’m banking on my kids eventually feeling the same way. Love what you say about this being a peaceful resting place. YES!

  15. I was a June baby. I totally agree with you. Even on the too hot days, I try to open the windows to let in the warm/hot smell of summer. We took a family vaca to Wisconsin where we stayed in a “cabin” in the woods with bugs and birds and turtles and tree frogs. My kids loved it! My husband and mom and sister and bro-in-law loved it. I think we need to all pack up and move to florida. 🙂

  16. Beautiful imagery. A good reminder for me, as I tend to focus more on the “messes” than on the grace. Thanks for writing such a soul-filling piece.

  17. Written so beautifully! I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading. I am now in my late seventies, not as much a ‘summer girl’ as I used to be but I have so many memories – much different back then, but we move on, thankful for each season God gives us. Priorities change, lifestyles change, but as you said, the One who made us is always the same. Thank you, Shannan, for this reminder of the gift of life each day. God bless.

  18. Shannon – thank you for the reminder that we live in the here and now, not the past. I’m so thankful that the ink is still wet and flowing on my story. Your words are a blessing!

  19. Shannon, loved this post. I could relate, though I am a “city” girl who hates to garden. 😉 But I remember the long days at the pool having “tea parties” on the bottom. Or walking the many many blocks to the library to get another stack of books to devour. Thanks for the reminder.

  20. I loved reading your words here! As one who loves ALL things story, your line “the ink is still wet on our story” makes me so happy. Yup, still wet, thank goodness. And yes, summer is the best.

  21. Shannan, your writing is breathtaking. You captured the essence of summers then and of summer now. Thank you for such an important message, and so beautifully-said!

  22. I am not fond of summer. Oh I understand the slowing down and enjoying the moment. My youth was spent alone with parents in the hot, city. Not much enjoyment for me. No parks, pools, or creeks to wade in.

    Now I long to go back a few years when I was just married and life seemed good and perfect. We were both happy and content. Life was to be lived to the full. This summer/year has brought about a lot of changes. Mostly bad changes in job situations. Life is not as happy and full as it once was. I know that God is there in the midst and he will see me through it all!

    Blessings 🙂