I confess to feeling a little grumbly about this month’s topic. Renewal? Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to come up with something insightful on the subject of renewal when I’m in the midst of the year’s most trying season—summertime.

The kids are out of school.
It’s hot.
The kids are out of school.
Swim lessons.
The kids are out of school.
The kids are out of school.
Toys strewn from basement to attic.
The kids are out of school.
Obnoxious cartoons and video games from dawn to dusk.
The kids are out of school.
Why is the sandbox now on the kitchen floor?
The kids are out of school.
Other people go on vacation. We don’t.
The kids are out of school.
I still need to write.
The kids are out of school.

You get the idea.

For me summer is not about relaxation, renewal, or enjoyment. It’s about endurance. Every day by 3 PM, I’m sweating, gritting my teeth, and telling myself, “You’re going to make it. You’re going to make it.”

Make it to what, you ask?

The daily finish line. Bedtime, of course.

Recently one of my boys asked me why we have to sleep all night. The implication in his question was clear—I can think of much better uses of my time, Mom.

So can I, honestly. If I didn’t have to sleep, I could write all night long. Goodness knows, I’m not getting any writing done during the day.

I told my son that God knew our bodies and minds would need to rest, so He designed nighttime and sleep for that purpose.

My son responded with, “I wish God hadn’t made nighttime. Sometimes I get scared at nighttime.”


I can relate. No, I’m not afraid of monsters under my bed, or in my closet, or in the dresser, or in the hall, or in the bathroom, or in the spare room. But far too often I use the time God made for renewal to stress about my problems, all the things I didn’t get done, and the reality of facing another frustrating day tomorrow.

No wonder I hate summertime.

But even if I choose to be angry and resentful and miserable with the nighttime God has provided, He still allows my body the rest it needs. I go to sleep. I can’t help it. After all, I’m exhausted. And even though I’ve been a bratty, complaining child, God renews my brain and my body. It’s a miracle really.

Even if every day this summer is filled with loud, squabbling boys and my endless attempts to entertain, distract, or maybe just muffle them fail, there will still be bedtime. There will still be sleep. Renewal was designed by God and is worked into our biology. Whether or not we agree to it, acknowledge it, or purposely plan for it, renewal will happen. And I’m so thankful.

And now, I must bring this post to a close.

The kids are out of school.

Evangeline Denmark has storytelling on her heart and in her blood. The daughter of novelist, Donita K. Paul, Evangeline grew up living and breathing good stories. She has co-authored two children’s books which are under contract with Waterbrook Press and also writes adult fiction. Evangeline is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, serving as chapter secretary.