I can't but you can

We are four weeks into summer - the first summer in which I decided not to enroll my kids in many camps other than our church camp which is this week. It seemed like a good idea at the time. No camp, that is. With my youngest heading into K, and the harsh reality that these years are going entirely too fast, I wanted to savor this summer and my time with them.

"I can do camp for the boys!" was the declaration I made when I was feeling particularly brave and unusually rested.

So here we are, four weeks in, and the truth is, I’m having a blast. But I’m not gonna lie. I’m bone tired. And, as much as they fill me up, they also wear me out. And, I’m getting like……nothing……. done. (Case in point, I wrote this last Thursday but I didn’t find time to post it until today!)

Still, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Here are a few of the highlights so far:


Hiking at Bull's Bridge and sharing this insanely sweet memory with Brennan by the waterfall.

photo 2-1 photo 3-1


Watching my guy do the thing he loves- play travel baseball

photo 5-1


Watching Brennan transition from "I'm bored" to "I'm an underwater martian ninja."

photo 4-1


Watching Owen get loved on by his cousins

photo 2


Spending countless hours at the beach 

photo 3


Father-son football game with good friends.

photo 5


And what's summer without whip cream being sprayed directly into your mouth?

photo 1


So there you have it. It’s been really awesome but …… have I told you yet how tired I am?

I just noticed it’s “Throw Back Thursday” on Facebook but all I want to do is throw myself on the floor and not get up.

Actually, that is what I just did.

Here’s the backstory…….

My four-year-old son Owen came running into the kitchen after getting accidentally whacked by his brother with a lacrosse stick. I knelt down and cradled him in my arms and I whispered “I'm so sorry you’re hurting” until his tears subsided.

(Note to self….. never forget that sometimes, no, most times, we don't need someone to fix it, we just need someone to listen, hug, and say “I'm sorry you're hurting.”)

While Owen and I were on the floor his big brother slipped into the kitchen and asked for forgiveness. Problemo solved.

Owen soon thereafter found the courage he needed to get back up and resume the game.

I, on the other hand, stayed lying on my back on that hard cold wooden kitchen floor for ten more minutes. I didn’t realize how tired I was until it became clear that the option of lying on the kitchen floor seemed like a better idea than getting up and moving to the couch. I think I’m experiencing more emotional exhaustion than physical. Or maybe it’s both. Either way, I stayed on the floor. And prayed.

“Lord, I can't. I just can't. I don’t have a lot left to give today, and I don’t have the strength to be the “Love” they need right now. I can’t, but Lord I know you can.”

Just confessing that out loud strengthened my spirit.

And then I did the only thing I know to do when my heart is overwhelmed and worn. I turned to God's word.

I flipped to just a few of my favorite verses - verses that remind me, once again, of the grace that faithfully answers my plea, "I can't but you can."

Psalm 73:26 My body and my heart may grow weak, but God is the strength of my heart and all I need forever.

1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries to Him because He cares for you.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

And, oh yes, this one……

Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

If summer fun has you feeling a little summer worn, I pray some of these verses will encourage you too today. When you can't, He can.  He always can!  And our "can't" is actually a gift because it reminds us that though we are weak, He is strong.

And one last thing,……. A Proverbs 31 summer online Bible Study kicks off today.  And it's all about parenting. Score!


I am so thrilled to join the conference call series. Click here for details. I’d love to have you join us!!