Favorite Things Tuesday: The Heat and Dreams of Summer Edition

These are indeed, the dog days of summer.

It’s hot. It’s humid. It is central Texas hot and humid. I’m going to need people to STOP posting how long (how many weekends, for example) it is until fall. Why? It’s not coming. At least not till November. Prior to that, we get a couple of hope-filled cool mornings. They are a trap. Pretend summer will last till December, then it’s a pleasant surprise when it cools off before then.

The heat can make you crazy but I still love summer. We have yet to take our family vacation and you had better believe that the countdown is so on. In the mean time, we can’t check out. There is no brain vacate till our car heads out of the driveway. Then, you had better believe, we are in Ortiz Vacate mode. It’s a real thing. A real, beautiful thing.

In the mean time, we got a whole lot going on. There is a lot to plan. There is a lot to do. There is a lot swirling around my head. For me, the game has been seeing what I can add to my already full plate. I’m on a mission here, people. The dreams are real…and so is the hustle. There is more to come on that…

Summer is a time to dream and plan. I realize just how often this is the case. My delightful Timehop app takes me back into time and reminds me of how much dreaming and planning has taken place over the last 9 years. Right now, Ray is working on sermon and worship details for the rest of the year. Right now, I am catching my breath in one area and talking to you about the others.

So why the Timehop app. Because summer is where things happen. Ray and I spent 9 years in youth ministry together (he was longer than that). That means 9 years of youth camp, trips, worship nights, late nights, loud music, life-change (ours, our leadership teams and our teenagers) and dreaming. I did a lot of those years with little babies. I was pregnant at youth camp twice. Where is my medal? I kid. Kind of.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

6 years ago we were in the midst of planting a church. We were less than 2 months from launching Revive, our team was moving to Austin or getting acclimated, we were freaking out and taking it all one day at a time. We watched pieces and people come together in ways that still have me wondering how in the world it all happened. Miracles. Miracles and a lot of hard work, walking through unknowns and faith. I can still feel that anxiety rise up in me as I write it out.

I realize just how much dreaming and planning took place during the summer. In the crazy heat of it all, when we felt like we were walking through our own fires of faith… It was here. Life is in a little bit of a different spot, but the feelings are the same. It’s hot outside and here I am, dreaming and planning. I wonder in different ways how God is going to work it all out. It’s still a giant faith walk. It’s still a lot of hard work. It’s all still the things that won’t go away. And so I keep dreaming, praying and planning.

It was 20 years ago that I was a 15 yr old girl at a church camp when I knew that I knew that God had called me to ministry. I didn’t know exactly what that meant yet, but I knew I was called to the church. By that point, I had seen people fail. By that time, I had seen my family hurt (understatement) by the actions and words of others. By that time, there were no illusions of grandeur. But I knew beyond a doubt in my mind that God had called me to it. 20…yes, 20 years later and I know it more now than I did then.

I’m looking back on it all now with sentimentality stuck in my throat. God leads us down roads we would have never imagined, leaving us dumbfounded, knowing we couldn’t imagine life without them.

Every area of my life is full-time and I am learning how to navigate that. So for those of you in the throws of the full-time life and the summer heat, I’m dreaming, praying and planning with you.


Psalm 84:5 (the Message)

And how blessed all those in whom you live,
    whose lives become roads you travel;