The Summer of My Discontent


The Summer of 2008.

From where I stand right now, I have to say it was very hard for me. Quite frankly, I just want to say it sucked.

It started with me sick in bed with a double ear infection, made worse by a bad reaction to the antibiotics I was given to cure it.

In the spring, my husband (along with about 1,000 others) was laid off from Earthlink. He’s fine now, doing lots of consulting work, but the worry from that spilled over into summer and weighed heavily upon me. I was blessed to witness his fortitude and creativity during the time after the layoff. And the man can network like nobody’s business.

The days of Summer 2008 were long, they were hot, and they loomed ahead of me like haze and humidity over a long road to nowhere. The weekends I once relished at the end of every workweek seemed daunting to me. How many times would I load and unload the dishwasher?

My once beloved pastime of going to the pool (sometimes the only thing that seemed logical on the hottest days) became unappealing. I shuddered to think of putting on a bathing suit, packing up the towels, lotion, cooler, food, snacks, drinks, floaties…

We took a family vacation to the beach, a place I loved so much. But this year it seemed like all we did was drive six hours and pay five figures so I could clean someone else’s house, cook, do laundry, and listen to the kids bicker about what to watch and where to sleep. I could have stayed home and done that for free. And the one day I did venture out on my own for some shopping, I got caught in a torrential down pour. My beloved beach lost its luster. When we pulled into the driveway after a very long week away, I told my husband I’d had my fill of the beach for a long time. I had no desire to go back.

At work sales were down, business was slow, the phone wasn’t ringing, the credit line was nearly maxed. And when the chips were down, I saw the people that were supposed to be supporting me betray me. Who cares for the boss? Who motivates the motivator? Who coaches the coach? I did not know.

I was a mama struggling. My friends and my family seemed far away. I wished I could just drive to my mom’s for a day, or invite my brother over for dinner. I wished for cousins to come over and play with my kids, and for nieces and nephews to hug. I wanted someone to say, “I can see you’re struggling. Let me take the kids for a day while you and Doug do something together, just the two of you.” I wanted someone to invite us over for an afternoon drink or for dinner… to reciprocate an invitation just one time.

I didn’t step foot in my church the whole summer. I was tired of volunteering to help and then being bossed around and shut out. I was tired of not volunteering but assumed to have signed up. I was tired of the business end of the church getting in the way of the worship side of church. I was tired of people only knowing my name when they needed me for something or wanted to call me out in front of others, while at the same time sitting through an entire Sunday School class without anyone saying a word to me unless I spoke first. I was tired of rushing out of the house to be with hypocrites.

The Summer of 2008 was a constant juggling act for me. On one had, there was this pity party. On the other, I constantly reminded myself how good I had it, how the blessings in my life far outweighed the bad things. As the floods raged across my beloved Midwest this summer, I knew that many people were struggling far worse than I. I had much to be thankful for.

I was reminded several this summer about God’s expectation for our life here. He wants us to be happy, but life is not supposed to be easy.

For it has been grated to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him. (Phil 1:29)
Many season of life are challenging. Many of us struggle for days, weeks, months and even years. Often times it’s low level stuff, nothing major. But that constant worry, stress, fear….it can wear a person down.

So that’s why I am writing about The Summer of 2008. I thought some of you might be struggling, too, and I just wanted to say, I understand.

Maybe your hard season is “three kids under five”, or “just got divorced”, or “how am I going to pay next month’s mortgage.” Maybe you dread the upcoming holiday season because it brings sad memories for you. And while everyone is partying and rejoicing and shopping, you are torn apart with grief. I understand.

It’s hard to lean in The Word and agree to suffer when it seems like today might never end or tomorrow might never come. When it seems as if all we want to do is go to bed, yell at someone, or drive away.

The long road to nowhere can be daunting. I know. I understand.

I’m doing much better. Fall has always been a favorite time of year for me. Fall festivals, cooler weather, a more scheduled routine…it’s good. Business has picked up. I will be going to visit my family soon. My boy will be turning 3 in a few months.

If things are hard for you right now, I am sorry.

And, I understand.


Melissa @ Breath of Life :

Thanks for sharing your heart, friend. I know you are working hard right now...but don't let that throw you back into despair. Just remember, it's a good thing :-)

I've been a little down myself lately with some things, but I know God is bigger than my circumstances and He will carry us through.

Beautiful, beautiful post.

Pearls To Hide My Neck :

Gosh, I am soo sorry you had such a down summer. I wish we lived closer and I would definitely take you out AND baby sit!! I've had a couple of summers like the one you describe. I think life just sometimes wears you out. It is especially hard when you have to come to terms with one-dimensional friendships and also how much effort you put into something and what you really get out of it. (i.e. church, work, clubs, etc)
I really hope the rest of the year perks up for you and things fall into place.

Pink in a sea of blue :

Such a great post and I understand. I think I most identify with this statement: "When it seems as if all we want to do is go to bed, yell at someone, or drive away."
I, too have had a challenging summer only to receive some news recently that shocked me to the core. The seasons of life are tough. God never changes though, thankfully. Try a new church, too! Sounds like their agenda is not God's from your comments. I wish you a happy fall. Goodbye summer!

Sandra :

That was a great post Jill. I think we all go through those summers, life just stinks at times.

Anonymous :

Thank you for sharing what must be some very painful revelations. I think it will be helpful to many people to know that, despite your seemingly perfect life here in blogland, stuff happens to you and yours, too. It can be hard to remember that what we see on the outside is not always what is really going on. I try to remember this always, but especially when the evil envy monster creeps up on me.

It almost seems, in reading your blog today, that you are editing your life in a way, taking it down to the bare bones of what is important to you, and that you will find a way to rebuild your life in a different way, going forward with a new outlook and a new focus that works better for you and yours. Important work.

I hope Fall will act as a tonic for you. Enjoy!!

Laurie S.

Beth :

Here's praying for a better fall!

Tammy :

I have tears in my eyes...this was so beautifully written from your heart. I could relate in that there is a burden that I've been carrying that seems to weigh me completely down and sometimes I think I'm the only one in the world with this post ministered to me.

I'm sorry your summer was depressing, Jill...usually for me, it is the wintertime that is so hard. Lots of dark skies and dreary weather every time summer ends I feel just a tiny bit of dread- so just the opposite season-wise with you.
But I know God is with us where ever we whatever season- season meant both literally and figuratively.
Praying for a blessed fall for you and your family, Jill.

Lynne :

I'm so sorry you had such a bad summer. Hopefully with the fall things will turn around.

Tonja :

Been there and done that several times in my life, Jill. And, yes, it is hard and actually no one else CAN understand what you are going through. It is because they are looking at things from the outside...and YOU are inside. It is not that they don't's that they just don't know. I have found that at these times in my life, I tend to do the most spiritual growth. I think God allows us to go through these spells because it is then that we are more ready to listen. It doesn't make the hurt any less or the pain go away, but maybe as we grow stronger, we will better be able to look at others and discern if they are struggling too. I am happy you are feeling better. And, happy you are writing about it. That may help someone else more than you will ever know...this side of heaven. One of my favorite verses is this:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have recieved from God." 2Cor. 1: 3-4

Thanks for being transparent and sharing your heart.


Thankfully your post drove me to tears! I needed it, its been a long week, a long summer and we too have some stuff we are dealing with. I love my kids but I have not had a break,I am waiting for it when hubs comes home from a work event today-Saturday. I love, love your blog and some days I wish I was working in the outside world and had a cool boss like you.

Susan :

Oh Jill, this is a beautiful post. I am so sorry things have been hard. I have a similar post, though not entirely, rolling around my own head and heart right now.

Last week I went to visit family and I thought about the possibilty of living in the same town as extended family and the blessing that might be.

I love it that you've realized that these seasons do happen and that there is light (or Fall) at the end of the tunnel!

Praying for you, my friend!



annie :

That was probably the most honest blog post I've read to date. I try to stay upbeat... not get down about things. Usually it's the little things that mess with me. I just try to keep my eyes looking up. I can hardly walk through toy aisles... seeing all the toys and dolls izzy isn't interested in is a killer. But, like the pollyanna I am I just thank God for her being alive. I'm sorry you've had a sad summer. I hope the Fall is much better!

Belle (from Life of a...) :

It does sometimes seem like the "cloudy days" come one on top of the other. I share a similar issue at work in that I am the motivator and have had a couple of weeks of just wanting to throw in the towel. Plus we are dealing with the empty nest with both kids away at school. AH...FALL...even though the year is winding down the cooler weather and change of season make me feel like I'm in a period of new beginnings. We're going to be A.O.K...

Lisa @ Take90West :

I love the honesty in this post, thanks for sharing. We all go through seasons like your summer and so I do understand exactly what you are saying. I really hope things are starting to get better.

And. No matter what is going on in other parts of the country or with other people, you are still entitled to feel like life sucks for you every once in a while. Don't feel bad about it!

Lennye :

I'm one of those people struggling through life, somedays I wonder when will it end. My husband has struggled since March to keep his business a float (unfortunately the ship continues to sink). At 50 he just doesn't know what to do. I'm working on a doctorate, pressures at work are increasing daily and then there are the children. I wouldn't know what a vacation even looked like at this point. Your openness and honesty helped me know I'm not alone. I'm sure it was hard for you to write this post, but it is already ministering to others.

Tina Leigh :

I have been following your blog since sometime last year...dont know how I found you and I dont know if I have ever commented but any way I check it out all the time. I love your humor and I like the presentation of your blog. Sorry but I still have you saved as "WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE". Any who....I feel your pain..yes life does change...we change and we do have seasons in our lives for things. Its weird. I have gone through some changes over the past 3 years....things that have happened that have made me change...some for the best but some not so good at all. I'm 37 and have been nursing for 17 years...I hate it...want to get out of it but cant because I have to keep health insurance for my husband that has an illness. Church is another thing....Over all let me just say...I'M REALLY SICK OF PEOPLE. I know that sounds bad but even at church....well this comment could go on and on and I could make up for all the comments I never made on your blog before. Let me just aint in the boat by yourself. I too look to Autumn, hoping for changes for the better. I am blessed also and wonder if GOD is sick of me and my complaining. I have a wonderful husband and a grandbaby that I am in love with....the list could go on. Keep blogging girl...tell us your helps us and it helps you.

CR :

Thanks Jill for this post. I appreciate your honesty and transparency!

SouthernAccent :

That's something I really needed to hear right this second. Thank you for being so honest and not hiding behind the perfect mommie facade so many people tend to put up in hard times. I'm praying for you and hope you'll pray for me too during my rocky time! I love the fall as well and hope it brings new hope and happiness for us all.

Lauren :

I am sorry you had a rough summer. I am praying for you and hope you have a better fall.

Melissa in Mel's World :


WHat a refreshing gift you have given SO many people today. You honesty, transparency, and ease of conversation feels just like the two of us were sitting at the coffee shop "throwing up" on each other. (Without the mess or the ugliness).


I can't even tell you how many times over this last year I have battled with "in"authentic (just made up a word I think) people.

My heart screams for people to just "Be Real" and love each other. Iknow, I know, we live in a "fallen world", but we are also called "to be a light in this world" too.

THANK YOU just doesn't seem like enough! I have been and am currenly on this road myself...the days are 1000 times better now and in the middle of it all I give God all the glory (in good times and bad), but there's a BIG part of me that just wants to shout out the injustice.

The coach, boss, leader...where does he get his shot of encouragement...well, I know that one too, but guess what, I can't rely on earthly things or people (who all fall short) to fill me up in that way...that's where God comes in.

Thanks for your heart...the more I see, the more I know that we are so much alike.

Melissa in Mel's World

Tickled Pink And Green :

I followed your great comment at Caffeine Court's blog to this post and I know where you're coming from. Thanks for sharing.

Caffeine Court :

I'm so sorry that you had such a terrible summer. I'm glad to hear you are realizing how cyclical these things are and that "this too shall pass."

I admire your honesty. Being the mom is such hard work. Sometimes I feel the same way. Some of the things I loved doing as a child seem like such a burden when you're the one who has to pack everything up and keep everyone safe and happy all day long!

The economy is so terrible right now, I think we're all really scared. I pray that things will work out, but things look so bleak!

You are not alone!

Bella :

(((hugs))) thank you!

kelly :

Jill, the tears just rolled down my cheeks as I read. I felt as if your words could have been mine, with a few minor changes. My summer was one I would prefer to forget.....and yet my guilt for those feelings overwhelm me.To forget all the bad would mean forgetting the many amazing things my children experienced and shared.

Thank you for sharing and ministering to my broken heart. It was a beautiful post. Praying for the autumn season to refresh you (and me) in the coming months.

Boo and Hooties Mom :

This post was beautifully written.
Sorry @ your Summer. Here's to a great Fall. Keep your chin up!

Shirley :

Thank you, I am so sorry you have had such a bad time. But, I want to thank you for saying all that has been wrong in your life. I too have been having a very bad year. The death a beloved pet and another pet sick, husband had a very big pay cut, and I have a new job I do not like and I really do not like the people I work with. I seem to have nothing to look forward to. I, like you, do not look forward to the weekends anymore. I too, have lost my love of my Church home. I know that God will get us thru this and we will be stronger when it is over.

Amanda :


BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) :

What an amazing post Jill! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. We all have hard times. We all do. So glad fall is bringing a spirit of renewed hope and optimism for you.

Sending you a glad you shared this.

Lyndy :


Thanks so much for your honesty sweet friend. I haven’t posted or been around in several months but I will soon be posting about my time away. Let’s just say that I can totally understand what you have been going through. It seems many people have been where we have.

I pray there are better days for all of us.

Hugs, Lyndy

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