I can’t believe we are in the middle of August already..summer seemed to fly by. Our weather has been surprisingly cool.. Fall seems to be here already. I remember when summers lasted forever..all that has changed. We are busy people with so much to do.. we fill up most of our days with responsibilities and activities. There is a down side to this busyness..we can miss out on the moment. Instead of living fully each day..we rush through life..eager to get to the next thing and then the next thing and after that the next thing. Why are we in such a hurry?
A lot of it is our instant culture. We want everything now and we don’t want to wait.. I find myself the same way. Time can become an enemy and not a friend. Yet life with God is not fast..He is not in time the way we are, so He is never in a hurry. Our lives are not going to be too short for the things that God has prepared for us.. there is no need to fit everything in. It would probably benefit most of us to stop..so we can reflect on what we are doing and how we are spending our time in this life. We won’t be encouraged to this.. either inside or outside the church. There is just so much to do.. For God. Really?
We are here because He created us and gave us life to fulfill His purposes.. not to accomplish things. That accomplishment thing comes from us.. He wants us to receive His love and to love those around us.. to live life fully each day confident that everything that is supposed to happen will happen. When we make mistakes.. He will redeem them. When we choose to be still.. He will find someone else to do what we cannot do.. He has it all under control.
For me.. telling God daily that I trust Him helps tremendously. When I look around and see so many things I cannot change.. I remind myself that He has a plan and it is unfolding perfectly. When my emotions get the best of me I cry out to Him and let Him see the mess that I am. I make sure there is time in my day for these things even if all the work does not get done!
So.. enjoy the rest of the summer season and know that life is meant to be savored..relax and rest whenever possible. Trust Him with everything.
“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (psalm 100:3)
The past month has been full of surprising changes and I expect that to continue throughout the summer. There are seasons of life when it seems as though our feet are in quicksand. We pray and wait and wonder..looking far out into the distance.. asking God ” what exactly do you have in mind?” He remains silent. The silence is deafening.. and still we wait.. we pray and we lean forward hoping to hear something.. anything.. a glimpse? Suddenly God speaks ” Trust me.” That’s it? Really?
So we do. After enough time ( only He knows what that means!) God moves. He surprises us with ideas that we know cannot come from anywhere but the heart of God. Things begin to change and we feel our world start to shake.. Whoa! Are you sure God? I know, I know, I asked you to do something, to do anything.. Just surprise me. I said that? What was I thinking?
Are we safe? Yes. Is it always easy? No. Is He with us? Yes. We are being led down the path of life by our Great God and our lives belong to Him. He has carved out a path that is perfect for us and He is ahead of us on that road. He has cleared the way..prepared everything perfectly for such a time as this. So put on your seat belt because this is a summer of surprises!
“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, riversin the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
We’re almost at the end of summer.. a melancholy time for me. Growing up in Los Angeles.. I got as much summer as I wanted. The weather was almost always warm..even in the winter. My best memories were of being with my family for an extended vacation at the beach. The beaches were warm.. not like the ones up here in Northern California. I miss those times.
They represent a time before my family moved and everything seemed to fall apart. Looking back I can see how that season of loss is still profoundly connected to my life now. As much as I would like to put the past behind me.. I can’t fully do that. Our seasons of grief become part of us..we are changed by them and we incorporate them into the way we live our lives. It is interesting how we try to ” get through things” in our culture..so we can move on.
The truth is we aren’t able to do that. Life is full of loss. We either learn to live with it..and allow it to change us for the better or it destroys us. Repressed grief leads to depression and despair. Grief that is allowed to be expressed and examined is going to take us into a new season. We will grow..becoming more caring and compassionate.
So.. here we are at the end of summer.. more loss..a new opportunity to move on and embrace the fall season. We are capable of much more than we think we are.. God has created us with the ability to change and grow. As the new season approaches, let’s ask Him to bless us with rich experiences..deep experiences..as we embrace life fully and let go of summer.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. “
I have been doing it for many years..it is a practice that I encourage everyone to try. Don’t think diary when you see the word journal. A journal can be a diary and there are times when it should be. It can also be whatever you want it to be. My daughter found a website with some very unique approaches to journaling. Her new adventure inspired me to think about what I might do to expand my journaling experience.
I love to write about my feelings and use my journals to unravel my emotional life and my spiritual journey. You may want to try doing that..writing about things can be very freeing. It enables your to connect to your pain, anger, or sorrow. As I write new insights come up.. I release and process my emotions so I can hear the voice of God more clearly. I am about to add a second journal to my life..and have been asking God what it should be. I am going to call it a Gratitude journal..a place to write about all the encouraging things that happen..a book to hold any small pictures or cards from my grandchildren..a place to post pretty pictures that remind me of how blessed I am..anything at all that will lift my spirits as I flip through the pages.
We all need to find ways to remember His goodness..to record the blessings..to encourage ourselves..to save reminders of those special moments. Life can be challenging and dark..reminders bring light into our lives and lift our spirits. It’s summer..a great time for new beginnings..new adventures.. a time to move forward in our journey.
“Search for the Lord and for His strength; remember the wonders He has performed, His miracles..Tell everyone about the amazing things He does!”
It’s warm here today..summer officially starts on Tuesday. We are approaching a new season and I just love to write about what that means. The seasons of the year are great learning opportunities. We can’t control them and that can be frustrating. Do you ever just feel ready for the cold weather to end in February? Are you frustrated by too many hot days in August? I believe that God gave us these seasons to teach us some things.
We must wait for the rain to end before Spring comes..in the heat we long for the first cold days of Fall..we have no power to make it happen faster. Does that remind you of life? Are you in a season right now that is challenging? Are you wondering when the change will come? What is God saying anyway? It is likely He wants to teach you to enjoy the present season..savour the rain because soon it will be hot and dry. Enjoy the heat before it gets cold and wet again. The lesson is to be here now..to enjoy the present season..to find ways to relax and accept things as they are.
It helps when we remember that He is totally in control. This season is part of His greater plan for our lives. He is at work behind the scenes preparing our next step..putting all the pieces in place so that we are able to fulfill our purpose. His plan is unfolding step by step. His work in us is what matters..are we growing closer to Him? Trusting Him more? Or are we complaining and wanting our own way? He examines our hearts..what do you want Him to find there?
For me..I want Him to be pleased with me. To listen with pleasure as I proclaim His goodness. I want Him to send people into my path that need encouragement because He trusts me to shower them with the love. I want to be used to fulfill His purposes and not my own plans. Does that sound good to you? Tell Him..He is listening..eager to draw you into His redemptive purposes and His perfect plan.
We are approaching the end of Summer..transitioning into Fall. As this season ends there is a sense that something new is around the next corner. We never know exactly what that means. We can be sure the leaves will fall off the trees and the sun will be lower on the horizon. The mornings and evenings will be cooler. We may have to turn on the heater and wear warm slippers. Its time to make soup again. Autumn is arriving.
The seasons of our lives are similar. We are entering an Autumn season. A time when we sense new things on the horizon..possibilities..opportunities. It may be a time to let go as well. To realize that the warm sunny days..maybe the less challenging days.. are coming to a close. What does God have in mind? He isn’t just asking us to trust Him as we watch the leaves dry up and fall to the ground. Some vision or idea may be drying up for us as well..He is taking us in a new direction. Transitions require flexibility and willingness. Allowing Him to take us down the path that He has prepared..leaving behind all our own ideas.. knowing that His are far better.
Say good-bye to Summer. Greet Fall with open arms. Remember that God longs to take you somewhere that you have never been. He wants to do new things in you and around you. If you have been waiting..start believing that He is working on your behalf getting ready to bring the answer. He is with you in all seasons..caring for your heart and remembering your deepest desires.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
It’s almost the middle of August and I am still waiting for summer. The sky is overcast every morning and it seems to take hours for the sun to appear. They say it is one of the coolest summers that anyone can remember around here. I miss the heat..probably because I grew up in a warmer climate but also because I love the feeling of the summer season. Summer reminds me of being a child..without school..time to read a book..ride a bike..go to the beach..time to just be.
It’s still summer even without the heat. Let’s capture that feeling while we can. Admittedly it is different for adults.Everything does not just stop because it is summer. We still have jobs, responsibilities, and not as much free time as we would like. We still need summer. Time to rest..to reflect..to enjoy..to move more slowly. Think about what summer means to you..find a way to make that happen. Don’t let summer pass into fall without a few golden moments that remind you of your childhood. Life is too short to miss even one summer. Take a walk..eat ice cream..water your plants..play with a child.. collect sea shells..watch a sunset. Find time.
“So the creation of the heavens and earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from His work.”
It’s summer and we are sailing through this season. How is your trip going? Are your skies blue and is the water clear and smooth as glass? Maybe you are being tossed around by a turbulent sea while dark clouds are looming on the horizon. I would guess it could be a little of both. Like every season of our lives..summer is not predictable. In our area the sky is overcast every morning ..the sun only coming out in the afternoon…temperatures are unseasonably cool. In other parts of the country there is unrelenting heat..
We keep sailing regardless of the conditions. Our hearts long for the smooth crystal clear waters..the amazing blue sky with tiny white clouds..birds soaring overhead. We were made for days like that. The truth is that today, tomorrow, or the day after may not be anything like that. We could be blown off course..lose our way..feel forgotten..confused..sad..or lonely. Our only hope in those times is the sovereignty of God. He is at the helm of your boat..He sees the path through the darkness..He is not intimidated by the difficulty of the journey..His hand is steady and His eyes are seeing clearly.
Let’s try to relax as we let the truth sink in. We are not relying on ourselves anymore. We are not sailing our own boat. We are in the hands of a loving God with a perfect plan. He can and will bring us through into a season where we see the sun shining brightly overhead..watch the dolphins jumping out of the water and look up into a rainbow-colored sky. We are safe with Him.
” And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love..no power in the sky above or in the earth below..nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Jesus Christ our lord.”