Sow & Gather

What I've Learned This Summer

Vacations/ReunionsMarci AnthonyComment

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 

Learning doesn't just happen between Labor Day and Memorial Day each year. While those of us with kids adjust to the rhythm of the school year, I find the months of summer often yield the greatest growth. 

It feels like our child matures overnight during the summer. Each May I think he'll never grow up. By August, I'm asking myself what happened to my baby.  

God can use these warm (hot) months, where things move a little slower, as teachable moments. I've tried for this season of summer to focus and be present every day and not just slog through. In doing this, I've asked God to teach me these last few months. 

Here are a few things I've learned: 

If I don't Rest, God Will Force Me

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 27:2 

The hamster wheel of life spins faster and faster. If I don't take intentional actions to slow down and enjoy this life, God will slow me down. My body will give in to the overload of stress – the laboring in vain. I'm constantly working for things that are good, but not of God. In those times of rest, I have to remember to seek God's will and prioritize my actions. 

I'm fortunate that during the summer months my business slows down. In the past, I've not accepted this as an offering of rest from God, but rather worried about the financial consequences. This year, I've gotten better about accepting the rest and knowing that God always provides. 

Eating Good Fat Makes Me Full Longer 

Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Romans 14:3

Name the diet and I've been on it . . . several times. I try and remind myself daily that as a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives within me. My body is God's temple. Why do I act in such a way to destroy the value of the temple?  

Every day I make choices that are hard for me regarding food, exercise, and rest. Even when God shows me the path He wants me to follow, I still want to take a trail to the right or the left. This issue doesn’t just come up with food, but in all kinds of matters where clear direction is received, but I don't like what God is telling me to do. Even when I feel like I am not maintaining the temple, I know that God's mercies are new each morning. God allows me to begin again. 

Garbage In Equals Garbage Out

Ears to hear and eyes to see--both are gifts from the Lord. Proverbs 20:12 

No longer is summertime TV viewing limited to re-runs. Many programs actually run a short summer season of new episodes. I love TV and I love books. Both are amazing modes of transportation for me to pursue a grand adventure in far-off lands. Well-done media tugs on my emotions. I find when I'm not resting and I'm not eating healthy, I tend to binge on TV and books.  

I have to back up and ask myself, why do I feel the need to binge watch or binge read? Is there something that is stressing or frustrating me that I need to take to God in prayer? Am I avoiding something? 

Then I have to assess the impact of what I'm doing. Am I consuming media that does not align with my values? Writing that sentence challenges me. Where are my eyes and ears focused? How am I using the good gifts that God has given me? 

As I'm writing this, summer is not over yet. I've still got about four weeks to enjoy before the grind of the next school year is in full swing. God has challenged me to grow in trusting Him with three areas of my life. Growth can be uncomfortable, but I'm ready to embrace the change. 

Dig Deeper |

James 1:1-18 

Action Item |

Ask God to show you what He's been teaching you over the last few months. Jot those items down and find scripture to support your journey. 

Prayer|

Dear God, You are the giver of good gifts, the provider of warm summer evenings and refreshing rain showers. Help us to see the lessons You have for us in the everyday things we do. Guide our choices and help us to honor You with our lives. Amen. 

Join Us |  

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.