As I breathe in the last few weeks of summer, I am reminded of one truth a wise mom shared with me when I was struggling with a couple of toddlers. “The days are long,” she said, “but the years go fast.” At the end of each summer, I feel the truth of this statement weighing down on me. The years have gone fast, and they show no signs of slowing.
I cannot help but begin counting down the summers I have with my eldest child.
I’m forced to recognize the numbers of summers I will still be in my forties.
Only one. (Yikes!)
I’m reminded of the summers I will still have with both of my parents still living.
I am a summer girl. I love the sunshine, the green grass, the lake, and lazy afternoons. I love sitting on the dock with my feet in the water. I love popsicles, watermelon, and corn on the cob. I love watching baseball outside and feeling the sand in my hair after a day at the beach. I love golf and waterskiing and watching the sail boat races from our back deck. I love time with friends and staying up late.
But when August hits, I feel the relaxing tide begin to turn. I start thinking about preparing for classes, my kids start practicing for fall sports and start panicking because they haven’t yet made it through their summer reading list. The sun sets a little sooner and the weather feels a bit cooler. I stop watering my hanging baskets, and I start thinking about shopping for school.
My son saw the Sunday circular out on the table with the pictures of brightly-colored school supplies and his mood shifted. He grabbed the paper, crumpled it up, and threw it into the trash can with a vengeance. “Summer is NOT OVER,” he shouted. You know what? He was right.
It’s times like these that I have to force myself to stop rushing my life, to stop being anxious for what the future holds. There is still one month left of summer. Why am I rushing to the next thing?
Often times, I think about the ministry of Jesus and how he had a mere three years to lay the foundation of truth that would change the world. He had a very short time to instruct his disciples, and yet he walked through his days without rushing, without a to-do list, and without a sense of hurry. He took time to build relationships. He took time to listen. He took time to live life with those he loved and offer life to those he had yet to meet.
Jesus spent time teaching his people not to be anxious, and not to worry about tomorrow. Even when telling the disciples about what he would need to endure, he did so with an air of peace. He spoke the comforting words in Matthew 6:25-34 just for us, to help us overcome any anxious feelings we may be having. His kingship has already been established, and we need not fret about the future. Our heavenly Father knows our needs now and forever.
And here I was skipping the last weeks of summer so that I could get the first crack at the notebooks and pencil pouches at the local discount store.
So, I’ll stop looking at the calendar and I’ll forget about the school supplies for a while. Instead, I’ll drop my feet back in the lake and grab a popsicle (cherry is my favorite) and enjoy these last lazy days of summer with my kids. Hurry can wait.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
That’s what Crystal Evans Hurst prayed for when life felt out of control. She just wanted a break from her life! Listen in as Crystal shares her journey of missteps and mistakes, all while learning to trust God with her future. Click HERE for the podcast on She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You.
Our culture applauds what we can produce, what we can show, and what we can upload to social media. But God notices us even when we are tucked away in hidden places. I loved talking with author Sara Hagerty about how sometimes being hidden is a good thing and that God still enjoys us, even if we’re living what the world might consider an unproductive life.
Click HERE for a podcast of my radio conversation with Sara Hagerty.
Sometimes we allow the negative labels of others shape our identities. But God has His own dream for our lives, and it’s worth discovering. Ministry leader and fabulous woman of God Jo Saxton (I like her name!) shares her journey of broken identity in hopes that we will find the courage to discover our own. God is in the business of restoration, as pointed out in Jo’s new book, The Dream of You. Click HERE to listen to the podcast of our interview on Faith Radio.
I was always a little nervous about praying out loud in a group. Even praying a dinner blessing would sometimes cause a bit of stress. I would worry that I was somehow doing it wrong. The words always sounded fine in my head but when they left my mouth they were somehow less than lovely. I wanted to take them back, to edit, and then put forth my prayer in perfect grammar and proper theology.
I have tried acronyms in order to craft the perfect prayer: P.R.A.I.S.E., ACTS, PRAY, P.R.A.Y.E.R. They are all wonderful tools and have brought great clarity to my prayer time. But for me, I find myself holding back. I find myself more concerned with the format than I do with the subject.
At least I know I’m not alone. Maybe you’ve struggled too? Jesus taught his disciples to pray. They wondered how to communicate with the God who loved them, so Jesus encouraged them to come to him whenever they felt a need. He wanted them to know that the door was always open.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)
There have been other times in my life when I can’t seem to stop the words from spilling out. These prayers may not have any continuity. There is no structure. But these prayers are real as well. Read More