This summer began a new season for me as the Lord called me out of a full-time role in youth ministry into a season of rest. I admittedly fought the initial invitation to “Follow me to a place of rest” with quite a bit of resistance. “I can’t rest now. There’s so much to do! What does rest even mean?”
It quickly became clear that not only did I need the physical rest, I needed space for the Lord to speak His grace into my life. Unlike my typical mode of planning, organizing, and pouring out, this would be a season to rest and receive.
The long days of summer give space for the soul to rest.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:2-3)
Over the past month, the Lord has revealed to me so many areas in which I continue to strive, working to earn not only the approval of others but His as well.
His invitation to rest is really a surrender, a letting go in order to be restored.
At our house, summer growth is exploding in the form of garden cucumbers and squash, fruit hanging heavy on backyard trees and bushes, and new baby chicks growing into full grown chickens. With this new season comes space to invite friends over for dinner, grilling burgers, slicing fruit, and mixing up fresh salad ingredients while the kids play in the yard. My soul is refreshed and restored in space to connect with friends, relaxing in the unhurried pace of summer. Kids stay up late playing and laughing without the worries of an early school morning the next day.
I feel myself letting go of the pressure to keep up, to be enough. I feel myself receiving the goodness of the Lord.
Yesterday while the kids were at a summer camp, I played in the kitchen making salsa and black bean, corn, and feta dip that we enjoyed with our neighbors later that evening. Sitting on the back patio, snacking on chips and dip, we relaxed around the table as we talked and laughed. There is so much freedom found in the space to be real, to laugh, to talk about the hard places in life, and to connect. Summer, with its unforced rhythms, allows space for that to happen.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)
Just as the earth moves through the seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall, we also move through seasons in life. I am thankful for this summer season of slow days to receive the fruit of His goodness and to rest in the hope of His restoring Spirit.