“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Aaah...Summer! The season of warm weather, sunny skies, cold watermelon and the kids being out of school. The time of BBQ's, Independence Day celebrations, fireworks, outdoor concerts and vacations.
For some people it's nothing but fun in the sun, for others the chaos never ends. There is no end to the grind, you continue working as normal but drop the kids off at daycare rather than at school and the sports practices switch from football and basketball to baseball and swim lessons.
Not everyone can afford the luxurious vacations you see posted on Facebook or Instagram which results in you drooling over your laptop. Sometimes circumstances don't allow people to get that much needed break from reality or to ever enter that season of rest that the summer months are able to afford some.
My family had to cancel our trip to the beach we had planned, but we still took some days off to enjoy a "staycation", that for us was an amazing opportunity to stay close to home, make some memories and not empty our pocketbook.
For some families even this idea is completely out of reach and they must continue working for financial reasons or whatever the circumstances might be. But do not despair, loved one! Yes, it is important to keep the lights on and food on the table. Yes you need those funds to pay the mortgage every month and make sure that all needs are met. But I do encourage you to find the time this summer to enter a season of rest emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
You don't need a beach to achieve this, but it is closer than you think. I encourage you to squeeze in some time in your busy schedule, pencil it in, set a reminder on your phone, wake up 15 minutes earlier or stay up 15 minutes later. But get away, get quiet, and get alone with God. Put on those headphones and let some beautiful worship music wash over you as it's truth pierces your heart.
Find a good book filled with encouragement to keep on keeping on. Open your bible to some of your favorite passages and meditate on them for a bit. Take a walk in God's beautiful creation and just breathe in some fresh air. Sit down with a journal, a cup of coffee and a pen and just empty your thoughts for the day.
I want to make a list that might help you enter your season of rest this Summer. A list of books and music that will help you to feel encouraged, inspired and motivated to begin making yourself a priority. Doing this will help you be a better wife, mother, grandmother, friend, sister, aunt and child of God.
God never meant for us to spin our wheels and never stop to take a breath. So use this blog today as your permission slip to stop, look, and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit during this season of rest.
The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner
Let's All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs
Arm Yourself by Michelle Moore
The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story by Jill Eileen Smith
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
Show Me Your Glory by Kim Walker Smith
Touch the Sky by Hillsong United
Come to the River by HouseFires
The Morning Song by Steffany Gretzinger
Run Wild, Live Free, Love Strong by For King and Country
Empires by Hillsong United
Brave by Moriah Peters
This blog is called My Heart's Song because I honestly cannot separate music, really good worship music from God's word. It goes together, it flows together. It helps me write better and think better. What songs are the soundtrack to your life? We were created to worship God and be instruments of praise, so the above music is mainly in the worship music genre. Personally, no genre can beat it. I do have a fondness for other types of music but I encourage you to listen to some of this music, perhaps pick up one of these powerful books and let it minister to you.
If it begins to pique your interest in other songs, albums, artists, authors...pass on your playlist and books to someone you know who might need to enter their season of rest.
Here is one more for you... "It is Well" by Bethel