The humidity is so thick this morning that I could cut it with a butter knife. I’m hankering to hang my fall wreath and bedazzle my porch with pumpkins because when the calendar rolls over into September, my whole being leaps for joy. In September, I pull out The Mitford series by Jan Karon and I spend the whole month lost somewhere in small town America. I hunker down and hole up and I bake fruity breads. Quilts get pulled out and the mantle gets smattered with little gourds and candles are lit from sun up to sundown. I love fall.
But today, it’s still August and the heat is stifling.
To usher in the coming of fall and my lovely month of September, I thought I’d share with you 10 Things I Learned This Summer. (Actually, I read Shelly Miller’s list and was inspired to scratch out my list.- Just telling the truth and letting Jesus love me, y’all.)
There’s some hills of beans, some mounds of fluff, and a dash of prophecy talk in this list. I hope the things I’ve learned will make you laugh, make you take stock of what you’ve learned this summer, and make you brave enough to own your God-given gifts.
Happy weekend, friends!
1.) If you come to the end of yourself and your resources, there are people who will jump up and down for the chance to fill your gaps. And if you let them, you will get to see Jesus do beautiful things.
2.) If Jesus is building something and He has invited you to participate in the building, say YES! His yoke is easy and the burden is light and obedience is all that is required. Show up, be faithful, bend when you need to bend, break when He asks you to break, and then rest in the deep abiding joy that fills your every crevice.
3.) Sabbath is not not working one day a week. It is an acknowledgement that I am a human in need of the kind of rest that only an infinite God can give. It is a sacred rhythm of work and rest that provides the avenue for a fuller, richer, more gracious way of living. Receiving this gift is not easy for me, but my life is requiring that I learn to receive it. And I’m grateful.
4.) Grace levels the playing field. Always.
5.) When your gut says something is not quite right, something is most likely not quite right. And waiting four months to do something about the not quite right thing, only makes things messier. Lesson learned the hard way.
6.) A facetime interview with someone is so much more fun than a phone interview. And when the interviewer tells you she is going to transcribe the interview, believe her. She is going to do just that. So be brief, cut the the fluff, and don’t ramble. Also, plug in your phone before the interview begins. (Bless you Natalie Razavi. I was a rambler. This is my public apology for giving you 6,000 words of nothingness. You are a gift.)
7.) When Jesus plants you in a neighborhood that is hungry, He will rally His troops to feed your neighbors. He will send Amazon pantry boxes out the wazoo, crock pots by UPS, and grocery bags by the dozens. And you will stand amazed that He chose to use one Facebook post to begin a new work called Feed A Neighbor.
8.) Back to school supplies for three children will cost upwards of $500. But public school is still cheaper than homeschooling. YAY!
9.) If your neighbor brings her home improvement guy over to ask if you have any work for him to do, it is best to refer the home improvement guy to the Man. You should never say, “Sure! Can you give me a quote on what it would cost to fix the back wall of the mudroom?” Because before you know it, the home improvement man will have done the work and handed you a bill instead of a quote. The work will be perfect and a steal, but you will then spend four hours trying to convince the Man that you don’t know what happened…and the four hour conversation will be worth it because you have been nagging the Man for two years to do something about that rotting wood on that wall. (And all the women nod their heads in agreement because you know what I’m talking about. I’ve already got my eye on the hall bathroom that needs some work…)
10.) I have the gifts of wisdom, discernment, and prophecy. I’m okay with two of these gifts, but I still have a hard time with the other one. Wisdom and discernment are safe, but prophecy, well, I’m not even sure what to do with that one except not play with dry bones or run around naked. Until this summer, I’ve not wanted to embrace this gift. I’ve wanted to slide it under a rug and only pull it out when no one is watching. Prophecy is one of those gifts you don’t tell people you have because they either look at you weird or ask you to predict the future. And for those of you wondering, those with the gift of prophecy do not predict the future. This gift manifests itself, in me, more like an understanding or a vision for what God is doing or how He is moving and then calling out the Church to wake up and join Him. Not very popular, huh? It makes me a little odd and lonely feeling, but I’m learning to be okay with that.
Your turn, What have you learned this summer?