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Summer for the Soul (and a chance to stop doing and start being)

The start of summer is upon us. Tomorrow we’ll watch lines of gowned students parade down the floor of our high school gym. They’ll toss their caps in the air and venture out into the wide world and then we’re all off into the two-and-a-half glorious months called summer. Nothing makes me quite as giddy as waking up to an already bright day, hearing my mourning dove friends outside the bedroom window, and knowing that tomorrow marks the start of my favorite season. Green grass, thick novels, pints of ice cream in my freezer. Life is sweetest in summer.

It’s a beautiful thing to live in a world built around seasons. Our bodies crave the steady rhythm to guide us through the months, moving from the enthusiasm of crisp autumn mornings to cozy winter days hibernating under mounds of blankets; the frozen days of winter melting into the fresh beginnings of springtime. And then without fail, year after year, we get a few months of bright summer days to revitalize our tired selves. Barefoot toes running through lush grass, hair tossed in the warm breeze, faces bronzed by the light of the sun, skin bathed in neighborhood pools and mountain rivers. It’s as if the earth is extending a peace offering, kindly asking you to forget the days of hardened soil and icy wind, generously presenting its very best to you.

I’m a teacher’s wife and part-time school employee. The rhythm of my physical world revolves around the school year. September back to school nights, fall plays, winter choral programs, spring musicals. And then we get to summer and our days are light and playful. You? Your summer routine may look very much like you winter. Fall and spring might follow in the same pattern. Your seasons might not even match mine – July might mean cold and December is the warm month for you. And yet, we’re all here at the cusp of a new season and what we need more than anything is a summer for the soul.

Summer is when I make time for my soul to rest. I read breezy novels. I eat ice cream on a regular basis. I stay up late pouring through books or Netflix binging, I sleep a little later some days. I give up cooking all foods beside peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and microwavable breakfast burritos. I linger with my coffee in the morning, sitting quiet for longer than normal. I hunt down as many pool sitting opportunities as possible, and spend hours in the sunshine. Summer is a built in time for me to remember that who I am is not defined by what I do. It is the time I allow myself to simply be, to reset my frenzied heart for the coming of fall with its dense schedules and heavy days.

Summer is when I remember who I am.

It’s a biblical concept, this whole summer for the soul thing. Nearly every epistle in the New Testament starts this way. Before any direction, any correction, any command, any exhortation is made there is this: Greetings to you, those loved by God, called by God, sanctified by God, chosen by God, made holy by God. Grace to you. Because God understands that we need to confidently know who we are in him long before we try to do anything for him. Because God sees that the first thing we need in this life is grace, a reprieve from all the work and a moment to soak in his lavish affection and blessings. Because God knows that before we try to do we need to simply be.

So here it is, whether you’re next to a pool or in the snow, whether you’re still at your desk or lounging in your swimwear, God’s merciful gift to all us weary travelers: a moment to reset your body, heart and mind; a summer for the soul.

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Friends, there is simply nothing I desire more than to see our community here become rooted and grounded in Christ, solid in our identity as His beloved children. It is out of this hope that I created this free resource for you: a six day heart search series to help you uncover who you truly are. I think you’ll really love it.

We’re all about embracing our best selves here. Join me on a journey to uncovering your true identity.

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