Updated: Jul 1, 2021
Rewind > Reflect > Learn > Grow
Summer is at hand, but before we jump into the pool and pack our bags for that vacation in the sun, let's take a brief moment and look at where we've been.
I think it will help us have purpose for where we're going next.
Just like rewinding our favorite show allows us to see things we might have missed the first time around, a little rewind can allow us to see purpose in the seasons of our lives, too.
I want to cultivate a heart that learns, earnestly and intentionally. I don't want to endure a season, good or bad, and have nothing to say for it.
I want to learn. I want to grow.
Even though the spiritual seasons of our lives don't always align with the calendar seasons, I believe the calendar seasons are a good place to start. It's tangible. We can begin to practice this discipline together.
In reflecting on the change in our lives, I believe we can learn to embrace each season for what it offers and, in doing so, draw us closer to God.
Thus, I'm excited to continue sharing my reflection with all of you. Without further ado, here's ten things (not all the things) but ten things I've learned this last season.
1. OKC, now you're just showing off...
One walk through Myriad Gardens and you'll see what I mean. I'd like to downplay it so your expectations are low, but me, downplay tulips? I can't. I won't. This is my version of being a kid in a candy store. With so many colors and textures, I have to stop and stare and swoon at them all.
For me, there's something quite special about the April tulips in this city. They remind my heart of good things.
Spring in Oklahoma is known for storms, but what we sometimes forget are the tulips which showcase the beauty and resiliency in the midst of the storm. As delicate as they seem, tulips are strong, enduring even hail.
When the storms come, let's remember to look for beauty even here.
2. Save for the rainy day.
Speaking of rainy days, let's be intentional to prepare now for these. One thing we know for certain is the rain will come. We don't know when, but we know it is inevitable ...even in our finances.
As Dave Ramsey says, we need to build up that G.O.K. fund.
What's a G.O.K. fund?
Glad you asked. It's the God Only Knows fund - money we set aside because God Only Knows when we're gonna need to use it.
...like replacing an outdoor faucet from the winter storm.
Not a fun expense, but thankful for that G.O.K.
3. Be genuine - all the time.
Remember in our last season rewind when I told you to pack your bag because we were going someplace warm in this great writing journey?! Well, if you're following along on social media, you know I was given the opportunity to go learn from the very talented and super hilarious, Bob Goff, at his new place, The Oaks!
Rarely do you meet two people who are as wonderful in real life as they are in their books. Bob and Sweet Maria Goff are those people. Salt of the earth. In their midst, you can't help but laugh, be encouraged, and be reminded of how valuable you are in this Kingdom of God.
Praying this experience was like the side of my hand after writing in my journal. The pencil lead rubs off the page, onto my hand and leaves evidence and smudges on everything I touch. Let it be so with the Goff's, too. May their love for God and His creation rub off on me, allowing me to share glimpses of this time together with all of you!
Plus, they have a jeep as a guestbook! Bob's so fun, would we expect anything less?!
4. Fight for your priorities.
I know God is teaching me something really important when I see it woven not only in my personal life and time with Him but even my work day.
For me, priority has been a recurring theme through my days lately. In my work, conversations about setting priority involve strategy and focus and commitment. I think it's the same for our personal lives, too.
There was a man who knew a thing or two about this. His name was Nehemiah. He was challenged with building a wall. When asked to come down, he fought for his priorities and said,
"I am doing a great work and I cannot come down." - Nehemiah 6:3
This wasn't just for Nehemiah, this is for us, too. We have to be intentional and fight for our priorities. We are bombarded with so many distractions. And, we shouldn't be surprised. The enemy does not want us to be focused so he interjects constant distractions, even good things to take our eyes off the BEST thing.
Being focused doesn't have to be all work and no play. We can remain focused and energized and nourished for the task at hand and find fun ways to support these priorities.
Let's try that together! Sharing a few more thoughts on this and a fun way to begin practicing in this short video!
5. "If You say so."
It's one thing to read how perfect love casts out fear and it's an entirely other - absolutely humbling, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, shouting hallelujahs - thing to experience this firsthand.
God is good. His love for us is perfect. This means all fear and anxiety must bow to God. God is love, so this means all fear and anxiety must bow to Love.
When He tells us to do something, our obedience leads us to say, "If You say so," regardless of what the circumstances may look like.
Friend, love is powerful and it's worth it all.
(This is the point in the post where you interject with "Mmhmm that's riiiight!")
6. Enjoy the journey.
I'm learning lots and lots about preparing book proposals for publishing. [insert crazy face emoji here].
The dreams in your heart won't be realized overnight. First, surrender it all to God and ask Him to lead you. Then, put in the work and learn everything you can. Make the most of the opportunities you're given and trust God to do the rest!
Spend less time thinking about the destination and more time enjoying the journey. Remember He has you right here - in this place and this space - for a reason. This is important or you wouldn't be here.
You won't be here long.
7. Joe knows.
Last winter, we talked about how Jo knows, and that still stands. The lovable Joanna Gaines has shared some great recipes. But, when it comes to trail mix, there's only one place to go.
Take the empty bag as proof. It has the perfect mix of salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy.
Happy trekking, y'all.
Or, Netflixing. I think it's good for both.
8. Worried? Burdened? Get you a God box.
Are worries, cares, and fears consuming your thoughts? Feeling fine one moment and then overwhelmed the next? It's terrible and can be debilitating when you're on that crazy cycle.
I was inspired to write my worries down on sticky notes and pray over each one as I placed them in an empty box designated as my "God box." The box itself is nothin' fancy, but let me tell ya, it's powerful.
This simple practice has served as a tangible reminder to hand these cares over to God. I encourage you to try it, too. Then, when you find your mind worrying about it again, you have to go physically pick it up out of the box and recognize how you are taking this out of God's hands and putting it back in your's.
God box. Try it. It's helped me learn how to be more steadfast in my trust in God.
(P.S. If you tell a friend about this, there's a good chance they'll gently but directly mention, "Sounds like something you need to put in the box..." Accountability. It's a beautiful thing.)
9. A grid is a game-changer.
Structure. We thrive when we have this and so do flowers!
I recently spent $15 at Trader Joe's on some ordinary flowers in hopes of making a beautiful bouquet. Lots of tips on this - one being, get some tape and create a grid! It provides much-needed structure for your bouquet.
Watch this fun, quick video to try it for yourself!
10. Peace is a fruit.
We may have heard love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control as fruit of the Spirit.
Sometimes our experience in Kids Church makes this seem a little elementary. Like "Yeah, that's good. Moving on."
But, when your circumstances are not matching what your heart so certainly believes, experiencing one or more of these is powerful. It's supernatural.
I'm realizing peace is a fruit. It grows from the tree of trust. Said another way, you know you're truly trusting God when you have peace on the inside when everything on the outside says you shouldn't.
Fruit is evidence of the Holy Spirit at work within us!
Looking Ahead - One to Grow On
We can't just look back, metaphorically speaking or literally. We'd end up with a big ol' massive neck ache. Let's turn our focus and look ahead.
This Summer, I am looking forward to taking a great big leap in this writing process.
I've been thinking a lot about how we get to choose where we are present. So many thoughts, I think I may write a book on this. (Hint, hint.) Prayers appreciated as I step into this next publishing process!
When God initiates something, we can rest His perfect will is already written and will be done! Friend, let's believe this together for whatever God is placing on your heart today.
Now, it's your turn. What have you learned through this last season?
To help get you started, you can download your FREE printable at the end of this post.
Let's find strength knowing we do not endure these seasons alone. Let's find joy knowing there is purpose for each season we walk. Let's find peace in reflecting on the lessons learned and accepting these circumstances, much like seasons, as temporary. Let's find rest as we cling to the eternal.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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