It’s the time of year when we look forward to summer! Have you planned a much-needed vacation? Are you going to hide away in the mountains or camp by the beach? Maybe it’s been a lean year financially and your rest is taking a Saturday off work to sit on the back porch and sip sweet tea for a day. I’m a huge advocate of rest and relaxation because I know I need to do more of it.
Sometimes I think we confuse our need for physical and mental rejuvenation with the need for spiritual rejuvenation. And many times, the need for rest in all three areas are woven together. But when we need a breather for whatever reason, where can we find it? Today the ideas I’m sharing are ones on finding a place of refuge. In the everyday busyness of life, where can we find moments of peace to restore our souls?
1. In the sunrise.
On Easter morning, I watched the sun rise and while driving to church, I caught both the sun and moon in the sky together. Breathtakingly beautiful, maybe your opportunity for refuge lies in getting a glimpse of early morning rays of sunshine.
2. On a starry night.
One of my favorite things about visiting my dad’s farm is that there are no street lights for miles. When the house and car lights are turned off, the stars reflect God’s glory miraculously.
3. Enjoying a summer breeze.
The beauty of a breeze is that it is not partial to location. I’ve been in the hot, sticky city when God issued a whisp of wind that felt heavenly. Breathe in a moment of restoration when you feel the breeze.
4. Pausing for a drink of water.
Sometimes the best thing I can do to rejuvenate is to drink water. While I’m drinking it, I often remember the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Water that keeps us from being thirsty? She’d never heard of it. Yes, Jesus is the living water.
5. Watching the rain fall.
Last night, two of my kiddos were lying on the family room carpet, just staring out the back patio door at the rain. We listened to its music for a few moments. Without any background noise. And stared at the puddles as more droplets joined in.
I’ve noticed a commonality in this quick list; did you? Each of these areas are everyday places. There is no special decor; no fancy food. We didn’t have to drive for miles or catch a flight to enjoy them. While God is everywhere, we’re the ones who forget he’s with us right now, right here, in this very moment. Our problem is slowing down long enough to recognize his presence.
Press into God’s presence and savor his sanctuary.
When I was a little girl, the church auditorium was called the “sanctuary.” So I thought that the term “sanctuary” labelled a room inside the church building where the pastor would stand behind a pulpit and preach. It wasn’t until my thirties that I began to realize true sanctuary. Sanctuary is a holy place- any place that God meets you. And he wants to meet us where? Right where we are.
I know I just interrupted your thoughts of sanctuary with donkey ears. But I’m here to tell you that donkeys still talk! Maybe not audibly, but God certainly uses them to teach us lessons in the everyday moments of life. My friend, Rachel Anne Ridge, has written this beautiful book, Flash. This book is the heartwarming true story of an irrepressible donkey who needed a home– and forever changed a family.
I wanted to be sure to share this story with you as Publisher’s Weekly has named this sweet book as one of their top 10 picks for summer reading!!
And it is packed full of beautiful reminders to enjoy the everyday moments of life, whether at the beach, in a cubicle on lunch break, or scrubbing floors. My favorite lesson from the book is the one I listed above, but you’ll certainly want to check out the others for a cartload of encouragement! You can find it here:
What’s on your summer reading list?
Have a terrific Tuesday!