Friday, September 7, 2018

Celebrate Life After Summer’s Harvest

Have you taken time to reflect on what you learned this summer? You can reap a harvest of blessings to help you celebrate what God is doing in your life through reflection.

I encourage you to take a few moments and think about what happened in June, July and August. Whether the events were good or hard, you can reap a harvest of knowledge from them.

Here are a few lessons I am reaping from this summer:

-          It’s OK to cut back. I needed to cut back on my paid workload as a freelancer to manage writing a book and being a work-from-home mom. Though my bank account is lower than I’d like it to be, I don’t regret cutting back. It was necessary to keep all the balls in the air. God will provide, and I’m learning to trust him in that way.

-          It’s OK to practice self-care. With a deadline pressing hard on me, it was tough to take breaks without feeling guilty. Yet a few afternoons of shopping, several face-to-face conversations, and going to the theater with my children filled me up and energized me. I need to apply this lesson to the busy fall season ahead.

-          It’s OK to say no. Writing my first book while being at home with my children in the summer was the hardest project I’ve ever undertaken. I did it once in that timeframe, but I don’t plan to do it again. Some seasons are better for heavier loads, but summer isn’t one of them for me, at least while my children are at home.

What lessons did you learn this summer? This verse can help us learn how to celebrate what you reaped:

You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. Exodus 34:22 NLT

God commanded the Israelites to celebrate the harvests. He wanted his people to rejoice in his provision and take a break from their hard work. He encouraged them to join together in celebration.

So how can we celebrate the life God gives us by reflecting on the lessons from this summer?

We can do so by turning what we’ve learned into prayers of praise and thanksgiving.

Here are my examples for you, which correlate with the lessons above:

-          I praise you, Lord, because you are infinite. Nothing is too hard or too complicated for you. In your wisdom, you made me finite. You gave me limitations on my time, energy and abilities so I would depend on you. I celebrate the fact that I can trust you.

-          I praise you, Lord, for your love for me. You care for my heart, mind, body and soul. You want me to do the same, because you value me so highly. I celebrate the fact that I am precious to you.

-          I praise you, Lord, that you establish seasons of my life. Seasons of busy times and seasons of rest. Rhythms of work, play and relaxation. Teach me not to overdo any of those areas or value any of them less than you do. I celebrate the fact that you ordain each season of my life.

I encourage you to write down the lessons you learned this summer. After reflecting, turn them into prayers of praise.

God loves hearing your praise! He loves it when you reflect on his goodness to you, then celebrate it. You will reap a harvest of blessings when you look over your summer harvest of lessons. If you want us to celebrate with you, feel free to praise God in the comments below.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Reflection questions:

1. What is your happiest lesson from this summer?

2. How can a hard lesson from this summer inspire you to praise God?

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