It’s summertime…a special time of year. Does it feel like it where you live? After a June mostly in the 80s—sometimes even 70s—summer came with a vengeance for us, with one day reaching around 117 in our area. We survived thanks to our three window unit air conditioners (which kept the temperature at least down to 90 in our upstairs apartment), black-out curtains (I’m glad I let Anthony talk me into getting those), cold salads and fruit, and lying around with our kitties (turns out they both love to lap up the juice from honeydew melon rinds, after we finish eating the inside!).
But despite the heat, I’m thankful for summertime. Thankful for a break from teaching, for much as I love it, it is draining and my brain and body need time to recuperate before diving in fresh to a new year. Thankful for time to catch up on stuff that gets postponed during the craziness of the school year, like going to the DMV, cleaning the window screens, and sorting through my closet. Thankful for time to write, as I’m aiming to finish the rough draft of a new manuscript by the end of the summer, this time a short romantic suspense set in northwest New Mexico (more writing news in a minute!). Thankful for times to catch up with friends, old and new. My calendar for the rest of this month is rather peppered with lunch, dinner, and walk dates with friends I haven’t seen in a while—well, at least one to three a week, which is plenty for introvert me. 🙂
I’m especially thankful for time to rest, physically and emotionally, and for how the Lord is teaching me to do that. The previous two summers since I got married, I have struggled with resting—in fact, I’ve often become quite anxious during the days when Anthony is at work, trying to cram in all the things I needed to do and then feeling like I failed. And even heaping on guilt if I spent much time actually resting rather than “doing.” It took some mild stress-related health symptoms last fall to help me realize resting does not mean wasting time…it is often necessary. And it’s one of God’s gentle, gracious gifts to us…
“Cease striving [be still, let go, relax] and know that I am God.” ~Psalm 46:10
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul” ~Psalm 23: 3
“In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” ~Isaiah 30:15
See what I mean?
So while I still have days when I stress and push too hard—or conversely, don’t manage my time well—the Lord is gently teaching me to balance checking off my to-do list with times to sleep in with the kitties curled at my feet, to sit on the balcony with my Bible or a writing book, or to relax over lunch with an episode of Netflix (lately I’ve been enjoying Longmire, which connects nicely to the Western-set suspense story I’m writing right now!). And I’m thankful.
Well, on to that writing news…I’m blessed and excited to announce I am a finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest in the Historical category this year! The winners will be announced at the ACFW conference this September. Sarah Tipton, my dear friend and critique partner, is also a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award with her debut YA novel Betrayal of the Band. It’s a wonderful story, and I’m so proud of her! Check out Sarah’s powerful novel of friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, and faith (with a good dose of music thrown in) on Amazon here.
So, are you managing to stay cool this summer? What has the Lord been stirring or impressing on your heart? I’d love to hear your thoughts—please comment and share! And may His peace cover you through this season and help you to rest in Him, be still, and know that He is God.