|Release, Renew, Refresh|
Jen Ferguson organizes a great community of Christian sisters called Soli Deo Gloria and Jen feeds us spiritually with thought provoking ideas and questions. Check out her blog, Finding Heaven here.
The group’s mission is “to encourage one another with words of affirmation and the love of Jesus. We seek to let each other in our lives, being real and vulnerable, so that we may be uplifted, refined, and grown in the body of Christ. As we receive, so we give, creating bonds of friendship and sisterhood.”
Her latest question got me a-thinkin’.
What about the summer brought about a release of things ready to be let go, or a vacation that evoked a sense of renewal, or how do you long to be refreshed as the summer winds down and fall begins?
I am letting go of the busyness of a crazy summer schedule.
We have been blessed to have many opportunities to travel since April and to host family here. Wonderful times but to be honest, I am tired. I am releasing all of the tension of planning, packing and pursuing and now savoring the pleasure of the memories.
This summer I have stepped back, discerned and prayerfully resigned from several commitments.
I here by let go of the guilt of not being everything to everyone and not being perfect all of the time.
God surprised me this summer. I think he specializes in surprises!
I sought a path within my church several years ago. The door was always closed and certainly appeared to me to be locked, sealed and permanently blocked.
But God knew when the time would be right and suddenly last June an opportunity to serve my church appeared. On June 19 I was commissioned in a service where my family participated, friends who share and formed my faith helped and God was honored. More than $500 was collected for our local food pantry.
God amazes me. And that wonder at his goodness renews my spirit.
The calendar may soon say September but summer weather will linger a little longer in Ohio. This time of year holds many chances for refreshing revitalization:
- Sweet fresh tomatoes and peppers delight my taste buds
- Colorful mums grace my front porch
- The sounds of a small town Friday night football game fill my ears.
- Yummy taste of cookies at Sunday School Rally Day and invigoration of the planning of small groups for October.
- I have time yet to sit quietly in my backyard relishing the warmer weather and cooler nights.
- New books wait on my bedside table.
- Yes one more trip this year as we journey to New York to the Finger Lakes and a fun visit with friends in Cooperstown.
- I plan to attend a spiritual workshop in October and have a night in a retreat center, listening to God with an open heart, Bible and journal.
The changing of the seasons welcomes a time of releasing, renewing and refreshing. A time to pause and appreciate the moments of life as they quickly fade away. As Rose Kennedy once said,
Moments of release, renew and refresh.
Share a moment of release, renewal or refresh you experienced this summer.
Jean Wise says
I certainly agree Nancy about family moments are great refreshment. Those relationships connect with us in very deep places.
Jean Wise says
The position came as quite a surprise and happened after I really never thought it would God is so good! Thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Jen
Jean Wise says
Something that has helped me is the words _ hold things lightly. Somehow that gives me the sense of still holding something precious but also letting it go. Amputation sounds so painful. Sending up a prayer for you right now. Be gentle with your sprrit and allow yourself lots of time to grieve. I listened with a friend today who experienced lots of loss this year and it is only in reflection she can start to see some healing. tough challenge while you are in the midst of hurting.
Nancy Ruegg says
Beautifully written, Jean. I feel honored to be privy to your personal ruminations of release, renew, and refresh. I agree: our God does seem to love surprises! And often in the surprise there is release of tension, renewal of vigor, and refreshment of spirit.
Over the summer I was refreshed in my spirit, spending time with family that now live in distant states. Nothing beats family moments!
Jen Ferguson says
I am so excited to read about how God opened this door in your church. And you know, I want to make sure you know how much your work in SDG is appreciated, too. You are lovely and strong and good.
My summer certainly held all of these elements. I must admit, the release part of my journey felt more like an amputation followed by some gradual acceptance. It is such a realignment when you are taught to “never let go”.. and then you must not of your own will. My heart is still shattered, but my faithful Lord is indeed showing me that He will guide me into a future of His will that holds both beauty and laughter, and that I can still find refreshment in the summer breeze, blue sky, and quiet moments of gratitude. God is good, all the time.