The One Thing I Learned This Summer

The One Thing I Learned This Summer

A lovely formal garden discovered on our summer travels
I’m joining Emily P. Freeman’s linkup sharing what I’ve learned this summer. 

Sometimes it’s okay to take a summer off!  I’m the queen of to-do lists.  Writing lists motivates me to get things done. Nothing’s more satisfying that to put a check mark by a completed task. 

But this summer, I took everything  off my to-do list. You might say I had a minimalist summer.  Instead of ramping up my daily agenda, I slowed down. While others (along with my internal voice) might judge this summer as unproductive, I experienced my best summer yet. 

Just like my Compaq laptop I had in grad school, I learned my brain needs defragmenting periodically for it to run faster and more efficiently.   Summer was the perfect time for me to pause and let my mind rest, reorganize information, refocus priorities and rid my brain of all the junk taking up space. 

I still did my normal summer thing. We travelled to the beach, hung out together, explored museums and historical locales in nearby cities and celebrated some amazing answers to prayers.

This painting really spoke to me!
Honestly, I thought I might never find any motivation again.  The floating, untethered laziness was uncomfortable at times. But then these words seized my soul as I read them late one night:

“A seed knows how to wait. A seed is alive while it waits. Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the 300 year old tree that towers over it. Neither the seed nor the oak tree is growing; they are both waiting.” –Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Life is still inside me as I wait.  Resting and waiting does not kill the life in me but ignoring my need to rest and wait will. 

What have you learned this summer?  Share in the comments or link up to Emily’s post!

Five Minute Friday | Travel Weary

Five Minute Friday | Travel Weary

On Fridays I join Kate Motaung’s link up and with other writers write for 5 minutes on the weekly prompt. This Friday’s word is…Weary.

Brighted eye and busy tailed at the beginning of our journey!

Two weeks ago, my husband and I boarded our plane in Madrid headed back to the US!  We had a lovely time in Spain, seeing great works of art, strolling the cobblestone streets, and dining on tasty Spanish cuisine. We were so happy to be headed home…see our smiles?!

Trans-Atlantic flights can be a long haul, but we arrived safely in Philadelphia.  I always love hearing from the U. S. customs agent, “Welcome to the United States!”  We only had a two hour layover before our final flight to Nashville. 

I was giddy, really giddy as we stood in the security line, chatting up strangers, giddy from over 18 hours of being awake and traveling through umpteen time zones. While in line we neared the departures board.  We searched for our gate and saw the dreaded word…Cancelled.

Coincidentally, my husband’s voicemail alert beeped and he listened to the airline’s message that all flights had been cancelled to Nashville and they had rebooked us for the next morning to fly out of Philly to Chicago at 5:15 am.  What?!!

Suddenly, all the giddiness evaporated and I suddenly felt weary.  World traveling, almost 24 hours up weary.  We got through security, hustled our way to the nearest airline agent and thankfully got a booking to fly to Chicago later that evening with a hotel room secured and then on to Nashville the next day.

I was thankful, beyond thankful, we would not be stranded at Philly’s lovely airport…but oh, waiting nearly five hours to board the flight to Chicago was a challenge for me! I knew if I fell asleep, I would not be able to walk myself on to the plane. I was weary beyond giddiness, beyond sleep, and near the edge of cogent thought!

Keeping it real!

I definitely know my weariness two weeks ago was a first world problem.  But still, I leaned on God to get me through the limits of physical exhaustion and stay awake, through the four hour layover and then the two hour flight to Chicago. God calls us to Himself when we are weary because He will give us rest. Rest in our souls. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Most of my weary moments do not arise from world travel but from my worrisome habit of turning and churning “what ifs”over in my brain into the wee hours of the morning when I should be resting. My Father is gracious.  He knows that about me. He calls me to take up His burden because it’s light…unlike my heavy wearisome burdens. 

Lay your weariness and burdens at the Father’s feet. Take up His burden and find rest in Him. Rest in your soul that no one else can give you. And don’t pick your burden up again!