And—just like that, it’s September.
Hi friend, How was your summer? Go anywhere fun? Read any good books? Tackle a big project? I need to know all-the-things. 🙂 It’s great to be back with you.
Thank you for the grace you’ve shown me during my Summer of Rest. Transparency alert: taking a break felt scary at first. Would I still be able to make a difference? Would I feel shame for not publishing as much as others? Would I still be respected as a writer?
Truth is, my exhaustion outweighed my fear—which required my trust to rise up and meet the fear. I knew burn-out wasn’t God’s best for me, and I couldn’t serve Him well from a dry pitcher.
It took weeks for my spirit to settle, but as each sunrise gave way to the next, the Lord began untangling the chaos of my mind, inviting me into the beauty of His calm.
Turns out, the Summer of Rest was the deep breath of my soul.
And, not only that—I’ve decided to make it a tradition!
What once was weary is now refreshed.
What once was scattered is now purposed.
What once was caged is now free.
Stuff I Learned This Summer:
- It’s okay if the things He asks of me look different from the things He asks of others.
- Rest is life-giving, not goal-destroying.
- There are way too many spiderwebs on my porch. Aye-yi-yi
- Still-time is sacred time.
- Holiness comes from abiding, not from preforming.
- Levi the kitty is a sweet porch buddy. (Obviously.)
- You can’t rise until you sit. The peace is found in the pause.
- Stillness begets confidence. Confidence in His plan for my days.
- It’s hard to say no to good things.
- Chick-fil-a Watermelon Mint Lemonade is yummy to my tummy.
- Small living is powerful living.
- He didn’t fall off His throne when I quieted my schedule.
Friend, if you ever feel God calling you into a season of quiet—run, don’t walk. I walked until I could barely crawl. What in the ever-living world is that about? Oh, the loving-patience of a God who begs us to accept a blessing.
What is with our reluctance to rest? The very thing we crave, we fight. Are we so afraid of losing “control” of the ship, we don’t notice the mutiny sinking it?
His harvest is more abundant than we know to imagine. At time’s dawn He knew us, called us, and set us apart for Himself. We can trust Him to fulfill what He began.
My prayer for you as we walk into autumn together : “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
Tell me, friend—what did you learn from Summer’s classroom?
<a href="http://brendabradfordottinger.com/chasing-community/"><img src="http://brendabradfordottinger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Linkup-button.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="250" /></a>
It’s a casual, pony-tail & sandals environment around here, but a few important reminders:
- Please remember to visit and leave some encouragement for other friends who’ve linked-up today — this is the heart of community & your words of support could be just the thing another friend needs to hear today.
- Please only share like-minded words of spiritual encouragement and insight.
- Please grab the #ChasingCommunity button, or link back here underneath your post. (So others can find us and join the fun too!)
- By linking up & leaving your email address you agree to receive #ChasingCommunity updates.
Thank you for bringing your dish to the table–May your ministry of words find community here.
So many great lessons you learned! Thanks for sharing them, friend! XO
Liz recently posted…Word Nerd Wednesday – Liturgy
Enjoying your Moving Toward the Mess series, friend. Hope you’re getting well-settled in your new state. ((xoxo))
I love all the photos, Brenda, and I’m glad you benefitted from your summer of rest!
Thank you, Lesley. Hope you had a restful summer as well. ((xoxo))
Becky Hastings says
I’m so glad you had a summer of rest! I’m looking for how to incorporate a spirit of rest more in my day to day. Somehow I think these two things are key: “It’s okay if the things He asks of me look different from the things He asks of others. & Rest is life-giving, not goal-destroying.”
Well done friend!
Becky Hastings recently posted…5 Things Bringing Me Joy Today
Saying a prayer for you as you seek to incorporate an atmosphere of rest into your days, friend. It’s so worth it. ((xoxo))
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Welcome back to the world of busy. Good for you for sticking to your guns and taking some time to refresh and rejuvenate. As you know I was kind of forced into a pause or stillness. I really learned that “Still-time” is, indeed, sacred time. I learned to simply abide rather than to perform and found out God loves me just the same. Sometimes we need this refresher course lol.
Bev @ Walking Well With God recently posted…Breathe
Only we crazy humans could need a refresher course in resting, haha. 🙂 Glad He’s a patient God. — You definitely had a bit of a forced time-out. Still praying for your recovery. ((xoxo))
“He didn’t fall off His throne when I quieted my schedule.” Brenda, why do we think our “doings” keeps God secure on His throne? Oh, so silly of us. But we do. If we do not do, then He can not do kinda thinking. He is the Doer…no matter what.
Welcome back. I missed your words of ease and refreshment. Love your pictures and your reminders to rest in order to refill and pour out again. ❤️
Silly us, indeed. 🙂 And, when we actually take a minute to process it–what a comfort to realize the “doing” is His! 🙂 Thank you, my friend. ((xoxo))
“You can’t rise until you sit.” So much truth in that statement! Loved your list of stuff you learned. I’m longing for rest and hoping to get it next week when we go on vacation. I’ve had insomnia for two weeks and I feel kind of shaky. It’s challenging to rest well with four kids all day (we homeschool). I’m happy you are refreshed and thanks for your beautiful post, friend! xo
Kelly, I’m so sorry you’re not sleeping well. I don’t sleep well either, and what a difference that makes. ((Hug)) So glad you’ll be able to get away and rest some next week. Prayers for your sleep schedule to reset itself, friend. — I only have one left in school, but we homeschooled for 13 years until last year when our youngest started high school. It’s a blessed, but busy life, no doubt. ((xoxo))
Michele Morin says
I haven’t processed this summer’s lessons yet, Brenda – it was full with lots of family, lots of garden, and lots of big stuff: wedding, 2 funerals, graduation, and just a couple of days ago a new grandbaby. The thought that springs to mind unrehearsed is that God is present in all the big and the small events of life and His calling to me is faithfulness, willingness to serve in hidden ways.
Thanks for sharing your very wonderful summer days, Brenda!
Michele Morin recently posted…3 Stories Completely Ended: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (2)
Congrats on the grandbaby, my friend! So excited for you. — You *have* had a full summer! “…faithfulness, willingness to serve in hidden ways.” That’s lovely, Michele. I like that. Thank you for sharing. ((xoxo))
Brenda- Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned! So many blessings and wisdom!
I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award over at https://unmaskingthemess.com/2017/09/14/blogger-recognition-award/
Please do not feel obligated to do a thing. You are a great writer and encourager for me and I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to let others know about your website.
Julie recently posted…The Blogger Recognition Award
Awe, Julie, that’s so very sweet of you. Thank you, my friend. You’re such a blessing. ((Love and Hugs))
Linda Stoll says
That break from running around online like crazy worked wonders for me, too, Brenda … there’s something about August that invites us to simply linger, putter, reflect, breathe deep.
I hear your heart …
Linda Stoll recently posted…In Which I Acquaint You With 3 Healing Workbooks * A Giveaway
That quiet time makes such a difference, doesn’t it, Linda? Love that you were able to get a break in too. Thanks for hearing my heart, friend. ((Hug))
Betsy de Cruz says
So interesting to read this today, Brenda. Because God has prompted me to “rest” in September, just to focus on daily serving, writing, and mainly on self-care and spiritual care so He can restore me. 🙂 Not sure why we’re so reluctant!
So glad you’re getting some R&R this month, sweet friend. God is seriously the most patient–always having to beg us to accept His good gifts. Prayers for soul-rest for you this month, may He meet you in your surrender with refreshment and grace. ((xoxo))
Joanne Viola says
“You can’t rise until you sit.” So much truth! I’ve been reading Watchman Nee’s book – Wit, Walk, Stand – and “sit” is the place he starts. It is the place where our rest in Christ begins and He is then able to walk in our calling. Thank you for again confirming that which I am reading 🙂 Blessings!
Joanne Viola recently posted…The Start & Finish Line
Oooh, I’ve not heard of that book before. Sounds like one I’d love, thanks for sharing, friend. Love how God is so personal as to sprinkle the same messages across different areas of our lives. He’s the best. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. ((xoxo))
Paris Renae says
Brenda – ‘welcome back’ 🙂 Excellent post and I love this: You can’t rise until you sit. The peace is found in the pause.
Having had a forced rest for the last three weeks due to illness and a hurricane (rest is relative, mine was from the normal routine and things I thought I should be doing) – I so love the remind that we can’t rise until we sit. I think I will share that with some friends for sure. 🙂
So sorry you’ve been under the weather, D. Hope you’re on the upswing now. I’m so glad y’all fared well with Hurricane Irma. She was not very ladylike barrelling up through the whole state like that, was she? Continued prayers, friend. ((xoxo))
This summer has been a season of growth for me in many areas. Most importantly, my faith walk. I agree with your thoughts, “small living is powerful living!” Thank you for sharing!
I love that it’s been a season of spiritual growth for you, Robin. What a testimony to be able to look back and attribute a season to growth. Love that, thanks for sharing. ((Hug))
Lisa/Syncopated Mama says
I think we’re finally getting close to cleaning up after Irma – just have to rebuild parts of our fence and collect a few more limbs from the yard!
So glad you’re doing well, Lisa. ((Hug)) Continued prayers for all of those displaced and interrupted by Irma. ((Hug))
I LOVE WHAT GOD spoke to you through your summer of rest!
This summer was a whirlwind for me between my son’s wedding and preparations leading up to the marriage celebration and maintaining my writing schedule for both my blog, book proposal, and the book I am writing. My son’s wedding left me emotionally charged and exhausted! I took a little time off to rest and travel with my younger boys.
You wise to head the Lord’s call for soul rest! Glad you are back!
Misty recently posted…Going to Declare Conference 2017
You have had quite the whirlwind summer, friend. So happy for your son and his new bride. I know you’ll be a wonderful Mother-in-law. Continued prayers for all y’all down in Texas. I hope the recovery efforts continue to go well. What a blessing y’all’ve been. ((xoxo))
Maree Dee says
I am so glad you are back. I have missed your writing. However, I am so darn proud of you for listening and taking a rest. You are my inspiration. I am not good at resting. I took a week and it was amazing. I am going to ponder taking a full month next summer.
Maree Dee recently posted…Is There More To “Being Still?”
Ooh, I hope you’re able to take that month next summer, Maree. Funny how productive rest can be. It clears your mind and heart so you’re more productive when you return. I highly recommend it. 🙂 So glad you were able to get a week. Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂 ((Hug))
Oh my I adore the list. I love 1, 2, and the last ones because they so resonate with me. The few couple years, mainly this last one after we moved — we are feeling the slower life more. We don’t like to overdo it, and that makes us odd ducks around here but I have learned to not feel weird about it anymore, but rather bless others with what I have been given instead of trying to mold to someone else. Thanks for sharing this! I am glad for it today.
Love your perspective, Meghan. There’s such freedom in living small, isn’t there. I want to get better at it myself. My heart is there, but it takes time for your life to fall into line, doesn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for sharing, friend. ((Hug))