Last May, I posted about the Live it Up summer initiative. The Uptons tried an ambitious plan to Use it Up, Eat it Up, Play it Up, Read it Up, Watch it Up, and Trip it Up. You can read more about it here, but basically we determined to enjoy the summer by enjoying the things we already had!
If you’re wondering, it went really well. We didn’t do everything I’d planned, but we did an awful lot of it and I’ve never been so contented with a summer of fun. We played with more, tried more things, and used up more of our stuff than we ever have before. Getting organized about our family’s summer was wonderful!
This year, though, I wanted to try a simpler endeavor.
I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert this summer, and I had many thoughts while I was there. Since the band tends to go on long instrumental riffs, there was a lot of time to think…
I thought about how I’m getting older. When I went to my first Dave concert in college, “Ants Marching” was big. This time, there was a teenage girl sitting next to me who said, “Well, I’ve never heard of Dave Matthews Band, but my dad says I’ll like it.” Wow.
Every summer for the last several years, I’ve organized a “summer initiative” for my kids. My kids look forward to these ideas every year (mostly because they involve fun treats). This year, I want to share my idea with you.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God…
By the time we hit the seventh day of the week, going church can feel like a “have to” rather than a “get to.” We’ve all woken up on a Sunday morning wishing we could stay in bed—but shouldn’t going to church be considerably more refreshing than an hour’s extra sleep?
God didn’t call Sunday a day of rest for nothing. The Sabbath isn’t about “not doing work” (at least not entirely—you can check out what I have to say about that in this post), it’s about resting in His presence and care.
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.”
Think it through
I don’t know about you, but this is when it starts to get really hard for me. Easter is still looking pretty far away… but all that Easter candy is staring me in the face whenever I enter a store. I’m not complaining—still smiling!—but it’s a fact that I’m getting tired of giving up chocolate.
This is the time to take a good look at how good we’re really doing with this Lenten fast. Truth always clears out spiritual clutter that’s rooted in feelings!
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
Think it through
One Lenten day in 2008 I was at the mall with my kids (only two back then!), ready to redeem my coupon for a free Cheryl’s cookie. (The Library Summer Reading Club coupon sheet comes through again!)
Now normally I’d walk into a place like Cheryl’s and make a beeline for the chocolate. I mean, what’s the point of a cookie that doesn’t even include chocolate chips? And let’s see if we can find one that has chocolate batter as well…
But it was Lent, I’d given up chocolate, and I’d resigned myself to not getting a cookie at all. I’d get the free one and let the kids split it between them, case closed.
As I wrote on my “blogiversary,” I never thought I’d be blogging at all. Yet today I took a look back at my first 99 posts, and you know what? There was some good stuff in there!
Over time, my posts have evolved from Monday/Thursday Bible study posts to a new schedule: Monday Bible study devotions with a thought-provoking “kick,” and Thursday posts that deal with either anxiety help (the Thought Shot posts) or Christian Growth (the Take the Challenge posts). All of them speak to what God’s bringing to the forefront in my life… and hopefully yours.
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Have you ever dropped the ball on a friendship? A friend asks to spend time with you, but you forget to return their email. Their texts go unanswered. Soon they stop reaching out to you, and then it feels almost embarrassing to reach out to them…