by Lilly Lewin,
Tomorrow, June 5th, Christine Sine and I will host a retreat called “Making Time for a Sacred Summer.” You can still register HERE and join us! We are recording it, so if you are busy on Saturday, you can still participate when you have some time in the future. One of the activities we are doing is creating a Summer Sacred Space, a way to focus our prayers and practices this summer using elements and objects that remind us of summer. When you think about summer, what pops into your mind? What tastes, smells, games, or symbols remind you of the summer season?
Make a list. Ask your friends or family or look back at photos from years past to help you remember.
Jesus used everyday things he saw along the way to help his followers learn about God’s Kingdom. Things such as lilies, seeds, wheat fields, fish in fishnets, etc. So, like Jesus, we can use things we see everyday to help us connect with him.
We are inviting participants to create a centerpiece, an altar space, or even a portable kit to take with us and use to help us engage God and pray more intentionally during the days ahead. Even if you can’t make the retreat with us, you can create a Sacred Space Centerpiece to pray with this summer!
One of the ways I start to create a Sacred Space centerpiece is to go to the Dollar Store. It’s a great place to get inspired! You can also do a scavenger hunt around your house to collect items that remind you of summer and things that might inspire you to pray!
In the photo above, I’ve used several items that remind me of Summer… all found at the Dollar Store or around my house. I call this my SUMMER PLANTING CENTERPIECE or SUMMER OF GROWTH CENTERPIECE.
We are all starting a new season of the year. We are starting a new season in the pandemic with many of us getting vaccinated and now having a chance to see friends and family and doing more things out and about. There are signs of hope and new life! What signs of NEW LIFE are you noticing around you? How could these be things to add to your Summer Sacred Space?
As I created this centerpiece, I began to consider and pray with these items and asked several questions:
SEEDS & GARDEN GLOVES:
What new things are God growing in me?
What new things need to be planted in me this season?
What weeds might need pulling?
What seeds of love and compassion can I plant in my own life and the lives of those around me this summer?
BUG CATCHER and NET
One of my summer memories from childhood is chasing and catching Lightening Bugs/Fireflies. Back then, my mom would punch holes in the metal jar lid and my siblings and I would run around the yard and catch the bugs. We would have a jar filled with thee small flash lights to watch for the evening. Now that I’ve moved back to the South, I still love watching for that first lightening bug to appear, and I love the magic as they come out of the grass each evening. It’s the wonder of God’s creation! It’s a Miracle! I’m using the bug catcher and net to remind me to have childlike wonder this summer. I’m asking Jesus to help me see small miracles and the magical beauty each day! In bugs, butterflies, flowers, clouds, blades of grass etc.
What things bring you a sense of wonder? Ask Jesus to surprise you! What miracles in nature are you thankful for today?
BADMINTON BIRDIE (shuttlecock)
Another of my summer childhood memories is playing Badminton in my grandparent’s back yard. We would play with my cousins and hit the “birdie” over the net, back and forth, for hours! The Birdie/Shuttlecock reminds me that I need time to play this summer! We’ve all had quite a year! We need to feel God’s pleasure as we engage in fun and in playful activities in the coming weeks. How can you play more this summer? Ask Jesus to show you how. Pray for yourself and your family to have space to play and be filled with the joy of playfulness!
The magnifying glass is my reminder to look deeper, to take time this summer to look more closely at where I really am. I am asking Jesus to show me details, to help me see the things I’ve learned during these hard months of the pandemic. I am asking Jesus to help me take the time to actually process all the things I’ve been feeling. Ask Jesus to help you look closer at where you are and where you’ve been in the last few months. Take time to pray and process your feelings, your pain, your highs and your lows. You might want to journal or create in art in response to this.
The Butterfly Box is a symbol for me of new life and transformation. The caterpillar actually turns into a special goo as it becomes a new creature, the butterfly! We’ve had to go through a lot of “green goo” this year. A lot of change, pain and metamorphosis. While the “green goo stage” is hard to live through, it means we are getting very close to the good stuff! We have to go through it to get to the beauty of the Butterfly! Take time to talk to Jesus about where you are today… are you feeling closer to the caterpillar than the butterfly? Or, are you still stuck in the green goo stage? Allow Jesus to be with you in your current state. Ask Jesus to continue to transform you into his image this summer. And when you see a caterpillar or a butterfly, remember that Jesus is with you in all the stages of your life!
Like the beautiful butterfly, what reminds you of HOPE and New Life? Take some time to say thank you to Jesus for these things. Add some of these things to your own Summer Sacred Space.
What things will you use in your Summer Sacred Space to inspire you to grow and pray? I’d love to see what you create!
I will share more ideas for your Sacred Space Centerpiece and your PORTABLE SACRED SPACE next week. Also, you are invited to join me in an 8-Week prayer practice adventure called THE GIFT OF A SACRED SUMMER. This is something you can do on your own, with your small group, or your family, and/or with your whole church community! There are activities and experiences for all ages! You can learn more and download the kit at freerangeworship.com.
Hope to see you on Saturday for the retreat! Make Time for a Sacred Summer!
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com