We get to begin a new month today! I’m excited! I need a fresh start! June has been long and felt hard for many reasons. Heavy things…friends hurting, wars raging, freedoms lost.
We are still recovering from two long years…. we cannot keep pouring from an empty cup! We need rest and recovery!
So here are some ideas from The Gift of a Sacred Summer that you can practice on your own, as a family, with your housemates or small group friends.
Each day of the week, take time to do the 5 or the 15-minute practice. Plan a time to do the Going Deeper practice sometime during the week.
- 5-minute Practice: Sit down somewhere peaceful and comfortable or pick a quiet spot to lay down and just rest for 5 whole minutes. Set your timer to help you with this practice. What do you notice? Picture Jesus putting a blanket of peace and love around your shoulders. Each day this week, practice 5 minutes of resting.
- 15-minute Practice: Plan ahead and consider what helps you rest and relax and connect with yourself and Jesus. Read a book that isn’t for work or school, go outside and take a 15-minute walk, get out the crayons and color for fun (only if this brings joy). Or just sit down in your Sabbath Spot and be with Jesus. Notice if you get anxious or nervous because you aren’t accomplishing anything. Give these feelings to Jesus to keep for you, or write them down and put them in your Sabbath Box for Jesus to hold.
- Create a Sabbath Box: Select a big enough container to hold items like your cell phone, laptop, or game controller. This box is designated to create space to store away items that might distract you as you choose to disconnect from the world and connect with God. You can purchase a box, decorate an old box, or use a basket with a lid.
- Going Deeper: Set up a Sabbath/Rest Day. We all need community to help us practice real rest because we forget to do it on our own and if we live with other people, it helps them to be on board too. If you are going to set up a sabbath rest time or an afternoon or a 24-hour sabbath day practice, you need to talk about this with a friend, family, housemates, small group, etc., so you can have the space to practice rest either on your own, or better yet, as a group. When could you have an evening or an afternoon that is all about rest? Put it on the calendar and actually open the gift of rest together.
What would you feel like at the end of the month if you took time to really rest and restore your soul? What would it take for you to truly experience the unforced rhythms of Grace? Are you willing to love yourself and open the Gift of Rest?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Jesus Matthew 11: 28-30
Lord Give us grace today to love as you love
Help us to love with extravagance.
Give us hope today for ourselves and others. Heal our hurts and our hearts today
So we can serve and help those around us. Help us to know that you are enough.
And help us live today and everyday in thankfulness.
For all you’ve done and for all your blessings. In the Name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN
Available as an online course, sign up here to gain 180 days of access while you work through this retreat at your own pace. Join Lilly Lewin and Christine Sine in the awe of the broad array of summer symbols that can gain spiritual significance for us when we stop and think about them. Everything from beachcombing to putting on suntan lotion can be the inspiration for practices that draw us closer to God.
Ground yourself in the earth and its summer season where you live and find the ways that God is speaking through it – all the details can be found here!