Several months ago someone asked me to describe how I was feeling in only one word.
I mulled it over for a moment, and then it occurred to me: overstimulated.
I was moving rapidly in what felt like many different directions … transitioning to a new team, trudging through continuous graduate classes, leading a Bible study (a first for me), planning a major event, plus tending to other things in my personal life.
And although this overstimulated season seems to be chilling out, I’m afraid this summer could just as easily spin out of control.
I’m craving a slower-paced summer … and sensing God’s invitation. Perhaps you, too, are longing for the same summons.
Recently, I received an email from one of my favorite authors, Sara Hagerty. I’ve since printed it and referenced it often, underlining and journaling through snippets and sentences that speak to me — words that seem like they are straight from God’s heart to mine.
Among my highlights:
God is not hurried.
The best leaders are the ones attentive to his heartbeat … and their pulse.
He wants us to sit at his feet. To listen. To learn. To receive. (See Luke 10:38-42.)
Busyness can take over our lives if we let it — to the detriment of our relationship with Jesus.
So this summer, what if we decided to “waste” time with God?
To give him our undivided attention. Pray more often. Soak in his Word. Sit still … still enough to hear our hearts beat. Get quiet … quiet enough to hear his whispers. Create space and change our pace, exchanging overstimulation for stillness, rest, peace.
Sound appealing? Impossible? Well, I created something brand new, and I can’t wait to share it with you! My hope is that it helps foster your desire to draw near to God. It’s a three-day challenge with some simple yet powerful steps to get you started. Learn more and sign up for free here.
In addition to sharing this slower summer rhythm, I want to tell you what I’m reading right now.
There’s usually — well, actually, always — an embarrassingly tall book tower stacked on my nightstand. Here are the titles near the top right now:
As I mentioned, Sara Hagerty is one of my favorite authors. I’m on my second reading of this book, and I’m loving it even more this time through. Sara explores what it means to “waste” our time and our love on God.
Lysa TerKeurst is coming to Omaha in February 2020! I have the opportunity to be part of this event at our church; I’m excited and grateful. I’ve never read any of Lysa’s books, so I figured I better do my homework. If you’ve ever dealt with disappointment or your days look different than you expected right now (story of my life), I guarantee it will resonate.
This is required reading for my current grad school class, Facilitating Spiritual Formation. It’s not a quick or easy read, but it’s so rich and thought-provoking and worth it. Dallas Willard writes that spiritual formation is an inescapable human process. So I’d say this book should be required reading for everyone who, in Willard’s words, wants “a path of life that will form their spirit and inner world in a way that is truly strong and good and directed Godward.”
I felt compelled to share this one because I know there are many women (and men) out there struggling (silently) with their fertility. This book is published by the Pope Paul VI Institute, where I’ve been going since January. I’m told couples come here from all over the country, and I think more people need to know about this place. I’m thankful it’s right here in Omaha. This book is filled with stories of women who have received help, hope, and healing. If this resonates with you, I’d love to connect.
This one is a surprise to me. I’ve been praying and asking God to give me some vision for this fall and the future. A couple weeks ago, a phrase came to me: You are called. I’m dreaming about what it would look like to write and teach a Bible study on the topic of our callings. And just a few days ago, I believe God led me to this book by Kristen Padilla. (I love how he works!) This book is clearly an answer to prayer, and I would recommend it for any woman who’s wrestling with a calling to full-time vocational ministry.
What are you reading this summer? I love book recommendations! Leave a comment and let me know.
Also, don’t forget to try this brand new Draw Near Challenge and tell me how it goes.
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash