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A Summer to Thrive

I am finishing my last week of my summer work hours. I have been reflecting on my summer and how I spent it.

In May, I intentionally wrote a list of hopes, dreams and goals for my summer season. I used my daring greatly manifesto from Vulnerability, Courage, Shame, and Empathy: The Living Brave Continuing Education Course. I completed Jess Connolly's Summer to Thrive: A Guide to Chilling Out and Enjoying Summer. I also spent time in prayer and asked God to give me words and ideas that would define the season.

This week, I am taking time to review these things. I am also rereading what I journaled about my actual summer. I feel encouraged by what a great summer it has been and how many of my hopes I was able to engage!

I pursued wholeheartedness in a lot of ways. I read books, I cooked and baked, I listened to music and I spent a lot of sweet quality time with people I cherish. I enjoyed time in prayer and worship each week and adopted a much slower pace of life. I asked questions and listened a lot more than I usually do. I left dishes in the sink and stepped away from my to-do list way more than I usually do. I felt softer and had more resources to put toward practicing kindness.

When I looked at my list of how I wanted to feel by the end of summer, I was able to celebrate feeling almost every single thing on that list. I do feel rested, satisfied, excited to start school, more mature in areas where I am growing, hopeful, and more able to let God direct and structure my days. I am also feeling somewhat more light-hearted and connected to nature. I know that I have enjoyed Elias and our time together deeply. I also have some great summer stories. I did not have the perfect summer. I had a perfectly lovely summer.

The two main things that God told me about this summer were delight and that the heart is central. As I reflect on this summer, I confirm that it has been a summer full of delight. There have been so many moments where my heart felt full to overflowing with joy, hope and peace. This has also been a summer where I have focused on reconnecting with my heart and engaging with its' desires. I have had lots of time and space to grow in areas that are important to me. I have been able to take risks, feel fully alive, and enjoy beauty and play. I have been practicing being still and slowing down on the inside.

I am excited to enter a new season. Even though fall won't officially start until next month, the new school year brings a new season for me. I feel hopeful about continuing to grow and change. I'm starting a new list of hopes, dreams and goals for this fall and the 2017-2018 school year. I'm asking God for new words and ideas that will shape me in the season to come.

I hope that the season change will be a good one for you too. I encourage you to take some time to reflect on your summer and to dream about your fall. What do you want to pursue? What values are most important to you in the upcoming season? What dreams do you want to engage? Let's thrive this fall.


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