Approaching the last six weeks of summer, a friend wondered recently where all the time went. Finally coming up for air after a whirlwind of day and overnight camps for young ones, schlepping older kids to summer sports, and a vacation at the beach, she longs for a little summer serenity.
Whether swamped with activity, or simply disoriented from a looser routine, the anticipated times of refreshing often slip by us unless we seek the serenity we crave with more intentionality.
Perhaps you feel much like my friend, or like me, you headed into the summer with a desire of inviting serenity into your summer days, but not much of a plan.
Join me as I have a bit of fun with an acrostic and alliteration to help us redeem the remainder of our summer!
If you have no idea where you are going you will certainly arrive there! Many times, we think we know the need of our soul, and how we might achieve it, yet we fail in obtaining the serenity we desire.
“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”
As I pondered some traits of serenity, the way became clearer to moving my summer more towards one of serenity rather than striving.
S- Stillness. Seeking less activity and more “being” in the presence of God.
E- Encouragement. Cultivating strength in the inner man.
R- Rest. Genuine, willing disconnection from labors for a specified time.
E- Established. Settled, calm, firmly grounded in God’s perfect peace.
N- Nourished. A calm contentment of a well-fed soul.
I- Introspective. Easy self-examination and careful reflection.
T- Timelessness. No slave to time’s demands; a willing desire for a slower cadence.
Y- Yielded. A relinquishing of outcomes, agendas, or desires.
Meditating on these traits through a fun acrostic brought to mind simple ways to cultivate not only summer serenity, but a lifestyle of serenity!
“Serenity Comes When You Trade Expectations for Acceptance”
So, how do we arrive at a place of serenity? Less about “doing” and more about “being”, I found seven ways to draw closer to summer serenity without striving.
- Stop. You lose serenity when you insist on controlling or changing people, circumstances, and outcomes. Stop resisting! (1Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Slow Down. Serenity is not a race. A slower pace allows you to remain open to the Holy Spirit’s leading and embrace your life now. (Matthew 11:28)
- Settle. Accept your circumstances and embrace contentment. Trust God’s hand with your current situation. (Philippians 4:11)
- Subtract. Let go of things weighing you down: overcommitments, self-imposed deadlines, performance mentality. (Ecclesiastes 3:6)
- Strengthen. Remaining grounded in the Word of God strengthens the inner man, increasing confidence in God’s sovereign hand. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- Seek. As you seek God’s Presence and wisdom, your soul finds rest in Him. (James 1:5)
- Savor. Sitting with God, celebrating through gratitude and praise the life before you now. (Psalm 103:1-2)
Spending time in each of these seven areas nurtures a posture of rest, surrender, and trust, which leads to calm assurance of God’s Presence, Peace and Provision.
Savoring Summer Serenity
If your summer feels anything but serene, consider taking a step back, a deep breath, and a quiet moment to center your heart, soul, and mind on a simpler way of life.
Instead of pursuing your perspective or pushing your way to peace, sink into serenity with Jesus.
Release expectations, even dreams into His hands, as you choose instead a calm reliance on God’s unfailing love and goodness as your guide and sustenance.
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
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