In celebration of the official arrival of the summer solstice, I delight in sharing my serenity summer sampler with you! Summer speaks a slower pace to me; a time of lingering, resting and sampling the best summer has to offer.
Some of my favorite summer memories as a child reflect the simple pleasures of life; lying in the cool grass while finding pictures in the clouds, a warm summer breeze, juicy peaches and cold ice cream.
God whispers delight to our souls through the simple treasures wrapped in the sheer drapery of summer.
Sometimes as adults, we lose our fascination and wonder with creation’s seasonal offerings. Responsibilities, schedules and life’s challenges numb us to the delights beckoning to us in the midst of a summer’s day.
Behold the serenity summer sampler: a page of ideas, encouragement and inspiration for redeeming the time as you find God’s hidden treasures of summer.
serenity summer inspiration
Looking back over previous posts, I compiled a lovely selection for you of ideas, inspiration and summer fun which offers numerous ways of enjoying summer’s bounty.
Breathing Through the psalms
An absolutely delightful way to spend a morning quiet time, afternoon rest break, or evening unwinding before bed. My special technique for breathing through the psalms, calms anxiety, stops racing thoughts, and centers your focus on God.
Set aside time to reconnect with God in this life-giving practice of Breathing Through the Psalms, HERE
the art of practicing stillness
The art of practicing stillness often becomes lost in the rush of filling newly open schedules with summer endeavors. But circling back to this luxury of quiet rest teaches us abiding in Christ is actually the most refreshing thing our soul needs today. Return to the Art of Practicing Stillness HERE.
summer mindfulness with god’s gift of water
Do you know the Bible mentions “water” 722 times depending on which version you use? Yes, more often than the words, faith, hope, prayer, or worship! A truly fun post for fully embracing the uniqueness of God’s gift of water, I share great tips on enjoying this wonderful gift! Try Summer Mindfulness with God’s Gift of Water HERE.
experiencing the divine fragrance of God
Summer provides one of the best times for delighting in creation’s fragrances. Walking through my garden on a warm day, gifts me with cascading fragrances; sweet, floral, citrusy, woodsy all at once. Another gift of God, we find specific instructions for the priests approaching him in the tabernacle, which included incense. Join me as I share easy ways of Experiencing the Divine Fragrance of God HERE.
The Voice of God in the Garden
Summers invites us outdoors, and while we enjoy creation in many ways, one of my favorite ways is to simply “listen”. You won’t want to miss this post learning wonderful ways of hearing The Voice of God in the Garden HERE.
How Mindfulness helps you see in the dark
An older post, delves into practicing mindfulness in the evening to unwind from your day. Including fun ways of practicing mindfulness, but also an important lesson on how faith sees light with the heart when all your eyes see is darkness. Learn more about How Mindfulness Helps You See in the Dark HERE.
serenity summer encouragement
Adding leisure reading to our summer sampler opens many possibilities!
The luxury of extra reading time springs forth as a vivid recollection of childhood summers. Though I adore classic literature and the occasional well-written historical novel, I delight in Christian non-fiction.
Increase summer serenity by adding options of not only pleasure reads, but books inviting you deeper into the knowledge of the holy; enjoying extra time with the Lover of your soul.
Adding to my summer sampler for you, is my specially curated list of favorite books I return to again and again.
In “Unsinkable Faith” Tracie Miles, Proverbs 31 Ministry Leader and Speaker details strategies for overcoming negativity in this easy read. Whether negativity is something creeping in only once in a while, or something you battle on a daily basis, Tracie offers sound, scriptural advice for overcoming negative thoughts and attitudes.
Truly a Christian classic, in “The Furious Longing of God”, Brennan Manning shares a love story for the broken-hearted. If like me, you struggle with identity, belonging, acceptance, or the feeling you just never measure up, this book offers a balm for your soul. The message of this book changed my view of God forever.
Jim Berg offers hope for the noisy soul in “God is More Than Enough”. Our soul becomes restless in the storms of life when we think we must handle every problem on our own. My fierce independence smites me time and again, stealing God’s peace. This book not only offers practical wisdom for overcoming the stresses of life and restoring God’s peace; it opens a view of God’s heart, mercy, faithfulness, and power to help you in your suffering.
Kristen Hill’s “Finding Selah” crossed my path at a time when I felt God’s peace far from me. Kristen showed me just like in the psalms, between my cries for help and ability to praise God sat one little word, “Selah”. This book breathes life into parched places, and fills you with the hope of knowing Christ is our Selah encounter.
In “Sweet Like Jasmine”, Bonnie Gray tells her own story of growing up never feeling truly beautiful or beloved. Truly, this book met me in my own broken past. Both poignant and painful, Bonnie weaves a journey of learning to embrace our true worth in Christ, while celebrating how God uses our unique and broken stories to craft a magnificent mosaic for His glory. At the end of each chapter Bonnie invites the reader to connect with their own broken places in heartfelt, gentle ways.
serenity summer nourishment
Though I mention them from time to time, posting about essential oils hasn’t been a top priority. But the value of these powerhouse gifts of God enhance my well-being in countless ways.
I invite you to enjoy reading my informative articles on essentials oils:
One of my favorite ways of using essential oils is cooking with them! For our summer sampler today, I share two of my favorite recipes.
By far my favorite cookie, shortbread provides an easy treat for accompanying coffee, tea or ice cream! My lavender shortbread provides all the benefits of lavender essential oil in a delicious treat!
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on cookies
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lavender
- 4 drops organic lavender essential oil
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose and cake flours. Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Add the chopped fresh lavender, lavender essential oil, and mix to just combine.
Roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the dough into 2 x 1-inch bars and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Or you can use biscuit cutters to make round shapes.
Bake the cookies until just golden at the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with granulated sugar. Let cool completely before serving. Yields about 2 dozen cookies depending on the shape and size you choose.
roasted beet salad with orange essential oil
A delightful salad for the summer, as it is served room temperature or even chilled. I also love this salad in the autumn as the colors lend well to the season.
- 2 large red beets
- 2 large orange beets
- 1/4 tsp. pink himalayan salt
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 5 ounces arugula
- 4 ounces goat cheese (optional)
- 1/3 cup halved walnuts, sauteed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 5 drops organic orange essential oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil. Place in baking dish and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Pierce with a knife to check for doneness. Let cool. (I sometimes do this a day or two ahead while I am already roasting something else)
Once cool enough to handle, slice or cube as per your preference and place in clean bowl. Toss beets with salt and fresh dill.
Whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and orange essential oil. Pour over beets and toss again.
Place walnuts in small saute pan, and saute briefly for 2-3 minutes just until fragrant.
Arrange arugula on platter, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread the beets over the arugula, sprinkle with goat cheese and garnish with walnuts. Can be served room temperature or chilled.
serenity summer sampler
One last serenity tip, if you have not downloaded my “Attitude of Rest” Guide, please see the form below and get yours today!
As you embrace the coming summer months, may you truly find times of refreshing for body, soul and spirit.