Thoughts to reflect on…..
WHAT IS SUMMER FOR?
What does summer mean and how does it change me?
S – Self – Am I taking care of my self and finding the time to rest and relax so as to replenish my body, mind, spirit so that I can more fully enjoy and be present in my relationships with family and friends?
U – Undo – Can I allow Mary, the Un-doer of knots, to undo the stress knots that I have, and allow myself to rest in the presence of God? If I recognize that stress comes from how I handle situations, challenges, and circumstances in my life, can I change how I react so as to live a more whole and healthy life? Can I ask Mary, the recipient of many stressful triggers, to calm my fears, lessen my anxieties, and help me to draw nearer to her Son Jesus?
M – Measure – During these summer months, what do I measure? Do I measure and count the moments, hours of my time spent with family and friends, or my time spent in prayer? Do I look at the time I spend in relaxation as a time of blessing or do I see it as wasting time? Do I look at and measure the time that I spend at work as a necessary evil or as using the gifts and talents that God has given me to glorify Him?
If God had a measuring stick, and He asked you to mark where you thought His love for you was, where how would you mark it? Would it be in centimeters, inchs, feet, or yards? Would it be on the low end because of shame, guilt, false humility, or the high end because you realize that His love is unconditional and unfailing? He gave and continues to give His love freely and without measure, without cost, the cost was paid in full on the very cross that you behold. Do you believe this?
M –Memory - The season of summer often brings back memories of our youth and the things that we did as a family on summer vacation. If your memories are great and plentiful, continue to live them. Try to do some of the same things with your family so that they can come to appreciate your past and the love that your family shared on summer vacation. If your memories are painful, start your own new memories. Create new traditions. Build memories for your children so that they can pass them on to their children. Good heartfelt memories are very special gifts from God especially created for us.
E – Embrace – During these hot summer months, are you open to embracing and being embraced? To allow one self to be embraced, one has to let down their guard and open their arms to fully experience the love that comes from a genuine embrace. Being embraced sometimes involves forgiveness. Can you forgive? Can you ask for forgiveness?
God wants to embrace you and tell you how much He loves you. He is waiting for you to let down your guard that is hiding the shame, guilt, fears that you might be holding on to. Can you open your heart and arms to God so that He can not only embrace you, but also touch and heal you? Once you let down your guard and take the time to feel the love and embrace the mercy of God, you will also realize that God has had you in His loving embrace since that moment He formed you in the womb. His embrace has been love that surrounds you, the peace that envelopes you and the joy that fills you, despite the challenges that confront you.
R – Refreshment – During these summer months, take the time to be refreshed and rejuvenated. This is the time to rejoice in the longer days filled with sunlight, the warmth of the sun as you relax under its rays, the brisk cold feeling of the ocean waves as they hit you, the calm of laying on a raft in your pool, and the ability to go on vacation where you can enjoy the great gift of God’s creation and the blessings that surround it such as faith, family, friends, nature and the joy of having FUN !!!!