Conntecting the Dots

How to Safeguard Your Spiritual Health Over the Summer

Summer’s arrival often means throwing routine out the window. Do you find this is true for you?

Wild yellow springtime flowers. Nature close up of blooming dandelions

Maybe you have school-age kids who are now home all day. Or your teens have summer jobs and need a ride to work. Perhaps your home resembles a hotel through July and August as out-of-town guests come and go. Or maybe you’re the one who’s coming and going.

As for me, I’ll board a Boeing 747 two weeks from today. My hubby and I will lead a volunteer team to host a discipleship camp for Romanian youth living with life-threatening diseases. When that’s finished, we’ll fly to Berlin where we’ll pick up a second volunteer team arriving from Canada, and then we’ll drive into Poland where we’ll host an English-learning evangelistic family camp.

Between you and me, I thrive on an early morning routine. When I’m in town, I visit the gym from 5:30-6:30 AM. Then I return home for quiet time with God. I sit on the same loveseat every day, Bible on lap and coffee in hand. And I love it! But my favorite routine will fall by the wayside in 14 days, and that thought makes me sad.

I’ll have to be very intentional about exercise. That will be challenging amidst travel and camp schedules, but it’s a necessary effort I must make for my health’s sake.

I’ll have to be even more intentional about spending quiet time with God. Again, it’ll be challenging. I’ll stay in small hotel rooms (picture two twin beds, a chair, and an end table) with no solitary space. I’ll rise early and fall into bed late. The temptation will be to skip doing devotions, but maintaining that discipline is a necessary effort I must make for my spiritual health’s sake.

Everything about me flows from my relationship with Jesus. In Eastern Europe this means how I respond to people or to petty annoyances (like dribbly showers or trying to remember not to use tap water or riding hot, crowded trains) when I’m tired from jet lag, how effectively I lead the teams, and how much joy and peace I experience as I interact within a culture foreign to mine—different languages, different foods and meal schedules, different money, different cultural do’s and don’ts. If I try to do this in my own strength, I guarantee things won’t go well.

Everything about me flows from the depth of my friendship with the Lord. If I shelf His Word and my alone time with Him for a month, my spiritual well-being will take a hit.

I’m reminded of the story Jesus told in Mark 4:1-20—the parable about a farmer who planted seeds on various types of soil. In one scenario, thorns—the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things—grew up around the seeds that had taken root and prevented the new blades from producing grain.

Thorns can creep into our lives, too. Mine would look something like…

Impatience.

Self-centeredness.

Envy.

Laziness.

Unforgiveness.

Knowing how quickly and easily these thorns can grow and do damage to my spiritual health, I’ve made a plan to keep them away. I’m going to pack (and use!) my Bible, journal, and a daily Bible study. I’ll Skype weekly with my Bible study group, inviting these gals to hold me accountable about staying in the Word. And I’ll rise early to take a solitary prayer walk as often as is possible.

How about you? What thorns might creep into your life over the summer if you neglect quiet time with Jesus? What three things can you do to nurture your spiritual well-being and keep the thorns away?

#bgbg2 #devotions #SpiritualHealth

4 Responses to “How to Safeguard Your Spiritual Health Over the Summer”

  1. Marge Bennett

    This is SO helpful to me. Blessings to you on your journeys. I fall easily to those thorns as well. Normally, I also love the early morning hours. I also sit in the same chair each morning with coffee, Bible and journal….and a few devotional books. In summer it’s easy to break from that and not bother. I also make myself go there anyway. I love it!!!!!

    Your discipline will make all the difference in your travels and ministry.
    The Lord Thy God in the midst of thee is Mighty.

    Reply
  2. Grace Fox

    This discipline is soon not about legalism or something we “have to do.” What I love about it is that it’s about growing relationship with the One Who loves me. Precious.

    Reply
  3. Jackie Gallo

    I just started reading your blogs, referred by a friend. Thank u, this message hit home. It’s very difficult when you are mistreated, it hurts, makes you sad, lonely, angry, unforgiving, you often feel deserving and wonder what you did to cause it all. I will keep praying 🙂

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Thank you for stopping by my blog, Jackie. I’m glad you’ve joined the community here. You’re right–being mistreated hurts, and you described the exact emotions that are common to all who have been mistreated. When we’re going through tough situations, the best response is to stay close to the Lord. Read the Word, ask the Holy Spirit to bring clarity, and practice thanksgiving in all things. The latter really makes a difference. Know you are loved.

      Reply

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