I can’t even imagine how much the pace will pick up for me in life when my kids are in school, sports, dance, and Lord willing, whatever other activities their hearts desire and we deem life-giving. Even now, there are days I’m scrambling to make time stretch the full length of all the things I had in my mind to accomplish. But for our family, the summer months come in with a bluster of activity, and leave the same way. We end up making an annual trek to the beach in north Florida, road tripping to Texas a few thousand times, and exploring just how flexible our children can be in one vehicle for days on end. That leaves me, oftentimes, disconnected from friendships and completely out of the loop on any activities at church.
A summer devotional to help keep perspective.
I love doing women’s Bible studies with a group of random women, packed into one space, watching Beth Moore and her hair on video. But summertime basically eliminates my ability to be part of anything involving six weeks or more. I can hardly remember what my house looks like, let alone which week of homework to do. If you are anything like me, and you can relate to the summer disconnect–where you reach August by the skin of your spiritual teeth–I want to introduce you to one of my favorite devotional authors: Jennifer Kennedy Dean.
In a world where things have been watered down, Dean has taken the high road of thinking big thoughts about a big God. Her ability to dissect Scripture, apply it practically, and yet retain its intrinsic “otherness” is unparalleled. If you visit her website, she has a list of devotionals and books she has written. I’ve read almost all of them, and I just don’t understand why her books aren’t more popular. She is a deep well, and her thoughts are nuggets of gold.
The one I’d love to present for you this summer is called He Restores My Soul. First of all, the title alone makes me want to weep big fat tears of relief. I am never not in need of restoration of something or another. And the most attractive part of this book, even with its enormously gorgeous front cover, is the fact that there are forty days of devotional material. Just forty. And each daily thought is only two or three pages of reading and reflecting. Her questions aren’t the overtly obvious kind either, they probe. I like when people probe. It brings up deeper parts of my heart and I become more acquainted with the ways God is moving in the deepest places. The description of this devotional reads: “A 40 day Journey Toward Personal Renewal.” Hallelujah. Who isn’t chomping at the bit to get started?
While this particular devotional is more personal and can be completed on your own time throughout the busy summer months, I’m sure it would be excellent to do as a group too… And that would keep you more connected to all of those spiritual kick-in-the-pants friends we all need more of as well. I promise that this little summer devotional will sift through the areas of your heart you wish you had time to examine, and it will be a refreshing place for you this summer.
Do you have any summer devotional recommendations?
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