** The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman, Episode 40: Keep Your Rest-- I have loved every single episode of Emily's podcast and how she helps "create space for your soul to breathe," but this one on rest hit a special place in my heart. Themes of Sabbath keep coming back to me over and over, and I appreciate how Emily reminds us that rest is something we need to keep and protect rather than feel as if we have to carve out and create. (P.S. I hope you'll listen to the podcast, but if you prefer to read instead, you can scroll through the post in the link above and then click on "download transcript" to read it rather than listen. She provides full transcripts for all of her episodes, which I love having to look back on as well.)
Others who have been speaking into my life on rhythms of rest and Sabbath lately include Shelly Miller with her blog, her Sabbath Society emails (it's not weird like it might sound, I promise!), and her book Rhythms of Rest.
I've also been following the Unhurried Living blog and podcast with Alan and Gem Fadling with their encouragement to "Rest deeper. Live fuller. Lead better."
And I'm currently reading Subversive Sabbath by A. J. Swoboda. I haven't finished it yet, so I can't speak for the entire book, but there have been several great insights so far.
** The Roundabout Way: Sermon by John Ortberg from Menlo Church-- I often can find myself asking God, "Are we there yet?" or "How much longer?" But John reminds us in this sermon from a series on "Made Perfect in Weakness" that God continues to give us grace even in the desert and along the roundabout way. (The link I shared goes to the sermon video, but you can also listen to the audio from Menlo.Church's podcast (go to the date of 6-10-18) if you prefer to multi-task and listen while driving, walking, cleaning, etc.)
** That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs, Episode 82: Christine Caine-- If you know anything about Christine Caine, you can imagine that this interview with Annie Downs is high-energy and power-packed with spiritual depth and truth. She shares about unexpected challenges in her personal life and in today's society but encourages us to move forward in faith and embrace the adventures God has for us.
** That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs, Episode 83: Andrew Peterson-- This was such a wonderful and deep interview, I think I might have to listen to it again. I love Andrew Peterson's heart and how it overflows in all he says and does. And it was so neat to hear his personal stories on the influence of Rich Mullins in his life and art, too.
Annie also talked with Andrew especially about The Sower's Song, which has been so powerfully meaningful to her. I've been listening to it on repeat now, too, encouraged by reminders that in order for something beautiful and healthy to grow, the ground must be broken open, the seed has to die to sprout into a plant, and branches must be pruned to bear good fruit. All of these are painful but necessary. And God's word never returns void.
I've been enjoying worship music from United Pursuit for quite a while now thanks to a friend's recommendation, but I just ran across one of their older songs and have had it on repeat for the past couple of weeks.
Running in Circles by United Pursuit (featuring Will Raegan)
These lyrics definitely resonate with my heart--
I'm so forgetful,Ah, yes. I'm grateful for how God keeps drawing me back to this truth.
but You always remind me
You're the only One who brings me peace.
** Time is one of the most surreal things in grief, and it's hard to believe it's been four and a half years since my husband passed away. I've been thinking back to this post I wrote four years ago (at the six-month mark) for a couple of different reasons, and thought I'd share here as well:
In the Middle of the Mess (All This Glory)
I'm thankful for how God can work even in the most difficult circumstances to keep showing Himself to and through us.
** Another old post that has been on my mind lately for different reasons is one I wrote a couple of years ago called Something's Coming. It has been a good reminder that God often allows us to feel the lack of what's missing so we can better appreciate the provision He has in store for us that's coming. Re-reading it along with the scripture reference included from Revelation also has me looking forward to our sermon series on that book of the Bible starting this week, too!
Thanks for reading, friends! I hope you've been able to find a treasure to uplift your heart today. And remember to pause and give thanks to God, who is continually overflowing with grace upon grace out of His fullness. Enjoy the long summer nights while they last! And I'd love for you to share something that's been encouraging to you lately in the comments as well!