Growing up in the Midwest, we spent all winter waiting for summer. The time when the frozen tundra melts away and life comes back to the world around us. Summer meant long days of enjoying warm weather, swimming pools, cookouts, sweet corn, watermelon, kick the can, baseball, bike rides, and catching fireflies!
Summer was the time for gatherings!
We would spend our time outside from sun-up to sundown with our friends and family. Thinking back, summer was my favorite season because it allowed me to enjoy the simple things in life with the people I loved most!
In a world that celebrates busyness, we need to make time to get outside and take a walk around our neighborhoods. When was the last time you sat on your porch listening to the sounds of the night, closing your eyes and breathing in the summer air, appreciating the smell of fresh cut grass, and hearing the frogs croak? I remember laying in soft grass as a kid, looking up, watching the fireflies light up the night sky, and trying to find the Big Dipper.
At dinner tonight, I asked my kids what they love most about summer.
Their favorite summer activities consist of going to Circle B Camp (an outdoor camp with swamp tromping, canoeing, and dip netting), Camp Gilead (an overnight Christian camp with rock climbing, archery, swimming, worship, and Bible study), and time at the beach with our family. Their joy comes from enjoying time with their friends and family amongst the simplicities of life.
Where does your Joy come from? When was the last time you felt true Joy? I feel most at peace, and closest to God when I am in nature. There is no accident that God provides us with the greatest peace and true Joy when we are closest to Him!
Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name.
Ask, and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Our Joy comes from the Lord! Not from the number of likes we get on a post or the number of followers we have on social media. Not from buying a new outfit, or the newest version of whatever technology just came out.
Joy does not come from keeping up with the Joneses or possessing material things!
God wants us to have joy from simple things like soft white sand between our toes, a hug from a good friend, and quiet time with Him.
He wants us to find joy in Him, in His creations, and with the friends and family he has put in our lives. I encourage each of you to be purposeful about taking time to slow down and find joy this summer!