July 31, 2015

Carving Out (Summer) Time With God - Guest post by Karma Pratt

Summer time. Long, sun-filled days. Weekends spent barbecuing with friends, outings to the park and the pool,  lazy days relaxing in the shade. Gardens to be watered and grass to be cut. Lots on the go and yet, somehow, it feels more relaxed than my family's schedule would indicate.

In the midst of all that is summer, I find myself somewhat distracted by God's grace-filled creation. I think I am paying Him tribute by appreciating all that His glory has to offer, and, on some level, I am. I give a thanks offering with every joyful trip to the water park, every smile witnessed in the full light of the Son.

But in enjoying the experience of summer, I find myself falling out of sync with the purpose God has placed on my heart: "Write the words I give you." The command is specific and straightforward. Should be fairly easy to follow, right? And yet, in between barbecues and late night, open air outings, I discover that I am attempting to carve out time for God instead of making him the center of my summer.

The result? I have learned that it's impossible to find time to fit everything in when I don't put God first.

Much like tithing the first fruits, when I prioritize God's call on my life, everything else falls into place. We have more than enough. More than enough time, more than enough fun, more than enough to do all which must be done, and still time left over for that which is simply seasonal (and exciting). As a writer, I must make the effort to obey God first, even in the midst of summer sunshine and fun times.

A line from scripture rattles around in my head: My grace is sufficient for you. He speaks truth. It's my job to remember God's truth and live it everyday.

The full verse goes like this: 

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

My weakness (one of them, anyway) is summer. I take delight in the small happenings, the warm evenings, the bright sunlight, the friendships deepened over conversations, campfires and marshmallows. There's nothing inherently wrong in enjoying these moments... at least, not until they begin to take my focus away from God's call on my life. In this season, He's been showing me all the ways that I get distracted and lose focus, and has been guiding me back to the important tasks. At the end of the day, my job is to follow God, serve with a joyful heart and cultivate a generous spirit. All of this must be reflected in my writing as well. 

When I find my walk meandering away from my primary purpose, distracted by the smell of sun soaked skin and fresh watermelon, that's when I must take a step back and determine what to prioritize first. Once I do God's work, and "write the words", the rest takes care of itself. God's grace spills over into a fun-filled, sun-filled season of love, laughter and excitement. Ah, summer. 


Bio:
Karma Pratt is a faith-driven mom of twins, a communicator, a writer, and an encourager from way back. She loves words, art, creativity, God, and people, although not necessarily in that order. A recovering food addict and binge eater, she writes in an attempt to express how her life has changed as a result of the profound healing of Jesus. She gives thanks for daily doses of grace that fill her to overflowing. You can find her online at redraincoatcreations.com 
You can follow Karma on TwitterFacebook  and LinkedIn.

5 comments:

  1. Lovely Karma! So true that when we put God first, all else falls into place. And He still has us enjoy all that He has created including this 'sun-filled' season.

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  2. "Much like tithing the first fruits, when I prioritize God's call on my life, everything else falls into place." What an excellent point! Time, like income, is given to us to use for God's glory. How we use it is a stewardship too. I have to go and ponder on this. Thanks for the summer insight!

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  3. "Ah, summer." That's exactly how I feel about the summer. It truly is a season where one can be distracted by its beauty.

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  4. Karma, so good to read your voice here :) I look forward to more!

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  5. So glad you shared your discipline and priorities, Karma! I needed that reminder yet again, as I struggle with the same thing--most appreciated.

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