My Summer New Year's Resolution

 

In my neck the woods… it’s the end of the school year.  Others I know have been finished with school for a month. And still others are about to embark on their last week, plus exams.

Whether you have kids or not… does the end of the school year feel like the beginning of summer?

I’m not attempting to play 20 questions here… but what’s summer like for you?  Is it the start of some well-earned freedom?  Is it the same-o-same-o? Or is it something else?

As I was reading Psalm 19 from The Message Bible I thought… the beginning of summer is a great time to have a New Year’s resolution.  

Before you dismiss me for having fallen off my rocker… hear me out.

Whenever there is a change in season, there is a fresh opportunity for do-overs.

I don’t know about you, but I love do-overs.  Seriously.

I mess up.  A lot!  I need do overs.

My favorite do-over was one that I learned when I went on the Zone Diet with my husband several years ago to heal his Epstein Barr Virus.  It was a strict diet.  So much counting.  But, it worked.  One reason it worked is because Dr. Sears said that every five hours we get a do-over.  If I messed up and indulged in some sugary treat, the next meal I could do the right thing and carry on.

 

My summer new year's resolution - overgrown garden gate

 

That same concept is what makes seasonal do-overs so important.

Many of us start the New Year with amazing goals and high hopes.  And about now… well… hopes have been dashed.

That makes the start of summer a terrific time to do something new.  A great time to start a New Year’s resolution. Time for a fresh start.

My little treatise here might have sparked something in you and you’re already off and running with it in your mind.

Or, maybe you’re curious to know more?

Let’s take a look at some verses in Psalm 19 that captured my attention and set this whole summer New Year’s resolution idea into motion.

The revelation of God is whole
    and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
    and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
    showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
    and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
    with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
    down to the nth degree.

God’s Word is better than a diamond,
    better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
    better than red, ripe strawberries.

There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
    and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
    Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
    Keep me from stupid sins,
    from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
    scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
    these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
    on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
    God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

Psalm 19:7-14 The Message (MSG)

The psalmist here is talking about how God has a plan for our lives.  It’s so amazing that he even gives us maps and directions so we can discover his plan for us.  Plus… it even comes with a life-time guarantee!

The only thing… many of us have unintentionally let our maps slip under our seats and we’ve kind of driven off on our own way.

There are all kinds of reasons.  Most of us are pretty good at rationalizing our way through the valleys and over the mountains while attempting to live on the flats.

This is when a summer do-over comes in handy.

 

My Summer New Year's Resolution - New Growth Green Pine Cones

 

Maybe because I’m seeing roadside signs for fresh strawberries… which are my favorite… cut up and lightly sugared and piled high on homemade biscuits and drowned in delicious cold milk…. Yum… these verses smacked me between the eyes.

God’s Word is better than a diamond,
    better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
    better than red, ripe strawberries.

My engagement ring is actually a tiny diamond encircled with tiny emeralds.  Getting to pick it out was an amazing experience.  Having Tim slip it on my finger was even better.

The psalmist says that God’s Word is better than that diamond set with emeralds and tastier than juicy strawberries.

I don’t know where you are now… but right now I’m looking for a bit more from God.  I want to hear his voice more clearly than ever.  I want to be so attune to his whisper that in the midst of an activity I’ll hear him tell me to stop or start, turn right or left, or give me very specific instructions.

The only way I know to get better at hearing is to spend more time with my road map… my Bible.

But… it’s summer.

And in the summer most of us like to live as care-free as we can be.

Sure, there’s work to be done every day and all the necessary routines of life.  But, it’s summer, and that means ice cream, and swimming, and ball games, and more.

We cut back from as much routine as possible so we can enjoy these few amazing days to the max.

And that also makes it the perfect time to make a summer New Year’s resolution.

 

My Summer New Year's Resolution - Tall tree stump in the woods

 

In the midst of all the freshness and expectation of the season, the change of routines, there’s something that’s different in our spirits.  We’re more alive… more open to new possibility.

As much as that IS true… we can also find ourselves in a dangerous position.  One where we become inwardly focused… one where we forget that there is a treasure much greater than our immediate gratification.

Let’s look at the next verses…

There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
    and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
    Or know when we play the fool?

Does that last sentence bite?

We’re not going to linger on that… what’s done is done.

What’s important is what comes in this next verse…

Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
    Keep me from stupid sins,
    from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
    scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
    these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
    on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
    God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

Do you have a morning altar?

I think the biggest summer New Year’s resolution we can make is to start our days off with God.

The sun comes up earlier… so it makes it easier to get up earlier.

Get out that amazing road map God has created just for you… His Word… the Bible.

Read it in a new and fresh way… look for his signposts and directions.

Don’t read it to just get through… read it looking for what he’s got for you.  Let him show you what to think, how to reason, how to see life and people and situations through his eyes.  Discover his plan for you and what he wants you to do and where he wants you to go.

And most of all… read God’s Word to get to know HIM.  Nothing will make him happier than you wanting to know him more.  And nothing will give you more fullness of life than getting to know him more.

Whether you have kids or not… jump into summer… relish the goodness and fruits of the season. But, most of all make a summer New Year’s resolution to jump into God’s Word.  Dive in.  Dive deep.

And when you do…

If you’ve got kids at home… get them to dive in with you.

Have fun looking for God’s signposts and directions.  Look for the treasure.  It’s waiting for you. Better than diamonds and more delicious than ripe red strawberries.

 

My Summer New Year's Resolution to Get into God's Word

 

So how about that summer New Year’s resolution?

Are you going to make one, too?

 

My Summer New Year's Resolution - JOYDAY

 

It’s JoyDay!

 

I love JoyDay!  There isn’t anything better than each of us sharing the good things God has done in our lives this week.  Both in the happy and in the challenges.

Will you join with me in counting ‘seven’ from the past week?

I’ll start!

Thank you God for…

  1. knowing that YOU’RE the same… today… tomorrow… and forever.
  2. providing a life map that shows us the road to joy.
  3. funds for an expensive car repair.
  4. a goof-up that provided a brand new car to drive for a day.
  5. Debbi’s continual improvement after her fall and brain surgery.
  6. competitive co-workers that cause us to look to lean harder on you.
  7. the sore muscles that come from digging in the garden.

Now it’s your turn!  

Please join me by tapping in your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. I dare you!

Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.

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Comments

  1. I have never thought to make sumer resolutions but LOVE this idea. We get to do a “do over” every day of our lives really. Each day is a new beginning. I am so very grateful that my daughter and granddaighter are coming here today. That we are going to our pool, that we live in this beautiful community that HAS a pool!, that our granddaughter is truly a GIFT from God (adopted), and that we have our health. I am grateful that yesterday ny hubby was able to help my SIL and I had a day to myself and had a great day. That we got a “do over” with this new house!!!

    • Pinky… you are so right. God lavishes his grace on us multiple times a day with do-overs. I love the verse from Lamentations: The Lord’s love never ends; his mercies never stop. They are new every morning; 🙂
      I rejoice with you at God’s abundant goodness expressed so lovingly in your life. May your week overflow with HIS JOY! [hugs]

  2. Fran Baker says:

    I want to thank you for listening to God’s direction and giving we readers your insights into a summer resolution! My husband and I have just retired and moved to be near our son, daughter in law, and our first grandchild….a dream and plan that God definitely provided for us! But in all the busyness of moving and unpacking, I admitted to myself just yesterday that I had been neglecting my prayer time and Bible study! Your devotional today was God’s timing for me reinforcing the fact I’ve got to stop and do first things first, the important things….time with my Savior!! So, a summer resolution is in the making today!! Thank you!

    • It’s a funny thing Fran… I read that scripture early last week and for some reason left it up in a tab on my browser. As the week wore on, I would revisit it and felt compelled to leave it there. Saturday, when I prayed about what to write I was drawn to read it again and then the Lord brought it all together. He is so good and loving to direct us in the way we should go. I’m so glad I heard from him and that it was just what you needed as well.
      I celebrate your new move and all the wonderful newness that comes with it. May each morning be a time of refreshment, encouragement, and joy with the ONE who loves you so dearly.
      Thanks for your sweet words today… you blessed me too! [hugs]

  3. 1/. My last batch of kittens all went to loving homes
    2/ current batch of foster kits will soon be weaned,,,no more every 4 hour feedings,,,and they are healthy
    3/8:45 sunsets -loving all the light
    4/ friends’ 65th anniversary party today
    5/ new friend, Susan
    6/ my hale & healthy & busy 80 year old parents (61 years married)
    7/summer and the living is easy

    • So many good things, Gail! You put a smile on my face as I celebrate God’s goodness in your life.
      May your week overflow with HIS joy! [hugs]

  4. This is great, having a summer resolution is a great goal to have, especially when you get lazy over the summer.

    • Haha!! Yes… it is soo easy to get lazy over the summer. 🙂 Lazy can be good though… just maybe not when it comes to time with God. I think he has a way of redeeming that extra time we spend with him. 🙂
      Hope your week is joyful in every way, Dawn. [hugs]

  5. What a great idea! My husband and I are both teachers, so summer always feels like a break and a new beginning in our year. We will have to come up with some good summer resolutions (besides just being outside and soaking in as much slow, sweet summery time as possible!)

    • Savoring the sweet days of summer is a very good thing. I’ve spent too many days/months/years living on an adrenal high only to discover that I can’t sustain that. God designed us for siestas. Something I’ve never been too good at. So in the midst of resolving… resolve to enjoy his creation slowly and fully, too. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by Lauren! Hope your week is filled with joy and blessing. 🙂

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