Lessons I Learned In the Summer Wind

I believe life is a lesson to be learned. Even the very hardest parts have benefit if we can somehow draw out of them the lessons hidden in darkness. As my lead pastor likes to say life is just “training for reigning!”

This summer has passed by in a whirlwind. Tonight as I prepare to venture onto summer’s last leg I am pondering what lessons I have learned.

The summer started with us sending two children overseas on Missions internships.

Joe with New Friends in Yangon

Joe ventured first to Bangkok via Dubai and then after spending some time along the Thai border he landedin Yangon, Myanmar.

Riding bareback

Melanie flew West to Japan  on to Bangkok and then Chang Mai where she learned to ride an elephant and taught English (not necessarily in that order). I learned….

1. Contrary to popular opinion fathers do not worry more about daughters than sons.

2. Worry feeds on perception not on reality but when your perception is skewed reality doesn’t really matter.

3. Prayer refocuses  perception onto reality and does away with worry.

Brenda and the Windmill

This was a summer of international travel for the Lillie clan.  I hopped a plane to Holland to visit my missionary sister.  I was introduced to peace and quiet again and I learned…

4. Rest is necessary and for me unplugging is the best way to get it.

5. Unplugging takes planning.

I became a Red Sox fan. Mom and I have watched many games together. From this I learned…

6. Television can be a community activity. I never knew it was possible to watch the tube without shushing everyone around me.

7. Being a fan is not for fair weather people especially if you are a Red Sox fan (there hasn’t been much fair weather this year). Yelling at players together is fun!

I hiked Doanes Falls in Royalston MA twice.

The Lower Falls, Doanes Royalston MA

Once with my daughter and once with a friend who just likes to hike while we talk rather than drink coffee.

From this I learned…

8. I am gloriously out of shape.

9. It is time to change that if I want to go on in my work for the Lord.

I got a note from someone in our congregation when I returned from Holland. Included with it was a candle and a picture of Tuscany. The note was a prophetic word saying the Lord had given me rest away but a time of heavy labor lay ahead and that I would not be getting away on vacation again for a while. The writer told me the candle and the picture were to remind me that even in the midst of mighty ministry it is necessary to take breaks and breathe the free air.

The word proved to be true. Since returning from Holland I have had one of the busiest seasons of ministry I can remember. There have been nights I  packed up the puppies and slept at the church because one day just folded into another. I have visited. Prayed. Led worship. Preached. Written. Met with leaders and artists.Driven Van for VBS. Now I am getting ready to travel with my daughter to lead worship in Connecticut for Special Touch Ministries. From all this I have learned…

10. I do not know why God has graced me with this time, this opportunity or this freedom but for Him I will not waste one more moment,one more chance, one more ounce of strength. I will build His kingdom!

Warning In the Wind-JE Lillie

What have you learned this summer?