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?

16 thoughts on “Lessons I Learned In the Summer Wind

  1. God bless you, Pastor J
    Incredible journey for you and your family. Thanks for taking us along. May Papa continue to provide rest-stops and refreshment for you along the way!

    What have I learned?
    1. Much!!!
    2. Family matters most
    3. Never, ever take classes in the summer!! 🙂
    4. Much more. I shan’t crowd your post 🙂


  2. A fantastic summer – and thank you for sharing little bits with us along the way. The Lord has blessed – well, of course He has, because that is what He does, and delights to do. I know He will continue to bless you, and that He will use you to bless many other people as you continue to trust Him to lead you in your ministry.

    We serve an amazing God!

  3. Thank you for this. I am just about to review and plot my memorial stones and your reflection reminds me that the pauses and sudden change of direction all have a purpose in God’s plan.

  4. The best part about my summer was when my son was baptized. I have learned to stand up and walk in the Holy Spirit for in His power anything is possible. Trusting God in everything is the most important thing I learned this summer. Thank you, Pastor J for your blog truly has used the Lord to change my spiritual life. Many blessings to you and your family. Lord, use the songs Pastor J and Amanda sing this week to minister to many. A-men!

  5. Wow, have you ever had a summer! I love how you pinpointed what you learned, so we could learn too. I’m not as organized! haha! I know He is teaching me about not stressing. That is an ongoing lesson. Tied into that lesson is a lesson about priorities and time . .. and how to find rest in Him and His grace, even when I can’t rest from what I am doing each day.
    God bless you and He keeps His hand upon you!

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