August – 2019
I was talking with a friend the other day who, during the hottest week in July, had her air conditioner stop functioning. It also happened to be the first day of her planned vacation, but because it was the weekend, she had to wait until the early part of the following week to have the repair company come out and install a new air conditioner. This cut her 7-day vacation down to 4 days and the 4 days she had weren’t nearly enough.
August is a good time to take time to be renewed before the busyness of the academic year comes upon us. Many who have paying jobs find their work increases as fall arrives, but even those who are retired find the pace picks up in the fall.
Take time to enjoy dinner with your family or call up a friend to meet for coffee. Give yourself the gift of renewed relationships, especially the relationships that matter the most to you.
Renewal is important for all of us. Jesus took time to be renewed when he went off into the wilderness alone to pray. He even encouraged his followers to renew themselves when he said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29)
One of the ways that I have found renewal in the past year is through knitting. After a 20-plus year hiatus, I took up knitting again, knitting Lydia scarves for our Minnesota Annual Conference’s Lydia Project. When the word came out earlier this year that we needed to stop knitting and crocheting because we had collected the 10,000 scarves needed as gifts for those coming to the Minneapolis 2020 General Conference, I felt something was missing when I stopped knitting.
I stumbled, quite by accident, on a knitting group at the Wyoming Library, and now I have joined their ranks, knitting prayer shawls for the people going through cancer treatment at a Maplewood clinic where one of our knitting members goes for monthly cancer treatments. I find the hour that I spend with these women every other week to be a break from the usual and a great chance to make some more community connections.
Take time to renew. Connect with God, connect with nature, connect with the ones you love.
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young ones stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31