Summer of Joy

Are you Abiding in the Harvest?

sunrise 2My kids and my husband call me “the brown thumb”.  My sister got all the green thumb genes from BOTH of my gardening parents.  I am the kind of plant mother that doesn’t have to worry about repotting plants as they grow…just about getting new ones, the same size as the old ones, when they die.  I think if we could hear the little plant voices, crying out, as I wander through the Garden section at Lowe’s, they would be saying: We‘ve heard about you!  But we hoped you were just an urban legend.  Please, whatever you do, don’t take us home with you!

I think my problem is that gardening is such a time commitment.  You plant.  You wait.  You hope.  You pray.  And you water. And there is morning and evening, a second day.  Results?  They take a while.  I read that an apple tree needs six to ten years of maturing before it can produce fruit.  There is no microwave gardening, no instant gratification.

Holiness, walking in relationship with God, has been like that for me too; it has been a not-so-pretty journey. Whenever I’d read about the fruits of the Spirit, I’d think: What’s wrong with me?  Where’s my love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?

For many years, I felt I was a colossal disappointment to God.  Every morning I got up with a clean slate.  I was in the same boat with David who wrote,

Joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

There at the beginning of the day, my heart would fill with promise, and I’d recommit to “being good” that day.  And then I would get out of bed.  It was downhill from there.  I lived defeated.  The more I wanted patience, the less I had.  The more I wanted self-control, the more I lacked it.  But, finally, this verse encouraged me:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation.
The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come”
 (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

I had read the words many times before, but never really connected with them personally.  But, one pretty dark day, just when I needed some reassurance, God opened the eyes of my heart. Suddenly, I knew what “new creation” meant.

  • The work is already done.  
  • I am the new creation.  
  • I am the firstfruit, brought forth by the word of truth (James 1:18).
  • And you are too.

Have you been Abiding in the Harvest?  If so, you know what it is to have joy, to be content in any circumstance, and to feel secure in the love of the Father.  On the other hand, maybe you are going through a time of drought?  Is your soul parched and weary? Maybe the rains have fallen so unmercifully that you fear the crop is ruined?  Weathering storms can leave you feeling beaten down.

I want to encourage you to look past the drought and to ride out the storms.  Focus on the Truth in His Word:

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus…And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Phil 1:6, 9-11).

And remember the little seed that gets planted and watered?  And there is morning and evening, a second day?  Well, beneath the soil, where no one but God can see, the seed sprouts.  Growth happens in such small ways at first, that it’s hidden from view.  But God is always at work, even if we can’t yet see the Harvest.

This summer we are inviting you to join us

on an 8 week journey towards

abiding in the harvest. 

We have an entire resource page set up to help you succeed. Each week we will be adding new ideas to it. This week we are simply asking you to read the suggested daily scripture, select one or two of the action activity ideas to implement in your week (we are both a fan of buying ourselves flowers), and subscribe to the Summer of Joy Spotify playlist.

Oh, and because we think this is super fun and every big kid (a.k.a:adult) could benefit from some added joy in their life we would love for you to share it with a friend or two. #summerofjoy

week one final

Find all the resources you need to get started here.

Diamond Willow PhotographyBrit IMG_25152013-03-09018Britta is a sojourner.  She was a military kid and is a military wife, now living in the high desert of Arizona and far, far from her New Orleans family.  She happily homeschools and one of her favorite hobbies is snuggling on the couch reading history and literature with 11-year-old Gracie and 9-year-old Josh. Britta and her husband Scott recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary. Britta writes about the intersection of God’s Word and her world at Britta Lafont ~ Everyday Holiness (