What I Learned in August

Do not be satisfied with God’s calling or His gifts in your life. Be satisfied with Jesus Christ Himself. -Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

Did you know the word August comes from the Latin word Augustus, meaning “consecrated” or set apart?

It seems an unlikely word for a month stuck in the haze and laziness of late summer. Some say August is a vague month where nothing good happens. Retailers pretend it doesn’t exist as they load their stores with Fall and Christmas decorations. And though August has no major holidays, it does have National #2 Pencil Day, World Mosquito Day, Weather Complaint Day, and Failures Day.

Not. Even. Kidding.

But for me, August was a month of consecration. A time of setting things apart. With our kids back in school, a quietness has came over the house and I’ve had room to set time and space and thought aside for things I don’t usually get the chance to do.

Organizing my thoughts and to-do lists into a journal has been one of my missions. I finally agreed with my husband that my mind is full of holes and I can no longer remember important things as easily as I could. So I built a Bullet Journal from the Lazy Genius Collective and began writing down lists and reminders and more importantly, lessons I’ve learned throughout the month.

This is my first collection, so I thought it might be fun to share what bounced inside my head this August:

Expect God … always.

Super obvious, right? Well, I was working through a small task and was surprised when God showed up in the middle of it. REALLY surprised. Then I thought, how much do I truly expect God’s presence in my life?

Do I expect him for the big parts and the things I desperately pray about? Do I expect him to join me knee-deep in tiny, trivial things? Do I really expect him at all?

Oswald Chambers once said that,

God has one destined end for mankind – holiness. His one aim is the production of saints.

His one aim is that you and I become just like him. To think, speak, listen, and behave like him. So would God leave any morsel of our life unattended? Any area open to chance and separated from his mighty hands? No, I don’t think so.

Expect God. Expect him always.

Expect him for the sake of holiness – not just for blessings or clear skies, for the more of life we expect to encounter God, the more we are open to his holy work in our life.

Love others the way they need, not the way you want.

We all express and feel love differently. Relationships are complicated, and sometimes it’s difficult to love others the way they need. For instance, you may prefer to love through acts of service when your spouse thrives on affirmations. Or you may like to give gifts, but a friend cherishes quality time.

We tend to love people in ways that are easiest for us.

I wouldn’t say we’re being difficult or even selfish. Humans simply gravitate to what’s comfortable and where they feel capable. But when we stretch the confines of our comfort zone, and see how others need to be loved (whether we understand it or not), then new life gets breathed into dry relationships and fresh levels of intimacy and connectedness happen.

If you would like to discover your love language, or learn what it’s all about, check this out.

God is not interested in my timeframes.

How often have you been called to a particular task and found it impossible to move forward? You wait on the Lord for some kind of inspiration or direction and all you hear are crickets.

Chirp, chirp, chirp.

August was a lesson on how much God is not interested in my timeframes. I may fuss as I watch the clock or panic as days tick by, but I don’t think God cares much.

Though I do think he cares how we change waiting into persisting.

Persisting – enduring, in stillness, in prayer, and through waves of uncertainty, doubts and fears. To carry on as we lay down self and soul and will – even in the eleventh hour, and trust his “late” revelation will arrive in time to get it all done.

If God has planted a passion, an idea, or a job within you and you have seen little momentum; wait. No … persist. Carry on. Pursue his will and go the limit in it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this August collection of lessons. If you would like to see a post like this again, please let me know in the comments. God bless!

2 Replies

  1. Karen Willis

    Wow! Wow! Wow! How good God is! Thank you two for your faithfulness to share your hearts – surrendering your words to Him that they may prayerfully be a blessing to all who will listen. I am continually blessed by each hope filled posting but today was especially needful to my heart. Expect God…always. Look for Him in everything…my soul is feeding…my heart is finding His direction, His focus. Thanks for reminding me that looking for Him, looking to Him to be apart of my everything is not necessarily for my comfort but for His purpose to make me more and more like Christ Jesus. My mind is reset. My tasks for the day take on new meaning. I am encouraged to find ways to show those God will put in my day that they are loved. To God be the glory!

    1. Raye Wortel

      Karen, I am blown away by your comment! It gave me chills when I read it. Thank you SO much for your incredible words!

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