Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bloom Time & Giveaway!

When you buy spring plants, do you consider "bloom time?" Bloom time refers to how long a plant will flower, often described by time frames like "spring" or "early spring" or "summer" or "summer to fall". When it comes to having quality time with the Lord, how would you describe your bloom time?

Do you just bloom when you have the accountability of a group in the winter or when you start something new in the fall? I think one of the driest seasons of the year, spiritually, can also be the driest on our calendar in the US: summer. Many organized studies and accountability groups wrap up and "take time off," and we find we flounder, fizzle, and ultimately fail in maintaining or strengthening quality time with God.


It doesn't have to be that way! We can have a longer "bloom time" by making our time with the Lord practical, manageable, and meaningful. The new schedule that so many experience (or feel swept away by) during summer doesn't have to sweep away our walk with God.

Practical - do you have a plan? If not, it isn't hard to make one. Choose a prison epistle to study, make a list of 14 words you want to study (1 each week June-August), read a different gospel each month, or check out my OMAP approach ... just a pick a plan that is practical.

Manageable - don't bite off more than you can chew or set unreasonable expectations. What's better ... one huge salad each month, or eating fresh fruits and veggies daily? Pick out a new notebook/journal and put it with a Bible version you rarely use, a pen and pencil and highlighter, some 3x5 cards, and maybe a worship CD into a summer bag. Take it with you when you head out to enjoy summer, and you'll enjoy the Lord along the way ... at different times of day and in different places.

Meaningful - Write down or verbally share with someone how what you read that day applies to your summer life. Not sure how it matters? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you as you read and pray ... He isn't holding out on us; He wants us to know. It really helps me to write it down in a sentence or list, so I hang on to the change factor. You might choose a passage of scripture to memorize each month as sort of a "theme" for your season.


I don't want to dry up this summer! I want to have a long and healthy bloom time. I want my tag to say "blooms all seasons". :)


To help someone out there bloom beautifully, I want to give away a purse/bag sized copy of the ESV Bible. It's a beautiful, leather-bound summery color. It can go wherever you go, so you can savor some sweet moments with the Living Water during dry months ahead. If you want to enter, just leave a comment sometime this weekend, telling me one of these items (each different comment is an entry):

  • What's one thing God shown you from His Word lately?
  • What helps you have time with the Lord when the summer schedule hits?
  • If you have a plan already, good for you! I'd love to hear what it is. :)

I'll choose a winner using Random.org and announce it on Marriage Monday, next week. I hope you have a sweet weekend and a great day of worship ... I can see new buds forming around here, and that promises a beautiful bloom time ahead.

22 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Rachel said...

I have been reading through the Bible once again this year! A general thing that I keep noticing is the fact that God's Word is alive! I can't list all the things that have jumped out at me that never spoke to my heart in the past!!

Rachel said...

My husband and I are following the same reading schedule this year! It has been fun to discuss what stood out to us in our reading for the day! It has also worked as GREAT accountability!

Rachel said...

Scheduling does get hard in the summer. I strive to have my time with the Lord FIRST thing in the morning before any of the activities of the day start! I even read before my shower or breakfast. That way I have the entire day to meditate on what I read!

Denise said...

God has shown me that I need to be still and listen. Two things that are very hard for me to do.

Maggie said...

I've spent the past 7 or 8 months studying the book of John through the BSF study. Even though it's been a long study, I still feel like I need more time to try to make sure I retain it because I have learned soooo much. So, this summer I plan to try to review about 3 of the lessons per week so I can remember all the highlights and hopefully write out the lessons God taught me.

Joshlin said...

Julie, Thank you so much for your encouragement! You have truly been one of the people to help me the most. I don't know what I would have done without your help.

You mean so much to me! I want to cry just typing this. You have touched my life!

I hope however wins this great giveaway feels the same. I am thankful to God that I found your blog and have had the courage to reach out to ask you questions. You are an inspiration to me in so many ways. I want to grow in Christ and be just like you!

THANK YOU!!!

Amy said...

God has shown me that I need to stand for my marriage, I need to forgive, I need to pray continually for my husband and my marriage, I have not been the wife I should've been (from the world's view, I couldn't have been better, but I was not a true helpmate to him), He can change what I have become, He can make me into the person He intended me to be, He works all things for good, He loves me, He will never leave me or forsake me, all I have to do is cry out to Him for peace and comfort, He is at work even when I can't see it, I am more than a conqueror in Him, without Him all I do is in vain, but anything I do for Him is not.......oh my the list goes on and on :) I have learned a lot in the 6 months since my husband left, and I know I have a long way to go, but I know that He is ever faithful and will complete the work that He started.

Anonymous said...

What I've learned (already knew but has been reinforced): the Lord meets me where I'm at and His word is relevant for today (even the crazy "dailyness" of my days)! Most of all I need and want more of Him. Thanks for a great post. Love, JLC - email is orosco99@juno.com

Anonymous said...

God has shown me that he does not reveal new truths to us if we fail to act on the truth we already know. I love your ideas for staying in the Word this summer and may adopt them. But also, I'm thinking that I joined a BSF study this year on the gospel of John. It has been so rich. I thought a review of my notes on John would be good as it was so deep, and I know I would learn and grow even more. I love word studies too!

Love your website!

Blessings,
Donna

Joanna said...

God has shown me this week that it is His plans not mine.
When I was in the hospital with Corryn last week, at 4 am, I just sensed his peace and protection over us.
I prayed and told Him, this is not my plans for the day or my daughter but I know it is your plans and you already know the end, so Thank you Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11 came to mind. "For I know the Plans I have for you! Plans for Hope and a Future.

Kristi Stephens said...

I'm going to keep on working my way through Revelation [and Matthew with the kids!]

I would LOVE to have a copy of the ESV... don't have one yet and have been hearing great things about it.

Faith Imagined said...

You are so right about the summer. It can be the driest spiritual season.

Awesome advice! I try to share everything I learn during my quiet time with my hubby and/or twin. It really does help make it more meaningful.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

That his mercies are new every day.....Finally have a little late night blogging time...Hope you will stop by and check out my new giveaway. http://grammyababychangeseverything.blogspot.com/2010/04/oh-happy-day-and-giveway-no-two.html

Angela said...

I just finished up an almost two year precept on Hebrews, and I was thinking about tackling something light, but I stubbled upon a Inductive study of Psalms that Precept internation sent me, I can't remember when. So I am taking that with me to the beach and start working throught it. I am sure it will take longer than the summer, but that's ok. I have no doubt it will be awesome!

Shelley said...

I always get more of a devotional time during the summer since work at a school. I love getting up, getting coffee and heading outside with my Bible. There is just something special about reading God's Word while the World wakes up and the birds are singing.

Teri Lynne Underwood said...

Julie, my accountability partner and I meet year round so that helps a lot! But this summer, I'll be mentoring a group of four teenage girls. Staying focused to help them lay a solid foundation will also be a way to keep me in the Word throughout the summer.

Great post!

Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

It helps if I get a new book study or a plan, just like you said, that is specifically for the summer. I also tell people what I'm doing so they can hold me accountable.

Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

What a wonderful analogy and post! You are so right. I tend to flourish with the accountability I have in the fall,winter, and spring, and have a much harder time in the summer. In fact, I tell my gals that I don't just have to be IN a small group Bible study, but I have TO TEACH it in order to stick with it. I don't teach during the summers so it does get tricky.

Recently God has taught me that He can indeed satisfy every desire of my soul. He is the lover of my soul. I have a Bible study on this topic coming out this summer!

Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

My plan for the summer is to continue with my daily read-through-the Bible plan and do some study book on my own - I haven't decided on which one yet.

Mary said...

Last summer was my best "bloom-time" ever! I dug deeper into my bible than I ever have. I usually took time in the morning before the kids & I started our days. I plan to do the same this year. I am also leading a small group of friends through a bible study this summer.

Becca said...

While everyone's on "break" I connect myself to a few people who want to stay rooted and connected during these breaks. The summer is HOT, so I know if Im not being soaked in the SON, I'll be scorched by the sun or the enemy. So, small groups are a great way to help anyone to be in fellowship/community and get closer to God.

Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Thanks for sharing all of these excellent insights and thoughts about how to keep from drying up this summer. I'm so glad I asked :) I feel so encouraged and motivated ... and ready to bloom on!