Have you ever grown a zucchini plant? Or had a neighbor who grew a zucchini plant?
If so, then you know that zucchini plants are productive little buggers, and gardeners are often searching for ways to dole out the abundance.
Well, I planted NINE zucchini plants in my garden a few years ago.
I’m not sure what possessed me to do this….because I was literally swimming in zucchini.
I was the lady who showed up at church on Sunday with a box of zucchini to share.
I was the lady who begged my friends to take enough to share with their neighbors.
I was the lady who drove around with zucchini in my car, just in case I ran into someone who needed more zucchini in their life.
Memories of all that zucchini have me pondering the Biblical concept of abundance.
Luke 6:45 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.“
Out of the good treasure of the heart—he brings forth good.
Out of the abundance of the heart—his mouth speaks.
I’d never have an abundance of zucchini in my life if I didn’t first take the time to plant the seeds.
In the same way, I’ll never have a fruitful ministry if I don’t take time to plant the seeds of God’s Word in my own heart.
Every summer, I choose to set aside time to fill up my spiritual storehouses.
Because I must minister from a place of abundance.In order to have a fruitful ministry, we must first plant the seeds of God's Word in our hearts.
Hard Work Always Precedes the Harvest
God promised us in 2 Corinthians 9:1-11, ” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.“
God is the source of our abundance!
God supplies everything that we need to live generously and abundantly—but we must take the time to sow the seeds and nurture the seedlings.
As I’ve been considering what lies around the bend for my life and ministry, I’ve realized the painful truth that I am an extremely limited resource.
This past year has been full of “due and diligent labor” for me, and I’m ready to enter a season of “sweet and satisfying rest.”
As I’ve been praying about what this season of rest will look like, I’ve come to accept the fact that rest often requires sacrifice.
I love writing to you each week—pouring out my heart and sharing all the Lord is teaching me on this blog and in my SOULfood e-mails.
But I’m tired. I’m weary. I’m in need of a little respite from the weekly demands of public ministry.
Therefore, I’ve decided not to publish any new blog posts or SOULfood e-mails for six weeks this summer.
I’ve had such peace about this decision because I believe rest is a crucial part of God’s design for us.
Rest gives us space to fill our storehouses and serve God in a sustainable way.Rest gives us space to fill our storehouses and serve God in a sustainable way.
Why A Summer Blogging Break?
Every summer I choose to take a blogging break.
I step away from my routine to pour my energy into connecting with my family, nurturing my garden, and nourishing my soul.
It takes me, on average, 10-15 hours to write, edit, format, curate, and promote one blog post.
And I do this every week of the year on top of writing Bible studies, managing my social media platforms, keeping up with all the e-mails, and working on larger projects.
During the school year, I dedicate 30-40 hours each week to tackling these tasks.
And I love it!
But it is impossible for me to maintain this schedule indefinitely.
Something’s gotta give.
This summer’s blogging break will span six weeks and I am looking forward to using the time to fill up my spiritual storehouses and work on my larger writing projects.
I am already working on my next free online Bible study, and I hope to announce it when I return to blogging in August.
But I will slow down this summer.
Because I need to fill my storehouses so I have an abundance to share with you this fall!
3 Ways to Keep in Touch During my Blogging Break
1. The best way to keep in touch is to sign up for our free online Bible studies.
I wrote the Reclaim the Sabbath study just for this purpose! The 6-week format is a perfect fit for this summer blogging break, and the video-based study creates a wonderful opportunity for us to connect on a deeper level.
Now that the study has officially released, it is available on-demand. This means you can sign up today and start tomorrow! How great is that?
And if you aren’t interested in studying the Sabbath, we’ve got several other studies to choose from!
PSALM 119:This 3-week study will change you, captivate you, and catapult you into the arms of a loving and merciful God.
WORTHY OF THE CALLING: This 31-day journey through the book of Ephesians will teach you about your identity in Christ and the spiritual wealth you have access to as a child of God.
WISDOM WHISPERS: This 31-day study of King Solomon will help you hear Wisdom’s call to salvation, obedience, and humility.
2. The next best way to keep in touch is on Instagram.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m sort of obsessed with Instagram.
I’ve been sharing lots of videos and spur of the moment encouragement through instastories for the past year, and it’s such a fun way to connect and encourage others.
Can I be so bold to say, if you aren’t on Instagram yet and you love my blog, then you should join Instagram just to follow me.
I know….totally obnoxious.
But so very true.
I share an uplifting photo, quote graphic, or sneak peek inside my real life every single day (except for Sundays) and I’d love to share them all with you.
3. I’m also active on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Although I will be scaling back a bit this summer, I will remain active on all my social media platforms.
I use each platform differently, so I thought it might be nice to let you know what you can expect from me.
PINTEREST: I try to pin every single day. I focus my pinning on my 5 favorite topics:
- Prayer Tips
- Bible Study Tips
- Spiritual Growth Tips
- Christian Living Tips
- Inspirational Quotes
If you follow me on Pinterest, you will have a steady stream of powerful and encouraging pins in your feed. I also share my most popular content, so it’s a great place to get caught up if you are a newer follower.
FACEBOOK: where I share thought-provoking articles from trusted Christian sources. I also share my own writing, inspirational quotes, and the occasional personal photo. I post on my Facebook page 1-2 times per day.
In order to guarantee you’ll see my posts, all you have to do is turn on notifications or ask Facebook to see my posts at the top of your feed. Otherwise, chances are you will only see my content 1-2 times per week. If you interact with my content (like, comment, share) Facebook will show you more of it (and I will be eternally grateful).
TWITTER: It took me foooorevvvverrrrrr to get on twitter. But I’m so glad I did. I share a minimum of 4 times each day on Twitter, and most of my tweets are my favorite excerpts from my articles and my blogging friends new posts.
Twitter is where you will meet all the people I love to read and follow (because I try to tweet quotes from every great blog post I read). Most of the people I follow are Christian writers or bloggers, so I encourage you to go through my follow list and find some new friends.
A Few Final Thoughts
I am so looking forward to the slower pace of summer. One of my primary goals in establishing this non-profit ministry was finding a way to make it sustainable and life-giving to all involved.
And I am praying you find rest in this season, too!
I am trusting you will find a way to stay connected.
I am believing God will lead us both to a place of abundance.
I am excited to see you right back here at the end of the summer.