A Psalm For Your Summer

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As I write this, my husband Steve and I have been enjoying a few days of rest and relaxation in South Florida. Early this morning, I sat on the back patio overlooking the pool, sipping my coffee, waiting for the sunrise and listening to the birds sing.  I usually start my mornings with praise music, but this morning the birds sounded like a worship choir. So I sat just listening and enjoying God’s presence. The early morning bird song reminded me of the beauty of prioritizing God’s presence. In light of that, I’ve decided to prioritize Psalm 84 this summer. I’m going to use it as my summer Psalm to daily remind me to simply soak in God’s presence. 

In case you’re unfamiliar with Psalm 84, it begins, “How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty! My soul yearns and even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out, for the living God.”

In the presence of the LORD we find healing for our frazzled souls, renewal of lost motivation, revival of our deadened faith, and restoration of our joy. In the presence of the LORD, we discover once again how deeply and completely we are loved, not for what we can do, but for our being. We are blessed by dwelling in His presence. 

This summer, what does it look like to dwell in His presence?  

Create Quiet Space to Just Enjoy Him. “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!” (Psalm 84:1). Begin each day by savoring the loveliness of meeting with God. You might not be a morning person. You might savor His presence more in the evening. But either way, offer your day to the Lord. Be still and quiet. Offer Him your unhurried presence. I am convinced that without getting really quiet, we often don’t experience His presence. There’s so much that pulls us in our worlds. In another Psalm, David writes that God says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Without being still, you won’t experience how lovely it is to dwell in His presence.

Keep a Watchful Eye for God Movements. “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar” (Psalm 84:3). The Psalmist takes time to notice even where God is moving in creation. The truth is, God is always moving, but often we’re so caught up in our worlds that we are unaware of what He is doing. During this wonderful season of summer, reflect back at the end of each day and ask yourself where you saw God move. Did He answer a prayer? Did He favor you in some way? 

Celebrate Every Gift, Big or Small. The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you” (Psalm 84:4). Take time this summer to notice the beauty of creation, the wonder of your friendships, and the joy of your family. Sure, there is heaviness around us, but taking time each day to have mini celebrations will restore your joy. God has designed us to celebrate and enjoy Him.

Set your Heart on a Pilgrimage to Know Him More. “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage” (Psalm 84:5). Mind you, a pilgrimage is a long journey.  But that long journey makes a difference. I want to pursue knowing God more. I have set my heart on a pilgrimage. What about you? 

This summer, I’ll be spending a lot of time reflecting on Psalm 84 and committing it to memory. I want to know the presence of Christ above all else. 

For more study of the Psalms you can order your copy of The Extraordinary Power of Praise. 

The Extraordinary Power of Praise Book

This summer, we are running our encore series of The Connected Mom Podcast. In case you missed it, this week we are re-airing our conversation with Michele Cushatt! Be sure to listen and share with a friend.

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