Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Surviving Summer Showers

The internet is full of good people, and Lyli Dunbar is one of them. I'm not entirely sure where we first crossed paths, but I'm glad we did. She's the kind of person who asks how to pray and then follows up with encouragement. On the blog today, Lyli is sharing what being a lifelong Florida girl has taught her about surviving storms, both the natural kind and the literal kind. 

I am a Florida girl. I live in the land of perpetual summer where flip flops are the uniform year round.
In June, however, we do experience a bizarre weather phenomenon that I like to call the 3 p.m. shower. Almost every day at 2:30 or so, I will look out the window and see a gradual shift in the atmosphere. Dark clouds roll in and cover the pretty blue skies like a blanket, and the wind starts howling through the trees. Everything changes.

I’ve lived in the Sunshine State since I was 5 years old, but this always catches me by surprise. Honestly, I am not a fan of the rain. I know that the green blades of grass need the water like a baby needs milk, but I hate having to pull out my umbrella.

I was lamenting the stormy weather one afternoon at work when my co-worker Lorene, who is a living ray of sunshine, shared she doesn’t mind the rain one bit.

“Every summer, I tell the Lord that I am okay with the daily rain showers. Just don’t send a hurricane.” We haven’t put up our storm shutters in more than a decade, and her comment woke me up and reminded me that I really shouldn’t complain about a sprinkle because God is mercifully sparing me from an onslaught.

Yes, summer is cannon balls in the pool, popsicle smiles, and bare feet in the sand. I just got back from spending three days at the beach with my husband, and my heart is bursting with happiness. But, before we left, the transmission blew out on his car and rained on my parade.

God is teaching me that I always need to pack an umbrella. Rain will come. I must expect it, even on sunny summer days.

Thankfully, I don’t need to fear that the sky is falling because He is sheltering me from the storm. The umbrella of His favor never leaves me.

Maybe like me, you are facing a little wind and rain right now. How do we keep smiling when the weather is suddenly dark and gloomy?

Three Survival Tips for Summer Showers

1. Keep pressing in: Stormy days remind us that we can’t do today without leaning into God’s strength. Let Him renew you.
“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3, ESV).
2. Stay prayed up: Don’t get distracted by the weather. The enemy of our souls loves to get us moody, mad, and miserable. Combat the blues by getting on your knees regularly.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth” (James 5:16-17).
3. Offer up your heart: Let the rain soak into your broken places and soften you to the needs around you, rather than hardening your heart.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:43-45).

It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow. {Tweet that.} Summer showers will bring growth and refresh our souls if we surrender our expectations and trust that God’s timing is perfect.

Lyli Dunbar enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books. She shares how everyday experiences help flesh out her faith at 3-D Lessons for Life. A disciple, wife, educator, and mentor, Lyli is just a girl working to keep the faith day by day. She serves as Social Media Manager for Missional Women and is a contributor at Start Marriage Right and Daily Devo. You can also connect with Lyli on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.


#ThreeWordWednesday has been full of guest posting goodness this summer, so be sure to read any posts you may have missed. 

Susan Shipe shared about summertime fun. Melody Hester offered advice for navigating new seasons. Tiffany Parry shared about the joy that comes with freedom. Alecia Simersky talked about rejoicing in the day God has made, even with the day involves hard changes. 

You can also download The Summer Not-To-Do List I made for you, if you haven't already, and find some book recommendations among the books I've read {so far} this year. 

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