For years, June has been my favorite month. It signals so many of my favorite things – the end of the school year, beginning of summer, the first firefly, longer days and shorter nights, and so much more. This year is no exception.
I am still waiting on the first firefly sighting and praying for more sunshiney days, but June is still one of my favorites. Summer solstice has come and gone, but here in Ohio summer temps still need to make an appearance.
The first six months of this year have been a blur. In the ups and downs, chaos, and challenges, I feel so much gratitude for how God has taught me and continues to show me the way.
I am learning that just as a mom’s work is never done, God’s work isn’t either. One after another, God has showered blessings on me and my family. My oldest son found his soulmate after a divorce and got married. Baby Jack was born and now I go by “Mimi.” My son, DIL, and Baby Jack moved back home and all of my kids are nearby. But, what’s happening on the outside does not reflect the inside right now. God knows the work I need and He is using this time to work behind the scenes. The digging, pruning, nourishing, and root building that is going on is nothing you can see, but it is everything I feel.
God wastes nothing and in these last six months He has been good to balance the hard work with beautiful abundance for my family. I feel nothing but gratitude for how God patiently prunes, while reminding me that He is always present and at work.
In keeping with the one year anniversary celebration of Tell His Story, I am going to share some of the most loved posts. Also, the giveaway of books by Susan Shipe, Betsy de Cruz, and Pam Ecrement as well as Fair Trade Friday goodies goes through the end of this week. Head over HERE to enter if you haven’t already and then share with all your friends. 😉
Here are the top five posts for the first year of Tell His Story in no particular order.
1.The Story Continues – This is the post where it all began. I wrote about how I ended up hosting Tell His Story and my heart behind continuing this beautiful community. Here’s a bit of what I share:
And now the story continues. What looked like the end is now a beginning. God provides beautiful opportunities to share who He is and honor Him in how we live our lives. This beginning is a chance for us to come together, get to know each other, and open our hearts to community.
2. The Call to Lay Your Isaac Down – As a community of writers, we are extremely gifted. Once a month, I began to feature a writer from our community and that person became the guest writer. This article was written by Linda Stoll and her words took the reader through a quick look at the story of Abraham and his son, Isaac, as God called Abraham to sacrifice his son. Throughout the post, Linda challenges the reader to lay down their own Isaac. We all hold onto things that are not ours to hold onto. God calls us to release those and in this process we begin to experience freedom.
3. Surprise! God Has Your Best Interest at Heart – This is another guest post that you all loved. Michele Morin takes us on her journey from Maine and back again as she learns that God does have our best interests at heart. He is in the details and Michele’s story gives the reader a taste of what that looks like for her, but also provides practical tips to aid us all in our own journeys.
4. The Slow Awakening – This piece was written as winter was wrapping up and the Lenten season left me with so many new thoughts. I wrote:
The walk to the cross is a daily awakening. I know I will never figure it out on my own, but can stand in the grace of God and tell you that He is willing to teach you.
I loved my own slow awakening during this time and I hope you do too.
5. What If – “If I live in the “what if”, I lose sight of the “what now.” These words have become a mantra to me. I am the person who wants to figure out the “why” behind all the things. When I do this, I spend time looking backward and miss what God has right in front of me. Has this ever happened to you? Then this post is for you.June musings, a wrap up of the one year Tell His Story anniversary celebration and a chance to enter a giveaway, all on the blog this week. #oneyearanniversary #TellHisStory #giveaway Click To Tweet
I see June as a month of beginnings and endings. As the spring green brightens to its summer hue, I feel God’s love in every detail and want to express my gratitude for His abundance. May I encourage you to know and see God in all whether it is the work He is doing behind the scenes or the upfront gifts that He is showering on you.
As a gift for all of you, I have created two 8 x 10 inch printables. I believe the story continues with you, so in that vein, the printables are based on that saying. Save the image your favorite way and it will be ready for you to print.
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Happy Anniversary! What a fun look back over the year here for #TellHisStory!
One year! Woohoo! God is so good to lead us through the hills and valleys. Thank you for faithfully linking up each week.
I am feeling God working way at me too. It is painful right now. But necessary. laurensparks.net
I believe that God wastes nothing. So the seasons of challenges provide deep pruning but there is so much more on the other side.
It’s lovely to look back over the year and to remember some of these posts. And I enjoyed reading more about your reflections on the year so far too! I’m glad you and your family have known so many blessings. Congratulations on a year of hosting, and thanks for all your hard work and for doing such a great job!
It was fun for me too. I have to stop myself and count the many blessings that God has been so gracious to pass onto my family. I appreciate your faithfulness in this community.
I love the heart of reflection. It is good to look back and see what God has taken us through. I love seeing how He has taken situations the felt hopeless and sprung forth such beautiful restoration and hope. Thanks for sharing, your crazy, beautiful year. 8)
There is something about looking back that always helps me then to move forward. God is so good at bringing restoration and renewal into our lives. I am glad that in my sharing you found some encouragement.
Wow, what a year and I am so glad that God has showered you and your family with such wonderful blessings! I am truly happy for you! You are always faithful to be looking to Him for what He would have you learn in any given season. I join in you in asking “What now” instead of “What if”!! Today is enough for us to handle! Enjoyed the walk down memory lane…
What a year is right!!! I try to be faithful and I know when when I choose to be faithful, God is so good to me. I love that you are joining me in looking for the “what now”. It is quite a perspective changer. Thank you for being such a wonderful member of this community.
Congratulations on the one-year anniversary! I have so enjoyed this one year…looking forward to your posts each week and to the link-ups from others. I am going to read the five posts here…and glean from them a second time! God is doing much digging, pruning and growing in my life right now as well. Isn’t it wonderful when you begin to see some of the blessings – and fruits of that work? I am grateful His work is never done or wasted.
Thanks for the printables – they are beautiful. I’m going to put one right here on my desk as a good reminder:)
You are such a dear! I have loved getting to know you and always look forward to your wisdom too. I have been so blessed that God never gives up on me and lets me do the work I need to do over and over again. Thank you for your encouragement.
June wears me out- so many birthdays – but what a joy to celebrate. I love the flowers blooming, the planted seeds becoming – and the sunshine and green – but refreshing doesn’t really start until the end of the month!
You are busy for sure. I have noticed all the birthday posts for your sons. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate family. I pray July provides many days of refreshment.
As a teacher for 31 years, I always looked forward to June too. Lots of firefly sightings here in southeastern PA. What good timing to talk about God’s work pruning you (and all of us) here in June.
Teachers always have a fondness for June. I’m glad you have spotted some fireflies. It’s one of the signs of summer for me. And may we all allow God to do the deep pruning inside in order to grow and flourish.
Mary, thank you for these June musings and stories from the first year. I love summer! We always called fireflies, lightning bugs. I’m a Mimi as well and caught lightning bugs in a mason jar this past weekend with my grandson who is 3. They come out around dusk and they were everywhere…too many to even count or catch. But it brought back so many childhood memories, reminded me Jesus is the light of the world and how much Foster lights up my life. Thankful for your family blessings, especially with kids moving home and close. Praying the outside and inside match up more as summer continues.
I love that we are both Mimi’s and I call them lightning bugs and sometimes fireflies. I am still waiting to see the first one of summer. I can imagine how much fun you had with your grandson catching lightning bugs. Thank you for your prayers.
1 year = wow! Yours is the only
link-up I consistently do for many reasons. A fine hostess you are and I am happy to call you ‘friend!’
Thank you for mentioning ‘The Call to Lay Your Isaac Down.’ Looking back, it was a significant piece for me to write because I so yearned to live out those words consistently. Interacting with your tender, wise tribe was a huge blessing in my life and I thank you, Mary.
As you so well put it, the spiritual ‘digging, pruning, nourishing, and root building’ continues.
Again, congrats, friend. I love what God is doing here!
A year can go by very quickly. I love that we are friends and that we share this writing corner with so many mutual friends. Your words always have a way of gently teaching and encouraging your readers. It was an honor to have you share them here. Thank you for your continued presence here.
Wow! I can’t believe you’ve been hosting for a year already! Sadly, it reminds me how long my voice has been silent around here. I’ve had to step back from many online activites.
June is my favorite month, too, and it has gone by way too fast this year!
I’m so thankful for all the wonderful ways your family is growing and changing and all the encouraging words and images you offer up each week! Blessings, sweet friend!
I have missed you my friend! You have such a beautiful writing voice and I am glad that you still share some short devotionals on social media. Thank you for always encouraging me and just being a good friend.
Mary, you have truly had a year. I was so sorry to read of your son’s divorce. But, how wonderful that he found his soulmate. And how precious that you have a grandson. 🙂
There have been many soul-deepening words shared on your site in this past year. As I read about your “What If” post (which, by the way, I remember from its original posting), I was again reminded of the importance of living in the now. I’ve been thinking about this lately as our family stretches through our own growing pains.
Thank you for always being a place of sweet encouragement, my friend.
You are such an encouragement to me too. It has been quite a year and we are only halfway through. I love how God has walked by my side and provided everything I needed. I am praying for you now as you go through your own growing pains. May you feel God’s peace and strength.
I do remember most of these! Congratulations on your one-year anniversary of this ministry!
I am glad you are a faithful reader. I am blessed and thankful to have you here sharing your insights.