Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

What I Learned This Summer

What I Learned This August

If one thing stood out about the summer of 2016, it was that I chose to use it as the Summer of Rest.

And then the summer hit us with a tidal wave of heat and humidity here in Ontario that put everyone’s patience to the test, and left me saying to no one in particular, “I said I needed to rest, not hibernate.” Sigh. I didn’t want to complain but skip grilling, you could cook your whole dinner on the sidewalk in under 30 seconds.

Anyway, I rested and hibernated away from the heat and took time to find my way back home, as it were. I dug into books and studies that I’d put off reading until I had more time. I joined two book launches that gave me an extra boost of community with other writers and bloggers. And I spent time daydreaming about small changes in my routine and my home that I’d been avoiding until I had better focus.

People, it took the whole two months.

But I feel better, rested, and eager to see what He’s been resting me for.

And that starts my list of things I learned this summer:

    1. I learned that sometimes we shouldn’t put off the feeling of needing rest because it might be His prompting according to His timing. With my chronic depression disorder, I must have pockets of downtime between major events or responsibilities. It ensures I get to take on things of magnitude when needed without falling into an episode triggered by being overwhelmed. And I’ll rest when I feel prompted by the Spirit because sometimes He has something in store for me and doesn’t want me to miss it and what He’s doing. I’m seeing this unfold before me right now in fact, and because I was obedient to resting, I’m ready for this new thing I didn’t know was initially coming.
      Rest is often His equipping and preparing before a new big thing.
      Having said that, sometimes something arises that you can’t plan for and then I have to completely trust His strength over mine. And He has never failed me.
      Rest is often His equipping and preparing before a new big thing. Click To Tweet

    2. I learned that I love catching short inspirational videos for those times when I can’t get to church but need that “gotta have some church up in here-vibe!” For a hit of inspiration, for a soul-boost, for some freshness, sometimes hearing a sister or brother boil it all down to an undeniable bit of preaching makes me raise my hands and recollect myself in the middle of the day’s chaos.
      Here’s one from the amazing Priscilla Shirer that recently felt refreshing and made me say “That’ll preach!”

    3.  I learned this summer that just because you follow all advice to a T on how to care for the random grapevine that on the surface seems to be thriving for the second summer in a row in our yard, doesn’t mean you’ll see any grapes.
      At all.
      Except in the fruit aisle of the grocery store.The surprise grapevine...
      It is flourishing. A lovely green. Trimmed properly. Climbing our deck railings with great vigor.
      And completely useless otherwise.
      I’m also learning patience and hope in regards to next year.
      And optimism. Lots of optimism. Lots.

    4. Finally, I learned that your husband really will enjoy himself at an Andre Rieu concert if it’s big and larger than life at full sound for impact. I had tickets to Andre’s live streamed concert (from his historic hometown of Maastricht in the Netherlands) at our local movie theatre. I love his orchestra, their classical sound, and saw their concert this way last year. Perry aka Wilson kind of shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes a little when he found out I needed a seat-mate last-minute, but was game for this rather one-sided date night. And then the big screen lit up, there was audience participation from the streaming movie theatres around the world, and I heard him laugh, sniff back tears twice ya’ll, and he joined the applause at the end, rather heartily.
      So, now he gets why I say I can’t watch baseball on t.v with any kind of enthusiasm but put me in the actual seats and I’m all in.
      Guess he learned something this summer too. Ha.

      So, those are some of the things I learned this season. Care to share some of the things you’ve learned over the course of the summer?


Linking up this post with others at the following linkups this week:

#RaRaLinkup with Kelly Balarie and Angela Parlin
#TellHisStory with Jennifer Dukes Lee at 5pm EST
#CoffeeForYourHeart with Holley Gerth
#livefreeThursday with Suzie Eller


  1. I love your fresh, real writing! Keep being you. It’s beautiful!

  2. Your grapevine is lovely, Christine, so maybe you should just stop thinking of it as a fruit-bearing plant and start viewing it as pretty foliage. At least it’s still alive, right? 🙂 I love your seasonal thoughts, my friend!

  3. Loved this, girl you crack me up! Glad he learned something too. I will be praying for you and excited to see what God has for you next. Either way, you are a light and I am blessed to know you, friend. Love the photos too by the way!


  4. Friend, so glad to catch this post. I know we’re both so busy doing the blogging thing that staying up on other’s posts is a hit-and-miss, at best. I’m trying to re-focus myself on narrowing down who’s writing I do not want to miss (because time gets away and there’s not enough hours in a day) and you are on my list! Love your approach to the end-of-summer post. I still have yet to write mine. 🙂 Oh, and that video of P. Shirer blows me away every time I see it. Her “One In A Million” was life-changing for me.

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