Out my Window: Thankfully more pleasurable (to me) temperatures and the night sky continues to be amazing.
Enjoying: The stars, extra time to read, mint chocolate chip ice cream (I had to stop buying it because I was enjoying it a bit too much.)
Listening to: Nothing too specific. I did catch Craig Groeschel’s latest podcast. Very interesting one from the author of Boundaries, Dr. John Townsend on relationships in leadership and energy given or received. https://www.life.church/leadershippodcast/q-a-with-dr-john-townsend-key-relationships/
Reading: The good part of the heat wave was reading. We got a cheap AC and lots of fans and I sat out of the heat with a book.
I was able to start and finish: That Denmark Might Live: The Saga of the Danish Resistance in World War II by Irving Werstein. It was actually a YA book. It was a simple read recounting the Danish resistance movement. Although they were never officially part of the Allies due to being invaded very quickly and very early on by Hitler, they did quite a bit for the cause. The unity and identity of the Danish people seeing themselves as one entity was powerful. Whatever you did to one, you did to all. Denmark had the smallest percentage of Jews lost during WWII because as a country they banded together to save them. I love the quote from a “housewife,”
We helped the Jews because they needed us… how could anybody turn his back and not do everything possible to prevent the slaughter of innocent people?…By saving the Jews, we saved ourselves. We saved our integrity and honor. We struck a blow for human dignity at a time when it was sorely lacking in the world.
The Promise is His Presence: Why God is Always Enough by Glenna Marshall I am participating in the Book Launch. Review can be found here:https://inkblotlife.com/2019/07/22/the-promise-is-his-presence-book-review/ , quotes on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/inkblotlife/ . The book can be pre-ordered at https:/amzn.to/2Xnyleb It releases on August 1.
I am very excited to be on the launch team for Ruth Chou Simons’ new book Beholding and Becoming (9/10). I also finished my preview copy of this book during the heat wave. I highly recommend it, and you will be hearing much more about it in the weeks to come. One thing I would recommend is getting the hard copy instead of the Kindle version. I feel like it loses something in the electronic format. If you are familiar with her first book Gracelaced, this book is similar with beautiful artwork that sets off the devotional readings. The book itself is beautiful and the whole thing works together to give the message. This one is focused on worship.
Carry around book: I will be heading out for a bunch of days and I never know what I will want to read…. At the moment I think The Middle Matters by Lisa-Jo Baker and Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron will be the winners. I also ended up getting Becoming By Michelle Obama on Audible since I will be driving around a bunch.
Pondering: This week there have been many reminders that I am not in control and I cannot fix or make things go in a certain direction. Many of these things are super close to my heart and I can feel the darkness trying to creep into my heart and mind. On one of the particularly stressful evenings (because of my mind going around and around, not anything occurring) I decided to step outside and look up, instead of laying in bed mulling over things that are not mine to do anything about other than pray and encourage. The night sky was astounding. The moon had not risen yet, but the stars and the milky way were resounding God’s glory and handiwork. I was reminded of Job standing before the Lord being asked,
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels a shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7
and the David staring up at the same sky,
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4
That night continues to stay with me. Last night I was out late driving along and noticed the gorgeous night sky again declaring His glory, his goodness and intimacy. Who am I that you are mindful of me and yet, He is. The same God “who determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Ps 147:4) knows my name and my concerns, and cares far more deeply about my people than I do.
As I have been pondering, I have been thinking how God does not just love my people and their situations more than I do. It is not just a bigger love, as if it is a competition. It is a more perfect love. He knows their whole story and knows their hearts and knows what would be for their highest good. So I am joining Madeleine L’Engle as I look up and remember and rejoice:
When I look at the galaxies on a clear night – when I look at the incredible brilliance of creation, and think that this is what God is like, then instead of feeling intimidated and diminished by it, I am enlarged . . . I rejoice that I am a part of it.
Learning: Re-learning perhaps would be better stated… I cannot write or edit someone else’s story which includes in this writing space. I have been wrestling, thinking, and learning much over the last few weeks, but the lessons and thoughts are too tightly entangled in other people’s stories that are not for me to share. It is a good reminder that the Author of their story has it, and it is not all about me and my thoughts and ways. I need to respect their stories and allow space for them to allow God to write it for them, instead of grabbing the pen and trying to add what I think should happen next.
Home: The heat wave slowed things down a bit, but I have been better with the dailyness of upkeep. I am working on making certain areas more functional.
Fitness and Mental Health: Despite the heat wave I wanted to keep moving. Schlogging was on hold until yesterday when the heat finally broke. I have been using some online videos and a Yoga DVD that I own. Mental Health involves a lot of looking up to the sky and around at all that God has made. Reading is good. Choosing to laugh. Choosing to move.
Giving Thanks: That a cheap little AC plus many fans were able to keep our living space manageable. I am so thankful the heat wave has ended. I am thankful for the opportunity to be on some very encouraging book launches. I am thankful for the stars and moon. I am thankful for mint chocolate chip ice cream and opportunities to watch shows and eat much of it with my younger son. I am thankful for people who do life with me and love my family and pray for them. I am thankful for fun opportunities.