Out my Window: At the moment rain, but it has been a few days of beautiful to me temperatures, blue skies in the day, a swelling moon at night, active hummingbirds fighting over the more than enough feeder
Enjoying: Fresh corn, watermelon, a bit slower schedule, sunflowers, books
Listening to: nothing specific…. I did listen to Craig Groeschel’s recent interview with Jason Dorsey about relating to the various generations and their strengths. https://www.life.church/leadershippodcast/q-a-with-gen-z-and-millennial-expert-jason-dorsey/
Reading: My advanced copy came of The Complicated Heart by Sarah Mae. It moved to the front of the line. I did not start it until I knew I had an extended period of time because I knew I would want to keep reading. So Saturday afternoon and evening ended up a reading marathon. Definitely worth my time. I will be writing my review soon. I wanted a bit more depth and picture of the wrestling and processing, but in a video on the launch page she talked about her presentation being intentional so the book could be shared with anyone including certain older teens. I respect that. If you do look into the book, please be warned there are some big trigger topics, but I feel like she handled them delicately and not great detail.
Carry around book: The Middle Matters by Lisa-Jo Baker so this got set aside but I am now chugging through it. It really hasn’t been a lot on the reading side of life this past week.
By my bed: As I have mentioned I am on the book launch team for Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons https://gracelaced.com/. I was able to read the electronic version already. I was so thrilled when I recently received a hard copy for reviewing the book early on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43723843-beholding-and-becoming Like I had mentioned in my brief review, I would recommend ordering the actual book instead of the electronic version. It is beautiful. The content is very encouraging. I have started reading it again as a nightly devotional read. The quotes, the paintings, her words are soothing and encouraging. I do recommend getting it for yourself and it would make a great gift. It releases September 10, but if you pre-order she has some lovely gifts. https://ruthchousimons.com/beholding-becoming/
Pondering: Oh so much. My brain has been on overdrive due to a few conversations lately. One thing that jumped out of one my conversations was a phrase that a friend said. I have been mulling it over a bit. “It’s not your day.” It sounded weird when he said it, but as we repeated and teased it out a bit, I felt like it has profound implications. We were talking about if something ruins your day, or makes your day, or interrupts your day…. well technically my friend said, “it’s not your day…. it’s God’s.” That whole “this is the day the Lord has made”, the Lord is the one offering a new day with His mercies for us to participate in, but how many times do I feel something should happen, or shouldn’t happen to make my day. My day… is it really my day?…. I guess in some ways yes, because it is a gift from God that I am invited to be part of, but also no because God holds all time in His hands. I have been pondering if that attitude “it’s not my day” as in a handing it over to God, not a resignation of things being bad, would change things. Is there a way to make that a focus and what difference would it make?
Learning: Another friend had mentioned a quote she had read in some Mennonite magazine (not sure the author) a few weeks back and it had struck me then, but then I learned the full impact of it this past week.
“Life hasn’t slowed down exactly; in fact we may be busier than ever. But the minute-by-minute demands have fallen away, leaving us with less intense focus and more choices. Fifty-year-old roots of discontent, of covetousness, of ingratitude finally have space to grow and bear fruit.”
The article and our conversation was in light of our home life transitioning from homeschool and intense child rearing seasons to a new season that looks different. I was shocked (I do not know why, I know myself enough…) at some of the old behaviors, attitudes, and temptations popping up in a way that I have not seen in over 20 years! Like the temptation to swear (just being real people). I have been tempted here and there and slipped up at times, but all of a sudden it is in my face and space, or impatience… and more (I will not bore you with the gory details) but it has been a hay day of old behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes popping up. And then I discussed this again with my friend about why… that the last season was super focused on raising and discipling kids, and helping them. The boundaries for them and the resources we were in together and the limited free life kept things in check. Like when a garden is in full bloom, there is no room for weeds to grow too large. Plus you are weeding (in theory; this analogy falls apart in my world) as you go, but after the harvest and much is picked and there is more room in the garden, the weeds can flourish, if allowed. It takes more concentrated effort to deal with them, and that is where I have learned I am. Instead of beating myself up, I am trying to cooperate with God and dealing with it, and working on what the structure, boundaries, and what the roots of some of these are.
Home: Keeping up, and doing a little extra thing here and there. Buying a bouquet of sunflowers for the counter. So thrilled our grocery store has them for $5 for a big bundle. They are so cheery, and help me want to keep the counter clean. Our new system for stuff on the counter is working okay but now it seems to have migrated to the table.
Fitness and Mental Health: Last week I was wiped out from all the activity, so the last few days I am finally getting back into moving. Mental Health- my brain and heart have been going crazy due to some very hard things. I am back to schlogging… still bringing my camera, but I felt like God was calling me to listen for all the ways creation was singing His praises. So I kept stopping and naming all that I heard every time my brain wanted to go into overdrive. Also being intentional with reading and declaring the word of God over situations and remembering truth. Having friends pray.
Giving Thanks: For praying friends, for sunflowers, the ones from the store and the ones slowly growing in my yard, for time at home and time to connect with people, that we do not have to do life on our own, for my ladies’ small group who challenge me to live out what we study, for God moving and acting in spite my faith being small… for new toilets! I am way more excited about them than I should be. lol… but they do make me happy, my septic getting pumped…. seriously I am thankful that all is functioning well. For hope and comfort.