Out my Window: The wonderful Atlantic Ocean at the sweet and wonderful town of Cape May, NJ. Dolphins playing in the pre-Dorian wake.
Listening to: Still listening to Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I am almost done though thanks to a turn of events last week where I ended up driving an extra 4 hours alone. I am still loving it even though it has been a long commitment. I love the way Michelle is able to process her thoughts and growth. I so appreciate the way she looks at things and evaluates and learns from them. I so appreciate her heart and mind in this read.
Reading: Re-reading Gods at War by Kyle Idleman for a book discussion I am facilitating.
Carry around book: Finished Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron out of determination. Halfway through my patience with the sub par storytelling that felt contrived started to fray. I did appreciate what I learned about Francis of Assisi and I wanted to like the book. I feel like it had potential, but not one I will be passing around.
By my bed: Re-reading Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons (the hard copy). It is visually beautiful, and focusing in on life and challenging me to examine where my eyes are set. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43723843-beholding-and-becoming. 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: Idols… specifically the term functional idols from No Other Gods by Kelly Minter… plus I am re-reading gods at War... so lots of reading and studying about idols and what they look like in our lives or specifically in my life. The term functional idol is an interesting term. Kelly’s point is to ask ourselves what do we lean on, go to for comfort, pleasure, help, when we’re bored, what functions for us on a regular basis? It is easy at times to see it in others, what they are leaning on, or where they seem to be compromising, but where am I? The verse she brought up that has me really pondering what this looks like is 2 Kings 17:41 “they feared the Lord and were serving their idols.” How is that possible? How do I fear God and still serve my idols? This should not be. I want to be wholly surrendered. I want to know what things have become so natural to me that they are my functional idols that I no longer notice.
Learning: I have missed many opportunities or not taken care of certain tasks because it was not the right time, or I could not do it to its fullest, so I didn’t do it. I have missed chatting with friends because I do not call until we can have the long extensive phone call we need to have, but instead it just means I have not chatted with them in a really long time. Shorter phone calls are better than none. I have put off home chores because I need an extended time to do it “right.” This week when the plumbing went south I had no choice but to focus on cleaning, and was able to get more done in a shorter time than in my mind was needed. I am also learning about participating in the fun when an opportunity presents itself, in the form it presents itself. We have had seasons where our vacations were a week. Right now we have needed time away, but a full week at once is not possible, so we went away for a couple of days a few weeks ago, and now a few more days in a different location this week. We are amazed had how much fun we have had, and how we have gotten to do more, and enjoy ourselves more this summer with lots of shorter jaunts away. I still desire the extended chat or visit with a friend, the well planned out cleaning, or the long vacation, but different is not always bad, it just is. I am learning to allow life to be a bit more fluid and enjoy or deal with things as they present themselves instead of wishing them to look like I think they should or the way it has been.
Home: Thanks to the plumbing issues all the deep cleaning I had hoped to slowly do over the summer, which I had not done, got done. Not the cleaning plan I would have chose but thankful for pipes that now drain out of my house instead of backing up.
Fitness and Mental Health: Last week looked very different than planned between plumbing issues that took a few days to resolve and clean up, plus an unexpected trip to get my husband after our car died, intentional fitness was few and far between. The last few days have been a lot of walking again and a schlog. The ocean is always good for my mental health.
Giving Thanks: Pipes that work. People willing to help to us. Opportunity to see a couple friends, even just for a few minutes. Time away at the beach. Dolphins playing in the wake. Two absolutely breathtaking sunsets. Miniature golf, God’s comfort for friends and family walking through hard times.