Here we are at the end of another month. Time stood still from March to June but feels like it is beginning to move again. The buzzwords that are still circulating sound pretty much the same: new normal, social distancing, wear your mask, COVID-19, a spike in numbers, and my new buzzword, the “new different.”
July feels like July in many ways. It has been “summer hot” here in Ohio with temps in the 90s and high humidity. I saw the first signs of the grass turning brown, which is another sign of summer in the Midwest. We had a good downpour the other day but we are experiencing more dry days than wet ones. There are still beautiful blooms and the wildflowers are holding their own. My tomato plants are lagging behind, but in my defense, I planted them a little bit late.
I haven’t done one of these posts in about a year but felt called to jot down a few thoughts. Join me for four somethings and I hope you will add your own in the comments.
Something Loved in July
I’m going to begin by saying I can’t pick just one thing. I hope you will indulge me.
The month of July was a time for family. My kids, grandson, and I gathered every weekend to hang out, eat, and laugh. No agenda, no fancy meals, and no time constraints. The time was exactly what it needed to be every time.
The second thing I loved doing in July was baking. I am an Enneagram Two and proud of it. Read more about that HERE. I enjoy doing things for my people and baking is one of those things. So even though the meals were never planned out a sweet treat accompanied each gathering.
We live in a time of unrest and uncertainty. I challenge you and I’m challenging myself to take time to do those things we love anyway. God calls us to live life to the fullest and time with my family is one of those ways that I do that.
Something Read in July
I read a lot of somethings in July. Most of my book reading leans toward fiction, but I always have non-fiction books going at the same time. Reading has been a restorative activity for me especially during the shelter in place.
I am currently working through The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. Every other paragraph has me getting fired up at the injustice that is prevalent in our country. It is a powerful and convicting read and I highly recommend it.
The second nonfiction that is on my nightstand is Jennie Allen’s Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Your Toxic Thoughts. I am not only reading the book but I am going through the bible study with a friend. I love the practical and spiritual ideas outlined in the book to take your thoughts captive.
Finally, I have read at least four fiction books throughout the month, but one of my favorites is Katherine Reay’s latest book, Of Literature and Lattes. I have read all of her books and this is one of my favorites. If you have never picked up one of Ms. Reay’s books and you are a lover of all things Jane Austen, I would highly recommend her books.
Something Treasured in July
Every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month of July I stopped what I was doing at 10 A.M. to meet with a group of amazing ladies for Bible study. I fired up Zoom and we each meandered in with our coffee ready to talk about Philippians. The sweet gathering provided multiple reminders for me of the importance of focusing on God and His Word and the blessing of community.
I love knowing that community is found in real life and online. It doesn’t require fancy or staged–just people with willing hearts to talk and listen.
Philippians was the perfect book of the bible to study for this current time. To hear Paul say that he is “rejoicing” as he sits in prison provides a perspective that I realize I need. Remember:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6)
It’s hard to believe that August begins this Saturday. As hard as 2020 has hit us with all of the ups and downs, it does feel like the summer is flying by.
After lots of prayer, I need to pause from writing, I am taking the month of August off. The best part of this is that I won’t have any specific deadlines so I can let my mind run free with whatever ideas come my way. Since I am taking a break, the Tell His Story linkup, will also be on hiatus.
Besides the upcoming break, I am getting away for about six days to the mountains with some of my kids and my grandson. I cannot wait for a change in scenery and the chance to just soak in God’s beauty. Follow me on Instagram to catch my photos.Join me on the blog as I share "Four Somethings" from the month of July. Plus some very exciting news!! #newpost #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Finally, the most exciting piece of news is that I have a new book coming out in November. The best part of shelter in place this year was the time I devoted to finish up the writing and begin to put the other parts into place. The book is called The Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know you Were Already Living. I cannot wait to share it with you.
My knowledge of Advent is what I knew from my childhood. God took my limited knowledge and has grown what I knew about the four weeks of Advent and changed my perspective to what I believe now. Advent is a time of preparation and waiting for the arrival of Jesus. It is not just four weeks out of the year but a lifetime of leaning in and leaning on God through our challenges and celebrations. It is the celebration of the life we are living right now, which spans the time between Jesus’s birth and when He will come again. I can’t wait to share more.