So the idea behind this series of posts was to take a few minutes at the close of each month this year to reflect on what I learned. It will act as a snapshot, of sorts, of the year and a way to mark and remember the big and little things I’ve discovered about me and the world.
I did it for JANUARY.
And again in FEBRUARY.
The lessons in MARCH came easy.
APRIL was fun.
And then May came and went. So did June. About mid-way through July I was determined to not let this project fizzle out and to slow down long enough to reflect and share.
Which leads me to the first thing I’ve learned in MAY, JUNE + JULY:
Once the sun comes out, you can count on me losing at least half of my productivity
The combination of nicer weather, busy end-of-school-year schedules and then having the kids home for the summer means my regular routine and high capacity to get things done is shot. And I’m actually okay with it.
I really like swimming
We went on a trip a few weeks ago and spent most of our time boating, tubing, skiing, wakeboarding and lounging on a boat-up beach. It was hot outside and the water kept calling my name.
Now here’s the thing: I was a fish when I was younger. My little sister and I would swim at any chance we had and spent most of our summers playing in the frigid waters of the Icicle River, not caring an ounce about the fact that it was the approximate temperature of melted snow.
Fast forward 25 years and I’ve slowly become more picky about swimming. I’ll still choose a beach or boat or pool at any chance I have, but I’ve become more and more okay with sitting on the side instead of dunking myself fully.
But then, on this particular trip, as I was swimming in the middle of the lake I realized I LOVE SWIMMING. It just has to be under the perfect conditions :)
I’m great at vacationing
This one is along the same line as the swimming and non-summer-productivity: I’m good at vacationing. It takes some people a couple of days to forget about work or home or responsibilities before they can get fully into vacation-mode and relax. I, on the other hand, check out the second we’re off on vacation. Give me a lounge chair, an umbrella and a book to read or friend to talk to and I’m good for days.
Reading a new translation of the bible makes scripture come alive in fresh ways
I am doing a personal bible reading plan of going through all of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke + John), one chapter at a time. My NIV study bible has been a sweet companion for years and years, but I decided to try a new translation called The Passion Translation and it has proven to be so life-giving. Reading familiar scriptures with slightly different (and slightly more modern) language makes the stories and lessons and teaching come alive in new ways.
Sometimes you need to quiet all the other voices and just listen to Jesus
There was a moment, back in May, where I had the sense that the Lord was telling me to quiet all the voices. All the input I receive from others, the advice I seek, the books and podcasts I devour, the messages I hear and look for ways to apply to my life – I am good at listening to these voices.
It dawned on me, though, that even with my daily devotional, I was reading what others had to say about God, not what God himself had to say to me.
So it took deliberate quieting and intentional opening of my bible (see above) to flip-flop this way of thinking.
God has been so kind to honor my desire to hear from him and to let him speak into my heart. It’s actually been really transformational to just read through the life and teachings of Jesus (aka, the first four books of the new testament) and discover more about God’s character and what that means for my identity.
ALSO TO NOTE:
+ Ice cream, on occasion, is a perfectly fine dinner choice.
+ Having furniture to sit on really makes a difference when it comes to back yard patios.
+ Tents don’t hold up well in 50 mph middle-of-the-night wind gusts.
+ Wedding Cake Championship makes for great late night family tv time (thanks kids, for indulging your mother).
WHAT I READ:
Did you had a good May, June + July? What did you learn? Please share!