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What I learned in May, June + July

    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.

    I read from the BibleGateway app on my phone, but you can also buy a real copy here.

    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.



    + 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.

    + My baby is almost taller than me.

    + Wedding Cake Championship makes for great late night family tv time (thanks kids, for indulging your mother).


    Tailor Made

    Lies and Other Acts of Love

    Crazy Rich Asians

    As Bright As Heaven

    Calling Me Home

    Did you had a good May, June + July? What did you learn? Please share!

    14 thoughts on “What I learned in May, June + July”

    1. You suggested Secrets of a Charmed Life (loved it), I just finished As Bright As Heaven (cried! cried!) but loved it. Thanks for the recommendations.

    2. My 30-year old daughter has memories of the 2 of us (I was a single mom for much of her childhood) eating banana splits for summer dinners! I rationized that there was protein from the milk in the ice cream, plus fruit, so we hit a couple the food groups! On a hot summer night, with no AC and no desire to cook after a long day at work, sometimes ya gotta have ice cream for dinner! I hope she does this at least a few times with her so as he grows up.

    3. Thanks for sharing what you learned. You might like the ReadScripture app for reading through the Bible. A couple chapters and a Psalm to read and check off each day and informative animated intros to each books. Check it out. I love it.

    4. In May I learned that what touched my heart the most during our trip to the Netherlands wasn’t the amazing villages and countryside, but the fact that my family there is practicing their faith in Jesus Christ that so many in Europe have let slip away.

      1. The sunglasses are from Ellison (I won them!). They fit my small face and are polarized, so those make them easy favorites.

        I liked Crazy Rich Asians. It was a fun story and I felt like I knew nothing about Singapore culture before and it was fascinating – even though it was just fiction :)

    5. In May I learned that I needed a break from running everywhere and I welcomed Summer’s quiet charm.

      In June I learned that I really love getting up at 5 AM when my house is quiet to draw, read my Bible, water and weed the flower garden, iron my husband’s shirt for the day, and prepare breakfast. For me it is a lovely time.

      In July I learned that Summer goes by too fast and I would like to hold on to it a little more. I also learned that I truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    6. In May I learned that what touched my heart the most during our trip to the Netherlands wasn’t the amazing villages and countryside, but the fact that my family there is practicing their faith in Jesus Christ that so many in Europe have let slip away.

      In June I was reminded of God’s rich blessings when we celebrated my husband and my 30th wedding anniversary with children, four whom we named and two who chose to be a part of our crazy family through marriage.

      In July, I learned as we remodeled our kitchen, that the design style truly is a blend of our two personalities, we can manage without so much stuff and we do work well together!

    7. Yes to quiet! My close friends and I have each expressed a similar sentiment about quieting spiritual commentary this year. It seems like there are so few avenues of hearing directly from the source about anything these days – I am so thankful we have a personal connection to hear straight from God!

    8. How do you handle being a Christian is such a liberal state? My friend moved to WA 2 years ago and still hasn’t been able to adjust, because it’s just so different. Seriously ask for a friend :)

    9. Thank you for the lovely advice on the Passion version of the Bible. My fav is Amplified just gives more descriptive words to get the point across.

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