Ok, so half the year is gone! How did that happen so quickly? How did your first six months go? I'd have to say mine flew by, as usual. But after the whir, memories come forth that bless and encourage my heart. Let's look at June. What new things did you learn? Here are few of my discoveries:
- The Diggers are Coming by Susan Stegall and The Airport Book by Lisa Brown are my two new favorite books to read to Lucy and Charles. After finding them at our public library, I took them to Pella for a test run, and now I want to buy them both. Charles loves truck books and the rhythm in this one has both kids reciting parts from memory. I read The Airport Book over and over to Lucy while I was with them. As she was looking through it later, I overheard her say, "I can't wait to fly to Utah!"
- Alicia Britt Chole has written another book! Last spring I used her book, Forty Days of Decrease to walk through the season of Lent. I loved the book and was excited to find another one from her. Her book, anonymous, notes that Jesus lived thirty of his thirty-three years in anonymity. What happened during those years prepared him for his public ministry. She confirms that idea by examining Jesus' responses when tempted by satan in the desert. She labels them as temptations of appetite, applause and authority. Of course all of this had a healthy amount of application for the life of one not presently in the spot-light. A good book with a fresh writing style had plenty of depth to keep me coming back for more.
- I discovered once again that I'll never grow tired of teaching at House of Hope. My three week class, Writing From Within, brought four women in who are interested in learning how to journal using the Morning Pages method. I also shared with them my prayer journal notebook. We experienced honest talk and heartfelt sharing within those three classes.
- I learned that I could have a dream and then make it into a reality! For the last several years, those of you who hang around me, have heard me lament, "I need to strengthen my upper body! My arms are so weak! I can hardly do a sit-up!" Several times I started an exercise program but within a short time an injury would occur and I'd give up pretty quickly feeling frustrated. I knew I needed some one to work privately with me so I would have help with which exercises to do and their proper form. A few weeks ago I found and hired a private trainer! I am thrilled. She is exactly who I needed and I already feel a bit stronger!
- I can make up some pretty funny words...at least I know a three and two-year-old who laugh uncontrollably when I say them over and over...I'm kind of embarrassed to admit. They are "gobble-de-goo" (goose droppings) and "twisty-twervey" which is what eventually happens when you swing (with a child on your lap) (on a park swing-set) with your legs straight out. Oh the things grandmas will do or say while enjoying their sweethearts!
- I made an observation about squirrels. While sitting on the front porch in Pella early one morning, I watched as a group of six young squirrels frolicked in the front yard. They climbed trees, chased each other across the lawn, played hide and seek in the wood pile, scampered across the street and did it all over again in the neighbor's yard. It was fun to see their carefree interaction with one another, like children on a playground. Imagine my dismay when one of them scurried across the street directly under the front tire of a passing vehicle. As it died, I wondered about his buddies. Would they notice? Would they care that he was no longer a part of their untroubled play? At first they just carried on, seemingly untouched. But at one point I glanced back and saw that several of the squirrels had noticed and gathered around their fallen brother. One actually got on top of him and seemed to nudge him and try to get him up and moving. The others watched their tales twitching nervously. When it finally sank in that he was gone, they carried on. A lesson on how life goes in the natural world.
- This is my new favorite quote: We can speak to our wild emotions with the steady Word of God. Ruth Chou Simons is a wife, the mother of six "man-cubs," a talented water color artist with a deep faith and the ability to produce deeply meaningful writing. You can find her at gracelaced.com to visit her shop and read more of her words of wisdom.
- I've rediscovered a Bible verse. Colossians 3:12. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It seems to me that we choose to put on these virtues. But we can only do this daily dressing because we are so secure and dearly loved by God. Can we not therefore love others in these bright ways?
I could go on and on but I better stop. What have you learned in this first month of summer? Leave a comment and let me know! I'd love to find your thoughts here.