Saturday, August 1, 2015

What I've Learned This Summer

It is simply hard to believe that it's already August!  I knew this summer would fly by, but now that we're on the count down to school, the reality is hitting me.  I've spent a lot of time reflecting, processing life in general, and looking ahead, seeing a new season with the middle school years approaching.

Blogger and writer Emily Freeman, from Chatting at the Sky, blogs at the end of each month different and often random things she's learned.  Since I fell off the "goal" bandwagon for a while and didn't even get our summer desires blogged, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned over the summer.

1.  Charleston is an amazing city!  We've loved visiting it for over ten years now, but this was the first time I've stayed there alone with my girls (since Marty was in North Charleston at camp). I literally drove past the church affected by the shooting rampage only thirty minutes before the shots were fired.  Fear, questions, apprehension immediately filled my mind after hearing about it. But to watch the city continue to move with such grace and love was a testimony to the many churches and the people within that city.  I learned a lot in those few days.

2.  Blueberries always taste better straight from the bush.  While Chloe and I continued to pick that hot Saturday morning, my younger two literally sat under the bushes and ate to their hearts content.

3.  My baby is growing up!  I know I didn't learn this over the summer, but it's becoming even more real as she's learning to swim and ride a bike without training wheels.  Shhh!  Don't remind me that she's almost ready for kindergarten.  Thank goodness I finally finished her baby book!

4.  Even though it's easier now that our girls are older, I learned that I still really miss my hubbie when he's gone on mission trips.  I just really like having him around! 

5.  Having a dog can really cramp my traveling style!  This was our first summer having Samson (whom we love very much!), but it's tough when you want to travel and you have to make pet arrangements.  Oh well!  First world problems!

6.  Focus on the blessings, rather than succumbing to the loneliness. This is an area that God is still teaching me.  There will always be a measure of loneliness in ministry, but I felt it more than ever when Marty left on July 4th.  Family being so far away and memories flooding back from the previous summer with my sisters and their families brought me to tears more than once.  But my girls can make any day interesting and we embraced the sprinkler and the sparklers, making the day memorable in our own way.

7.  Family is important and worth the effort.  Since Samson cramped my traveling style, we enjoyed #campcousins week instead!  My sister graciously took my girls for a few days.  Then, we enjoyed a day at the zoo, and a few more days with them at our house.  It was a fun full week!

8.  I "need" inspiration!  I love a good pen, a comfortable notebook, the perfect lighting, clean surroundings.  I think it's why I love Instagram so much!  The pictures, colors, inspiring words fill me up.

9.  The show, When Calls the Heart, on Netflix took me back to my teenage years.  That same, "I've just got to read one more chapter..." feeling consumed me, but in the form of Netflix.  I watched show after show while exercising on the elliptical, folding laundry, cooking supper... until the last show, and I didn't know it was the last show!  So I have now learned that when watching a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime, look and see how many episodes there are before diving in headlong, fully engrossed in the flowing plot, only to discover you just watched the last one!

10.  It is important to label homemade sprays.  Otherwise your daughters may mistaken your cellulite spray for bug repellent.

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