daybookphotoOut my Window: gorgeous first day of summer, birds chirping, bright sun

Enjoying: more fresh veggies and fruit, fragrant peonies, late spring, visiting family, laughter, some deeper talks, good story, walking and hiking

Listening to/Watching: Still listening to and loving Lord of the Rings on Audible. I look forward to driving places so I can listen. Listened to two Holy Podcast episodes. and The video mentioned in the second episode is really helpful in understanding the history of racism in our country and worth 17 minutes of viewing.

Reading: I finished A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrick Backman. There is some language and some serious issues discussed, surprisingly it is a light, encouraging story of love and friendship. It is that reminder of everyone having a story and the power of having a purpose and being seen. I also finished Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference compiled by Timothy Keller and John Inazu. These essays are so good, and so helpful. I loved the many angles approached of engaging culture and conversation to make a difference. It offers hope and challenged me to find ways in my context and with my giftings to make a difference
By my bed: Finished Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund. I am sad this one is over. I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful portrayal of the humility of Christ and His gentle love and desire to be near us. Ortlund does a good job of showing through scripture and puritan writings how Christ’s heart is for us and how Jesus is drawn to us and desires to reconcile with us and comfort us. It is a very intimate aspect of Christ’s heart that Ortlund unpacks so well.

Rambling Thoughts: I continue to be reminded of how important narrative is. What do we believe about ourselves, others, the world? Do we allow people to share their story? Do we create space for people to discover the truest narrative in their lives, or do we just go along the surface and attribute our own ideas of what that person’s story might be? Do we think we know what their motives are, or what their position is without asking? Other times do we just assume people have the same narrative as we do? I know I get frustrated when I have grown and changed in an area and people put me back earlier in my story, or they meet me at this point in my story and assume this has always been, or because of one piece, they feel they know my whole story. Just one piece is anemic and short changes the depth of the relationship. I am grieving over some of the relationships that I was blessed to have and learned much from, but didn’t glean as much because I forgot that there was more there that I needed them to share instead of me just filling in the blanks. I am good at filling in the blanks in books and movies, but people are much more complicated and their story is growing and changing. Even those who seem at the same point really aren’t if we dig deeper. No one stagnates like we think. There is either growth or shrinking in everyone’s world. Some are learning and growing while others are shrinking back and protecting more. When I am too quick to speak and not slow enough to listen, when I trust my judgement and conclusions without giving a person a chance to speak, I miss out. I miss either going deeper, and seeing someone more accurately, or developing wisdom and better boundaries that may be needed. May we not assume that we know, may we be quick to ask questions, better questions, and then take time to really listen to what is being said, and what is being left out. May we really see each other and not just one dimensional ideas of what we assume about a person or group of people. May we be quick to listen and slow to speak. May we learn to love more authentically ourselves, and others. May we give people the room and safe place to grow and change.

Fitness and Mental Health: Doing pretty good with fitness, moving daily, but still need something a bit more structured. Mental Health I am thankful to be out of the funk and able to process and read more. Thankful for all the well thought out voices and brave voices sharing their stories in this difficult space. I feel like listening to them helps me have confidence that there is hope. Hope is necessary for good mental health. In the spaces where I cannot see it, I am asking for God to move miraculously.

Home: Finishing up taking control of the gardens, I have one more garden to weed and then keep up. Still not pleasurable, but am thankful mentally for those spaces being less chaotic. I was super thankful for a friend who listened to what I was hoping for and offered to help me weed and plant. Gardening is still not my idea of pleasure, but it is much better with someone who enjoys it.

Giving Thanks: my home, provisions, small group studies, visit with in-laws, multi age family fun and laughter, technology, phone chats with dear friends, campfire, good food, most excellent end of Spring weather, flowers, books that are so perfect for this season, serving alongside some wonderful people


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