daybookphotoOut my Window: Crickets chirping, humidity and temps rising, sun shining

Enjoying: long walks, John Coltrane, reading, cut flowers from my garden

Listening to/Watching: I finished Fellowship of the Ring. Debating whether to push ahead through the whole series at once, or to listen to something different in between. I have a few in my queue, but I am still enjoying listening to this epic adventure. (I have decided that if I ever get it a dog, its name will be Sam).

Reading: I started and finished my second Fredrik Backman book, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.  (There is some PG language just fyi).  I loved this one also. At first I thought it was going to be similar to A Man Called Ove, but it is its own story. The only thing similar is Backman’s excellent ability to spin a story and reveal characters slowly and in an engaging manner. Both books reminded me to look deeper and love deeper. This one is a strange adventure of a little girl left by her eccentric grandmother after her death. It is a marvelous trip that crosses back and forth between imagination and reality. Many fast quips  are tossed out that are worth revisiting and pondering.

Because not all monsters were monsters in the beginning. Some are monsters born of sorrow.

if you hate the one who hates, you could risk becoming like the one you hate.

One day at a time. One dream at a time. And one could say it’s right and one could say it’s wrong. And probably both would be right. Because life is both complicated and simple. Which is why there are cookies.

I signed up for two book launches. Susie Larson has a devotional coming out September 1, I appreciate her morning and evening blessings that she shares on her facebook page. I am looking forward to getting an advance look at this devotional. I also applied to be on Adam Weber’s book launch team for his new book, Love Has a Name: Learning to Love the Different, the Difficult, and Everyone Else.  I am amazed at how many books were written earlier, and are so perfect for the season of the world we are in. This one is due out August 25.

I finished Skye Jethani’s book, What if Jesus was Serious? It is a simple read with some profound thoughts. The layout is more of a devotional format than a chapter book. It is very creatively presented with doodles and short chapters. I would have liked more meat from him because I know he can go deep and wide, but I think his format makes the book appealing to a larger audience. I will have a full review this week for Moody Publishing.

I also finished Jackie Hill Perry’s study on Jude. I highly recommend reading Jude slowly, and then if you are looking for a study, this is a good companion. Jude has felt like the perfect letter for this season of the church and world. I am thankful for the encouragement, but also the challenge to be more discerning.

Rambling Thoughts: As I read My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and met each character in all their glorious quirkiness, I realized how close to reality they are. We all have the person impacted by war and the other pretending that their marriage is fine, the busybody who tries to control, and the one keeping up appearances. One of the gifts that the author Backman gives his readers is the reminder that there is always a backstory. People aren’t born control freaks, busybodies, drunks, or recluses. They aren’t doing their annoying habits just to annoy everyone. One of the characters shares a profound line from the novel, Doctor Glas,

We want to be loved; failing that, admired; failing that, feared; failing that hated and despised. At all costs we want to stir up some sort of feeling in others. The soul abhors a vacuum, at all costs it longs for contact.

The classroom is a great place to watch this happen, especially in High School. You can watch kids attempt the one, and over the year or years depending on home life taking it down a notch, just looking for contact, to be noticed, to be remembered and known. These characters reminded me again the need to remember that people are far more than meets the eye. We are made for relationship, but some people just do not know how to be in healthy ones. This space is where we add extra grace and mercy no matter where the person is on that continuum. I was reminded how important it is to offer hope and contact, to invite people to step back to their truest self, instead of their compromised survival self.

Fitness and Mental Health: August Goals: Would like to do two workouts a week that involve resistance, and then continuing with Pilates and walks/schlogs. Mental Health: Exercise is key and continuing to look for beauty. Working on Scripture memory again and keeping track of days again. (haven’t gotten either of these goals off the ground yet. So new week to try again) I have been reading through the gospels this month. June went well with all of that and then July I didn’t do any of the structured part and got lost a bit again. I don’t like feeling like I haven’t done anything, or losing track of days. I am realizing I need to keep the extra structure in many areas right now.

Home: Mostly keeping up with the basics. My son finished the hedges in the front.

Giving Thanks: my home, provisions, getting to visit with good friends,  laughter,  vegetables and flowers growing in my gardens, fresh berries, walks and schlogs, praying friends, young people who are thoughtful and passionate in their walk with the Lord, a long prayed for reconciliation, time to rest and read


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