Howdy friends! Linking up with Emily P. Freeman today to reflect on lessons learned this past summer – from the silly to the sacred.
Here are a few things I learned this summer, in no particular order.
1. When you live in the country, unlimited Wi-Fi is a glorious gift.
We have lived in our current house in the country almost four years now – and our internet has been fickle – and EXPENSIVE – at best. We were working off of a Wi-Fi hotspot and paying per gig because apparently no internet service providers have blazed a trail to our neck of the woods yet.
One day on a whim, my hubby decided to stop by the nearest C-Spire store and just see what he could find out. Lo and behold, they happened to have a special for unlimited Wi-Fi for a flat monthly rate, he promptly signed us up, and the angels all sang glory.
Our signal is still not great, but not having to count data and watch our money fly out the window each month is pretty magical.
2. When it comes to air travel, cheaper is not always better.
In July, I flew to Florida for an annual girls’ weekend with some dear friends. I had debated on whether or not to go because of adoption timelines and budgets. But I found a cheap ticket online, jumped on it, and packed my bags.
Fast forward to departure day.
I woke up at 4:00am, drove the two and a half hours to the airport, and arrived only to find that my flight had been cancelled and rescheduled – for the NEXT MORNING. No explanation as to why it was cancelled, just an email sent out quietly an hour before we were scheduled to depart.
After hours of tears, phone conversations with my husband trying to figure out what to do, texting my girlfriends, looking for different flights, and finally paying the equivalent of a car down-payment for a new ticket, I finally made it to Florida, and we all had a wonderful time. That’s when I realized that I could have driven and made it there faster – and cheaper.
The moral of the story? Road trips are the way to go.
3. Creativity takes courage and responsibility.
It is my responsibility to first own what most deeply moves me and then to live it out for the sake of others. – Dan Allender
My gut-reaction when I first read this quote was, “what IS it that most deeply moves me?” as if there was something wrong with me when I couldn’t come up with an answer right away. But the more I thought about it, I realized I DID know the answer. Writing, my work as an advocate with Noonday, seeing others realize their worth in God’s eyes, finding hope and beauty in art, music, books, connecting with friends and family over good food and drink…all these move me at a deep level.
But I’m learning that it’s not enough just to know…I have to do. I owe it to those around me to live fully alive, doing what God created me to do. I’m prayerfully discovering what that looks like.
4. I have fallen down the rabbit hole that is Mad Men.
Why have I not jumped on this train sooner?! My husband and I are on season 6 and it is so good…and so frustrating. The clothing, the character development, the creative ad campaigns, the culture of the 60’s, and forthelove, why won’t Don Draper stop making the same mistakes over and over again?
Also, I always kinda wanted red hair because of Anne of Green Gables (didn’t we all?), but Joan has taken it to another level. My word.
5. Hattiesburg has some hidden gems. Also, I love gelato.
My hubby surprised me with a date night to Hattiesburg a few weeks ago. He found out about an antique market in the old downtown area that is only open once a month and decided to try it out. After driving around for a bit, we found it located in this two-story brick warehouse. We spent a good two hours wandering around, glasses of Moscato in hand (complimentary!), browsing the antiques, handmade items, clothing, old books…I was in heaven. My man knows me well.
To top it all off, we stumbled upon this little pizzeria across the street for dinner, where we discovered they also had homemade gelato. A scoop of Nutella and a scoop of peanut butter later, and I was rethinking all my previously professed love of ice cream.
Gelato, where have you been all my life?
6. As a 6 on the Enneagram, my weaknesses tend to manifest as cynicism and selfishness.
I’m pretty sure that I’m a 6 on the Enneagram…aka, the Loyalist. Sounds great, right? It is…when you’re emotionally and spiritually healthy. But the other side of the coin is that it can be hard for me to trust others, being critical and selfish…both traits that I’ve noticed in myself far too often lately. Which is a red flag indicating that there’s some soul-work that needs to be done.
7. Truth + trust are essential for change in relationships.
I’ve been slowly reading through Shauna Niequist’s Savor devotional this year. A few days ago I came across these words…
Truth without trust is a lot of what we see online these days, especially in Facebook-land. People shouting and sharing their opinions and their ‘truth’ without having built any trust or relationships with the people who read their words. I’ve been guilty of this. My prayer has become this – that my words, both online and in person, would be balanced between building trust and sharing truth.
Your turn! What have you learned this summer?
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