I’m joining up with Emily P Freeman and others in sharing some things I’ve learned, or have been reminded of, over this crazy summer, even though it is CLEARLY STILL SUMMER in Alabama. (#stupidhot) I’ve tried to take notes along the way, writing in my journal and taking notes on my computer. This summer was difficult, but sweet…painful, but good. As I look back, here are some things that stood out.
1 – Some hard things are just hard things and there’s no way around them – only through them.
This summer held many changes in our family. Big moves, illnesses, and stress were themes we waded through. It seemed like every time we turned around, we were in the middle of another situation that shifted the ground beneath us. We had big decisions to make and new territories to explore. I’m a “Small Decision/Familiar Territory” kind of gal, myself, so this summer was very stretching for me.
But God was faithful. He always is. He walked us through every situation and reminded us all along the way that we are not alone. He brought us the right people at the right time, gave us the strength we needed to make those big decisions, and caught any tears that were shed. He is just SO GOOD.
(No lie, though, a calmer Fall would not hurt my feelings. Amen.)
2 – Brooklyn 99
Gracious, my family and I enjoyed blazing through all 5 seasons this summer! It brought big laughs! The entire cast is excellent, but Andre Braugher’s performance is worth the price of admission. So stinkin’ quirky and ridiculous and funny! If you like stupid comedy, you’ll probably like this.
3 – Even if non-fiction is your literary love, reading fiction now and then is a very good idea.
I read SO MUCH non-fiction. It’s my go-to. But this summer I wanted to break the non-fiction habit a bit and dive into a good story or two. I’ve read that reading good stories makes you a better writer, and I’m interested in that, so…
Of the novels I read this summer, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager was my favorite. (Side note: it is not pure as the driven snow as it does have a little language sprinkled in it, so if that’s a deal breaker for you, consider this deal broken.) The story is enthralling and a total page-turner. The premise: Woman returns as a teacher, years later, to the summer camp she attended as a young girl…the one where her cabin-mates all disappeared and were never found. As I read, I wasn’t sure if I could trust the narrator or not (suspenseful!) and it kept me glued to the very last page (literally!).
4 – Searching for the right therapist is worth it. Don’t settle.
I am a BIG proponent of getting counseling when you find yourself needing help sorting out the messiness that is life. (I am also a proponent of taking meds if you need to, but that’s another post for another time. I believe you can simultaneously love Jesus AND receive help from doctors and/or a therapist. Hallelujah.) BUT, that doesn’t mean that just any therapist will do. Nope. You need to find one with the right personality, the right temperament, and the right methodology. I had to try a few before I found the right one for me. She’s a truth-telling, Jesus-loving, holds-no-punches, asks-hard-questions counselor who also enjoys snarky humor and literature. That she also has a dog as her “assistant” is absolutely delightful to me and I am there for it!
So keep in mind, if you’re not really connecting with your therapist, try another. Don’t settle! Your mental health is too important.
5 – Procrastinating can rob you of actual, hard-earned money. Please learn from my mistake!
Mom gave up driving once she moved into Assisted Living this summer, so my family has taken to driving her little green Civic around town. It’s so zippy! I knew the tag needed to be renewed, but kept putting it off. The first time I was pulled over for it (yep…), I received a warning. The second time I was pulled over, not so much. Got my very first ticket, y’all! That is just money down the drain. And all I had to do was get online and purchase her new tag. (Shaking my head as I type…) So simple. Mercy. Go ye therefore and don’t put off things like I did!
Now I wonder…what did YOU learn this summer?
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