9.04.2018

What I Learned | Summer 2018


Man oh man, I can't believe it is time for this again! We had a blast this summer traveling, swimming, and spending lots of time with family. I love the summer but I welcome the fall with open arms. Here are some things I learned this summer:

Garden.
We planted a garden this summer with our friends the Stofferans! This was our first time planting a full garden, but that didn't stop us from going big. We had a pretty good time planning this thing out and getting it all planted. When it all started coming up we had tomatoes, green beans, beets, cucumbers, 5 kinds of squash, peas, and lots and lots of weeds! We managed to get some produce out of it, but I'm not sure we will want to do it again next year.

Eve.  I just finished reading the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. It is all about the heart and mystery of women. I love word studies (which seemed to be a little bit of a theme this summer), so I found chapter 2 of this book very interesting! "When God creates Eve, he calls her ezer kenegdo. ... Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are 'helper' or 'companion' or the notorious 'help meet'. ... The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately. ...  A better translation therefore for ezer would be 'lifesaver'. Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, or counterpart." Yes, yes, and yes! Thank you God for creating women to be powerful, lifesaving forces.

"But God,". I did a study on Ephesians with our Empower women's group this summer and in it I learned how the words "but God" are some of the greatest words in the Bible. God shows up and decides to act on our behalf. No one else could have done it, no one else would have done it... but God.

Isaiah loves music. He attempts to sing along when we are in the car to pretty much any song that comes on. It's the cutest thing. He is always a little bit behind, but he gives his best effort!

Everybody, Always. I just adore Bob Goff. If you have read his books, you probably do too. I seriously want to be him when I grow up. I am working towards the end of his newest book Everybody, Always that is all about loving difficult people. He has a chapter about skydiving that is phenomenal. He talks about when our parachute (or our life) gets tangled and we need to cut loose (so we can be a new creation). It might look good for a while, but we won't land well. "It's usually not the initial failure that takes any of us out; it's the bounce. ... The second hit is what follows when things go massively wrong or we fail big, and the people we thought would rush to us create distance instead. They express disapproval or treat us with polite indifference. If we want to be like Jesus, here's our simple and courageous job: Catch people on the bounce. when they mess up, reach out to them with love and acceptance the way Jesus did. When they hit hard, run to them with your arms wide open to hug them even harder."

Gratitude. I have started a gratitude journal after being inspired by a sermon at Church. When I have an attitude of gratitude and live into the love God pours out on me, I can love others better. I write 5 things every night that I am thankful for before I go to bed to help align my heart with this attitude. "When we accept God's overwhelming love for us, then it overflows out of me to others."- Chris Ver Steeg

Norah has a big personality. She tries to cross her eyes but it looks more like an eye roll. Her tantrums look like her laying on the floor in protest. She will point a finger at you when she is bossing you or giving a piece of her mind. Her hair sometimes sticks straight up out of her pony accompanied by her blonde curls in the back. And she has the best, and most contagious, belly laugh in the whole world.

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