Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What I Learned in July (and a Few Days in August)

1.  Slowing Down is a Really Nice Thing to Do

I bought Hubby rocking chairs for the back porch for his birthday.  Does this mean we're old?  He mentioned he wanted some more patio furniture and I noticed he had been sitting in the porch swing with some regularity so I suggested it and we shopped together for something we both liked.  We've enjoyed them some together in the evenings, but I've really used the rocker in the mornings!  We were home quite a bit in July and we had some beautiful weather - especially mornings.  We even had rain to watch and enjoy.  A normal time on the porch went like this:  Sit and watch the going-ons around me, just be, and ponder; let the dog back in and then let her back out less than a minute later to sit on the porch near me or lay in a flower bed; check the weather for the day; read something in Proverbs, Psalms, and the New Testament - pray while I'm reading it; pray for pressing situations; check Facebook and make a response or two; pray for friends on FB; sit and be a few minutes more and then go inside to face the day.

This morning I was thinking about this slowing down thing.  I watched bees for a while.  Many of them flew around the crepe myrtle and then the huge-est one I've ever seen flew around the grass and then the porch.  I was really thankful that I wasn't a flower!  Today was my last day of slowing down - Monday I "report for duty".  Once we I was telling Hubby how much I've been enjoying the porch I asked him how I could keep doing it once school started.  He suggested getting up earlier.  Eeeewwwww.

2.  I can snorkel!!

I cannot swim.  Well for any substantial length of time and I absolutely do not like getting my face wet!  I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking (except I knew he'd enjoy it), but I booked a kayak, snorkel, beach time excursion for Hubby and I when we went on our just the two of us cruise.

I made it completely clear to guide that I was a non-swimmer (maybe I was thinking he'd let me out of this part).  The guide said that wasn't a problem - he brought a ring and I held on the whole time!!  I only had a little bit of panic when I saw how far away from shore we were getting and my life vest wasn't blown up.  Hubby quickly fixed that.  As soon as learned how to blow the salt water out of my mouth through the snorkel life was good.  I saw all kinds of fish and they swam right under me!  We saw a conch, some stick looking crab, coral and the opening of caves.  My favorite part was watching Hubby dive down to take a closer look!  I'm so thankful I didn't let fear get in the way - of this or the kayaking.  We also enjoyed some time on the beach and eating the best mango ever!


3.  No two summers look the same.

I guess I'm feeling this summer ended more quickly than I remember last doing.  And I didn't complete as many items on the summer bucket list (though Aunt told me I should include the do kind of items like cleaning out the closet).

But here goes, this is what I DID complete:  read Captivating, complete extra work (two projects), tour the new apartments in town, run again (just a bit), pick blueberries, Parade of Homes (just two houses), clean out the game closet, and read 10 books.  I did drive some with M. and give the dog more attention (we took her to the dog wash each time we picked her up at the kennel too), but not nearly enough to count.

If you'd like to see the actual list, click here.  Mentioned in that post were a mission trip and football conditioning and Hubby's new position.  Trip went great and L. made it to conditioning (except when he was gone or I forgot and slept in).  Actual practice starts Monday.  Hubby has made the transition - his work replacement is here now with his family and settling in the job.  Hubby has participated in some recruitment and conferences for his new job and is gearing up for the fall semester.  It's been a welcome transition for me to - to have him around the house some in the mornings!

We got to see my niece and nephew a couple of times (quickly) in Texas.

The boys saw their Albuquerque grandparents and went to Durango.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review - A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Mosley

A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Mosley

I was so excited to get this book so I would have something with paper pages to read on my cruise.  It was a perfect summer read for me – not too light and not too heavy.  After reading a lot of bad reviews for this book too, I was anxious to find out for myself.

It was actually refreshing to not have the character’s faith all tied up in a neat package.  For most of the book both main characters are very cynical, but there is change and I can see how someone growing in their faith could benefit from seeing a character grow and change.  A mature believer should be able to handle a character grappling with faith issues.

Two of the books themes – forgiveness and sacrifice – have been coming up a lot lately in things that I’m reading.   I thought Mosley handled these themes in an honest way and although I haven’t personally dealt with the specific issues (besides death of a loved one), I’m sure that many have.  I did figure the mystery part out (except for a little tweak) part way through, but that didn’t make it less of a mystery or not worthy of a read.

Like I said – not too light and not too heavy.  It’s a good read.  I enjoyed the time and am glad I read A Stillness of Chimes.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.