Don't look now but July is on it's way out the door! Yikes...summer is so sweet, why does it have to fly so?!
This month has been full with vacation trips to Toronto, Chicago, and St. Louis plus mini day getaways to the beach to swim, splash pad to cool off, and parks to play volleyball. It's the easy time of the year when all a mom has to do is say, "Go play!" and the kids are off to a million available options that winter just does not afford. Biking, basketball, neighborhood play pals, VBS, ...
Long hours in the car this month meant lots of reading for me, yay! Though I think it is far too easy (read: damaging) to buy books for kindle or ibook when it's done with one click. Great books for cheaper than the bookstore but a little too accessible for this impulsive reader/buyer! I hope to compile some thoughts from my favorite reads but you know that phrase about best intentions, yes? Any that you enjoyed this summer that you think I might? You are the only thing that stands between me and clicking away! :)
I'm grateful this month for good health. Though I still have my ups and downs, I'm a world away from the bed-ridden existence that was mine only a few years ago. I continue to marvel at the testimonies of people who continue to triumph despite their health challenges and I hope to learn and live the secret to balancing health and going for my dreams. Almost an oxymoron considering the energy burned in cooking up new schemes alone can be so exhausting!
Marveling at my maturing clan. Entering new stages with each child which often means new challenges but also new depth to our mother/child relationship. Without the constant pressure of academic work, our homeschooling has continued over the summer just the way I like it: teachable moments all in a day's work or play.
This month I lost two dear friends/neighbors to California. I'm excited to hear about their new adventures but there is still a part of me that hopes their part of the state falls into the Pacific just to teach them a (non life-threatening) lesson about deserting me. (Wait, did I just say that out loud?! ;) God in his mercy surprised me the last few weeks with encouraging chats with old friends and refreshing introductions to new ones. Looking forward to the fall and new open doors in regards to friendship and community.
On an end note, the picture above is more than a little out of focus. That's what you get when using a human tripod, you never know what you'll end up with! Even so, it's a perfect reminder of many things I learned on vacation and am learning alongside my family:
Zooming in, the flaws are blindingly obvious. But if you choose to squint your eyes a little and look through the veil your eyelashes provide, all you notice is the radiant smiles of a happy family who are enjoying the company of each other.
That squinty view? That's called the look of love through the lens of love. Choosing to see past the flaws and deeper into the heart of the subject. Past the disappointment. Past the offense. Past the comparisons.
Past all that and a quick right at forgiveness and you've arrived...home, with your loved ones all around. :)