What I’m Learning—Summer Edition 2019

Summer wasn’t what I expected this year.

It held some surprises, some study, and a crazy-big bunch of slowness.

Despite a diminished speed of motion, I’m realizing there was still a lot to glean from this season of Sabbath.

No.1 I need creative outlets AND rest

Being creative, whether this looks like writing, taking pictures, or prettying up my home, is not something I can set on the back burner long without feeling like something very important is missing in my life.

I do need a regular break from productivity, but pushing it too far can lead to restlessness instead of the very rest I am seeking.

No. 2 Kindness is alive

We live in a world that loves to be loud about the hatred, violence, anger, and prejudice that exists. (And it does exist. Thrives, even.) But we’re not as quick to shout about the goodness, the loveliness, and the beauty that also exists.

I experienced some of it firsthand this summer, on multiple occasions, and I wrote a tad about it on Instagram.

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There is one R A C E , and it’s human. . Yesterday on the way into Atlanta, one of our tires went flat. A man driving a box truck drove alongside of us, calling out his window, until we figured out what was wrong. Another man stopped soon after we did, to offer help. A few minutes later, another man stopped, and got on the ground to jack up the vehicle with his own equipment, when our jacks weren’t working. . I say all this because I noticed something about these three kind people—each one of them was a different ethnicity. Multiple shades of skin, cultural backgrounds, purposes for the day, and belief systems stood on the side of the road in the sun, helping to get a vehicle back on the highway. . Not one of the three had to help us. Not one of them had to take precious time and energy out of their day, and give it away to strangers. But they did. . Don’t believe everything you hear in the news about the political scene and the state of humanity. Yes, there is injustice, and yes there is hatred, and evil, and prejudice. . But so does love, generosity, and kindness. They hide themselves, in the quiet corners, and off the main drag, and under the interstate overpass. They don’t grab attention like slurs and gunshots. But love is there, and it’s real. In the end, it will surely triumph.

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No. 3 Walmart grocery pickup is the best thing since Walmart

I mentioned this in one of my emails to subscribers, and it’s so true I’m sayin’ it again. Ordering online and letting kind people put my groceries in my car for me has changed the workload of my week, as well as lowered my stress levels. For some reason, on some days, going into the grocery store feels like a very intimidating feat. I’ll gladly trade 8 minutes of time on my phone for 40 in the store, thankyaverymuch.

No. 4 Panera’s macaroni-and-cheese is my newest love language

Trust me, I am fluent in many love languages—coffee and empty kitchen sinks especially speak to me. But I became reacquainted with the lovely, creamy, white-cheddar-y goodness that is Panera’s mac’n’cheese this summer, and I have fallen hard.

Can’t say I’ve met many pastas that I didn’t like. Add cheese, and you’re treading the threshold of culinary perfection. This Italian girl approves.

No. 5 Saying the words out loud can bring peace

I feel like I’ve been learning this for a long, long time, but every time I act on it, either in the company of God or the presence of another safe heart, I’m reminded of the power in it.

Simply putting words to the pain is a healing operation. Naming the fatigue or the disappointment, whether large or small, calls out the fears hiding in the wings, and can be the first step in boo-ing them off the stage.

No. 6 Brushing teeth is no simple task for toddlers

Seriously. He. Can’t. Not. Swallow. The. Toothpaste. *insert facepalm emoji here, plus a robot voice saying “This does not compute” *

He’ll figure it out before he’s fifteen, right? Right.

No. 7 Had I known how happy a new haircut would make me, I would have done it so very long ago

I think it’s probably illegal to state on the internet that you got a haircut, and not provide a picture, so…you’re welcome!

What about you? What have you learned this summer? Share in the comments below.

This post is one of many shared by a community of writers who meet up every quarter on Emily P. Freeman’s blog, to trade what we’ve learned. Check it out here.

8 thoughts on “What I’m Learning—Summer Edition 2019”

  1. I keep hearing about the Walmart pick up alternative and thinking I need to try it. It may actually be the answer to my shopping cart rage problem!
    And THANK YOU for saying out loud the thing about brushing kids’ teeth! I’m on to the grandparenting round now, and whenever I have to put them to bed, I think,”How did I do this with four kids?? When did they learn to spit??”


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