September first seems like a long time ago. These days have been filled. I have done much, read much, learned much. Here’s a little peek into my life these past 30 days:
What I Learned
Walking is hard (and maybe I have an achievement complex)
I have been experiencing a lot of knee pain lately, so my regular running habits have been put on hold and I am walking instead. And choosing to walk and move slower and accomplish less in terms of miles and calorie burning is hard for me. I think it has to do with my drive to achieve. So Jesus and I have been working on that lately and I am learning (slowly) that my worth and identity has nothing to do with how many miles I can run. (I did run a half marathon on that bum knee though. So send me your accolades ASAP.) (Ok, still working on this.)
Good fiction can be as good a teacher as non-fiction
I’ve tended to non-fiction most of my adult life. I love sitting down with a book on Christian Living, highlighter in hand and journal open to scratch down inspiring words. But lately I’ve stumbled upon some amazing works of fiction that have made me want to live better and opened my eyes to truth and beauty. Stories are powerful tools. (I read some great fiction this summer if you’re interested in my reading list.)
Community is built slowly and unnoticeably.
We’re just starting our third year in this little town, and my slow friend-making tendencies have been as active as ever. I keep hoping for a great connection to be made and at last have a tight friend group in this town. And it hasn’t quite happened that way. But as we gathered together with our church for a potluck on Sunday, and then again with the entire town (yeah, 3,000 people) for a community dinner on Monday, I noticed how much more connected I felt this year than I did last year. Sometimes you click right away with your people and sometimes,after months of faithfully showing up, you realize you have found a place in your community.
I love changing seasons
I was so sad to see summer leave, but every part of fall has got me mesmerized. I love that God created our world with seasons and I love that I live in a place that has all four in full glory.
Having a mantra for Autumn has helped me focus my time and make decisions
So I crafted together a few words and phrases to live by in these next weeks and months. They serve as boundaries for me as I move throughout my days, giving me guidelines for my choices. I’ve unpacked them here, in my Autumn Mantra series.
What I Read
Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs
I loved Annie’s authentic words and honest stories. She shares some of her own journey to bravery and encourages her readers to also choose the path of courage – whether it looks like moving to another country, staying put, or choosing healthy options for your body.
The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and “Women’s Work” by Kathleen Norris
A short, but packed little manual on ordinary, daily life. (My favorite subject.) Kathleen Norris uses a scholarly and monastic approach to valuing the mundane tasks of dishes, laundry, and bathing, and I am so thankful these truths are in writing.
The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith
This book has been on my shelf for years – and it is my goal this year to either read or get rid of all the books I own but haven’t read. I used this in my personal devotions as it went through attributes of God and what that means for us as His children. It is set up for a group study, so if you are looking for material for a small group or Bible study this would be a good choice.
I have been very careful about the books I choose to buy, as I am running out of bookshelf space. But I had a feeling this was an important one to own, and I was right. It is a beautiful series of short essays contemplating the hurry disease we are so susceptible to, choosing to slow down, and seeking presence in these precious moments that make up life. I will read this again. And maybe again after that.
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
I appreciate Michael Hyatt’s step by step approach to growing your business, product, or platform. I do think that I gain more from his podcast than this book, but this had some helpful ideas in getting your voice heard in this noisy world.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Among my favorite works of fiction I have ever read. After a gym accident, 39-year-old Alice wakes up thinking she is 29, happily married, and pregnant with her first child. As the story unfolds she realizes she is missing 10 years of memories and her life is much different than she envisioned it would be. I loved the relatibility of the story, the endearing characters, and the way it stirred provoking questions in me about shaping yourself into the person you want to become.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
This children’s story definitely deserved its Newberry award. My sister handed this sweet book about a gorilla who loves yogurt raisins and a baby elephant he promised to save and said I would like it. She was right. I especially loved the style of writing – short spurts of characters thoughts and observations.
The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary
Beverly Cleary has never failed to disappoint me, ever since reading Ramona the Pest at age five. She has a talent for creating engaging stories around the most normal, everyday life circumstances. This was delightful and sweet.
What I’m Into
I’m great at morning routines, but the evenings are normally haphazard attempts at getting to bed at a decent time. I’ve incorporated evening yoga, dimmed lighting, relaxing music, time for journaling, and a little fiction reading into the last few hours of the day and I’m loving this wind down time.
Following Bullet Journalers on Instagram
Have you guys seen the good bullet journalers work? It is amazing and inspiring. I am slowly inserting some of the ideas of bullet journaling into my way of keeping track of the days, but it is nothing like what the experts do.
I’ve watched this TV series here and there over the years, but my husband and I are currently going through it and let me just tell you that our laughter has increased ten-fold. This is my kind of humor.
It is absolutely worth the extra money to have unlimited access to music WITH NO DUMB COMMERCIALS. I’m loving all the playlists already on there – especially the Disney ones – and I love compiling my own playlists for all my different musical moods.
What did you learn in September? Any good books read this month? What have you been into lately? I’d love to hear – Comment below!