Words for Wednesday | What’s Underneath the Surface

My favorite childhood book!

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle sits at the top of the list of my all time favorite books!  
I remember first checking the book out at my elementary school library and staying up waypast my bedtime unable to put it down. 

With school starting back up I decided to reread it again and came upon this quote:

People are more than just the way they look.”  -Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time


A wonderful truth for a middle schooler to read and absorb and yet it remains true for this middle ageish adult as well.  

People are more than the way they look. And as our kids begin their classes and meet new classmates we encourage them to make new friends, to see beyond the way a kid looks.  

Just like our kids, we are meeting new fellow parents at parent information meetings such as sports, PTA, and meet your teacher. Are we also making new friends and looking beyond the exterior?

If I’m honest, I categorize and judge  fellow parents too…the crossfit stay at home mom, the stressed out executive, the car pool mom who’s in charge of everything…and I put up my wall,  my defenses and rest easy in my smug judgment of others.

This quote nudges me to remember that people are more than just  the way they look and extend a warm smile, an offer of grace and or friendship as we weather all the beginning of school year meetings and endless paperwork to sign. 

Have you caught yourself judging other parents?  Do you reread favorite books too?  What about this quote challenges you today?  I’d love to keep the conversation going!  Join me in the comments!

What I Learned in July

What I Learned in July

  

Beary representing ‘Murica!
  
July is the jewel of Summer and begins with fireworks and seemingly endless long sunlight days and languid lightening bug summer nights.  

Unbelievably, July is now at an end, and for us, the end of summer break. The end of July has collapsed into muggy, humid and insufferable days here in Kentucky. #LordHaveMercy #sorryJuly

So, I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman and friends sharing what I’ve learned this July.

1.  4th of July fireworks  in a rainstorm still    sparks joy!

Soggy viewing of Nashville’s fireworks!
 

Although less than optimal conditions, we joined the crush of humanity down on Broadway and watched the 30 plus minutes of fireworks and, had a blast!  I’m learning to let go of outcomes, (thanks Emily P. Freeman via Simply Tuesday) and it’s freeing!

2.  Empty Nest is a Real Thing!

So many shades of gray in bath mats!

Dorm shopping is not for the faint of heart (so many choices, so many price points) and we accomplished it in one week’s time. I’m so excited for this new chapter but totally unprepared for the rush of emotions that hit me in the middle of an aisle at Target where I had to hold back tears.   

As a stepmom, I came in the middle of my stepdaughter’s childhood, but these last seven years have sped by and I realized how many of her major developmental milestones I’ve witnessed. 

My only advice to parents trudging through 4th grade homework, arguing over teeth brushing and showers, and attending endless school assembly programs is enjoy it now.  This time passes too quickly.  Such a cliche but so much truth. 

Embrace the drudgery and exhaustion because one day you might have a breakdown in Target’s storage section. 

3. I’m late to the podcast party!

 

A partial list of what’s up on my podcast app. Not shown are Hopeologie and The Influence Network!
   
Many of you already know about podcasts, but for those who do not, podcasts are simply audio recordings of interviews/discussions on any topic/person.  Like how do ocean currents work?  Helen Hunt’s storytelling process, why reading aloud to your kids matters, etc.  They are free (!) and informative besides entertaining!

Somehow I thought the only way one could listen to podcasts were via a desktop computer. But no, iTunes (and other podcast apps) allow one to download the podcast onto your iPhone where you can listen as you go! Yay!

I listen to podcasts when I go for a walk, a long drive or household chores. I especially love finding interviews of favorite authors or bloggers and their insights. 

4. Water is necessary for life. (My husband is a Rockstar)

The beginning of the dig…

We lost water pressure to our house and after checking with neighbors realized we had a leak somewhere on our property. Not so much fun considering our house sits way back from the road and smack dab in the middle of muggy July.  So, after a few miserable days without water we found the break in the line near an outside field faucet, and my  husband began digging.   

That’s alot of digging!!

The culprit…tree roots. And, after a quick trip to the plumber’s supply store, my rockstar husband fixed it for $9!  I’ve never been so happy to take a shower in my own house or flush a toilet!  

5. Madeleine L’Engle is a Kindred Spirit.  

 

So good and timely!
 

I kept seeing this book pop up on Emily P. Freeman’s blog and social media and finally broke down and ordered it as the local library didn’t have a copy. 

I’m so glad I bought my own because I’ve underlined and written on every page. This book came to me at the right time…a book for your soul, for the writer and for the follower of Jesus. I’m such a huge fan of her books but now I’m even more fascinated by her life and insights into writing and God. 

6.  This Quote.  

-Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve seen this quote countless times but when I recently posted it to my social media, it took off and resonated with others as well.   Here’s what I posted with my hand lettering quote:

How many times have you compared yourself against someone else?  You’re robbing yourself of joy, you know that, right?  We each have different talents and gifts and that’s a good thing!! Celebrate your ordinariness and smallness (remember nothing impresses God) and thank Him for what He has given you!

The above insight is a synthesis of life events, Emily P. Freeman’s Simply Tuesday (releasing in 2 weeks!) and my sweet Mama!

What did you learn in July?  Comment below!!