Can someone please explain to me how August felt like the longest, dragged-out month ever where I was in disbelief when the 17th day wasn’t the 30th day, while simultaneously feeling like it flew by too? Time is unreal, or maybe it’s the fact that August tends to be one of the most dreaded months of the year since new things and rhythms tend to start back up and throw everyone off the rails. My August was full of squeezing in the last of summer fun, an unexpected and unappreciated cold, and settling into the schedule of new activities. I had to say a really hard goodbye at the start of this month, but so much encouragement found me along the way, and I’m grateful for it. Here’s what kept me going in August!
What I did
Went to my university’s day with the Atlanta Braves. Going to events hosted by my alma mater is my absolute favorite thing to partake in now that I’m an alumna. It’s so fun getting together with my college friends who live all over the state and joining in the camaraderie with other Georgia Southern people! This month there was a Georgia Southern day at an Atlanta Braves game, and it was so wonderful having my college roommates here, getting together and seeing old classmates, and meeting new friends. We’ve decided to trademark the white tank top + denim short combo as “The Sunday Uniform” (shoutout to my friend Cassidy for coming up with that name). We all especially LOVED the co-branded hat we got too!
Tried my hand at ax throwing (and was actually really good at it!). Two years ago I saw a terrifying video of a girl throwing an ax at one of these ax throwing places, and it hit the corner where the wall met the floor at the perfect position to come flying back at her. That day I swore I’d never go ax throwing in my life (even though I knew the likelihood of that actually happening was very slim). However, I have good friends who challenge me to face my fears, so I went with her to go throw axes for an hour and ended up having a great time! I hit the bullseye multiple times and even worked hard to put lots of marks on a blank spot on the wood.
Had a photoshoot in the street. I’ve always wanted to have a photoshoot in a field of sunflowers, so when I saw one while driving around a few weeks back I was so excited thinking, “the time has finally come!” I looked at inspiration for photos on Pinterest, played around with some camera settings, and brought a friend along to go take some sunflower pictures. Unfortunately by the time we set out to find the field, we couldn’t even find it because all of the sunflowers had d i e d. BUT we did end up driving down this lovely backcountry road and stopped to take some photos there since we were all dressed up and ready to be photographed. We still think the pictures turned out lovely!
Celebrated my friend Rachel’s birthday. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Provino’s (did you know they give you a free dinner and dessert on your birthday?!) and then went back to her place to give her presents. I gifted her with a book I accidentally ordered two copies of for myself (haha whoops), and another friend and I got her a pair of Airpods! I’ve been holding on to them for months waiting for her birthday to give them to her, and her reaction when she opened them was so worth the wait!
House/pet sat for some friends. I have never been an animal or pet person, but I’ve very recently become a *good dog person, meaning I’m only a fan of a dog if it is mostly well-behaved and doesn’t jump on or lick me too much. Some friends of mine from church needed someone to stay in their home to care for their dog and make sure she didn’t tear up the house with having less than 4 people there all the time like she’s used to. My staying at their house by myself with the dog is truly a testament to how the Lord is growing me in my desire and ability to serve others and help meet their needs, especially when it’s out of my comfort zone. Needless to say, we survived and had lots of fun together!
What I discovered
You’re Not Crazy podcast. Two of my favorite pastors have started a podcast together, so I knew I had to give this one a listen. Its main goal is to be an encouragement to pastors to remind them that they’re not crazy for pursuing pastoral ministry in a time (in America) where it seems that our country’s culture is growing more and more post-Christian. Even though it’s directed towards pastors, I’ve found it to be insightful and encouraging for me as well.
What made me smile
Making plans to look forward to. I started a course last year at the beginning of quarantine called The Science of Well-Being, and I remember learning that one of the things that make experiences so great and enjoyable is the anticipation of whatever it is you’re looking forward to. As we get closer to the end of the year and my vacation time is still needing to be used before it gets here, I’m making loose travel and activity plans that will turn into solid plans that are keeping me going and giving me much anticipation and excitement!
What I wrote down
Can you believe this is only *half of what I wrote down this past month that spoke to me?? I had to say a hard goodbye at the beginning of this month, so these quotes really found their way to me at the best time.
“The most certain path to discontentment is holding God hostage to outcomes He never promised. It’s like waiting in the rain for a bus that’s never coming!” – John Onwuchekwa
“The God we serve only and ever gives the BEST in every season. He is not doing the least of anything in your life.” – Lore Ferguson Wilbert
“It’s okay to be sad after making the right decision.”
“May you remember it is God who keeps, who does not slumber or sleep, and you can rest in Him.” – Lore Ferguson Wilbert
“All shall work together for good; everything is needful that God sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds.” – John Newton
“The sad thing about relationships is that they don’t happen in a snowglobe. There is no way to bottle them at a moment where it’s really good and keep it like that forever.” – Hannah Brencher
“The long haul is the realm my Lord loves to walk in. He’ll meet me there.” – Christine Keegan
“God’s plans for you aren’t limited to the plans He has for someone else.” – Lore Ferguson Wilbert
“God’s best always knows exactly what we need to live a life that is fully surrendered to Him. He always knows exactly what disappointments we need to produce the perseverance, character, and hope that enables us to run a strong race to our forever home.” – Susannah Baker
“God never gives guidance for two steps at a time. I must take one step, and then I get light for the next. This keeps the heart in abiding dependence upon God.” – C.H. Mackintosh
“To give is to remember you’re not empty, not alone, not without an offering. To receive is to remember you aren’t a superhero. And to love is to remember you belong here.” – Everyday Abundance, Magnolia Journal, Fall 2021
“I’m beginning to see that much of prayer is grieving.” – Henri Nouwen
“It doesn’t negate the hard if we share a little gladness. There’s room for all of it.” – Amber Haines
“May I have the courage to let go of the plan or vision I set out with so that I can recognize the good and different thing actually emerging in and through me.” – Justin McRoberts
“We are being made whole, even as we are being stretched.” – Christine Keegan
Where I saw God
I came down with a summer cold halfway through August, and it really knocked me out for a week. Since I hardly ever get sick, when I do I am actually pitiful (to my standards – I’m actually not that bad). While I was feeling physically miserable and unmotivated to do anything I spent some time thinking about how well I was still managing to take care of myself — make all my meals, keep the house relatively tidy, get my work done — I was actually pretty impressed with myself when I took the time to think about it. I had this thought, “No one will ever take care of me as well as I take care of myself,” but then, only a few moments later, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my soul, “No one will ever love or care for you better than God does,” and I can’t even describe how much peace and comfort that gave me. I always find it so interesting (and perhaps kind) how God has used suffering of varying levels in my life to reveal truths about Himself to me. What a gift.
What I’m looking forward to
Fall is officially coming next month, and I am SO READY to say goodbye to this uncomfortable Georgia heat and allll of the mosquitoes. Every Saturday in September has something to attend, from arts and crafts festivals to art exhibits to travels, and I could not be more excited. I can feel myself resurrecting from my reading rut, and I’m planning to (slowly) get into a consistent running and exercise rhythm. So many things to look forward to – the anticipation has me giddy!