August, you were so good to me, in the most mundane-life doesn't feel like it's moving-lazy way possible.
We binged watched Parenthood like it was going to expire at the end of the month. We had a couple of days / nights out with friends. We saw new things, enjoyed friendships, poured ourselves out into indoor activities because it was so darn hot out. We received a beautiful package from a friend and helped my sister make a last minute gift for her best friends bridal shower. We spent a little bit of time truly focusing on the folks in the nursing home and since we were social media free, we were able to really engage in the conversation. Not only with the older folks though. Because there was a lot of time waiting (in grocery checkouts, in waiting rooms, in traffic) we were more open to communicating with those around us, even though they are but strangers. We now know that the cashier at Stop and Shop has another part time job and that the guy at the deli counter doesn't like peppers (but he does enjoy that pasta salad we recently discovered, despite the abundance of peppers in it).
Though these little details aren't really important, they really actually are.
This past month you have helped me be more open and observant to the world around me. I've seen things that have warmed my heart and also things that really upset me. I saw the simplicity of nature as birds and butterflies danced around my daily pursuits. I saw hearts everywhere. Literally everywhere. In the clouds, at church, on the ground, in leafs, etc. I actually lost track of all the places the hearts kept popping up.
I knew then just as much as I do now, that was God's love. That was His reminder that I'm seen and known - despite my emotions that feel the polar opposite. My eyes were open and I suddenly didn't just see a bunch of trees, but I saw the many colors that God had painted those trees. The different shades of green cued me in that I was seeing with new eyes. The way I noticed those pretty pops of yellow and orange blended in, for trees that are not watered enough begging for fall to rush in. Begging for the chance to release all that's weighing them down.
I felt that same way. I felt the pressure lifted off my shoulders. The need to press in rather than push forward. I felt the slow but steady release of expectations I placed on myself and instead rested in God's Sovereignty.
I can't say it was always easy. There was the mini-identity crisis in week one. There were the painful health issues and doctors visits and the scary unknown. There are things still left undiscussed and that's all still very real.
Yet, ultimately, my time was in God's hands. Each day, whether I was pursuing Him or watching yet another episode of Parenthood, He was setting the cadence of my days. Mostly unrushed and solitary. But it was all so perfect despite where I feel it lacked all I dreamed of. I didn't read a million books, but I did read the book of 1 Samuel. I didn't chase God as hard or diligently as I should have, but I was always aware of His presence with me.
Now September is here and it's ushered in with it new beginnings and hopes for me. I have a trip to the Influence Conference coming up later this month. Then I get to see my beautiful sister in law and my brother in Chicago and I'm so looking forward to giving them both a big hug. I have projects and dates already being booked up on my calendar. Last night I had a dream that I had no dates left on the calendar before my trip and I was panicked. So I'm going to do the best I can to keep my schedule wide-open so it can be filled in with last minute - spontaneous things. With friends and family and festivals and apple picking. (This WILL be the year I apple pick for the first time, please someone!!!) More time with friends who pursue me as much as I pursue them and less time with the busy to-do list that doesn't matter at the end of the month anyways.
September, you are beautiful and I can't wait to embrace you. August, thank you for all you taught me and showed me.