What August has taught me

514412697My last post was about how the world seems to be spinning at rapid speed and how most of us do not take enough time to enjoy the present and slow down. So, in the spirit of that, I want to take time to reflect on the month of August and a few things I have learned and/or discovered. It ranges from the deeper things of life to the not so much.

#1 Jillian Michaels kicks my tail every.single.time.

  I have been doing her Yoga Meltdown dvd for a few years now….not consistently of course. Every time I think I got this, the woman yells at me from the t.v. and tells me “Do NOT phone this in!!!” Ugh. I believe she can see my half attempts from her studio. She knows. She always knows. And yet I’m thankful the next day feeling the soreness (which means I worked something, right?) and stiffness. I may not accomplish much during the day, but at least I finished a 30 minute workout video for what that’s worth.

#2 I am learning to be an advocate for my son even when it might annoy others. 

My son started a new school this year and because of his special needs I felt a huge amount of worry. I want his teachers and therapists to understand him, to know his strengths and weaknesses. They will over time, but I wanted it to happen right out of the gate. When it comes to someone else taking care of him, I am not relaxed about it. I need to know your credentials and experience, etc. So I emailed his teacher and did ask her those things in the most polite way I knew how. She was very nice about it and answered my questions. Communication is key, I realize. I have gathered his therapists emails and contacted them and I may ask a lot of questions but I figure we all need to be on the same page anyway. This shy girl who would prefer to “go with the flow” and keep her head down is learning to be a voice these days.

IMG_3825#3 Hannah More is an amazing woman that I wish more people knew about.

I recently finished reading Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior. It is a biography on Hannah More and it. is. incredible!!! There are few books in my life that are truly life changing and this is one of them. Hannah was the female counterpart to William Wilberforce during Great Britain’s abolition movement. While he focused on the political reform to end the slave trade, she worked the social and cultural scene to show how uncivilized trading humans like cattle was. One of my favorite quotes from her is: “It should be held as an eternal truth, that what is morally wrong can never be politically right” (136). I guess also because it draws for me such strong parallels to the cultural war we face today on abortion. One quote from the author in which I could not help but think about infanticide (i.e. abortion) is: “The social conscience had drawn a veil over the horrific business of trade in human flesh. The veil had to be lifted” (125).  It is an inspiring read, plus there are fancy sounding names like the Bluestocking Circle and the Clapham Sect that I want to resurrect somehow.

#4 It is okay to ask for prayer.

Recently I had a dear friend over and we visited for quite a while. As she was getting ready to go home, I felt a strong sense from the Spirit to ask for prayer. The kind of feeling that you know you need to obey. Here is a little of the inner dialogue that went on in my heart: Spirit: Ask for prayer. Me: What? I’ve got this. She has enough on her plate, I don’t need to bother her with my struggles. Spirit: Ask for prayer. Me: But she’s about to leave and its too much to explain and I’ll just wait for another time. Spirit: Ask for prayer.

So I actually had to swallow my (pride? fear?) and with a dose of courage ask her for prayer on a certain issue. Asking another brother or sister in Christ to pray for you or with you can sometimes be hard, especially if the request leaves you feeling very, very vulnerable. It is also humbling, which is apparently what I needed as well. But we share in each other’s burdens as well as each other’s joys, right? Not only are we blessed by their prayers, it allows them an opportunity to minister.

515831109#5 Celebrate Tuesdays.

This one comes from a book that I’m currently reading called Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman. I would also recommend this. I’m not done with it yet, but the idea is to celebrate our smallness and the small things that God has planned for us. She writes: “We don’t have to worry that embracing smallness will shrink our impact […] In all our small ways, it is Christ who makes it possible for us to move through our lives, believing and trusting he is establishing his kingdom-sized purposes within and around us” (37). Emily talks about how Tuesday seems to be the day that is just squished in the week without given much thought. It is just a Tuesday, not a weekend day, or a Friday, or the middle of the week, or the start of the work week. It’s just…..small, simple, little Tuesday. She encourages her readers to appreciate the ordinary times, especially in our fast moving world and live our lives for Jesus in those moments as well.

On an end note to celebrate more Tuesdays, I had breakfast at a cafe this past Tuesday by myself and thoroughly enjoyed it! I had a crepe for the first time, stuffed with blueberries, strawberries, and bananas with honey drizzled on the top and a side of whipped cream. My eyes were the size of Montana when I saw that thing! And it was heavenly of course. Top it off with a vanilla latte in a Friends-sized coffee cup and I could have floated to Paris.

And if we really want to get started about celebrating Tuesday, this one coming up just so happens to be this girl’s birthday. So, yeah, I’ll keep up the tradition, at least until next Tuesday.

Grace upon grace,

April

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