Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Welcoming Beautiful July

If life were a garden, each new month would be a brand new flowering plant. Full of freshness, full of possibility, full of beauty. A gift from God ...

I always have this sense of awe, of excitement, when I turn the page on my calendar. Like a breath of fresh, new air ... for each new day, and each new month is a gift from God, a new season of our lives, a new chapter, with new possibilities to grow and learn from Him, and to let His love fill our lives and overflow into the lives of those around us.

And I always love to pause, and reflect at the start of a new month. Thinking back over the past month, and looking forward to the new month.

A glimpse into what my days look like at the beginning of July ...
  • My dear hubby and I are in the midst of a few weeks "off work" - choosing to take these "vacation days" at home this year. We're nearing the end of this time, and will soon be leaving for our every-other-year Cru Staff Conference in Colorado. We're looking forward to this time with other staff, and to learning and growing through the speakers and seminars!
  • We just had a most wonderful weekend with family here! A daughter and two of her children visited from TX (her husband and older two college-age children could not come this time). We had a very memorable few days with all four of our daughters here with their families (three daughters live nearby). Such a joy to have family filling our hearts and our home, and to have eight (of our ten) grandkids having so much fun together! Spending time with family just fills me with joy - all such a gift from God. (And we missed our two sons, on the east and west coasts, who were not able to come this time.) 

And a few glimpses into what is on my heart and mind in recent days/weeks ...
  • I am loving sharing short little devotional/inspirational thoughts several times each week on Instagram, and also here on my blog - something new for this season of blogging. You can read a bit about it on my updated Welcome Page
  • Rest ... is what I am being reminded of, and what I am growing in these recent months. Life can be so very busy, even in "empty nest" years, and I am grateful for God's reminders of rest. I am appreciating Bonnie Gray's brand new book, Whispers of Rest: 40 Days of God's Love to Revitalize Your Soul, slowly reading through it during these summer months.
  • Though prayer is of very high priority to me (connecting my heart to God and listening to His), actual intercessory prayer for others is sometimes a challenge for me. There are so many distractions when we set aside time to pray for others. I am thankful for a new little tool that I've been using in recent weeks. Maybe I will share about it here on the blog at a later date. 
  • I really do love this time of year, and the times spent outdoors. My hubby and I have been spending a lot of time together planting flowers, doing a bit of new landscaping in our yard, and caring for our little 10x30 foot veggie garden space. Besides our patio flower pots, we also have a few new little flower garden spots this year. I especially love our new hydrangea plant. And I love time spent out on our patio, sharing a meal together, and reading, relaxing.
  • It's also a joy to continue on with some organizing of my photos on my laptop ... and also to gather them together in digital scrapbook pages. I have quite a few pages to catch up with from the middle of May to the present, and maybe will finish some in the coming weeks. So many special memories! And also, it gives me a lot of joy to look back through photos I've taken in the past, as I look for those to use here on my blog. The photo above was taken last summer while we were on our Pacific Coast Trip ... these hanging flower pots were at the place we stayed at in Seaside, Oregon - so very beautiful! 
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I have loved writing this little post at the beginning of this month, just sharing a few things going on in my heart and life now - and hope it brought a little joy to you, as well, as you read it.

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