As a former teacher I always knew once mid July was upon us, that back to school time was (literally!) just around the corner and here we are in August; gearing up for that inevitable time of the year. But before I get to the now and the impending future, I will take a moment to reflect on July; the throwbacks, the memories, the growth and a few birthdays too!
(I love this act of reflection and have been inspired to do so through Emily P Freeman’s blog where she hosts a monthly/seasonal link-up on ‘What I Have Learned’….check it out here!)
- Time goes faster with every child that you have! My baby boy turned two last month and it is so hard to believe that it went that fast!! While I struggled a bit at first having two children, instead of just one, it still was such a joyous time and one that I treasure. At times it felt that the days were long and I struggled to find happiness; I look back and see nothing but joy, and the quick passing of two years! I consider being a Mommy one of the greatest gifts and the fact that I became a Mommy with Paisley was such a life changing and exciting time, but that when Brantley came into our lives I actually think I appreciated being a Mommy even more! I knew it would go fast and I knew not to dwell on some of the things that I did when I had my first. I did not, however, know how much more fast the time would go when caring for two instead of one… #dontblink
- Water makes everything more fun! Sprinklers, splash pad, water tables and swimming pools too!! An essential part of summer; water provides so much entertainment! It seems that anytime I have added water to anything this summer it has added so much more smiles and laughter to our days and activities. I love watching these kiddos play together this summer and I knew a water table was the perfect gift for Brantley’s birthday! I love the simplicity of water fun! It keeps everyone cool, is not really messy (as a Type A momma I love this!) and it keeps the little ones busy for quite awhile! #score 🙂
- Sometimes you just need a #mombreak! Ok, so most days my to-do list is truly never ending. Even though I try to keep my daily to do lists to a minimum, because #overwhelm, I am still very much aware of all that needs to be done at some point. There are just some days though, that it is essential to toss it to the side and do something else. I look at it as filling my own cup and feeding my soul. It helps me to breathe, relax and let go. Even though my to do list isn’t getting checked off, I am releasing tension and gaining peace from something that brings me joy. #mombreak – totally a thing and totally necessary…maybe once a week, once a day even…when it helps you to be a happier, more calm and peaceful person and mom than it is totally worth it! #findyourjoy This month I found mine in coloring books and motivational podcasts…where did you find yours?
- Life DOES get better as you get older! My birthday was in July so that always offers a little more reflection on life; where I have been, where I am at and where I am going….while I still have ups and downs I am in a good place. It can be hard and frustrating to get there, but the path is there for a reason. The introspection and realization of what life is about and the whys do make getting older something to cherish. While our world and culture tend to focus on getting older as undesirable, I tend to think that the wisdom and peace that comes with it are so much more worthwhile than the craziness and pressure of being young(er). I truly value what my life has become and after 37 years of trying to figure myself out, I am finally in a place where I feel I am doing just that and I feel more at peace now than before. Life is all about finding where we are going and who we are called to be while we are here…it is a constant theme of life (the seasons of change and introspection), but the journey makes it all worth it. I recently wrote about letting go of past expectations, (which is and still is at times, a struggle for me and one that has brought me to where I am today) in my June devotional for the Our Words Collaborative site and have also published it here on the blog- click here to check it out!
- I can’t control everything….and I am not supposed to. I tend to shoulder a lot of anxiety and worry; I want to make things ‘better’ and ‘right’. But there is peace in knowing that this is not my job. Along with the above ‘letting go’ post, here is an Instagram post from where write my thoughts and recent realizations in this area: When Life Hands Me Complicated
- Community is a big part of home. Sometimes things come full circle…while I always felt a big sense of community when growing up and loved where I came from…it is so neat to see it from a parent’s perspective. While sitting at our town’s parade just a week ago, I was overcome with a sense of pride for where we are and where we came from; both my husband and I are from ‘small town’ communities that pride themselves on loyalty, kindness and being close knit. I was struck with gratitude at this upbringing and the ability to be able to also do the same for our children. I truly feel community is so important and such an essential part of growing up. The sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself is amazing and humbling; a blessing for sure. I love that both our town and our church offer this to us! If you don’t feel this I strongly urge you to find your community, because in that you will find a sense of purpose, love and home that you may be missing #findcommunity #findhome
- The gift of marriage is truly amazing! This summer my husband and I chose to focus more on our communication and relationship. We weren’t struggling necessarily, but had put our relationship to the side as a result of two littles and just life. We have been intentional with weekly date nights in, reading devotionals together and I chose to also read books on my own focused on wives blessing their husbands. This was just what we needed to get out of a ‘rut’, so to speak and put our marriage where it should be; as a priority. It isn’t always easy, but it is truly worth it and I have come to the realization, once again, how much of a gift marriage is and can be, but that it also doesn’t work well if the people in it don’t commit to working on it as well. Here are the various links to what we read and studied this last month or so: The Unveiled Wife (book I read), The Five Love Languages (book that I read and then we took the quiz/inventory together), The Husband Project (book I read),Awaken Love(devotional and DVD study that we did as a couple)
- Sibling Love and this photo….because seriously, doesn’t it just warm your heart? I am thinking we will have some major adjustments when school starts up again and these two will be away from each other for much of the weekday…*sigh* #readingtogether
Quote of the Month:
Reflecting on July, I am reminded of the importance of rest and taking care of myself. I had a harder time this summer being able to let myself rest and am still in the process of learning the importance of it. I know that in order to fill the cups of others I also need to fill my own. I also need to realize that I can not do it all, because in effect that will be doing nothing. Here is a quote from my recent summer series that I wrote as a reminder to myself, and as summer winds down and the school year begins I think it is still important to remember this…
As we move on from the season of summer into the school year beginnings and the cooler fall weather, let us remember to take moments to pause, reflect and rest…remember to take our #mombreaks and savor what we are given in each day…the community we belong to, the life and love we have and the time that goes so quick when we least expect it. We can’t control it all, but the realization that we aren’t supposed to definitely brings peace, and the rest we gain from it all is definitely joy in our everyday.
Even though summer is almost over, there are still some summer helpful tips and advice in my summer series that are worth checking out! Check it out here: Part 1(Summer Goals) , Part 2(Summer Bucket List), Part 3(Routine) and Part 4(Enjoying Summer as a Mom)
Happy August to you!
What are some of the lessons you learned in the month of July? Tell me in the comments below!