Do you have lightning bugs where you are? Or, sometimes we call them fireflies. Either way, I'm fascinated by the little creatures.
This summer, they seem to be out in greater numbers than the past. They light up my back yard each evening, putting on a visual show worthy of any graphic designer, although they're made by the best. And I've noticed in the last few years, they don't simply hover around the ground, but are glowing all the way up at the tops of the trees, too, expanding the show.
Anyone else read A LOT of books this year? I don't know if it's because of the quarantine conditions or if I would have normally read this many, but I'm over halfway through my Goodreads reading challenge. This is the third or fourth year I've kept track this way, and it fascinates me a bit.
People have asked me how I have so much time to read. After all, I'm an author, a mom, a preschool teacher, a bible class teacher, a wife, etc. But I also don't think I could survive if I didn't read at least a few books every month. It's one of the ways I grow and learn. And one of the ways I cope. And just enjoyable to me, too. Plus, I can claim it's research for my occupation (can't be a good writer if you never read).
So, what are some of the books I've read so far this year?
A huge dust cloud rolled in this weekend. Evidently, it's from the Saharan desert, and comes every year. Who knew? And, of course, it's worse this year than in the past. Because why not?
Mostly, it made everything look a bit hazier (it was also partly-cloudy so hard to tell) and made it harder to breathe when outside.
Needless to say, my son with asthmatic tendencies wasn't allowed outside much this weekend. Much to his chagrin.
Have you ever looked over and noticed a flower coming up where you least expected it? Maybe in a crevice in the side of a mountain or in a tiny little crack in the pavement. Did it bother you or inspire you? Because those little blossoms are inspiration to me.
Think about it.
They're resilient enough to dig their roots down deep where they can get the nutrients they need, yet flexible enough to slip through the tiniest sliver of a hard spot and grow towards the sunshine and fresh air.
At the beginning of the year, I decided my word for 2020 was going to be "Stretch." Want to know more about why, you can see my post here.
I started out okay, working on this. I signed up for a conference. And I entered some contests. And I did a few other things, too. But between the conference being canceled due to COVID, and the contests not picking my book, and several other issues, let's just say I'm feeling a lot like the woman pictured below.
Sunflowers are some of my favorites. They have been since high school, when I talked my mom into decorating my room in them and wore them on t-shirts and skirts and earrings. While I don't have as many items with sunflowers on them now, I do grow them in my garden every summer. They're so happy and tall and always bring a smile to my face.
This summer, we got the additional blessing of a few volunteer sunflowers popping up early and they're already taller than I am, reaching their leaves up high and getting ready to bloom. And as I look out my kitchen window through the day, I notice something. Something I had heard once, but not paid much attention to.
Sixteen years ago, at exactly 4:45 in the afternoon (when the sunlight was at peak sparkle through the stained glass window), I walked down the aisle to this man. And I have never looked back or second-guessed or doubted that it was a great choice. Because it was and still is.
Things haven't always been easy, but we didn't expect them to be a complete "slice of cake," as my daughter says. Sure, we weren't expecting to have lived in four different cities and eight different apartments or houses in that amount of time. We didn't expect to run into infertility struggles ... or that it would take us over six years to get pregnant. And we definitely didn't expect to lose my mother-in-law a few years ago.
It's a scary time out there right now.
I don't want to talk about it.
But, I do want to leave a verse that I think we all need to remember a bit extra right now.
Jesus said in John 13:34-35, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
For the first time in nine years, I went back to teaching preschool this last fall. It was something I had considered doing once my own children were in school, but when the opportunity arose earlier than that at the same preschool my daughter attended, I went ahead and jumped in, hoping I could remember how to do it.
Somehow, I made it through my first year back, even grieving for the lost months at the end of the year when COVID struck everyone's lives. But despite that, I wanted to share some insights I gained by going back to preschool.
It's no secret that I'm a bit of an extrovert. I love going and doing and being with people. Sure, I still need some quiet time, but after a while, I have had enough. Needless to say, this quarantine/social distancing thing is killing me a little bit. Don't get me wrong. I love my family. And we have had lots of sweet moments and learned even more about each other than maybe we wanted to know. But ...
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.