monthly lessons
6 Lessons Learned (Summer 2019 Edition)

6 Lessons Learned (Summer 2019 Edition)

My summer months were full of reading good books, drinking lots of iced coffee, connecting with friends-old and new, and feeding interns.  I loved the slower mornings and not having to rush to get off to school.  I cherished my extra time in the word and the chance to work on a few projects such as new kitchen curtains.  It was also a good season of reflection and regrouping before the start of school.

Now as I get ready to start my third week of school, I thought I would take a minute to reflect on lessons learned this summer as I join up with other bloggers who are doing there same thing.  (Check their posts out at Emily Freeman)

1.  A Goal Plus Accountability Helps Complete the Task

Last year about this time, I started an online program through a seminary that had classes that ranged from how to study the bible to church history to global missions.  There were 10 courses in all.  I knew that it would be easy to start and hard to finish.  But I also saw that it was doable to do in a year if I did one class a month.  The key was how to make myself accountable to do it.  Each year for my job, I am required to set goals that either do with my job or my personal life.  I decided to make finishing these courses my goal.  It was just the push I needed.  

This year my goal is to write a bible study.  I have enjoyed doing the research but am finding myself reluctant to start the actual writing.  Hopefully having it as a goal will keep me on schedule to complete it.  Now I need to come up with a good plan of how to get it done.

2. So What If You Always Do the Asking

This summer I listened to a lot of podcasts.  One of them was Made for This by Jennie Allen, and the first season was about relationships.  I took to heart her challenge in one episode how it is okay to consistently be the one to reach out-to do the asking to get together, etc.  She commented on how easy it is for us to have a victim mentality of no one ever asks me to do things.  I admit that I have had this mentality where I felt like if I wanted to do something I had to do the asking.  But she was right, when she pointed out how this mentality is unhealthy.  Does it really matter if we are always taking the initiative?  What if God is calling us to do that?  Truthfully, we may feel like we are always taking the initiative, but if we looked back we would probably find that it wasn’t as one sided as we originally thought.  

This summer was a season of reaching out to friends-old and new.  It was fun to reconnect.  I found that ladies love to get together but sometimes it is hard to take the first step.  I also found that the more I reached out, the more others reached out to me.  It was a good summer of connecting which was something that I was really needed. 

3. The Right Gear Makes the Difference

The closer it came time for school to start the more I dreaded my commute as the rains continued to fall.   I don’t mind the extra exercise, and I even have a bike to make it easier.  The trouble was I didn’t want to get wet and my rain boats were not comfortable to walk in for the 3/4 mile walk.  I noticed that our guards all had rain pants and thought what a great idea!  So now I have rain pants and even discovered that the hiking boats that I got from a friend who was leaving were waterproof.  This plus a rain cover for my backpack and my raincoat allow me to walk even when it is pouring down rain.  It is actually fun walking in the rain when you have the right gear.

4.  To Walk Rain or Shine

Okay maybe not downpour rain.  I am learning that if I waited for perfect weather I would never get my run/walks in.  Some days it is only a drizzle which makes it cooler.  Other days I get stuck in a downpour before I get home.  I am learning that I am glad to be outside rain or shine.  One bonus is that rain or shine, the waves are beautiful to look at as I walk.  Also sometimes getting caught in the rain is a good excuse to stop in and visit with a friend for a bit.

5.  I Can Have Cold Brew Coffee Using Less Coffee Beans

I love drinking iced coffee.  Sometimes I take the lazy way out and will just put left over coffee in a pitcher in the frig to drink the next day.  (Because in a land where good coffee is hard to find, you don’t waste any coffee.)  Last year I found a good cold brew recipe that was easy. and I loved the taste but it used 2/3 cup of ground coffee.  Each batch would last 2 to 4 days depending on if I shared with my husband and whether I stuck to one glass a day.  I was excited when I found a recipe that used only 1/2 cup for the same amount of water.   I then added a few things that give it a fun flavor. The main difference with this recipe is that you let it set on the counter not in the frig.  

What do you do?  You put 1/2 cup of ground coffee, 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and four cups of water in a glass container.   Let it set for at least 12 hours so basically overnight.  Then strain and put in the frig.  To drink, add ice and milk to taste.

6. You Can Find Some Good News Sources

The last few years, I have struggled with reading the news and trying to figure out what is going on in the world.  What do I believe?  What is really going on?  What are both sides?  I don’t have the perfect answer to these questions but I did find two sources that are helping me be better informed.  One is the podcast Pantsuit Politics which has two ladies that discuss the current issues.  One leans to the left in her views and the other to the right.  Their discussion is civil, informative, and demonstrates the need to listen to each other.   I also have enjoyed the instagram of SmartHER News.   Her updates are short and sweet but give you a place to start as you read the news.

What are some sources you use to help keep you informed?  What are some things you have learned this summer?