We have arrived at the end of July, which always signifies the start of the slide to the end of the year. We have tipped over the half way point. July was quite an epic month for us in many ways. I often discover more of what I’ve learned as I write and reflect, so join me on a journey of unpacking what I learned in July.
- It is possible to experience our wettest camping trip ever while staying in the Pilbara (semi-arid desert area) in the dry season. The area received 400% of its average July’s rainfall in two weeks! I was incredibly thankful for my last minute (as in 4am) reach for our raincoats. If only I had grabbed the boots that I considered a waste of space for this time of year!
- I was reminded how crucial my attitude is for setting the atmosphere in my family. When experiencing such a wet trip, with all the disappointed plans that came with, it would have been easy to allow myself to give in to the grumpiness that threatened. Instead we were still able to turn our time into a family adventure. I won’t pretend to have been a picture of happiness and enthusiasm every moment and it didn’t always carry through to later stages of our trip. I think that perspective of sections of the trip where I did maintain a healthier attitude alongside times I did note bring this point home to me.
- The beach has a unique ability to restore parched depths of my soul. I hadn’t realised how long it had been since I had spent time by the ocean (despite living only 10 minutes drive from the beach). I could sense it the instant I was on the shore. I heard a speaker mention “thin places” where connection with God feels more real and tangible and is easier. The beach is my thin place. I am now trying to figure out how I can build in more times at the beach into my everyday life to plug into that soul recharge.
- I live in a vast country with scenery that is breathtaking and diverse. We drove for four days to reach our final destination for this latest adventure. We hadn’t left the state yet! My husband did the return journey in two days when on his own without a four year old requiring frequent stops, but they were LONG days. I thought I had an idea about what the Pilbara and Karijini National Park would look like based on some photos I had seen. Those images did little to prepare me for the reality of being there. The views and scenery can’t possibly be caught on camera in their full glory. The red mounds of earth rising up from the flattest desert takes you by surprise. The gorges plunge down with ancient layers of dirt visible on each side. I marvelled at the immensity and intricacy of this part of creation.
- I have hit the point of overwhelm sooner than I expected in the transition to a new volunteer role. This is mainly due to not having found someone to take over either of the two previous roles I am still carrying. While I know mentally that this is just a short term season, I sense my mind and body waving red flags and sending up warning bells. My mentor helped me to realise just how overwhelmed I was feeling. I am taking steps to manage this, building in periods of soul care and creativity in the midst of busy days and seeking longer term solutions to the load I am working under. The drained feeling is an indicator that I have switched into more of operating in my own strength and wisdom rather than leaning on God. Drawing closer to Him will be crucial in this season.
- I have long been intrigued by the Passion Translation I have heard bits about. I love Bible study and often refer across multiple translations. I have enjoyed the Message version for shifting my overfamiliarity with portions of Scripture and making me think and connect to them in a new way. I suspected the Passion Translation would have a similar effect. I was right. I am looking at Psalms for the rest of the year with my church small group and found the Kindle version of the Psalms and Proverbs on sale. I have loved this fresh perspective on verses that I know well.
Linking up with Emily Freeman. You can read her post on what she learned over summer here. It hasn’t been summer here in Australia of course so kept my post about the month.