Looking Back on June

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a little late than never.

looking back. before moving ahead.

anchoring the soul.

*Thanks to Emily P Freeman for teaching me this fun discipline!

June Events

June 1st Jeff’s house sold and there was a rainbow. (the house my husband built)

The first half of the month seemed slow and steady. Oliver and I laid low. We mostly stayed inside out of the Oklahoma sauna weather.

He pushed cars & played with toys. I folded clothes & made his lunches. Jeff worked, came home from work, then went to work on renovating the home we are moving into.

over and over.

June 18th was our 6 year wedding anniversary.

My summer reading continued on. With a hop, skip, and a jump from book to book.

June ended the way I might imagine in my dreams. Up north. at Grandma’s Lake Cottage.

June 24th we set out on a road trip, ready for adventures. Jeff, Oliver, and I. Our small sweet family of 3, full of deep and wide love.

June 25th first stop St. Louis, birthday donuts with the cousins for Oliver. He turned 3.

Then we drove to Indiana later that day. Birthday cake for Oliver at his Great Grandma’s house. Then a late night drive up to the cottage.

A week at the lake.

With paddle boats, fishing, walks to the ice cream shop, sunsets over the water.  later joined by our friends; Matt, Erin, and their daughter Hazel.

a surprise phone call that our old home is rented out! helping us exhale and breathe easy even more. Then

a

long

drive

home.

Now, goodbye June, hello July!

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 7 things I learned in June

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1. Hen & Chicks

The rosette succulents I have always adored at my Grandma Fouch’s lake cottage are called Hen and Chicks. A cute name fitting for the little rosette succulents. I admire them every year, but now I finally know the name. They must be easy to maintain seeing as she doesn’t live at the lake cottage to care for them and they are still thriving  20 + years later.

Wouldn’t you know it, on our drive home she called to ask me if I wanted to take some home with me!!!! I wish, but we were too far to turn around. Turns out they are pouring a new front porch and getting rid of them all. Sigh! But I now plan to have my own row of green rosette succulents; Hens and Chicks at our new home. Inspiration found.

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2. Roberts

This is random, but two things I learned in June are “Robert” related. So, a month or two ago my friend Erin K Etheridge let me in on a fun tip, the dollar store has books! I picked a few books to add to my summer reading list; The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith and Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan. What I learned:

After purchasing the book The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, I was surprised and delighted to find out when I opened up the book at home that it was actually written by J.K. Rowling. She used Robert Galbraith as a pseudonym. Everyone probably knew this, but not me, and it made me more interested in reading it. I didn’t love the book, but I enjoyed it some! My May reading list was filled with non-fiction, so the shift to fiction was needed.

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Under the Wide and Starry Sky appealed to me because it’s a fiction novel based on the love story of Robert Louis Stevenson. My Grandma Barnett gave me a Child’s Garden of Verses when I was young, a collection of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson. It became a favorite of mine. I would read the poems on nights I couldn’t sleep well, as a child. I’m so sentimental about the book. The particular version my Grandma gave me was beautifully illustrated too.

Right before I started dating Jeff, he asked me if I had a favorite book, and after I told him A Child’s Garden of Verses was one I loved simply for sentimental reasons, he went and checked it out and read it all. Anyway, I learned a whole lot more about Robert Louis Stevenson this month after reading Under the Wild and Starry Sky. I was oblivious to some obvious facts,for instance Stevenson also wrote Treasure Island. Also, I didn’t make it all the way through the book. I stopped around page 160 because it was a little slow for me. But there were some lovely lines throughout the novel. I may finish it later, just because.

3. Mt. Everest

I learned more about Mt Everest in June. I am currently in the middle of writing a mini-series on the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. You might think that seems out of the blue, but in writing and creating I find it fun to follow curiosity and interest. I was fascinated by the lessons God might be showing us through the wonder of creation. The lessons of the bigger wonders are often found just the same in the smaller wonders of the world too, like my son Oliver’s sweet voice. Connecting it all is what I enjoy. And it’s been interesting where God leads me as I research and write.

Mt. Everest was a reminder of the scripture Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” The mountain is a place of greatest victory for some and greatest loss for others. In relationships I have come to realize this discipline is one of the bigger challenges in cultivating loving friendships and deep relationships.

Lord, help us to be sensitive to each other. Help us find delicate balance and grace with others and ourselves in times of mixed emotions and varying experiences.

4. Summer Solstice

the longest day, the beginning of summer.  So this might be a little embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t really know about summer solstice, or I probably just forgot actually! Anyways, I re-learned that in June too. I hope you all enjoyed the full moon on the summer solstice this year. It made an impression on me, and I found myself writing the memory down in my journal.

5. Carnelian

You know how some gifts feel personal and special? almost a divine kind of God gift, making you feel God sees you, He is leading you, and He knows you. That happened to me in June. Along with receiving the novel The Walls of Arad in the mail this month from my relative Carole, she sent a carnelian necklace with it too, with a note explaining that the carnelian stone represents protection.

The novel began with a favorite scripture of mine Psalms 90:1. It’s a simple verse, simple and beautiful.

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.”

The name a my blog for a short while was called “Flora Dwellings” inspired by God’s invitation to dwell in His presence and let him dwell in our hearts. Plus, my grandfather built churches and homes (dwelling spaces) and now my husband builds dwelling spaces too. That word and that scripture has sentimental value and meaning to me.

The whole story of the novel takes place during the 39th year before the Israelites enter the promise land. It’s a love story too. Arisha falls in love with Zadok, the grandson of Bezalel, architect of the tabernacle. Zadok is a shepherd and has a gentle heart. I read this book around the time of my wedding anniversary, and it was a reminder of what a blessing of gentleness and strength Jeff has been to me. God of course, is my source of strength and protection, but Jeff has been one tangible way God has helped me experience His mantel of protection and gentleness in my life. Thank you Carole for the timely beautiful story filled with life and hope. Reading Christian fiction or Christian non-fiction is such a breath of fresh faith filled air after reading books that lack light, truth, and hope at the core. To all the Christian writers out there, please keep on. 

6. Demo, Reno, & Temporary Walls

Like in Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” we are telling ourselves “just keep going, just keep going” with this renovation and home remodel. Currently I am about to start sanding the kitchen cabinets. Finished with demo now, Jeff is putting up new framing. What I learned: Sometimes you have to build a temporary wall in order to build up the real wall! So much work. You wonder, is it worth it? I think it will be. You can follow along with our process on instagram at @Hirshhome.

7. Trust the Flow

Go with the ebb and flow of busyness and slow.  June started out slow, and instead of feeling guilt that Oliver’s days weren’t jam-packed with tons of activities, I embraced the simple time at home knowing lots of adventure waited for us at the end of the month. It worked out well.

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