Loose Ends * Joyful June Edition

I can hear your voice in every word.  You’re real, honest, and open. Reading what you write is as refreshing as that 20 minute walk or a morning meditation.

I never, ever leave your site without being spiritually refreshed and prompted to move closer to Jesus. I wish I could give you a huge hug. How grateful I am for you and your presence, not only here in the blogosphere, but in my life. 

Hey My Dear Summertime Lovers ~

You keep telling me that you look enjoy reading these monthly Loose Ends wrap ups and, simply put, that makes me happy.

After all, my love language is words of affirmation.

And I know I'm not the only one.

You don't have to do anything to get this electronic magazine in your inbox except subscribe to the blog.  And then like magic, each brand new edition of the e-zine arrives toward the end of every month.

You'll also receive The Bookbag, the well-received mid-month post where we talk back and forth about our most recent favorite page turners, our toppling must-read lists, and the potpourri of bookish / writing / creative / blogging links I've scoped out just for you.

Sorry, I offer no exclusive bonuses, cool gifts, or secret passwords when you subscribe.

But you will receive every post I pen whenever the Spirit moves.  No set dates or times.  No well-planned series or calendar driven posts.  You'll never know what will pop up next in your inbox.  I like it that way.  I continue to pay attention to what God is whispering and then allow that direction to guide me in my writing.

That's how we roll around here.  I always strive to give you my absolute best every time I hit the orange Publish button.  I aim for excellence, but never perfection.  That way I don't make myself crazy.

Being perfect is highly overrated and exhausting, ya' know?

This month was filled with unexpected surprises, huge decisions, and finally after a very long year, more peaks than valleys.  Praise God!  To say I'm grateful would be an understatement.

I'm continuing to learn  ➜

God's mercies are new every morning and we have to permit ourselves to grab hold of them and celebrate each and every grace given.

*  God doesn't abandon us when we find ourselves in the deepest, scariest pits ... and those seemingly endless dark nights of the soul do not last forever.

*  God specializes in mingling our grief, physical pain, and anxiety with a quiet peace and joy that could come only from Him.

*  God honors our sacrifice of praise and propels us forward as we purposely cultivate gratitude in our minds and hearts ... and speak it out loud and often.

*  God uses our life experiences to minister to others who find themselves in the same boat.  As He brings hope and healing to His beloved children, He delights in connecting us to each other, to listen well, to love deeply, to lead each other forward.

And this right here  

What we continually focus on ends up defining who we are.

If we constantly look back at what was, we miss the sweet gifts that God is trying to deliver to our yearning hearts right in this moment.  I encourage you to honor your traumas, to name them clearly, to recognize their impact on your lives, and make moment by moment choices to process and release them to the Sacred Healer.  Don't become weary as you take those faithful baby steps forward toward what God has for your future.

For your health's sake.  For His glory.

For some reason, I'm singing more.  Eight verses of old hymns that haven't passed through my mind in decades.  Snippets of choruses that suddenly make an off-key appearance.  Enthusiastic worship songs that stay with me long after Sunday morning has passed.  In the shower, in the kitchen, as I wander through my day.

This has been a favorite in recent months.  Even this non-dancer is captivated and on her feet!  Because as I look back at the first half of 2020, I can sincerely sing,  'Jesus, You're the only reason that I'm even breathing.'

7 online reads that caught my eye, captured my heart, or both ➜

Justice Too Long Delayed
Timothy Dalrymple

No One Is Immune
Pam Ecrement

10 Ways to Fight Back Against Stress and Burnout
Carey Nieuwhof

Identifying Your Core Values
Kenna Griffin

Harvard researcher says the most emotionally intelligent people have these 12 traits.  Which do you have?
Daniel Goleman

When Pandemic Grief Hits You All Over Again
Melissa Schlies

(the) Best Summer Yet Worksheet
Joanna Gaines

A half century later, those delicious, well-loved family recipes are the ones I reach for first.  You too?

After it seemed like all our long-awaited summertime family plans had vanished into thin air, these final snapshots capture the sheer joy of a completely unexpected, last minute family reunion.  Thank you, Jenn, for pulling it all together.  The best family gathering ever, relaxed and unscheduled, lots of active outdoor time mixed with quiet moments on the porch for those most precious 1 - 1 conversations.  What a way to launch into the second half of 2020!

Melanie     Brooke
Kate     Lydz     Andrew

Bless your home, bless your family, bless your summer ~


doing summertime with