Great Summer Reads

It’s finally summer and you know what that means!  Well, aside from lax schedules, entire days spent outdoors and lots of late nights, for me it means more time to read.  Some of my favorite books have come from recommendations from others and so I thought I’d share a few of mine with you.

Unseen, important work

Sometimes the really important work in life doesn’t feel very important when you’re in the midst of it.

Instead, it feels hard, looks quite unimpressive and would be easier to just dismiss.  Because of this, I often find myself wanting to move on to things that look or seem more important.  I want to work on the seen things.  Our minds are trained to believe that if nobody sees the quiet, hard work, then does it really matter? In a world that glorifies what it sees, or what is posted on FB or Instagram, often it’s the small personal areas of our mind, heart & soul that we neglect.

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a “blah” season of life lately.  Nothing particularly awful, but just a lot of normal crap.  You know what I mean.  Life is like that sometimes.  But what I’ve noticed is that when I feel like this, it’s easier for my mind to wander.  I am more prone to comparison, a tad more easily offended and just overall, a less fun person to be around.

But being that you don’t actually live in my mind with me, (go ahead and say a quick “Hallelujah” right now) I can easily present a fairly put together package on the outside while inside, my thoughts are leading me astray.

Chances are, you’ve experienced this yourself at one time or another.  From the conversations I’ve had over the years with countless women, it seems to be something that we females struggle with quite a bit.

The ocean, my altar

I recently spent a glorious week basking in the Florida sun with my daughter and some of our dearest friends. The trip was an early birthday present for my daughter and her friend who have been asking to make this trip together since they were in the First Grade. The forecast for our time there was absolute perfection and the weather lived up to its promises.

We spent our days swimming in grandma Mary’s pool, sightseeing & discovering different beaches. I am a sun & sand lover by nature but honestly, my favorite thing about the beach is the ocean.

A Christmas Truce

I was reading recently about WWI and about the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914. It was a little over 4 months into the war when on December 7th, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war in order to celebrate Christmas. Although the warring countries refused any official cease-fire, on Christmas Day the soldiers in the trenches decided to declare their own unofficial truce.


On Christmas Eve of 1914, the sound of German and British troops singing Christmas carols to each other could be heard from across enemy lines. On Christmas Day, German soldiers emerged from the trenches, crossed through no-man’s-land, (a desolate area comprised mostly of decay and rotting corpses) and approached the Allied lines while calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues.

Our Only Hope

Hope

The news sears its images into my head and slices my heart into tiny little pieces.  Twenty six of them to be exact.  The concrete steps that led them towards Light are now darkened by the shadow of death.  As a hallelujah chorus began to ring out, the sound of gunfire drowned it out, bullets spraying over a congregation that would exchange their celebration song for cries of mercy.

Lying mangled on the floor are lives and hope extinguished.

And we rush to make sense of it all.  To tidy it up and put a label on it so that we can process it and move on.  We’re always so ready to move on.