Leaving room for Joyful Monotony

Summer has settled upon us and ushered in a new season lacking in routines and trending in refereeing daily arguments (my go-to line: “figure it out!”)

I resolved a while ago that this summer would be different than last.

I did my best last summer, but it was too much. With the launch of my book in August, a couple of big trips that took us to opposite ends of the country, and a very full season for Evan in his career, most of our days felt like a spinning top that took a long while to slow, finally throwing me out, off balance, somewhere in the middle of the fall.

As the end of school approached this year, I recognized a huge desire to do a little less seeking and striving, and a little more being and growing. And the thing about that is that you need to leave room for it.

It’s not so much a feeling of burnout as it is a heightened awareness about this way of life I’m currently desiring. A simple change: a wanting to feel and think and even write but without the need to consider documenting, capturing, publicizing it all.

It’s not about the calendar season, but a personal season for me right now where I’m finding myself setting comfortably into the middle. Sometimes, the appeal of trying to become the best, the most, the greatest takes over, and it’s easy to forget how wonderful the middle is; it’s really quite freeing.

I’m currently reading the book The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg, and though the title is a bit cliché, the content is stirring and compelling. Ortberg quotes G.K. Chesterton in a section about the joy that resides in the heart of God.

Chesterton reminds us that children have abounding vitality, a free and fierce spirit, and they usually want things repeated and unchanged. ‘Do it again!’ they exclaim over and over. Adults, however, are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But “perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.”

Every day, God says to the sun and to the moon ‘Do it again!’ And they do. And he never tires of marveling at their beauty.

As this new season approaches, a summer filled with opportunity but also repetitiveness, I’ve been making room for joyful monotony.

In Romans 12:2, God invites to be transformed – not to transform ourselves. To do this, we need to allow room in our lives, space in our minds, to let Him in.

I’ll be stepping away from my blog for the next couple of months, to enjoy the middle without striving, to savor the joyful monotony of these summer days.

I only have one summer where my kids are 5 and 7, and each day opens with bouncing excitement about the “adventures” that await us – in between chores and camps, there is the clear blue of the pool and the sweetness of a surprise doughnut treat and the spontaneity of a picnic dinner with friends at the park.

Do it again?

Yes, we will. Yes, we have the space. Yes, we have nowhere else to be but the joy we are experiencing right here.

My book, A Different Beautiful, is now available for order!
Want to raise kind kids who appreciate differences? You can download a guide to the best children’s books on differences and disabilities when you subscribe to my monthly email newsletter!  Follow me on  Facebook and Instagram.

What I’m Into (May 2017)

Well, THIS IS EXCITING. My book, A Different Beautiful, is currently on sale for JUST $1.99 for the ebook version! Grab for Amazon Kindle here or Barnes & Noble Nook here. This impactful message will inspire your heart, and it’s an easy read that is perfect for summer!

So, Evan and I are currently in the middle of a Whole30 for the month of May. We mostly were intrigued and wanted to try it, and our goals hinged on wanting to feel better in our day-to-day. I also wanted to learn more about food and preparing food. (Goal: ACCOMPLISHED. I feel like I’ve been living in the kitchen for the last 2 weeks.)

Based on feedback we’ve read and heard, we expected to feel a sort of detox at first and experience all different kinds of things as our bodies adjusted to this new way of eating, but we really haven’t felt much different. (Besides totally deprived.) It’s not difficult, but I’ll admit my interest is fading. As we continue, we’re really hoping that we’ll soon experience all of that energy everyone talks about!

I am wanting to dive into all the books right now, so I’m in the middle of a bunch and need to dial it back a bit so I can actually make it through and finish some! I just finished up kid literature Soar by Joan Bauer, which was wonderful! Highly recommend for kids in older elementary or junior high. I’m also in the middle of Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner, Charity Detox (which is a follow up to Toxic Charity, a book I really enjoyed and was challenged by), and Stretch by Scott Sonenshein.

Next up, I plan to read Shanghai Girls, which came highly recommended to me by my aunt.

Brenna continues her Berenstain Bears kick and hardly wants to crack open any other kind of book right now, and Connor is flying through the Notebook of Doom series. I pick up one for him at the library and he’s got it finished by the next day, so now I’m grabbing two at a time!

What’s on your reading list right now? Anything good I need to check out?

“There is nothing wrong with being disabled. But there is something wrong with society’s overall view of disability.” – So much YES to this post from This Little Miggy’s blog about the way the world treats differences.

“She had all these special needs and it became the status quo to shield her, to always be out in front of her delays. The hardest part for me now is not shackling her to them.” This post from Kayla Aimee for TODAY Parents will have you tearfully celebrating by the end. Just beautiful.

Bright shades, purple phone…not sure if she’s five or fifteen!

Indulging in a little batter from our pumpkin muffin baking extravaganza…

Evan and I got a night out with our good friends to see Garth Brooks in concert. Maybe the best concert I’ve ever seen! And such a great time with friends!

Purple and pink nails for summer…

Happy Wednesday – have a wonderful week of sunshine, dirt and laughter!

My book, A Different Beautiful, is now available for order!

Interested in reading more with your kids about differences and being yourself? You can download a guide to the best children’s books on differences and disabilities when you subscribe to my monthly email newsletter!  Follow me on  Facebook and Instagram.