June – Embracing restoration

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It’s quite something when you’re given permission to embrace a season of restoration. When life has thrown you a season of difficulty, acknowledging that it’s ok to get back to ‘normal’ and stop worrying about what might happen next is liberating. March for me was all about recharging the soul. It was a time that was really needed and so refreshing but until these past few weeks, I hadn’t actually stopped holding my breath, waiting, fearing and preparing myself for what might be around the corner.

In June we spent a lot of time doing Church. By which I mean more than just attending Sunday morning services. We took students punting, we had students over for a picnic lunch, I hung out with some of the girls and made bunting for our Church Fun Day, we had the Church Fun Day, we went to our old Church to listen to a great friend speak there for the last time before he leaves and I led the second Ladies Prayer Breakfast at our Church.

This month we’ve stopped using our lack of perfect kitchen (which will be transformed in July!) as an excuse not to have friends over for dinner and as such have opened the doors of our home to hospitality once again. It’s been good to return to what we as a couple feel so called to do. We have been blessed with so much and I have learned this month that practicing hospitality is more than just food, it’s sharing our home, our time, our space, our finances and building relationship. It’s real.

Speaking of which, I also attended a women’s conference this month called ‘Real’. It centred around a theme of courage and there were some superb speakers encouraging us to be women of faith. When we allow others to see ‘the real you’ we open ourselves up to vulnerability but we also open ourselves up for deep and meaningful relationship that we may never otherwise have the chance to experience. The conference was great and I shared it with two women who I admire hugely, which made it even better.

In between all of these events and activities, we celebrated Father’s Day with my family, spent a weekend with my hubby’s family and went to see Minions the movie!! It hasn’t been a month that has been filled to the brim but it has been populated by people (in a manageable level for this introvert) and speckled with meaning and it has finally given me permission to embrace this season of restoration in our lives.

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June reflections

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Finding my feet in my new office has been a little more challenging than I had anticipated. It has, however, allowed for some routine to be restored in my ever-busy world. I am mostly home at a decent hour so fitness classes and baking have made a welcome return to my weekly activities. I’m also amazed, looking back, that I somehow managed to find time to squeeze in punting, a weekend with the in-laws, multiple BBQs, manicures with my mama and sister, the start of my skirt-making and a friend’s 30th in London. Not bad!

July brings with it holidays – a weekend in Glasgow with one of my closest friends, to meet her first little one and then two weeks in Florida and the Dominican Republic with family. I’m not sure there’s much purpose to planning goals these coming months. Making sure work is ready for me to go away will be challenge enough, so the rest of the time, I just want to relax, enjoy and see what these next two months bring on the summer breeze.

>Reflections<

Have drinks outside with friends – I had anticipated this to be at a pub, but as it turned out we had drinks and ice cream outside with friends many times, but in gardens and parks instead of buying drinks. Much cheaper and most definitely just as fun.

Send some postcards – I sent a small package to a friend in America as well as some postcards this month. I hope this continues but it sure is difficult to remember.

Make smoothies – I didn’t quite get around to smoothies, plural, but I did make one very yummy one with papaya, sharon fruit, raspberries and bananas – it was amazing!

Make ice cream – We made two flavours. The first was nutella & cream with chocolate chips but my new favourite ice cream flavour of all time has to be the Black Forest ice cream – so yum!

No >Hopes< this time, just a hope to relinquish a little control and see where summer takes me.

May reflections / June hopes

May reflections - June hopesThis month has brought a welcome change in pace. We saw Pentatonix live, who were just amazing, had a photography day with friends, enjoyed a wonderful week away in Turkey and spent some quality time with some of our favourite people. The sunshine has tried to make an appearance among a host of heavy showers but the season is definitely drifting into summer. Sadly the job location move didn’t happen quite as planned but even with that, we’re certainly getting there.

I’ve done some thinking this month about why I’m setting monthly goals and what I hope to get out of them. I don’t want them to stop me from being spontaneous just because I want to make sure I achieve everything I set for myself. So for the summer months, while the days are longer, my goals are going to be a little more vague, hopefully allowing space to enjoy these days of sunshine, simplicity, warm breezes and lazy time lived with friends.

>Reflections<

Take a class at the leisure centre – I actually enjoyed it! Go figure. I went by myself just to try it out but I’m really glad I did. It was exactly the kind of class I was looking for and a great balance of cardio and weights. I only managed one class but I’ll definitely go back next month.

Don’t get sunburned in Turkey – hurrah! I’m not sunburned! I’m also not particularly tanned because I was wearing factor 50 sunscreen, but I’ve lost the blue-white glow that comes from living somewhere it rains a lot!

Pin down a date to make an item of clothing – Yes! June 14th is in the calendar. I even bought the fabric in Turkey so we’re all set to go.

Wash the car – May turned out to be more full of showers than sunshine but we still managed to wash the cars one evening. It’s less fun when you don’t have a hose but we did an ok job with a bucket, sponge and some car shampoo. Definitely one to do again when we have access to a hose!

Get some more dates in the diary for fun things – Less so than I had hoped but I have planned to go punting with a bunch of people next week so we’ll leave it at that for now. I’d still like to book in a cake decorating class…

>Hopes<

Have drinks outside with friends – I want to make the most of these long evenings in every way I can and being outside as dusk arrives is one of my favourite ways to enjoy this season.

Send some postcards – life is best when shared and I have some wonderful postcards with Puffin book covers from the last 100 years that are so fun to send. Snail mail is the best kind of mail.

Make smoothies – it’s summer, smoothies are definitely a requirement!

Make ice cream – same reason as above, it’s about time we got the ice cream maker out again!