May was the month in which nothing went according to plan. And even though people usually say this about April, last month was the one that came in like a lion and out like a lamb in our world. So here’s a quick list of things I learned and loved. Most of all I learned that sometimes setbacks happen, and that’s OK. Our God still uses them for good.
Heshan and I took two small getaways to the Hudson River Valley last month – one to Bear Mountain, where we drove up to the peak and watched the sun set over dinner, and the second to a little town called Cold Spring, where we took photos over the waterfront, ate the best Texas BBQ ever at a small roadside spot in the middle of nowhere, and chased it down with some serious ice cream at Moo Moo’s Creamery. You guys… I have never had a better sugar-free chocolate in my life and I’ve never seen a bigger “one scoop” cup in my three+ decades of existence. Amazing.
Rhinestone Jesus. I won’t go into this again, since I’ve already raved about it with you before, but I loved it and couldn’t have read it at a better time.
Fernando Fotography. I shared this with you earlier, too, but it was a big part of what this month held for us as a family. Heshan and I officially launched our photography side project, and it’s grown us and stretched us in ways I’m super grateful for. Also, it’s been a great excuse to get out of town and find some scenery. Also, my husband is a way better photographer than me, but that’s neither here nor there.
I’ve learned over the last six years that when God wants my attention He finds a way to make me be still, and May was no exception. After taking on a few too many tasks and visiting a friend in the hospital a few times, I contracted a nasty infection that kept me sidelined for almost a full week. The amazing part is that the rest was totally needed, and it helped Heshan and me completely revise our sleep and wake schedule and take on one of this month’s goals – Just say No June. More on that below.
Our Follow Frame is actually working. In a miracle of all miracles, my husband is actually referring to this thing regularly in his decision making process, without me saying a word or drawing his attention to it at all. If you are praying for him, thank you. If you’re praying for us, keep it coming. If you’re the praying type, add us to your prayers. Big things are happening in our household and I’m not above calling them miraculous or from the heavens above.
This place was our new fave date spot all month when we discovered they have Japanese style burgers, tempura sweet potato fries, and cooked sushi with real crab. Basically what I’m saying is I learned I’ll eat anything with spicy mayo.
Here’s how things worked out with May’s goals…
You guys… how could I forget to tell you this first? In April, Heshan and I paid off all my credit card debt! Which really means we paid off all of my medical bills + one stupid designer hat decision I’d made in my mid-twenties that haunted me for the next six years when my plan to “pay it off in one week” was totally turned upside down by a $3,500 medical bill I never expected. This was a big deal. We’re funneling our funds to his debt now and asking God to guide us through a whole bunch of financial things, and we’re expecting results if only because we serve a big God.
– Rest. This one was a mixed bag. After struggling with sleeplessness for the first half of the month, I went on rest overload and slept eleven hours a night through most of my time at home sick.
– Bible Study. I’m singing progress on this one. I told you guys for the last two months that I’m trying to schedule 30 minutes a day of serious study, and even though I didn’t get a full 30 minutes everyday, it’s been great to get back into the Word and learn again. Right now I’m just studying based on stuff I’m reading in books (I picked up Chip Ingram’s The Invisible War again to finish the last few chapters) or devotionals, and Heshan and I are picking out a new Bible study for our small group for this month.
– Invest in myself. Doing it. Going to keep getting better at this. This verse is my fave right now:
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honor.
– Psalm 8:3-5
– Remember that I don’t need Jesus and a job, I need Jesus. Check and double check. Turns out God is serious about those fears becoming smaller than our faith.
And here are my goals for this month…
I’m not a big formal goal-setter, so as I’m writing this I’m thinking about how funny it is that I’m actually setting these goals. But what I love about this whole process is no one’s holding the goal’s over my head. I’m just setting a few areas to be intentional in and doing my best to live each day with intention.
One of our biggest goals this month is Just say no June. We tried this a year ago and didn’t really rock it, but this time we’re in it to win it. Heshan is already leading the way by saying no to a whole bunch of things in order to stay on track with the right things. Starting with getting into bed 2-3 hours earlier now that we’re both starting new jobs and waking up earlier, too. Our new schedule = our fave.
What about you? What are your goals? What did you learn and love this month? Lay it on me…