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Reflections

Monthly Check-In Reflection – July 2020

July 8, 2020

Our blog exists to shower you with encouragement, exciting news, and reasons to celebrate.

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What has been life giving this year so far? What has been life thwarting? Where have you found joy?

Dear friends,

If I’m honest, I’m pretty grateful to see July is coming to an end. Not only because I’m more of a temperate climate gal (and this heat is really getting to me), but because I’m looking forward to a refresh and reset. The beginning of the academic year (which I see as starting in August), even if I’m no longer a student, always seems to bring with it a refresh of rhythms, working mentality, and energy. All of which I’m currently craving.

I know that in some ways I may not get it with COVID-19 and restrictions still at varying levels, but I think there will be some piece of me that will still psychologically feel it’s different and fingers crossed, that’ll be enough to trick myself out of my summer slump.

But overall this year has been a little off, and I think we can all agree with that. The things I was doing in January and February – traveling to South Africa and the IF:Gathering – feel so far off, as if they don’t belong in 2020. Yet I think it’s helpful to take a moment to pause and remember they do belong in my 2020 bubble, not in some separate more “normal” sphere. Actively remembering they belong in 2020 helps me understand the strangeness of the year and appreciate the growth, adaptation, flexibility, and changes I’ve experienced and had to make with the shifts of 2020.

As I think back on 2020 so far (and you can bet I used my planner to help me reflect back), here’s what has been life-giving (the things/experiences/moments that have lifted my soul and filled my heart):

  • Visiting and connecting with friends in South Africa in January

  • Traveling to the IF:Gathering with sweet friends

  • Being encouraged and prayed over at the IF:Gathering as a person and business

  • All the family connection and Zoom calls

  • So much good reading

  • Reflecting and sharing Kindred & Co.’s story with Courtney (Journey of Ruth podcast)

  • Dog sitting (Childhood dream of mine to have a dog and Jasper is the sweetest dog fix)

The moments that have been life-thwarting (the things/experiences/moments that have been the opposite of life-giving, not necessarily just hard, but have depleted my energy and spirits):

  • Not being able to give hugs to friends as they move away

  • Chaotic travel back from South Africa

  • Overfilling my schedule in early 2020

  • Missing out on celebrating friends and family with life achievements

  • News and division

The moments and places where I have found and practiced joy this year (so far):

  • FaceTime calls with friends and family from all over the country and world

  • Being in it with friends who are digging into new passions, dreams and career paths

  • Flower arrangements

  • Quietly sitting with Jasper and getting his dog hair all over my leggings

  • Sitting on our porch in the sun and listening to birds sing

I’m not incredibly fond with how 2020 has turned out, but there have been some really beautiful and joyful moments amidst the hard, and for that, I am grateful 2020 is what it is. How about you friends?

With joy&gratitude,

Val

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