Today we turn the page of our calendars to a brand new month. Welcome, September! But, before we get too far into the first day of this new month, I’m pausing for a moment to look back and reflect on August 2020.
This is one month I won’t soon forget.
Why? Well, not only because of the pandemic (that’s a big ol’ thing in itself), but August 2020 was filled with ups and downs. With celebration and with sadness. With wonder and awe. And also with devastation and destruction. For me it was one of the most memorable and interesting and humbling months on record. So, I’m sharing the five interesting things I learned below.
5 Interesting Things I Learned In August 2020
(In no particular order.)
1. You’re never too old for a scavenger hunt.
Bill and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary on August 8. I don’t write that sentence lightly. Filled with a mixture of beautiful moments and challenging trials, these 28 years are a testimony of the grace of our God. I thank Him for holding us and our marriage together all these years.
We celebrated with our kids the night prior at one of our favorite restaurants. They blessed us with an extra-special gift of an Anniversary Scavenger Hunt, complete with a gift card and “pay it forward” money. So, we spent our anniversary completing everything on our scavenger hunt, and had a ball doing so! I think it was our most memorable anniversary! I guess you’re never too old for a scavenger hunt! (You’ll find the Anniversary Scavenger Hunt and a few others on my RESOURCES page!)
2. I learned a new word and experienced the wrath of it.
Two days after our blissful anniversary, we learned a new word–a derecho–and experienced its wrath. I wrote about it here. On August 10, 140+ mph winds swept through our area. That’s equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane. (Except, this is the Midwest!) I heard it described as a 40-mile wide tornado that rolled over 100 miles of the state, and lasted for 45 minutes or longer. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced.
As you can imagine, the destruction this derecho left behind was widespread. I think every single home, business, farm, and property in this area sustained damage. Every single one. My brother lost three cars. My other two brothers lost trees. We lost a tree and had minor home damage. Our kids lost a tree. But, thankfully, that’s it. Many people sustained much more damage than this, and many are still recovering from the devastation. I thank God for protecting us and for providing for our needs. Thank you for praying for us and our communities!
3. I have taken much for granted, including electricity.
The derecho also took out power lines. Hundreds of power lines. When those power lines go down, people lose power. Our town was without power for, I believe, nine days. We, out here in the country, were without it for two. Thankfully, Bill purchased a generator (just in case) this spring. So, we were able to keep our fridge and freezers cold. I don’t think I’ll ever take electricity, or internet, or phone service for granted again. The linemen who worked tirelessly to restore power deserve much more than a thank you. They, in their own way, were our superheroes! (I think I even saw a cape on one of them!) Is there anything you are (unintentionally) taking for granted? Take a moment today and thank God for things like electricity, internet, and phone service.
4. I love being a mom of adults… even more than I thought I did.
I thank God for our kids. They are truly incredible people. At ages 26 and 23 (and our son-in-law at 27), I continue to be amazed at how they live the lives God has given them. And I’m amazed all the more at how they still like to hang out with their parents! Since Zach (thankfully) moved closer to home in June, I love it when he pops in for lunch some days. I cherish the times he joins us for Cardinals’ games on t.v. And I love spending Saturdays with my girl. I used to spend Saturdays with my mom, and now I get to spend them with my daughter! These days with Alissa are full of laughs, adventures, Chick-fil-A lunches, and lots of playtime with our granddog, Freddie. I love the memories we are creating with our kids! What special memories did you create in August 2020?
5. I can be too hard on myself.
One other interesting thing I learned in August 2020 is that I can be too hard on myself. Our pastor asked me if I could step in and help lead worship a few Sundays with him for our online church service. I nervously said yes. I hadn’t sang with a worship team in seven years! Seven! As you can imagine, the first Sunday was a bit rough. The second Sunday was a little better (even though I cried after listening to it after. Yikes!). The third Sunday was better yet.
Oh my goodness, though! I wanted each time to be perfect, and well, let’s just say it wasn’t. I’m one who can be too hard on myself. I was reminded it doesn’t have to be perfect for God to use it for His glory. I don’t have to do everything absolutely perfect for it to be good. And friend, you don’t either. Is there something you refuse to do because you’re afraid it won’t be perfect? God can use it all for good!
Now it’s your turn.
Friend, what interesting things did you learn about yourself, about others, or about God in August 2020? Please share below! I’d love to read about it and encourage you in it.
So, as we look ahead to September, I pray God blesses you, strengthens you, and grows you in your calling. May you and I shine bright for Him all month long!
Thanks for hanging out with me a few moments today. Much love to you!
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