Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer's Reflections

I begrudgingly put away my sand pail until next summer.  The summer of 2012 will go down in history as the summer I learned a new depth of "intentional" living.  This was my season for inspirational sand scoops placed into a fictional sand pail.  Where our budget doesn't allow for the "American-envisioned" vacation, I would instead fill my bucket with "inspiration" provided through sources around me...the library, nature, free events, exercise, Olympics, movies.....and time for pondering.

I began the summer with this quote and watched the quote unfold for me throughout our summer break.  As my two sons leave out the door for their first day of class, I will stop to reflect and recall what we did this past summer.

A great painting or symphony or play doesn't diminish us, but enlarges us, and we, too, want to make our own cry of affirmation to the power of creation behind the universe.  This surge of creativity has nothing to do with competition, or degree of talent.  Madeleine L'Engle - A Circle of Quiet

Art Inspirations

  • Five free outdoor concerts 
  • Shakespeare Play in the Park
  • Chihuly blown-glass Exhibit

standing in dinosaur tracks!!!

Nature Inspirations
  • camping trip under the stars to Mineral Wells State Park...just a few miles from home
  • camping trip allowing us to walk in dinosaur tracks - Dinosaur State Park...another park a few miles from home
  • multiple bike rides through trails near our home
  • picking grapes at our neighborhood park
  • picking blueberries at an East-Texas farm
Literature Inspiration
  • reading books with Benjamin and finishing the summer reading program at the library
  • multiple books read by me that challenged, nudged and inspired
Movie Inspiration and Enjoyment

  • dollar movies with Benjamin...and a bag of popcorn
  • two movies with Hubby
What is left after consumption and sharing jars of goodies with others

Kitchen/Cooking Inspiration

  • canning: 
  1. tomatoes
  2. salsa
  3. grape juice - provided from our grapes during our bike ride
  4. grape jam
  5. strawberry chipotle jam
  6. strawberry kiwi
  7. peach jam infused with lavender
  8. bags of frozen blueberries and blackberries from our visit to a farm

Finding the Silly in Myself
  • bought a bathing suit and wore it - it has been 15 years since I had a bathing suit and this was the first time for Benjamin to see me in one
  • went to the pool and swam with Benjamin - I even rode my bike to the pool while wearing that new suit with a long black skirt cover over it, flowing in the wind as I pedaled - that was daring
  • had a weekend with "Ethel" - my friend
  • had lunch and made time for friends here in my city - some I hadn't seen in a year
  • went to a grape stomp....and yes, stomped grapes

Creative Inspiration

  • sewed over a half dozen purses and gave them all away
  • sewed myself a fun top and bought more patterns and material for other clothes

Energized through Regular Exercise
  • went regularly to the gym...inspired by the athletes of the Olympics
  • didn't lose any weight, but feel more energized physically and mentally
  • walked/jogged through neighborhood trails outdoors
  • countless miles ridden on my bike...a huge milestone and Benjamin clocked miles with me
  • went roller skating
  • went bowling
I actually beat my son in the first game...he came back to smear me!!!

Son's Engagement!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pondering Inspiration
  • I took out time to stop and listen.  To sit under the trees...lay down on a bench..soak in the air..as Madeleine L'Engle describes it "to be"
  • I stopped and allowed myself the time to DREAM again.  To take that dream and write it down on paper.  To write out steps to pursue that dream.  Releasing the final results to Him, while taking the steps of obedience to bring the dream to fulfillment.
  • Telling the enemy to get off my back in so many areas where he taunts "failure" over me.  Reminding him that at age 51, God still hasn't finished his work in me.

At the end I really understood that what you make of life is your own choice.  I could continue to mourn our "have nots" in a constant "pity party" or take all the "haves" around us and fill my bucket.

As I put my bucket back on the shelf I know God has more in store for this fall.  I look to Him to unveil His purpose for this new season of the year and also my life.

"Often we forget that He has a special gift for each one of us, because we tend to weigh and measure such gifts with the coin of the world's market place"  Madeleine L" Engle

(for all those with word verification...I am visiting and commenting on your blogs, however, my computer isn't showing me the picture for the word verification and, therefore, doesn't post my comments...sorry...I have come and visited)

19 Joining in with more words:

Mary said...

What a wonderful thing, to write out all you did this summer. Janette, you lived a rich, full summer, open and fully alive!

What browser are you using? I know I could not use Firefox, i use Google Chrome and have not had any problems since.

Mary said...

Oh, I use safari on my iPad and it works too.

Pom Pom said...

What a great post, Janette!
You did a beautiful job reflecting on your summer. You learned a lot!
I love Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals. Thank you for reminding me.
I hope your weather is cooling off a bit.

Vee said...

You really did live intentionally this summer. What a great lesson for all of us. I hope that you have an autumn pail and a winter one and a spring one, too. I'm sure that it just keeps getting better.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

How inspiring Janette~ I have such admiration for your intentional living this summer. Think I need to do more intentional living myself. Turning 60 has really made me rethink so many things and I truly do want the time I have left to be intentional about what the Lord would have me be intentional about. Blessings my friend!

Debbie Petras said...

It seems to be that you had a very productive and fun summer! I love how creative you are. And you're always such a giving person. I'm not surprised you shared your purses and jams with others. That's so like you.

And yes, we can spend time feeling sad about things not always going as we plan. But I'm amazed at how God teaches us through the tough times to trust Him.

You are a blessing to many, including me.

Love you,

Farm Girl said...

That is an amazing list. I think you did a wonderful job and to look back at all you did this summer with a purpose was incredible.
Good job. :)

Sandy said...

Enjoyed reading and remembering all you have been up to. You are a joy and an inspiration...living life to the fullest. I don't remember though about your son getting engaged! That's great!

Christine said...

From that one little sand pail challenge, you have not only inspired yourself, children, family, friends but me!
I'm going to stay tuned to see what God has for you next. And I will be cheering you on!!!
Way to go Jannett!

Diana Ferguson said...

Great job! This summer reflection gives you (and everyone) a reminder that our attitude can make or break things.

My summer was not exactly what I had planned. But as I soon record my events, too, I will know that my plans didn't really matter. His did!!!

Hugs from around the corner to the north.

Rebecca said...

Rejoicing with you over your inspirational summer and cheering you on in your NEXT season. Take all the skills you've acquired in the past 2-3 months and employ them beautifully, Janette!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

What an amazing summer you've had! I know it will prepare you for whatever lies ahead -- and I pray it's full of God's continued rich blessings.

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Wow Janette, you've been both busy and serene it sounds - CONGRATS!!! My summer has involved too much work and too little play,,, Lately I'm feeling especially weary of it all. Now I'm blue that my "baby" has grown even while I celebrate his growth. Guess my hormones are messing with me! ;-) I'm hoping that I will find a swing like yours to "just be!" Thanks for always encouraging and inspiring me to seek new areas to explore!

Debbie said...

Oh Janette what a wonderful summer you had. Yes, intentional living. The choices you made brought joy and contentment to your heart. I am soo glad you shared it all with us. Looking forward to what this new season will bring for you. I know it will be inspiring. Hope you are having a good day! HUGS

Maryann said...

Fantastic job Janette, it sounds like you made the most of every opportunity as well as creating some. It's an inspiration to me to do the same.

Debbie said...

Blessed summer!! I have followed your spunky little self through most of this, and as I put the sand in my own pail, I have smiled at yours.

When I first chose the theme color yellow and "Finding the Sunshine" as my motto, I started a journey of intentional optimism that has carried me through this year. I won't say that it has been easy or without test, but I have to keep plugging along. My heart depends on it.

Loved your summer adventures, and my favorite of all was the grape stomping.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Janette, your reflections reveal a summer full of wonderful events and memories. I believe your bucket has not only overflowed, it has filled a whole sandbox! Good for you.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

My heart fills with joy and inspiration as I read this, Janette... I can relate to so much of your experience this summer... and I am so grateful to have shared this adventure (and some wonderful, wonderful jam) with you... I LOVE seeing how God moves through our lives and echoes His love and lessons over and over and over... my heart is full. xoxo ~ t.

Brenda Lazzaro Yoder, said...


What a blessing to read about the richness of the summer. It prompts me to write down the things we've done, the things I've taken the time to ponder. So much of the time I keep things in my mind and heart. How rich is was to read these things. I still have not ventured into a swimsuit - still don my running shorts. Good for you! You are living each day richly! God bless each of these days!

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