Share Four Somethings: Summer 2020

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Today I’m linking up with Heather Gerwing and friends for Share Four Somethings. Since I missed the July link-up, this is a combined Summer Share Four Somethings.

Something Loved

In July, I got to take part in a few online writing seminars, and it was great to connect with other writers and to receive some encouragement and helpful advice.

We reflected on the value of small things – that often we feel like we haven’t achieved anything but actually all the small steps add up.

We took time to consider our writing dreams, and how we can fit writing into our lives.  At a time when we have been forced to pause or reevaluate so many aspects of life, we were encouraged to see it as an opportunity to reflect on where we are and how we want to move forward.

We also looked at God’s creative process in Genesis – he created order and beauty out of chaos and emptiness – and explored how, even when we feel chaotic or empty, we can do the same.

I also got to meet online with several of the writers who contribute to Gracefully Truthful and it was lovely to meet some of the people behind the names and the words.

Something Read

miss what does incomprehensible mean

I think I actually read this book sometime in May but as I was thinking about which book to share, it came to mind and I realised I had never mentioned it here.  (And there is a link to the summer as one of the writing seminars I attended was led by the author!)

“Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?” by Fran Hill is a memoir in diary form.  It is based on the author’s experiences as a teacher and it goes through a typical school year.

It was a perfect lockdown read – easy and enjoyable, but also thought-provoking.  There are lots of interesting and memorable characters, both staff and pupils, and it weaves together laugh-out-loud funny moments with much more poignant reflections… it’s a bit like real life!

You can find Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean at Amazon on these links: UK, US

Something Treasured

The things I have treasured most this summer have definitely been the little steps towards normal:

  • A few days away with family
  • Eating in a restaurant for the first time since February
  • Seeing a good friend I hadn’t seen since Christmas
  • Being able to travel further afield and walk in some different places
  • Going for a haircut (which I normally hate)
  • Doing church with other people in the room for the first time since March (we’re allowed a maximum of three households so it’s a small step, but after five months it was a special moment)

There’s a fresh significance in all the little treasures I’d have taken for granted a year ago.

Something Ahead

I feel like “Something ahead” continues to be a bit of a question mark at the moment.

I know what my hopes are for the coming months, but so many parts of “normal” still seem so far off.

I long to get back to my normal work with young people in real life rather than from behind a screen.  I want to make music with other people.  I can’t wait to gather properly as a church family.

And I have no idea if the coming months will see steps forward or steps back.

It brings to mind a passage from 1 Samuel.  Following the Israelites’ victory over the Philistines, it says:

Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”  (1 Samuel 7:12 NLT)

The battle was over, but it wasn’t the end of the war with the Philistines.  They were subdued for the moment, but they hadn’t finished their attacks on the Israelites.  And yet, despite the uncertainty of what lay ahead, Samuel encouraged the Israelites to thank God for his help so far.

I think it has been a difficult few months for most of us, and the pandemic isn’t over yet, but as I look back, I can see God’s help.

When the lockdown began, the initial indication was that the restrictions would last for around two months.  That seemed like an eternity to me, and I wondered how I would cope.

All I can say is, it’s been five months now and I’m coping!  There are so many things I would change about this situation if I could, but I’m grateful that I can echo Samuel’s words: “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”

And that helps me to trust him for whatever lies ahead.

What about you?  How has your summer been?  Feel free to share a highlight or a prayer request in the comments.

I’m grateful to SPCK and Netgalley for access to a complementary digital copy of “Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean”  I only share books here that I genuinely believe will be beneficial to my readers.
Amazon links are not affiliate links, but simply provided for your convenience.

    Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up          Tell-His-Story-button-newest-200x200  purposefulfaith.com     

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34 thoughts on “Share Four Somethings: Summer 2020

  1. Loved reading your catch up ‘shares’ – I managed to do x2 of the ACW seminars and thoroughly enjoyed them, and bought Fran Hill’s book for a friend’s Christmas present (very pleased with my forward planning there!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your list of things treasured….there are quite a few treasures there! Ones not to take for granted:) Glad you were able to enjoy so much lately!! Always enjoy your posts here!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like the last few months have been full and good even though different and missing some of the normal elements. I love how God always works things together for good.

    Someone mentioned recently the stages of grief, ending with acceptance. And I realized–I think I am there with the pandemic (by God’s grace). I do hope it goes away as soon as possible and we can get closer to normal. But I don’t feel as strained and anxious and weighed down as I did the first few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there have been some good things happening! I’m glad you’re feeling more settled about things and have reached that point of acceptance. I don’t think I have yet but I’m probably closer than I was.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Lesley , for your post. A reminder to stay thankful to God even in the difficult times.

    I too attended 1 of the ACW webinars on change and chaos and found it immensely helpful. Hoping to catch up on the blogging webinar I missed later today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m intrigued by your book recommendation! I’ve often thought about writing a book based on my 32 years in the classroom but just figured no one would believe it! 🤣 Loved all your treasures! I’ve been learning to see the huge value in little things through all this!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The book you review sounds perfect for me, a former teacher thinking about going back to school. I am putting it on top of my written TBR list. That’s my go-to list when I need a book! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “There’s a fresh significance in all the little treasures I’d have taken for granted a year ago.” Yes, so true, Lesley. Thank you for sharing, also for reminding me of the Ebenezer stone. The God who has helped us up to this point surely won’t abandon us in the future, no matter what lies ahead. Thank you for this encouragement! Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m visiting from Let’s Have Coffee. You are the link right before me. Isn’t it funny how such mundane things as a haircut and dinner in a restaurant mean so much nowadays. After several months of not having them, they are indeed treasures nowadays!!

    Blessings,
    Patti @ Clothed with Joy

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I always enjoy these sort of posts. It seems like these last few months were productive in spite of all the changes experienced. These sort of posts are wonderful as they cause one to look beyond the current happenings to the good which was in those very days.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” Amen, Lesley, and He’s not going to stop anytime soon, is He? I didn’t do Four Somethings this month but hope to be back next time. I love the “little steps toward normal” that you shared … the same kind of things are making me happy right now too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s so encouraging to know that God never changes and that he will continue to be with us and help us. I’m glad you’re enjoying some little steps towards normal too!

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  11. Indeed, thus far the Lord has helped us! I also balked at the idea of 2 months indoors but 5 months later we’ve coped somehow. I enjoyed reading your ‘shares’ – thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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