June joys, with reservation
This is a delightfully uneventful month, in the sense that we don't have too many extra events aside from our normal work/church schedule. However, there have been so many small moments in the last week or two that make me pause to appreciate a happy and relatively calm normal of this season of life. We're past the settling-in phase, so now I'm working on some new habits, and overall, this is a good growing season. After all, you do have to put down roots before you can grow.
Some of my favorite moments of June so far:
Kitchen-wise, I'm learning the ins and outs of cooking with stainless steel, and I think that with practice, I'll get the hang of it. In other kitchen news, I found a new gluten-free pancake recipe that we really like (I even made a couple with mini chocolate chips).
Project-wise, I finished my Nick cowl! It didn't look very exciting when it was still on the needles, but now that it's complete, I kind of love it and its aesthetic and versatility. I might have to wait a bit before I can wear it, since we live in Texas now (I still type that like it's a brand new thing).
Work-wise, I was scheduled to work Friday night, but then got put on-call. I do love my job, but there's something about having "bonus time" that makes being put on-call kind of fun. I celebrated with Gilmore Girls and popcorn and lots of lounging on the couch. I have to tell you: air-popped popcorn with butter and Maldon salt = the best ever.
Style-wise, I'm loving my new haircut—it's so much lighter! And I've been in the mood to wear glasses and hats, both for the first time ever. (Today, I borrowed Nicholas' Purdue hat).
Reading-wise, I'm continuing my Jane Austen kick with Mansfield Park. Like other Austen works, it's witty, funny, and it provides interesting societal insight. I loved this quote from it (Edmund speaking to Fanny):
There is no reason in the world why you should not be important where you are known. You have good sense, and a sweet temper, and I am sure you have a grateful heart, that could never receive kindness without wishing to return it. I do not know any better qualifications for a friend and companion.
Home-wise, I try to buy laundry detergent and other laundry products without sulfates and excess chemicals. What I've found is that a lot of the detergents with fewer chemicals just don't smell like nostalgic clean laundry (understandably so). However, it's an adulthood goal for me to have clean laundry that smells really good. I know, it is a great life aspiration. ;) My most recent foray into this pursuit is a trial run of Mrs. Meyer's basil dryer sheets. The unused ones in the box already made the whole laundry closet smell really good, so maybe I'm onto something here. I'll keep you posted, since I'm sure you're just dying to know.
Heart-wise, are all these things pretty great? Yes. I love seeing God's hand in the little (and big) things. But even as I take note of "life's little joys," I want to do so with some reservations.
My prayer is that I will not let the blessings themselves distract me from the imminence of heaven.
God is not only good because He chooses to bless us sometimes. He is good because His character, His promises, His faithfulness, and His very being are good. And even if I didn't have any of the above things in my life—if my June were filled with hurt or abuse or misunderstanding—God would still be good. And I could still seek joy and find it in Him, because it is not His gifts that are the source of true joy, it is Him. I don't find joy in my life because of the blessings I've experienced. I find joy in my life because of who God is and because I am as His. In Jeremiah 31:33, it says,
[...] declares the Lord, "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
We belong to one another, regardless of whether the sun is shining or it's not, whether you're too tired to notice the flowers around you or if there aren't any flowers right now, or if you had the best day ever...we belong to Him. And that is an authentic source of joy.