Things I Learned in August

I learned lots of stuff in August that probably won't interest most of you, unless you care about Latin pronunciation rules and math laws and the geography of Canada. I've been in Deep Planning Mode for homeschool and my brain runneth over with interesting things, but not necessarily topics I care to write about here, and so my writing has taken a bit of a back seat on this school bus. One over-arching theme of my life lately has been that God just has His hands in everything, and I hope to get back to writing about that as soon as we get this school year under control.

In the meantime, here are a few random things I learned in August:

1. My brain engages when I run.

I have come to terms with the fact that I am a slow-processing, crock-pot kind of person. If you introduce a topic to me and ask me for my immediate opinion, you may be disappointed. I often draw blanks because I just need more time to think about a thing.

If you ask me Sunday at 2 p.m. what I learned from the sermon that day, I'll try to come up with something but really, give me more time to process, please. Ask me on Sunday at 2 p.m. - because it's good for me to think about the message and not just move on with my week - but ask me to answer you tomorrow.

Or, I've discovered, tell me to go for a run after church and then let's talk about the sermon. Because when I run I have All The Thoughts.

Endorphins are a gift. I wish somehow I could write while running, because I inevitably forget 90% of my endorphin-fueled genius the moment I walk in the door.

2. I am most drawn to Facebook when I have work to do.

This has been a busy month of preparing for school, which means I've been on Facebook a lot and read copious amounts of useless material. For some reason, when my mind is overwhelmed my default mode is mindless entertainment. I hate that about myself. It leads to this cycle of busy mind - useless information - wasted time - yucky feelings.

I know Facebook can be used for good, but I also know that so much of the conversation on there just raises my blood pressure or distracts me from what I need to be doing.

I've done two things this month that have helped: I un-followed some peeps and I installed an app called Self-Control.

Yep, there's an app for that.

Self-Control is free for Mac (there must be something like it for PCs?) and it allows you to put websites on a blacklist, set a timer, and get to work. If I put on the blacklist and set the timer for one hour, I am forced to do what I'm supposed to be doing for that hour and no amount of finagling will let me on Facebook. None. No restarting the computer and no administrator overrides.

3. I always pack too much food for camping.

We made it to Wallowa Lake this summer and spent a week. It was awesome.


After spending lots of money and time prepping food, keeping it cold in coolers, draining the water out of it and refilling it with expensive bags of ice, repeatedly, we stopped at the little market in Joseph. We had avoided it because we assumed, like most touristy towns, that it would cost an arm and a leg for anything.

But we bought a gallon of milk for the same price we would pay at home. Fresh fruit and veggies were comparable, too. Snacks weren't much more expensive, bread was the same, and they had ICE CREAM.

Next year, I will do most of my shopping when we get there. Since we never eat all the food I pack anyways, I think we'll save time and money. Nice.

4. Thinking about doing a hard thing is usually worse than actually doing it.

True of most exercise. True of public speaking. True of so many stressful things that we think about for way too long before we actually just jump in and do them.

I am ready for school to start so we can work the kinks out, instead of playing out all the scenarios in my mind.

I am ready to tackle some projects that God has opened the door for long ago, and I have just stared at the threshold.

I am ready for the busy fall schedule and all the activities that I fear we don't have time for. We'll just do the next thing, the next thing, the next thing, and I'm ready to quit worrying about fitting it all in.



{Thanks to Emily for giving us a place to share What We Learned in August.}