End-of May Reflections

May ReflectionsAs I am sure has been true for many of you, May was a rather quiet month. Mother’s Day was the only big event on the calendar. We enjoyed roasting hot dogs and making s’mores for Memorial Day. Most days just held everyday activities.

We had several socially-distanced visits outside with my son’s family at our house and theirs. Thankfully the weather has been pretty comfortable this month for outdoor gatherings. Since our state began opening up a little, and since the COVID cases in our area are low compared to others, we did start visiting inside (just in time to come into the air conditioning from hot weather). But otherwise we’re holding back from jumping full-fledged back into the fray.

Our church discussed meeting together again, and most wanted to wait for a bit. So we’ll still Zoom for now.

I’ve been distressed by the judgmentalism and name-calling in social media over simple things like wearing face masks, even among Christians, even among friends. I’ve had some ideas brewing for a post about it all, but probably should abstain. There are multiple facets to the COVID-19 crisis and multiple opinions even among experts, so it seems like we should give each other plenty of grace and room to differ.

But…on to more pleasant topics.


Besides what I mentioned above, some of us were watching or listening to the SpaceX launch preparations, which had to be scrapped due to weather. Jason texted this picture of Timothy.

I asked Jim why the astronauts were being strapped in so early, then answered my own question by saying they probably had a lot of pre-checks and such to go through. Then I said, “If it were me, I’d have to say ‘You can strap me in now, but you’re going to have to let me up to use the bathroom before we leave.'”

Jim said, “That’s why you’re not an astronaut.”

Not the only reason, but, yes. 🙂


I mentioned on a Friday’s Fave Five that my son’s Ring camera caught a guy peeking into their window for several minutes. My son spoke through the camera and the guy ran off, but the police were called and investigated the area. My son had recently had a run-in with poison ivy in their back yard, even though he had been wearing gloves. When Timothy learned that the “peeper” had run towards the back, he said in a singsongy voice, “There’s lots of poison ivy back there.” 🙂

Timothy just turned six in April. This month he was telling me about something that happened “a long time ago when I was five.”

I’ve mentioned before that Timothy loves to mow, especially when his Granddad brings over the riding lawn mower. Timothy has his own toy riding and push lawn mower and garden tools. His dad recently texted this comment from Timothy: “If you have a big yard, a push mower will make you very tired. I did that one time, and I wanted to stop, and I changed my mind to not give up.”

His mom and dad will sometimes take a bite from his plate and call it a “dad tax” or a “mom tax.” Monday, when we were eating outside for Memorial Day, Timothy had finished and gotten down to play. Then he came back, grabbed a couple of french fries from the bowl, and said, “Tim tax.”


It was sad to realize that all of the older women I had looked up to as moms, in addition to my own mom, are gone now.

The only Mother’s Day card I made this year was for my daughter-in-law, who likes purple and lavender. It didn’t turn out quite like I was picturing it in my mind, but I think she liked it. 🙂

I also finally finished making masks for the family. I had done them for everyone except Jesse and me, since we haven’t gone anywhere (and Jeremy in RI, because he already had some). But I wanted to get them done just so we’d have them when we needed them. Plus, we’re talking about using them even after our church meets in person. I’m not a good enough seamstress to do this for others, and none of them is perfect, but at least we’re covered—literally and figuratively. 🙂 And it was good to finally cross them off my to-do list.


Laura and Hope had both recommended This Beautiful Fantastic, and I loved it. It’s on Amazon prime, but I think it’s also on YouTube. It’s about a very OCD girl who learns that letting other people into her life can be messy but beneficial. It’s also about writing and gardening and grumpy neighbors. It’s quirky and had me smiley and teary at the end. Objectionable elements: I think there are a couple of “damns” or similar bad words, and an old man in a Speedo near the beginning (but that’s more gross than sexy).

I also very much enjoyed The English Game, a six-episode mini-series. I care very little about football (soccer), but I could appreciate the struggles of changing it from a “gentleman’s” game to make it more accessible to working men, and the controversy over whether to allow paid (professional) players. Differences got violent a couple of times, but I loved how the two main characters strove to come to an understanding of each other and wanted what was best for the good of the game. I read later that though the people and some of the plot basics were real, some of the points weren’t historically accurate. But I still enjoyed it. There are a few bad words, and sadly, a couple of instances of taking Jesus’ name in vain.

I also enjoyed some of John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” YouTube videos.


This month I completed (titles link back to my reviews):

  • Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney, a cozy, somewhat comedic mystery about a young woman filling in for her uncle’s private investigation firm while looking for a new job. On her first minor case, she finds a dead body. I liked it okay, but this is not my favorite genre. If it’s yours, you might enjoy it more.
  • Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron, a story spanning three timelines around a castle in Scotland. Excellent.
  • A Season to Dance by Patrica Beal, about a ballerina seeking love and stardom. Interestingly, the author became a Christian during the course of writing this book.
  • Over to Candleford by Flora Thompson, the second in the Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy (audiobook).
  • Amberwell by D. E. Stevenson (audiobook). My first book of hers, but definitely not my last.

I’m currently reading:

Up next, I have these to choose from, plus scores on my Kindle app. I need a reading vacation! 🙂


Here are some of the posts from this month:

  • Come, Let Us  Return to the Lord. “Wiersbe says, ‘One of the greatest judgments God can inflict on any people is to let them have their own way.’ Fortunately, God doesn’t give people up easily.”
  • How Do You Know if God Is Displeased with You? A Twitter thread on this question listed a vague uneasiness, a sinking feeling, life not working out right. None mentioned asking Him or going to His Word.
  • Real Life Devotions. We set ourselves up for failure if we wait for the perfect plan, time, or setting.
  • Why Doesn’t God Explain? Maybe because we couldn’t understand if He did. But because we know Him, we can trust Him.
  • Real Life Prayer. “Prayer isn’t a ritual or a performance. It’s a conversation with God.”


I still haven’t gotten to my WIP (work in progress). But I did submit a devotional and a guest post and am waiting to hear if they are accepted.

I also listened to several webinars and podcasts on writing. I appreciated that the webinars were offered for free to make up for some of the writing conferences that had been canceled. I got a few nuggets from each one. But I am thinking that, for the time spent, reading books might be better for me. With the webinars and podcasts, there’s always a bit of banter and often a rabbit trail or two. The q-and-a webinars were great to submit questions to, but they also covered a little bit of ground on a great many aspects of writing. But a book would present whole topics from start to finish, and I think my particular learning style would benefit from them more. I have several books on writing on my shelf and in my Kindle.

But beyond reading about writing—I need to just write!

Even though summer doesn’t officially start for a few weeks now, June 1 always signals the first of summer to me. Since our children are no longer in school, our schedule doesn’t change much any more between spring and summer. We don’t have any major plans until August, when we hope our oldest will be able to come for his and my birthdays. We’ll see what happens! This is a season of holding plans loosely, for we truly don’t know what  day will bring forth.

How was your May? What are you looking forward to in June?

(Sharing with Let’s Have Coffee, Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire, Global Blogging,
Senior Salon, Hearth and Home, Inspire Me Monday, Tell His Story,
InstaEncouragement, Worth Beyond Rubies)

26 thoughts on “End-of May Reflections

  1. It sounds like you had a good May overall with lots accomplished! Your cards are always so pretty. Wow, Timothy and Prince George are the same age now (at least until July) 🙂 Here’s wishing you and your family a pleasant June.

  2. Hello, I enjoyed the recap of your month. I am with you on the nastiness on social media about this whole pandemic. I actually unfriended some people, including people from my church congregation, not to be mean, but because they were posting such mean, political things, and I didn’t want to read it, or think ill of them when I go to church with them. Sounds like things are going well for you. I enjoyed your last book review. I get most of my books used, so I have ordered some things off Amazon, but since all our thrift stores are closed, I am not buying many new books. I read some on my Kindle, but mostly paper and ink books. Enjoy your Thursday and the rest of the week!

  3. I need to take a reading vacation too! 🙂 In addition to books that I choose for myself, I have a friend who lends me books to read that I don’t ask for, so I’m starting one of those this week. But if it’s not good, I’ll return it quickly.

    • I have a difficult time with those kinds of loaned books, mainly because I have so many others I want to read. I guess I need to feel the freedom to stop those if I am not enjoying them.

  4. I so enjoyed reading this, Barbara. I’m glad that your month could be enjoyable and productive even in the midst of all this uncertainty and confusion. God is so good to help us stay our minds on Him and not the circumstances. I agree, the judgmentalism and the name-calling and shaming, on both sides of the issue, are distressing. It feels a lot like first grade did for me.

    The Timothy-isms were hilarious! I like the way he thinks! “There’s poison ivy back there …!”

    I always appreciate your book reviews and I hope that when you finish it, you will at least mention the name of the one you’re disagreeing with and maybe the main area of disagreement. Information like that can be very helpful.

    I buy almost all of my books used on Thriftbooks. It’s a great resource and I love how you can earn free books.

    In mid-June we have a western trip planned. So far it’s still a go, but may look a bit different than our original plans. It involves spending time with kids/grandkids, so we’re hoping it all works out.

    • I hope you get to make your trip in June! I know what you mean–I appreciate when reviews mention problem areas so I can then evaluate whether I want to deal with them or not. This book involved a difference of opinion on an issue that I’m just not sure I want to get into. It’s important enough that I would feel I had to mention it if I reviewed it, but I don’t know if I want to open that can of worms.

    • I’m trying to ignore the negative, too. I don’t want to give up social media completely, because that’s how I keep up with several family members are friends. I’ve “hidden” some of the more strident posts.

  5. I really appreciate these recaps, Barbara. Tim is such a character! I wonder if he will ever go back and read all these posts when he is older and realize he is famous!

    • Thanks, Michele! I may have said this before, but I’ve thought about putting Timothy’s anecdotes and sayings all together in a little book or something. I wish I had done that with my children–we think we’ll remember them forever, but, sadly, we don’t! Sometimes a conversation will trigger connected memories, though.

  6. I enjoy reading your recaps. Children can say and do the funniest things. I miss my Grandkids but we get lots of photos and videos and facetimes so I shouldn’t really complain. I made a couple of masks for hubby and me. They’re not great but they’ll do. I’ll probably make a few more so we have spares when they’re in the wash. Not that we’re going out much. Certainly not enough to worry about masks.

    • We’re the same with masks. I haven’t had occasion to wear mine, but wanted to have one just in case. I made my husband a spare since he’s the one going out. Isn’t it great we have the technology to connect with our loved ones during this social distancing?

  7. My memories of May are mostly being in lock-down here in the UK. And unfortunately June is looking much the same. We have been blessed with lovely weather and things are very, very slowly and cautiously starting to re-open. So hopefully we can return to some sort of normality soon and start planning for the future again #GlobalBlogging

    • I think the lock-down will probably be what most of us remember of this spring, to varying degrees. Our area has started opening up, but unfortunately the COVID cases have increased as well. I have high hopes that things will get better soon.

  8. So many good recommendations! And I agree. My “mom’s” are all going to Glory. My HS pastor passed away on Sunday. Mama Mabel, his wife, called to tell me yesterday. She ended with – tell your siblings I’m praying for them! She decided to take our folks’ place to pray for us after they went to heaven. so sweet and so helpful!

  9. You had me smiling throughout this post, Barbara. I also appreciate the peek behind the curtain of your thoughts as you consider what to post and whether to refrain from posting certain things. 🙂

  10. It looks like despite the restrictions you have kept yourself very well occupied Barbara which is fantastic! Just this week our government are allowing six people to gather both indoors and outdoors so my sisters and I have been visiting each other for the first time in almost 12 weeks. And they got to see their twin nieces again face to face which was lovely! I am hopeful that things will continue to improve so fingers crossed! #globalblogging

  11. The Spacex launch was a great way to end the month and will hopefully inspire a new generation’s fascination with space. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

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