July Reflections

Elisabeth Elliot used to say that when she spoke on a certain topic, she would be tested on that topic right before or after she spoke. Boy, have I experienced that since writing about impatience and frustration Monday! One example: Tuesday I was making a card that I wanted to send out that day. It wasn’t essential that I mail it off that day, but that was my desire. After I cut out the scrapbooking paper I wanted to use, I noticed red splotches all over the paper and the blank card. Then I noticed blood on my finger. I must have gotten a paper cut at some point. So I had to go wash my finger, get a bandaid, toss the paper and card, and start all over. That made me late getting done and running my errands, and I came home late and very hot and sweaty. Then I requested getting hamburgers for dinner since I did not feel at all like cooking, and happily, my husband agreed. So it ended up well. 🙂 I don’t even remember what the other issues were, but they were all little things and all tested my desire to be calm and patient.

In other news . . . It’s hot. Very hot.

My fifteenth blogging anniversary passed by forgotten until WordPress reminded me. I’ve very much enjoyed it, especially getting to know many of you.


We enjoyed a long 4th of July weekend and grilled hamburgers here. We celebrated my middle son’s birthday this month at his house with grilled chicken and S’mores cake.

We’re continuing to work on the guest room. My husband painted a desk for me and put new hardware on it. My son and daughter-in-law gave us their queen bed since they wanted a king-sized one. We put curtains and shelves up as well as the main piece of art work over the bed. The room is in a usable state for when my oldest son comes to visit next month, but there are still a few things I’d like to get done in there. I’ve been enjoying the process.


I made a few more cards than usual for July. This was for Jason’s birthday:

The beard was done on the Cricut.

These two were done for different friends going through various issues:

The “I’m thinking of you” sentiment is a stamp that I’ve had for ages.

This one was for friends who just recently revealed they are expecting a new little one early next year:

The little “onesie” shape was done on the Cricut.


Since last time, I have finished:

  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson is a novel that ties together two interesting historical factors: the blue people of Kentucky and the Pack Horse Librarians. Very interesting!
  • Heaven Sent Rain by Lauraine Snelling. Christian contemporary fiction about a scientist and entrepreneur who notices a boy with his dog outside her office building. She buys the boy breakfast, beginning a regular habit. Then he calls her when his dog is in an accident, and she is pulled into his family’s life. Very good.
  • Three Shall Be One by Francena Arnold. An older Christian fiction book (published in 1953) about a young couple with extreme in-law issues. Neither are believers. Despite a couple of implausible plot twists, it’s a sweet story.
  • The Summer Kitchen by Lisa Wingate. Contemporary Christian fiction about a woman getting her uncle’s house ready to sell and who gets involved with several people in the low-income neighborhood.
  • Out of the Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer. Excellent mystery or suspense about a man recalled to Charleston, SC, a city he had agreed never to return to. He’s lured by promise of information about the mother who abandoned him as a child.
  • A Southern Season: Stories from a Front Porch Swing, four stories set in the South by Eva Marie Everson, Linda W. Yezak, Claire Fullerton, and Ane Mulligan. Very good.
  • Ten Words to Live By: Delighting In and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin. Excellent nonfiction about the Ten Commandments.
  • The Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith, the “Q” Gadget Wizard of World War II by Charles Fraser-Smith. Fascinating true story about a man tasked with procuring and hiding supplies to British soldiers and agents during WWII.

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Equipped (Deuteronomy): Acquiring the Tools for Spiritual Success by Warren Wiersbe
  • The Good Portion—Scripture: The Doctrine of Scripture for Every Woman by Keri Folmar
  • Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson
  • The Man Who Was Q: the True Story of Charles Fraser-Smith, the ‘Q’ Wizard of World War II by David Porter
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life by Susan Hertog (audiobook)

Someone asked me in a comment recently how many books I finish a week. It varies from zero to three, but it’s usually one or two.

I usually finish around 70+ a year. I usually have four going at a time: one on an audiobook that I listen to while driving, dressing, doing housework; one on my Kindle app that I usually read a little while in the evenings until I get too sleepy; one in the bathroom ( 🙂 ); one Christian nonfiction that I read on Saturdays, the day our church Bible reading program doesn’t have anything scheduled. I can only do that if they are all different. If I read more than one contemporary Christian fiction or WWII book or whatever at the same time, I’d get them mixed up. I expanded on this a few years ago in Finding Time to Read.


Besides the weekly Friday’s Fave Fives and almost weekly Laudable Linkages and book reviews, I’ve shared these posts:

  • 14 Reasons to Read the Old Testament. Many of us gravitate to the NT, but it’s built upon and entwined with the OT.
  • Remembering How God Has Led. “My heart was tender thinking back over God’s working in my life. As I opened my Bible reading for the day, I came to Deuteronomy 8:2: ‘And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness.’ It’s amazing how God prepares me for what I am going to encounter in His Word.”
  • Don’t-ing or Doing. “The Bible does have a lot to say about what we should not do. . . . But the Bible doesn’t stop with a list of ‘don’ts.’ ‘So flee youthful passions,’ 2 Timothy 2:22 says. But it goes on to say, ‘and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.'”
  • Battling Anger, Frustration, and Impatience. “When a flash of anger or frustration or impatience flares up, I pray for forgiveness and try to gain the right perspective. . . . Lately I’ve wondered if there’s a way to head that flare-up off at the pass. ‘Good sense makes one slow to anger’ (Proverbs 19:11). So I sat down one afternoon and sought some good sense ‘to be renewed in the spirit of [my] mind’ (Ephesians 4:23).


Not much besides the blog.

In August, our oldest son coming for a visit. His time here will include both his birthday and mine. My husband will take that week off, and we’re looking forward to lots of family time with the whole gang together.

How was your July?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers)

13 thoughts on “July Reflections

  1. How fun to have everyone together! Definitely a month to look forward to. And ha, yes, so true about being tested in the very way of something you’ve just written about/talked about/etc. So sorry about the card 😦 but glad you ended up with hamburgers for dinner 🙂 Always love seeing your cards. A couple of sisters from the church where I play organ brought several they made last Sunday and I enjoyed looking at all the ideas/techniques/etc. You mentioned at my place the turnover in piano students. Yes, I always “grieve” just a bit when I lose a student, and am excited about new ones. So there are plenty of emotions for me at this time of year!

  2. All your reading inspires me. I sometimes have two books going at a time but that’s about all I can absorb at the moment. It sure is hot right now! Hopefully we’ll get a cool down soon. Lots of birthdays for you this month and next!

  3. I also need the books I’m reading at the same time to be very different. Two of the books I’m reading now are totally different in content, but their names are similar and that’s making it hard for me too! 🙂

  4. I usually have just 2 books going, one at home, and one for the road.
    I have also experienced the tension of writing or speaking on a topic and being TESTED as.part of the process!

  5. I loved reading about your month, and your books 🙂 I too, usually have more than one going – usually two at a time. But as of late, I have slowed down in my reading. I am taking my time in going through books, trying to process more deeply what I am to learn from each book. Enjoy the month of August and your son’s visit and the birthdays!

  6. Sounds like July was a great month! Mine was quite eventful as well – I moved across the state to be closer to family, so I’m definitely happy that moving is done with. Lots of work indeed!
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin

  7. Pingback: 15 Favorite Posts from 15 Years of Blogging | Stray Thoughts

  8. I enjoyed reading your July reflections Barbara, thank you for sharing them. I love your cards, I’m completely uncreative so I have a huge amount of respect for anyone with a gift! I’m a Christian too so thank you for sharing what you’ve been reading, I’ll have to check those books out for myself. I’ll be praying for you 🙂 I hope you have a lovely time when your son visits and you both enjoy your birthdays. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Take care. Lucy

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