My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

5 Things I’ve Learned This Summer

It’s easy to let days turn into weeks into whole seasons without really thinking. Emily challenges us to pay attention to the things we learn everyday. The big things, the small things and the things we’re not even sure matter. When we pay attention we see that it all matters because it’s all part of this big beautiful life we live.

You Have To Do The Work. Summer feels like an easy time to slack off. And I’m all for taking a break. Finding rest. Letting things go. But we still have to do the work. If we want to complete a project, we need to work on the project instead of talk about it. If we want to conquer that mountain of laundry, we need to start folding. If we want to write the book, we need to type the words (**preaching to myself**). Choose when to rest and when to work. There is time for both.

If we want to complete a project, we need to work on the project instead of talk about it. Click To Tweet

I Don’t Adjust Quickly (And That’s OK). By the time I wrap my head around a trend and embrace it, sometimes it feels like it’s too late. It’s as if I need to be exposed to it far more than most people to get comfortable with the idea. And it goes beyond what shoes or jeans to wear. It applies to faith too. I need time to understand. Time to process and be exposed. I’ve never been a jump right in kind of person, no matter how much I have wished to be. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be whatever version of me I am in this moment because I am loved and worthy no matter where I am in my journey.

Sometimes We Just Need to Stop. The morning was a wreck. None of us could get used to the new summer groove. The skies were gray and cranky reigned. Sometimes the best way to break out of a funk is to take a break. So there, in the middle of an ordinary Friday, we stopped.

I was happy to snuggle my baby girl and feel her breath get slow and deep. To feel the weight of her in my arms and breathe her in. To hit the stop button on all the swirling inside and just be. When life feels hard, when the day is spinning in the wrong direction, the best way to save it sometimes requires a break. (Bonus lesson: kids grow up really quickly. Take every opportunity to hug, hold, snuggle, and kiss).

Watermelon. You really can never go wrong with watermelon. With all the sticky, messy, juicy sweetness it is perfect for almost anything. (Plus, my dad found this tool to make it even easier!)

Just Go. Remember when I talked about taking the trip? I realized it can be even simpler in the day to day. Go to the beach. Swing on the swing. Lay in the grass. Choose to do the thing that brings joy. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. You don’t need to spend the whole day (unless you want to). A half hour swim after dinner. Twenty minutes at the park on your way home. A chapter in the book you love (see some great ones here!) Choose joy. No one is going to choose it for you.

Choose joy. No one is going to choose it for you. Click To Tweet

Sharing words with Emily Freeman, at #raralinkup and with these great writers today!

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

17 Replies

  1. Love this! I’m guilty of thinking and thinking about “all the projects” and then letting summer rush on by without doing the work. Maybe I’ve been too quick to just go and need to do a little more “just stop”.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Stopping can feel terrifying—and wonderful!

  2. Great post! I love the idea of “just stopping”. I’m noticing that more with my youngest the only one not yet in school. It’s hit me that I have two years with him home before everyone is in school and things change. Visiting from Tuesday Talk party.

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s amazing how fast they grow, isn’t it?
      My kids preschool teacher always warned me that “the days are long, but the years are short”
      How true she was!

  3. Tweeted your words about joy! You’re right — and not from a selfish perspective, but truly taking responsibility for our own joyful heart.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thank you Michele!
      It’s an interesting discovery, and it’s not one to take lightly!
      Wishing you a joyful day!

  4. Thank you for sharing these lessons. I’m a slow processor too. It’s taken me years to understand this and ask for more time…and for my husband to give it to me, but it helps immensely!

    1. Becky Hastings

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one! It can be a freedom filled discovery!
      Wishing you a day filled with exhale!

  5. “No one is going to choose it for you.” Powerful statement, friend. 🙂 I’m writing a similar post for when I return from my summer hiatus. 🙂 (Things I learned over the summer.) Thanks for sharing your summer-school lessons. 🙂 Some of those I’ve learned myself and some of them I could stand to learn, too. (I don’t try new things quickly either.) Hope you’ve had a refreshing summer. xoxo

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thank you friend! I look forward to reading your lessons 🙂
      Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer hiatus!

  6. I love these posts, so I’m glad you shared at #PorchStories! You’re right that choosing joy is an intentional choice we make.

  7. Great post! And I totally agree with the watermelon part… it’s one of the best parts of summer! 🙂

  8. What beautiful sentiments! I absolutely LOVE this post! The last couple of days I have been reflecting back over our summer, (which isn’t quite over because us Canadians don’t go back until after labor day) and I’ve realized this summer has a been a beautiful one for just relaxing and being. We haven’t had a huge list of things we needed to do, but we’ve enjoyed lots of fun moments out and lots of relaxing moments at home. This may have been my favorite summer since being a mama yet. (It’s been 12 years, by the way)

  9. Just stopping. Yep, I can resonate.

    Choosing to do that makes starting again a real joy.

    Loved this post, Becky!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yes! And we can all use some joy! 🙂

  10. I did a lot of head-nodding as I read you post, Becky. Every single one of your points resonated in some way. I appreciate the “me too” moments in life. Thanks for paving the way for one today.

    1. Becky Hastings

      So glad you’re here Natalie 🙂

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