Somehow it’s July already (and not even the beginning anymore). As I’ve done the last few months, I’m borrowing Emily P. Freeman’s reflection questions to pause and look back over my month. Once again, I’m reordering them capriciously.
What’s the best thing that could happen in July?
Done already happened: Alycia arrived Sarah and Beth released their 500th episode which made me cry and Hamilton dropped on Disney+ ALL ON THE SAME DAY. (I converted to the devoted fandom of Hamilton the morning of the third and have since fallen down a very deep rabbit hole.) The rest of the month is gravy. Take that, 2020.
What’s one thing you’ve learned?
Andrew gave me a gift at the beginning of the month: Mondays. Because Covid slowed his work down while my various projects are ramping up, he offered to stay home and let me work elsewhere on Mondays. This finds me every monday sitting in the parking lot of the library, mooching their wicked-fast wifi because I can’t go in—they’re only open “by appointment.” (I keep meaning to call and figure out what, exactly, that means.) I am learning how hard it is to focus even when I don’t have kids around. I still have various notifications interrupting me and a brain pinging between a dozen different projects. But I’m also learning how much I can get done when I do focus. When I sit down with my laptop open, manage to settle myself along the bench seat of Andrew’s pickup without a seatbelt buckle jabbing me in the thigh, turn off Slack notifications and the Hamilton soundtrack and just make my fingers type words—even if they feel stupid—I can knock out a lot of work. It turns out, it doesn’t matter if my writing is stupid as long as I’m getting it out. It’s relatively simple to edit crappy first drafts into something less crappy, then workable, then maybe good. As painful and slow as this process is, it’s less ridiculous than staring at an outline and never get any words down at all.
Where did you see God in June?
One of my best friends was supposed to move up in the middle of the month. She was going to move in with us, but there’s construction stuff going on and we didn’t have a place for her then. This wouldn’t be a problem except that she’s become a crazy cat mom recently, and she was worried about the stress of multiple moves for her kitty. She really just needed a place to be and stay and we didn’t yet have one. Early in the month, she asked me, “would it be less stressful if I just pushed it back a couple of weeks?” I hesitated to answer, because I dearly wanted her here, but also… yes. It would be less stressful.
She moved her ticket from the 15th of June to the 3rd of July and we all moved on with our lives. About three weeks ago, she called me on one of my Monday workdays (I now spend Mondays out of the house getting writing and editing done). “Do you have margin?” I was in the library parking lot about to start a timed writing sprint. I had just set up the timer and my finger was hovering over “start” when the phone rang. If she had called one second later, I’d have let it go to voicemail because I can be weird and legalistic about these things.
“He got in an accident. He went to the ER. I was in a therapy session.”
The words came out in a jumble. It took a second for me to figure out who had been hurt, how badly, and that he was not likely to die, though he absolutely should have. One of her closest friends local to her in NC (whom I also adore) had been pinned between his brand-new, very large pickup and a crappy old equipment shed. If the shed had any less structural integrity, it would’ve collapsed had he’d have been mowed down. If it’d had any more, the wall wouldn’t have flexed enough for him to get breath and he’d have suffocated. He happened to be connected via bluetooth, which, persnickety as it tends to be, happened to understand his gasping words. The man he called happened to be an EMT and close enough to find him after he was purple from the eyes up and grey from the eyes down but before he was dead. He happened to have zero major internal injuries, despite being crushed at his midsection by thousands of pounds of truck. His wife happenes to work in an orthopedic practice, thus finding him the best available care for each of his major orthopedic surgeries.
It happened to be June 15th. Alycia should have been in the air. Instead, she happened to be staying in this friend’s guest room between the end of her lease at the beginning of the month and her flight to Alaska.
She spent the last three weeks being the hands and feet of Jesus to him, providing ice, helping after surgery on his radius and then his tibia. Because of a stressful inconvenience in our construction timeline.
I would not have chosen to have either the remodeling or her arrival pushed back. I was mad about it, to be honest. I’m not anymore. I now see (again)—I don’t have all the data and sometimes God is at work in my inconveniences to bring about His plans.