August 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in August: 

1. Finishing the 15th draft of WLHYL, and beginning to work on my Echoes series again

2. Marathon training (eating healthily, lots of running, and trying to go to sleep at a reasonable hour)
3. Family Time 
4. Getting back into the swing of things at home 

Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 

4. Go to Wednesday night church 24 times {2}
8. Writer 24 A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words short stories {1}
13. Write a monthly review on my blog within 5 days of the end of the month whenever internet is available {COMPLETED!}
14. Blog my 3 (or more) top goals for each month within 5 days of the beginning of each month whenever internet is available {September still to go}
24. Read out loud for 24 hours {4}


Non-Fiction: 4
Fiction: 3
Reviews: 7
Audio Books: 1 

Nights gone: 12
New States or Countries: None 
August Goals 
If God wills and I live, in August…
1. I will be able to do a half marathon (13.1 miles) in 3 hours {YES!}
2. I will send the completed 15th draft of WLHYL out for another round of beta reading {YES!}
3. I will read three non-fiction books {YES!}
4. I will begin writing 1,000 words each day for my 24 before 24 challenge {YES!}
5. I will finish memorizing the first 3 chapters of Philippians {Haha…Nope. I did work on it, though.}

What I’ve Been Learning
Ah, this month was fantastic, as was August in 2015, which I find mildly amusing. See, for years August has been my least favorite month of the year, it’s hot and stuffy and just plain in the way of glorious September. But then last year and this year, I went into the month determined to fully appreciate it and not dwell on upcoming September too much, and guess what? It works. Mindset really does make a big difference, even with “little” things like embracing whatever month is currently taking center stage. 
I didn’t do a ton of reading this month because I was really focused on editing and then writing, but I still managed to glean a lot from the books I did take in. I learned more about piano and being a musician, read about service dogs (amazing creatures), and about how different people react to motherhood differently. 
Through Intercessory Prayer, a book by Dutch Sheets, I also learned a great deal about what the Bible really has to say about prayer, and how to pray more effectively. Since beginning the book, I have indeed begun changing the way I pray, so that’s a plus. I’ve also been trying to learn about how to study the Bible in a more productive way. 
This month I’ve also enjoyed delving some into American History. I’ve always enjoyed history, but it’s been a while since I’ve sat down and just studied it. Looking at how our nation was founded is always a good reminder of where we came from and put life back into perspective. 

I was reminded over and over again of how I’m surrounded by amazing people. Sometimes I forget about how blessed I am, but then people waltz in and do something that makes me shake my head in wonder. Like my brother calmly saying “It’s totally fine, I’ll fix it” when I make a mistake at work that costs him time and energy. Or my sister making siblings breakfast in bed. Or a friend pulling an all-nighter to finish beta reading WLHYL. Or several people band together so some of my most wonderful friends can come and stay for a week. Or when I talk to another brother on the phone and he prays for God to bless me. Or when my best friend shares her special food with me. Or when other beta readers give me updates and spend so much of their time on the book. Through all this I’m learning to set aside my plans and be willing to help, too, because being like those^ people is a high ideal to reach for. (Being the hands and feet of Christ, y’all!) 


This month started out with editing, and then morphed into writing. I had a lot of fun spending time working on my new series, Echoes, and getting updates on When Life Hands You Lymes. Yesterday was day 19 of writing at least 1,000 words each day, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the challenge. Writing 1,000 words doesn’t take much time, but it really helps the story progress at steady pace. 
I spent nearly the first two weeks of the month in Florida visiting family. When I wasn’t working on writing or running, I had lots of fun conversations and played a multitude of games. *cue happy sigh* When I got home life was crazy and busy, and amazing. And I mean like, very crazy, and very busy, and very amazing. One of the wonderfully happy parts was being thrilled and excited to have some of my amazing friends who live across the world come and visit me for a week. So yay! (Like, lots of Yay! and lots of late nights, and lots of laughter, and…you get the picture.) (Can you feel the enthusiasm?)             
THE OLYMPICS! Can we just take a moment to breath in deeply and happily and sigh in delight and maybe dance around the room and do a couple of backflips? I’m incredibly thankful and blessed that God worked it out so that we were around TVs during the Olympics. We don’t have TV at home and I literally never wish that we did, but the Olympics? Goodness, do yo have any clue how incredibly inspiring they are? Since we were in Florida during the first half of them, I had such an incredible time watching them. Someday I’m gonna have to write a whole post about them, because wow… (Aka, the USA ladies gymnastics team is just utterly amazing.) *cue happiness and excitement and inspiration*
Eating healthily was a big part of this month, and it turned out really well. Like, why do I ever stop? Who knows. (Actually, I do. It’s because it’s generally more work to find food that’s paleo, and sometimes I crave other stuff, so…) But yeah, being healthy this month was good for me. 
OH! Folks, I have a darling new nephew. I hardly ever talk about my family on this blog, but I wanted to gush about being an aunt for a moment. BEING AN AUNT IS WONDERFUL! Okay. We’re good now. You can go back to your normal lives. 
Woah. I’m not sure when I’ve ever had such a gushy month review. Just to make sure we have a little bit of perspective (cause, I go back through and read these posts at the end of the year), there were some hard moments this month. My health wasn’t as stellar as I was hoping for (which was pretty hard), and there were some misunderstands, and deadlines and goals weren’t always met, but overall? Overall it was really amazing! I’m incredibly thankful for this month and quite excited for next month! (SEPTEMBER, oh glory be!)
* * * 
So, I’d be delighted to hear about y’alls August. How did it go? 

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