June 2020 goals

2 June 2020

Hello, friends. Like you, I’ve spent the past week in incessant conversation with those around me about what is happening right now. About George Floyd. About Christian Cooper. About the protests and the riots. About you, reading, who might not be white. I have been praying, listening, thinking, reading, and talking to those closest to me. I have been asking (sometimes hourly) for a fresh heart: one that is willing to sit with the pain of others, to turn away from feeling offended, to quiet my own needs, to be humbled (again and then again).

In all this, I am severely imperfect, and this is not about me – but this is a space I am responsible for. I believe in words, but I believe more in actions. That’s what these posts are – a chance to share the actions I’m taking each month to move forward on the things that matter to me (always imperfectly, always incompletely), and an offer to you to do the same. Whether you feel timid or confused or are just in deep pain right now, here’s something I know: cultivating what matters in our hearts, in our families, in our world always starts with one step. And it continues with another. Here are a few of the steps I’m taking in June.

On my calendar this month:
— Blueberry picking, hopefully many times over
— Filming June in June Volume 5… the hunt for the perfect song is on!
— Father’s Day

What I’m loving right now:
— In light of Father’s Day, might I recommend a pair of these shorts for your favorite dad? John (who never buys clothes) just went hog wild and bought two pairs, and he is in love. He has the “One Short.”
— I appreciate so much the way David Brooks consistently and movingly writes about morality. His most recent essay struck me, especially this line: “He would have stored in his upbringing the understanding that hard times are the making of character, a revelation of character and a test of character.”
— I planned to feature a few books featuring diverse characters in this section, as adding to our library was one of the first tangible actions I took this weekend, but there ended up being too many to list – so I moved them to their own dedicated post tomorrow! In the meantime, this one and this one are two of our favorites.

What I read in May:
The Invention of Wings | WOW this was so good. I hadn’t read anything by Sue Monk Kidd since The Secret Lives of Bees over a decade ago, and I forgot how elegant of a writer she is. This book is set over several decades in the 1800’s and follows two entwined stories loosely based on real figures: a white girl who grows up to be a Quaker Abolitionist, and the black girl she is given ownership of on her 11th birthday. I think fiction is one of the most beautiful and effective ways to grow empathy for people who are different than us, and on that basis alone I would highly recommend this one.
Unshakeable | This is a memoir written by Cultivate’s summer intern (!). Besides the fact that it’s wildly impressive for a college student to have self-published a book, I appreciated how she handled her rough transition to college, given my own. It was also another eyeopening and frightening look at how insidious anxiety can be for so many people today.
The Secrets of Happy Families | I gave this book an enthusiastic thumbs up on Instagram when I was a few chapters in, and though I still very much recommend it, the first section turned out to be my favorite. The later chapters felt a little more surface to me, and not quite as original. I fully admit this could be because some of the topics in the first section, like family mission statements and behavior charts, are things I’m actively mulling over right now :)

I’m still chugging along with my 2020 reading list as best I can, despite not having library access! I did just purchase Just Mercy, my February pick, because I was on an endless wait list even before the library closed and I’m eager to dive in.

Revisiting my May goals:
Clean out the garage (Some progress made! We got rid of a big desk taking up space.)
Digitize loose photos from 2005-2009
Design and print our first family photo album (Yes!!)
Finish reading Matthew with John and begin Mark
Complete gifts for Mother’s Day with June + Shep (Yes! We made thumbprint laminated bookmarks – so cute!)
Send watercolor hugs
Go camping in our backyard (So fun! See a peek here.)
Complete friend dossiers
Experiment with a custom Publix shopping list (Done and it has been a major success!)
Make a list of all our non-recipe meals for binder (Done! More on my recipe binder.)

June goals:
— Add more diverse faces to our family library
— Finish reading Matthew with John
— Set up a simple email newsletter for EFM. Lisa kindly sent over some instructions, and I’m happy to make this happen for those who have asked over the years! It will just be a simple email every time there’s a new post – nothing fancy :)
— Write some entries in our COVID-19 family journal. Cultivate has some great prompts I plan to use to make this easy!
— Photocopy favorite recipes from cookbooks to round out our recipe binder
— Book our camping trip for this fall
— Have a little three-person game night every Friday this month with June, after Shep goes to bed. As I’ve said, gotta start early :)
— Use the Peloton app to move every day this month on days we don’t ride our bikes or otherwise exercise. Looking forward to exploring cardio, strength, stretching, yoga, and more!

Sending you all love, friends. Let’s make this a really great month ahead.

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June 2, 2020 9:54 am

I am SO glad you loved The Invention of Wings!! It’s absolutely incredible, as is The Secret Life of Bees. Sue Monk Kidd is definitely one of my longtime favorite authors, and I finished her newest book last week. Add The Book of Longings (I read it on the Libby app) to your list ASAP!! I think you’ll love it so much – and I think you’ll find the characters and plot fascinating and poignant… it’s a fiction read about Jesus’ wife. Yep.

June 2, 2020 11:19 am

I appreciate your sentiments at the beginning of this post. Beautifully said, as always. Thank you for sharing your recent reads, I’m definitely going to check out Unshakable! I think reading about the power of faith over fear is something we could all use after these past few months :) Also, looking forward to seeing your diversity reading list, as well!

June 2, 2020 2:47 pm

Your thoughts at the start of this post were so well written. Thank you for articulating so well the thoughts and feelings that I’m sure many have had in recent days. On a different note, I would love to hear more about your friend dossiers! What do these entail? Hopefully there will be a post about the purpose and how to create one (or if there already is a post, my apologies).

June 4, 2020 10:16 pm

Your words in the beginning were so well written. Sometimes I read your posts thinking: That’s exactly what I’m feeling/thinking, I just haven’t or couldn’t put it in words.
Also, thanks for recommending that article by David Brooks. Absolutely worth reading!
Just like “The Invention of Wings”. Glad to hear your loved it! Definitely one of my favorite books so far this year.