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Sometimes finding the beauty in the ordinary can be difficult. This year is certainly no exception. Sharing what I’ve loved, read, treasure, and what is ahead helps me reframe the month, to see the beauty I may have missed.  Heather hosts her Share Four Somethings link-up and I love the motivation to look back. Sometimes I have to dig deep to find the good, and those months I appreciate this discipline.  

Loved

The show Alone has been around for several years, but I only became aware of it last month when season 6 premiered on Netflix. An epic adventure with nature’s beauty as the backdrop? Yes please!

The idea of the show couldn’t be timelier. Due to the ‘Rona, we are living a fraction of the isolation that the contestants face yet understand now more than ever how much contact with others is needed for human survival. 

Not only are the participants alone in a remote location, they have to use their survival skills to provide all their most basic needs – food, water, shelter, fire. The person who remains Alone longest wins $500,000.

Each episode opens with a quote, from a famous person from history. The History Channel is home to the show, and after watching every episode for 4 seasons, this is the closest correlation I’ve been able to find. 

However, the quote impacting me the most comes from a season 3 contestant and plays at the beginning of each episode. 

Are you willing to give up who you are for what you will become?

Alone, Season 3

I love the safety and security of the familiar. Growing in maturity in Christ (and in general) means stepping out of my comfort zone. Balance that with the challenge to be content in whatever circumstance, as Paul talks about in the book of Philippians, and I’ve got quite the task ahead of me.

For binge-worthy entertainment Jay and I watch casually in the evenings, Alone prompts some deep thoughts and offers parable-esque life lessons. And I love the dichotomy. 

Jay and I snuggled in on the couch.

Read

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

I was at my sister’s house this weekend, and she let me go through her paperback “to read” stack for anything I might find interesting. This one is a book about some exceptional children who are recruited for a mysteriously dangerous task. I’m reading a chapter a night, kinda like a bedtime story. I think its geared towards middle schoolers. I’m enjoying it so far.

“The Trouble with Children or, Why They are Necessary” – an early chapter of the book

Each of the four children are exceptional in different ways. Their strengths don’t look the same, and that’s what makes them a good team. Yet another source of deep life lessons, packaged in an accessible and fun format.

Treasured

I’ve always been a heavy user of my local library. My world expanded when a friend showed me how to sign up for the app our library uses to loan MP3 audiobooks and ebooks formatted for Kindle. Then my sister introduced me to the online card catalog – which allows patrons to request interlibrary loans and place holds on books.

I treasure my library, now more than ever. While they were shut down due to the Coronavirus, they offered curbside book pickup. They’ve been open for a few weeks now, but they still go above and beyond to serve us. I can use the online card catalog to “order” books, then pick them up at the front desk. This allows me to get books, without risking COVID exposure roaming around the library stacks. (Although I long for the day walking up and down the aisle gives me joy!)

More high-risk patrons who don’t want to enter the building at all can still use the curbside service, reserving the books via the online card catalog. While picking up my new stack of books, I return the ones I had finished earlier that week. The librarian wiped each book with disinfectant before returning it to circulation. Just another way these everyday heroes are going above and beyond to keep us well-read and safe.

Ahead

“What’s ahead?” seems to be the $64,000 question of the year. I’ve started an exercise training program that specifically targets my hiking muscles. When Europe opens back up to Amercians, I want to be ready for an epic hike. This week marks the anniversary of our trip to Scotland and our adventure along the West Highland Way. 

In the meantime, Jay and I must decide where to visit domestically. Is air travel safe – or more to the point, am I comfortable with it?  For now, I will learn to be content watching YouTube videos of different hikes around the globe, so Jay and I can continue to refine our #CampFraddTakesAHike list.


That’s July in the books. What’s been the highlight of your month. I’d love for you to share in the comments what’s brought a smile to your face these past few weeks.