• Claire Barham

What I learned in July

Already nearly two weeks in to August, it feels a little late to be reflecting on July...but I think its still worthwhile to share.

The practice of reflection at the end of each month is a helpful tool to intentionally remember the month through photos I took, projects I completed, and to re-read the things I wrote about as I began each day that month, sleepy-eyed with a cup of coffee in hand.

This small practice provides clarity, perspective, and a measure of closure, as I end one month and step in to the next.

The extra- mile(s) really do make a difference.

One of my favorite ways to live out the saying "go the extra mile," is to literally get in my car and drive to see that important person, or go do that long-awaited thing.

July was Patten and I's first month of marriage, and we were able to both travel some extra miles for others, and to have others travel extra miles for us.

It was worth it every single time.

Audiobook editing!

Learning new skills has been a true gift in July.

After four years of developing academic skills, it is really fun to be pulled out of my routine and pushed in to a world of new opportunities, teachers, partners, and experiences.

I never would have been able to learn how to edit audio, or how to begin recording an audiobook, without my friend Avery. With him, it's been productive and fulfilling.

Waking up early

I love mornings, and I have always struggled to be awake early enough to enjoy them.

My poor snooze-button habit has been a point of personal frustration for quite a long time...but in July, I started to get the hang of it.

Patten has an early morning work commute, so I owe much of this victory to him. Nonetheless, having time to read, write, pray, and watch the sun come up is an absolute delight.

Now for a different kind of sharing. Emily P. Freeman shared in her monthly newsletter three questions for her readers to think on at the end of July. Here are some of my responses.

Where did I see God in July?

Homemaking has been hard, and I’ve seen God through that, because he makes his home in me so flawlessly.

In a time where community is hard to safely come by, and personally, where I am in a brand new community, what a gift that God is reminding me that my home is with Him.

The nicest parts of our new home that are the most clean and perfect are equally as seen and inhabited by God as the tiniest, dirtiest ones.

He does the same thing in my soul.

What’s one thing I know for sure?

The Humans of New York Facebook/Instagram page has recently reinforced that beyond a shadow of a doubt, stories matter.

During the pandemic, the page has begun to accept submissions of photos and stories digitally rather than gathering stories in their traditional, face-to-face method.

The stories that have been shared are phenomenal.

I’ve always loved that page, but something about people coming forward first, rather than being approached, has made the recent posts all the more personal. They offer up their deepest life stories and relationships to thousands of readers.

Their words are often simple and matter-of-fact. They're valuable because they're real.

What am I looking forward to in August?


Digging into this new home, and new life in Perry.

How vague and simple is that? That's how life is at the moment though. Its admittedly hard to have a lot of tangible goals during a pandemic, so I'll just be here, digging deeper in to this life, whatever that may look like.

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