Happy June, friends! Let’s bust out the mowers and grills, crank some fresh playlists, and light up our fire pits! The mosquitos may be big, but our blessings are bigger. God is working all things for our good and His glory—we just have to be disciplined enough to catch how. So spread a blanket and find shooting stars. Try a new salad combination. Browse the bookshelves and the coffee shop and the dance studio and the street corners to find glimpses of glory. They’re there, I promise.
Some June gifts to point you toward
Non-profit: The Exodus Road
I mentioned in this post about how Riley and I are working for the dignity of the human soul by teaming up with a very cool group of slave-freers. This program utilizes teams in Thailand, India, Southeast Asia, and the US. They hire investigators to gather enough intelligence on slavery hubs (brothels, sweat shops, etc.) to make a legal bust and set the captives free. One of my favorite things about it is that they train natives to fight trafficking in their own areas. They also walk closely with local police and social workers, keeping everything aboveboard on the scale of legitimacy. If you want to make a difference in the life of a pre-teen virgin being sold to the highest bidder, a victim of a crime syndicate, or a child in a labor camp, you should definitely look into The Exodus Road.
Productivity Enhancer: ATracker (short for Activity Tracker)
I can’t tell you how helpful this app has been for keeping me on task. They have a lite version if you just want a general idea of where your time goes, but I splurged on the full one for $5 so I could customize it and get more specific. Apart from being really easy to use and running in the background, I love the alarms feature (which I need for things like, “Hey, fancy face, time to do your Bible reading!”) and the fact that I can choose colors and icons for each activity I put in. This app lets you look back over the last day, week, month, or year and see what you’ve invested time in (from Pinterest to laundry to studying for school) and where you should scale back in the future. If you feel frantic about your schedule (or even just want to know how to improve), please please please check this app out.
Self-Discovery Tool: 16 Personalities Test
If you’ve never taken a good Myers Briggs evaluation, it’s time, friend. God created you the way He did for a reason, and until you know how He made you, it’ll be hard to figure out why He made you like that. This tool takes about ten minutes and gives scary accurate results about your personality and how it functions in different situations (e.g., romance and the workplace). It also provides insight into your type’s strengths and weaknesses, famous people within your type (I’m happily the same as Hermione Granger), and how it affects your friends and kids. Take the time to geek out for a little bit. You’ll be glad you did.
Literary Character: Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings
This girl, though. She is a beauty with brains and a bunch of guts. Her loyalty and independent mind mark her as a true image-bearer of God, and she uses her constant quiet strength to fight evil. Compassion flows through her, influencing how she treats the overlooked. Eowyn’s people see her as fearless and beloved, and she is given charge over their safekeeping in dangerous times, a rare responsibility for a woman in her culture. Her crowning moment is standing up to an enemy all others have shrunk back from, challenging and ultimately defeating him. She’s my current favorite character because she gives such a deep look into who we as women were intended to be: defiant in the face of terror, shielding our loved ones from the dark.
Disney Song: Moana‘s Shiny
Okay, listen. I change Disney song preferences all the time. But for right now, this is my jam. The lyrics are clever, the singer is a longtime favorite from Flight of the Conchords, and frankly, my color of choice is anything that glitters. I love the line, “You little mini semi demigod” because it’s a great reminder about all of the functional saviors I temporarily trust in; they’re all mini semi demigods in the face of the One True King. Riley has taken to singing this song when we’re cleaning the house (making it nice and shiny). If you’re gonna get something stuck in your head, it might as well be a tune that’s fun and reminds you of truth, right?