Counting that August Fruit.

I swear y'all, I don't THINK I'm a negative person. 

In general, I thing I live way more in the hopeful-space than I do in the negative one. But something I'm learning about myself is this: I'm generally more hopeful about the future and more critical of the past. I post-mortem everything. "How did that meeting go? That trip? That day?" There is something in my personality that is very comfortable with correction and self-correction, so I think it's easier for me to identify what went wrong (and what I want to change) and harder for me to say what went well. 

I see this the most in the passing of months. I'm usually very ready for a new day, new week, new month, new year. I feel the weight of what wasn't good and I want to shift it, have another shot. I'm HOPEFUL but not necessarily awesome at being grateful. 

So before I dig into the post-mortem of August, can I count the fruit for a second? Here's what God did in the last month: 

- He helped us get ALL FOUR KIDS settled in school! Even little Cannon Murray. Between the forms, the uniforms, the sleep adjusting, the new rhythms - this was a lot of work, but I'd say we're mostly transitioned into the 2016/2017 school year. 
- The Lord helped us start the very big transition from Naptime Diaries into Amen Paper Company! We had a big awesome photoshoot with Paige Knudsen, launched a website and our fall line AND created the production of our Advent calendar and devotional. What you can't see in these few sentences are hours upon hours upon hours of work, but "our sweat, His glory", like my friend Rach always says. 
- I feel like God gifted me with the sweetest 32nd birthday ever. A day of praying with friends, laughing and resting with family, so many surprises from friends close by and far away. And at dinner, Nick read a written out list of all God done over the last year and my heart just about burst. I didn't deserve any of that and yet He gives lavishly. 
- I felt the freedom to PAUSE on writing book #2, for just a few weeks, but still. It felt like one of the most emotionally healthy and spiritually healthy decisions I've made in a while. 
- Honestly, y'all. I cried like a baby through so much of August. Cried to my sister and mama, cried to my friends, cried through conflict and hard conversation. Cried when I was stressed, cried with just me and the Lord. Nick saw me cry. My kids saw me cry. I cried at church. But what a blessing it is to feel humbled and meek with the Lord. To feel like He alone is your comfort. Thanks God for tears that bring us to our knees. 
- I kicked off the fall speaking/traveling season in August and I have nothing but a big old THANK YOU GOD in my heart when I realize this is my job. I am 100% living 1 Corinthians 1:27: God using the weak and foolish things of this world (me), but I'm very grateful to get to point to Him with all my awkward foolishness. 
- Church has felt good and healthy this month and so has marriage. Nothing too crazy, just more baby steps of faithfulness and growth. And we didn't quit either. Which is HONESTLY a win, amen?

(monthly goals)
- Assemble a Wild and Free college team // DID NOT get this done, but we're closer than we were! I think I've mostly passed this off to the right people.
- Pick a devotional book to read with Glory (cause she's my sister now!) // SHOOT. I didn't do this! Any suggestions for a good devo book to read with an 8 year old?
- Set up my own Bible Study + Writing spot in our house // DID NOT DO, but the couch worked just fine for August
- Diving into writing Book #2 (due date is November 1st!)  // DID NOT DO, but! Did pause so I'm not technically "behind".
- Announce new Naptime Diaries partnership, business name, and launch Fall line!  // DID DO! WOOHOO AMEN PAPER COMPANY
- Set up a good after-school routine // DID DO! Turns out that the best afternoon routine for us to leave our house almost every single day. So that's what I'm trying to do. After school activities, errands, park, you name it. 
- Start taking my supplements again (These are the basic ones I take) // I'd say I'm 50%! I always remember my probiotic + thyroid meds. I hit the rest about every other day. 
- Make a friend love language list to love my people well // DID DO! Well, started at least. 

Here's the thing I love about setting goals. 
I love that not getting them all done isn't failing. You learn more about yourself, you learn if they were good goals to begin with. And if they're really worth it, you feel humbled + get to try again the next day, week, or month. And with that... 

- Brainstorm a list of healthy and delicious fall meals. I know I need a long list ready to go for the whole family, for me, etc. 
- Start using gratefulness journals with the kids. We got off track and I'm ready to start again!
- Hire + train a Creative Marketing Specialist for Amen Paper Company. This person will mostly be freeing me up so that I can focus on book writing and speaking and let Helen and Will do the day-to-day running of the business. 
-  Complete our Advent photoshoot (AHHHH! SPOILER ALERT, we're shooting at The Nester's house!) and launch presales for Advent calendar + devotional. 
- Do a "gentle cleanse". My goal for September: no alcohol, no refined sugar, no gluten, and only 3 cups of coffee per day. IT'S THE COFFEE THAT'S GONNA KILL ME. 
- Start with margin. I want to attempt planning my days, weeks, and month with rest and margin and health FIRST, so they don't get squeezed out and I don't end up sick like last fall. 
- Plan personal fall content + make a social media plan. What to blog about? When to send newsletters? Snapchat vs. Instagram stories? Facebook live? Whoosh. I need a plan. So grateful for Jensine, my ministry partner to help me do it wisely and worshipfully. 
- RESTART Writing Book #2. I'm not going to start till later in September, but I hope to start with a much clearer schedule and a clearer heart. I can't wait to tell you guys more about it! 
- Sync my calendar and Nick's. I think we're going to exclusively use Google Calendar App and then I'll be printing a little weekly calendar to put on the fridge where I can add kid's chores, meals, etc. 

My weekly and daily goals stayed mostly the same from August to September. I wouldn't say I mastered them in the slightest, but I got closer than not by being intentional. Here they are: 

Weekly Goals: 
- one weekly meeting with Nick
- some kind of date time (day or night) 
- workout 5 times per week
- have one introvert day with no meetings or hangouts while kids are in school
- take 24 hours off of work + social media each week
- send one newsletter and write one blog post

Daily Goals: 
- Talk to God. 
- Read the Word. 
- Do a handstand. 
- Kiss Nick. 
- Ask the kids about their hearts. 
- Get 7 hours sleep. 
- Drink a ton of water. 

And with that. I'm ready to head into September. What's on your heart? What's ahead of you? And what fruit did you count from August?