sweet July


Ihave lived in North Carolina for 16 years now. I can’t remember ever referring to July as “sweet.” Hot and humid? Yes. Heavy with grief? Once. Relaxing and fun? Usually. But this year I name July sweet because she comes bearing the gift of rest and space for my husband.

Saturday I sent out our monthly letter sharing with readers what we hope the next six months will look like now that John’s days as a youth pastor are behind us (If you would like to get July’s letter at the end of the month, here is where you can sign up.) The first item on the list is rest.


My schedule is picking up starting in July but John’s is doing the opposite. Still, I long for this month to be a time of deep soul breathing for both of us. We’ve had many conversations about how to navigate his calmer schedule with my more active one. One way I’m planning to do that is to take some extended time off from the blog this month while I work toward finishing some non-blog related deadlines.

I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I wanted to let you know that’s what’s going on if you don’t hear from me for a week or four.

In the meantime, here are some things I wanted to be sure you know about incase it’s a while before I check in here again:

She Speaks Meet-up for Chatting at the Sky readers: I mentioned this before but wanted to say it once again. In a little over 3 weeks, some of you will be headed to Charlotte for the She Speaks conference. I know this is a nervous time for many so I wanted to host an intentional time to meet up with you. Let’s gather in a corner, connect with one another, and share some encouragement for a few minutes. If you’re going to She Speaks and would like to gather with a smaller group for a little conversation at some point during the weekend, email me including “She Speaks” in the subject line and I will be in touch. If you have already emailed, you’ll hear from me soon!

Things I Learned in July: Y’all. Friday was so much fun. Seriously, this is my favorite link up I have ever hosted. I’m slowly working my way through your posts (all 128 of them so far) and I am learning the most spectacularly random stuff! I love it so much I can’t wait to do it again at the end of this month. So keep your “what I learned” lists going and we’ll meet back here the last week of July.


Letting Go of the Try Hard Life Conference: I’m headed to Johnson City, Tennessee next month to serve at two events alongside two of my favorite musicians, Christa Wells and Nicole Witt! My prayer for both of these events is for girls and women to remember how Jesus’ pursuit of us is more important than our pursuit of anything else and to find relief from the anxiety of performing for acceptance. Here are the details for any of you who might be close enough to attend:

Grace Fellowship – Johnson City, Tennessee

For Teen Girls Friday August 9, 2013

For Women Saturday August 10, 2013

Alright friends. That’s all I have for now. In order to create a space here for your soul to breathe, I have to create some space for my own. So I’m going to take some time to do that this month as best I can. I may be back next week or . . . not. Until then, may you breathe in grace and breathe out worship in everything you do. Enjoy your week, friends.


  1. says

    I will think of you in your slowing down place – new pace. Wishing you freshness in your open spaces and new normal, whatever that looks like for your family. Loved the lists too. I am going to slowly make my way through too.

  2. says

    Kudos to you and your husband for being intentional in how you manage/live during this interesting transition! I think too many couples forget the importance of communication and compromise when their schedules are very different.

    Enjoy your time away, and look forward to reading more whenever you choose to drop in. =)

  3. says

    Just wanted to say how much I loved “The Light Between Oceans” which I saw peeking out of your hat. Such a haunting book, and one that I still think of often. It makes me ponder the true tragedy that can come when we try to take the will of God into our own hands. Hope you enjoy it, and the rest you need!

  4. says

    Most days I’m so homesick for my home state of North Carolina, but the summers in Illinois are so much cooler. Blessings as you move forward in your dreams! Blessings and grace.

  5. says

    I am craving your Sweet July — well, your perspective of choosing calm, even if the face of your schedule ramping up. I, too, am attending She Speaks (for the first time) and undertaking the stress-inducing task of writing a book proposal (also for the first time). I’m usually a lurker here, but your “bench” story so captivated me and my neighbor at IRL this year. Yes, I’m a fan :)

  6. says

    You definitely have a lot going on in July. I look forward to seeing all the things you learn in July. I totally enjoyed that post and link up from June. I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting the other bloggers.

  7. says

    Thank you for posting about the She Speaks conference. I had not heard of that before. I’ve not been back to NC in almost twenty years. Enjoy your summer!

  8. says

    I hope you have a refreshing month! I absolutely loved your something I learned in July post. It had me cracking up! I am absolutely that way when I learn something new haha, just blows me away! 😉

  9. says

    I really enjoyed the link up. Praying for you and your husband in this season of sweet rest for him and bloggy break for you. My sister in love lives in NC for part of the year, and we love going to visit. It beats Florida humidity any day.

  10. Luella Staebell says

    Good one, so inspirational :) I guess this is my favorite month, so it’s time for fun and peace :)

  11. says

    June evaporated, so I am hoping to savor more of July. I hope that you are able to rest and luxuriate in the Father’s arms at the brink of this new season.

    Deb Weaver

  12. says

    Oh, how I wish I still lived in Johnson City, Tennessee – I would so be there. I have friends who go to church there, I’ll be sure to tell them they need to come on the 10th. I know it will be a great event.

  13. Julie says

    Ohh, kudos to you for looking at all those ‘things I learned in June’ posts. Hope July continues being sweet, Emily.

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