How to August

Don’t just slow down to smell the roses (or sunflowers), take a photograph of them, thank God for the experience, and always keep your eyes open for a glimpse of the divine.

  • (Sunflower photo-credit – Naomi Campbell)

Once again a whole month has raced by. I can almost feel the giddy motion of the Earth spinning so fast and counting off the days as it barrels forward in a mad rush around the sun at a speed of 66,621 miles per hour – 1,110 miles every minute, traveling 584 million miles in the course of a year.

It’s like I woke up July 1st, looking forward to Andrew’s visit and dad’s 90th birthday, then grabbed a cup of coffee, cleared my head, and just now looked around to realize Andrew has been back in Dresden since Sunday and it has all come and gone in a heartbeat or two.

So this time I am going to be ready. I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m recommending the following series of ideas if you want to be prepared. This, my friends, is How to August.

  1. 1-IMG_0524-001Frame every day in the context of light and love: This is a guaranteed uber-successful intervention; simply begin and end each August day in conversation with God.
  2. Embrace the heat: It doesn’t matter where you live, August is going to be hot. Wear shorts, open sandals, and loose shirts; drink lots of water; move slowly; think “languid” – be languid! Approach each day with studied calm.
  3. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day: Nothing says “summer” like peaches and tomatoes, especially here in North Carolina.
  4. Attend church: Some congregations dial back after Memorial Day then ramp up again in the fall. Here at Wake Forest Presbyterian summer is an opportunity to add imagination, fun, and creativity to worship. We’re already halfway through the 10-Summer-Sundays initiative.
  5. Plan one cool/unusual event each week: Go to a Durham Bulls or a Carolina Mudcats game, sit in the sun and do nothing but watch for hours. We’re heading to the North Carolina History Museum, the Chef & The Farmer restaurant, a historic plantation house, and a weekend getaway.
  6. Keep a photo-journal: Take one photograph that summarizes the “summer-ness” of each new day. Look for summer in bright flowers, sun-soaked streets, vegetable stands, tall glasses of lemonade, baseball games, afternoon thundershowers, toes wiggling in the sand….
  7. Count your blessings: Similar to the photo-journal, find one thing to be grateful for every day. Tell someone about it, thank God, then make the effort to bless someone else.

Just a few ideas. Point being, don’t let August come and go without embracing this amazing gift of life we get to enjoy. Don’t just slow down to smell the roses (or sunflowers) take a photograph of them, thank God for the experience, and always keep your eyes open for a glimpse of the divine.

Peace – DEREK



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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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