Monday Mind Dump (6/7/21)

June 7, 2021  |  Luke Simmons

• Happy summer, y’all!

• Definitely feels like we’re in a new season.

• Kids out of school, vacations starting, masks coming off, stadiums filling.

• All pretty great if you ask me.

• We kicked off summer last weekend with a visit from Molly’s sister (Emily), her husband, and their three boys.

• SO much fun.

• Gave those Ohio kids a good taste of Arizona.

• Played a bit at Top Golf, drove up one day to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, went to a few good restaurants, and spent gobs of time in the pool.

• If you’ve never been to that natural bridge, it’s pretty amazing.

• Fascinating how you can’t really tell from the top what it is, but then when you hike down it’s just spectacular.

• Plus, I had just recently gotten a new phone that has an improved camera, so it was a great time to try it out.

• Was especially fun to show our guests around the Gateway campus.

• They’ve prayed for us for years, knew all about it, and have seen plenty of photos… but getting to show them in-person was really fun.

• My favorite moment was when Emily walked into The Box and teared up.

• That day my oldest, Abby, was in the band so it was also fun for them to get to see her help lead.

• Just very special overall.

• And less than a month until we’ll head their way.

• After they left, things got real boring.

• Not much happened this weekend — just lots of trying to figure out something to do.

• Pretty frustrating honestly.

• And I get frustrated with myself for getting frustrated.

• Part of it was that we were home waiting for a drywall person to come over and finish a small job in our kitchen.

• I guess folks in the construction world are super busy right now, but it’s just incredible how incapable so many of them are of following through on what they say.

• We just wrapped up small kitchen remodel with new counters, sink, and backsplash and the amount of overpromising and underdelivering — at least related to timing — is just incredible.

• I’m not stupid enough to not know there will be disappointments — I’d just rather you just disappoint me on the front end.

• Anyway, rant over.

• In the end, the kitchen looks great and I’m so proud of how Molly has made it all happen.

• Went to a couple of movies recently as well that were both good.

• Last weekend Molly and I went to see Cruella, and it was fantastic.

• I loved the story, the acting, the costumes, the design… all of it.

• Then on Friday we went as a whole family to see Spirit Untamed, and it was solid.

• Our 6 year-old, Mary, is a HUGE fan of Spirit so it was fun as a family to rally around her and get excited.

• Was also great to be at the movie theater without a mask.

• And really everywhere without a mask.

• I realized that in the last two weeks the only place I wore a mask was at the 8:00am service.

• Which makes me think our decision to move to two services (9:00am and 10:45am) is a good one.

• Will be good to be at two services for a while, but we’re definitely starting to think about what we want to do when it’s time to start a third.

• My guess is that an evening service might have to happen at some point, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

• The highlight of the weekend for me was doing a cooking date night over at L’Academie School of Baking and Cooking on Saturday night.

• It was a gift from Josh Watt before he left to plant North Mountain and was a really great night.

• We had a three-course Italian meal that involved learning to make homemade ravioli that went with a creamy pesto sauce and shrimp.

• So good!

• And really fun to be together and learn some new things.

• In our family, Molly does most of the cooking and I enjoy cooking the most.

• We’re both pretty good, but she cooks more for function and I cook more for pleasure.

• So it was a fun gift and a really sweet night.

• Also funny because at the beginning of the night another woman in the group said, “You look really familiar.”

• Never quite sure how to respond to that, but I always kind of assume it must be somebody who has been to Gateway.

• Sure enough, by the end of the night we figured out that they had visited Gateway with some friends a few times.

• Was glad to hear they’ve found a good church they like.

• I was excited to preach yesterday and kick off our new series on Nehemiah (watch here)

• In case you missed it, check out my post of Five Interesting Facts About Nehemiah.

• I think it’s going to be a good series and study — any time we dig into the less familiar parts of the Old Testament it always turns out to be rewarding and rich.

• A highlight from yesterday was watching people react when they walked into the building and saw it all decorated for Kids Camp.

• I love the energy, effort, and resources that we put into blessing the next generation — and helping them feel like it’s their church too.

• The idea of having 300 kids and 150 volunteers all week to play, laugh, learn, and enjoy Jesus is just thrilling to me.

• The whole Simmons family is involved either in attending or serving, and our house has been buzzing about it.

• Will be fun to see how it goes.

• I told Molly last night, “You’re going to be exhausted at the end of the week,” and she agreed.

• Makes me so proud of her — and others — who pour themselves out.

• I love our church and would for sure be part of Gateway even if I didn’t work here.

• That’s a pretty great feeling.

• Well, kids are about to start showing up, so I gotta run.

• Have a great week.

• All of life is all for Jesus.