I know, I know... ya'll thought I forgot about these monthly recaps. I didn't. But don't you wish I was going to start off with:
1. I learned to keep a list of things I am learning...
Sigh... but alas, no! No I did NOT learn (or remember) to do this... even though I have been playing along with this - my favorite link up - with Emily Freeman for months and months now and every month I think, ya know - I should write stuff down! (and then, I'm all like - Naaahhh - I'll remember! - clearly forgetting that I am now in my 40's and thus, remember nothing.)
But it's ok, because secretly, I think you really enjoy watching me
So - here we go! Let's see what I learned...
A Recap of sorts of the Last Two Months...
(I know, I couldn't even type it without cracking up...)
12 Random Things that I learned in the Last 2 Months:
1. It turns out that when God starts to awaken you to global issues that break your heart, often times - it is happening right around the corner too! I have been getting stirred up and broken down about the reality of modern day slavery, learning about human and sex trafficking all over the world for a few years now, but it wasn't until the last couple of months that I learned of the reality of how this is happening in my own small town. We are blessed that we have quite a few ministries and organizations that are actively reaching out here to make a difference! We joined in on a local Raising Awareness Walk downtown, that took us by the county jail and the city hall, hearing from ministers and detectives who are hard at work to bring freedom in my own city!
I attended a couple of local events, hearing amazing testimonies from women who escaped that lifestyle after being taken and forced into it and surviving in it for decades... they also gave a bit of training in how to spot someone who may be caught in this life. We heard of ministry in the local jail, as well as a home for teen girls - offering safety, education, and training to start a new life. (I am looking forward to craft nights there soon!)
2. I learned that after decades of just holding on... trying to keep the faith... and feeling just a tiny bit of embarrassment in telling people who your team is - well, the pay off is HUGE! (#GoHawks!) I have to say... although my Honey really has been a huge diehard fan of the Seattle Seahawks for - well, pretty much the whole time, I am relatively new. I have Friday Night Lights to thank for giving me an understanding of and love for the game so really it's only been a few years that I have been paying attention. And well - what a GREAT time to start paying attention, right?
12th Man is where it's AT, ya'll!
3. I learned that I just can't handle the Truth (of Scandal)! For real though! So - my college girlie and I were all done with some sort of Netflix series and we were looking for something new to
obsess about watch together when someone seemingly innocently suggested that we watch Scandal, because - well - Olivia Pope. Here's the thing... we loved it... and then we really wanted to love it... and then we were watching by peering through the hands over our faces... and then we were listening only because our eyes were closed. Yeah - it turns out I like the IDEA of Olivia Pope way more than I like watching or rooting for her! This is one show I just want the Spoilers for so you can spare me all the nightmares and conflicted emotions. *On a side note, I thought I was fine but now it's starting again and I am all wanting to know what happened. We quit watching it halfway through last season and I am sticking with not watching. **On an unrelated note - I will be paying attention to the commercials as if they are full blown episodes because for me, they will be!
4. I learned that when you begin to pray about your God-Sized Dreams - God begins to open doors to show you what they may be! So I began last year to press in and ask God to clarify where my Dreams and His intertwined. I thought my dreams were fine, but He said that they were too small. So as we talked it out and prayed it through, we realized that of course - of course we are called together... my Honey and I, side by side... him, leading in to the very Presence of God, and me - praying, declaring, resting there, inviting anyone and everyone to come and taste and see that the Lord is good! On Wednesday evenings, we attend a Bible college and in the past few months they have opened the door for us to lead in worship and prayer... to teach and share and declare. We are leaning in, pursuing our God-Sized Dreams together.
5. I learned that hosting a Sole Hope Party is, seriously ya'll, an AMAZING way to spend a Saturday morning! I first heard about Sole Hope back in October while at the Allume bloggers conference and knew right away that I would be hosting a Shoe Cutting Party. I got home and the holidays were already upon us and so I waited until mid-January to actually plan a day. It is simple and fun and it is making a HUGE difference.
For more info, and to learn how to host your own party, go to SoleHope.org
6. I (re)learned putting together impromptu dinner parties is the most fun ever... (especially when you plan it at someone elses' home!) Like The. Most. Fun.
7. I learned that saying Yes may stir up a bit of stress and doubt, but lean in... say it anyway... because IF: you do, then this can happen: (Did ya see what I did there?) So what if I seem to host Streaming Live events all the time... so what if every single time I sign up to do it, I doubt myself and I fear no one will come and then days out, it seems like no one really IS going to come and I will be in my home with too much yummy food and no one to share the event with, and then I am surprised that my living room is filled up and Community happens every. single. time. So what if I forget this ALL the TIME! So - I
Setting up for our If:Yakima local Gathering...
Ann Voskamp - bringing it like only she can!
I served Taco salad with all the fixings on Friday night for Dinner
(and on Saturday for lunch, since no one wanted to stop watching!)
Communion Elements for Friday night
Saturday morning kicks off with Breakfast and Worship...
The text from Girle after she had to leave for work...
Yeah... I sort of LOVE her!
...and her! (Sarah Bessey nailing it!)
Oh - and HER... and I Love her!
Jen Hatmaker was Amazing!
9. I learned to silence the fear of not belonging and get over the doubts just long enough to say Yes, to introduce myself, to send that application, to register and go anyway... I know you may not believe me, but I am shy. I can be awkward and quiet and a little melt into the wall-ish... but only until I get to know you. Then... well... then you get this. So - there ya go... (I'm sorry!) I tend to back away, blend in, wait for someone ELSE to approach me, to introduce themselves. I asked ya'll to pray with me last Fall... I wanted to let loose of my death grip on my comfort zone and start to cross the room. So - I have been taking baby steps ever since. I applied to be part of a Book Launch team (See #10.), I registered for yet another Writers conference, I have been the first to hold out a hand, to cross a pew, to start up a conversation. And ya'll, I have said Yes to Lisa-Jo Baker a few times in the last couple of months alone... but really, look at her:
You would say yes too, right? I hope so! If you would - there's still time to join us! Check out what we are believing God for together by clicking over here at PureCharity.
10. Turns out... I have issues. It's not that I am just NOW learning this, but it's that I thought I had laid down all my Idols already. I mean - sure, I pick them back up - but still... I like think I'm getting
So I applied and am on Book Launch Team for Love Idol, and we are leaning in, asking Him to do the work - to cleanse our hearts and wipe clean our slates. We want to lay down every single idol, every single place/person/thing that we turn to for approval and validation... and we are naming them one by one come Wednesday and giving them up - not just for Lent, but hopefully for good! (So come on back in a few days... and we will see how I put a name or title on the things that He is showing me about my own heart.)
11. I (re)learned that I LOVE Google Hangouts with my writer friends... I have this amazing Community online... friends and fellow writers who balance real life and this crazy incredible online universe and once in awhile we like to see each others' faces and not just read each others' hearts. We like to hear the musical tone of laughter and feel the rhythm of voice... and once in a great while, we remember that thanks to Skype or Facetime or Google Hangouts - we CAN!!! And then we DO!
12. I learned that not everyone loves a Bossy Day Planner... and most of those people I believe have not yet learned the Art of Scheduling a bit of Slow. Our lovely hostess of this "Things I've Learned" link up posted last week about Slowing Down and it was such a great reminder. I learned this along the way, and sometimes forget and give in to Busy. But I have long been a scheduler of Slow. Right in the midst of my bossy day planner, I scratch out chunks of time to Slow. Sometimes it looks like a coffee or lunch date, or sometimes it is writing time. Often times it is left gloriously undefined, and those times? Those are when I find I am making art without even realizing it! There is a sweet full exhale in embracing Slow.
It is much needed. I think it can really only be caught, invited in to, because trying to teach it in this world seems too abstract, too hard. And who has time for that? (Ya see what just happened there?)
I am Linking up with EMILY FREEMAN