It is the start of a whole new month, which means it is time for my favorite quirky link-up, "What We Learned..." hosted by Emily Freeman.
July was, not surprisingly, a busy summer month - full of all sorts of lessons learned... but it was also full of resting and relaxing and oh my - how Summer has some of those lessons of her own to teach us, yes? I am praying that you have learned some lessons from the busy - and some from the less bossy kind too!
Let's get started!
12 Random Things That I Have Learned...
1. I learned that sometimes, even when I am completely fine with just hanging out around my own little place in the interwebs, it is fun to hang out in other spaces too...
I have done a few Guest Posts here and there over the years and it is always fun to share my heart and words in other spaces but for the most part, I stick to my own little corner here. Mostly that is because I feel called to blog. I'm not saying I would turn down a book deal but that is not my end goal. My end goal is to create community right here. Still, God prompted me to submit a post to Incourage, as well as link up over at The High Calling, along with a couple other submissions. I love the Link-up's that I do each week, but it was fun to be hanging out in a couple of new corners last month as well!
2. I learned that recreating an episode of Chopped is super fun to watch... and eat!
3. I learned that even when we are experiencing triple digit heat for weeks and weeks, when a friend wants you to go out to the Lavender Farms, you just go...
A friend of mine asked me to take some new head shots of her for her next book and even though we were battling extreme heat we braved the bright sun and possible perspiration issues and we got some great pictures - (for her, sure... but just look at these shots that I took just for me!)
4. I learned that adding 'Official Launch Day' to a Sunday service at Dad's House isn't as scary as it may sound...
Our Official Launch Day Kick off was in July, after meeting each Sunday as Dad's House Church for about two months! We had quite a few extra visitors... mostly family and friends coming out to show support. The worship was off the charts, the Presence of God strong, a great message, and a LOT of Ice Cream and visiting for the social after service! Turns out... it was not so scary after all! It's been a few weeks since then and we are growing... connecting... experiencing excitement for what God is up to! God is good... and so far, our unofficial theme song has been Easy Like Sunday Morning... (Our official theme song is more in line with Good, Good Father!) We are so grateful for all your prayers! We can feel them every week!
5. I learned that hosting a MercyHouse Home Party is super easy and fun and I think everyone should do it!
Seriously - they make it so easy... I wrote a whole post on it... you can read that HERE - but for real, check it out! It's such a great way to hang out with friends and make a real difference! What's not to love about that?
6. I learned that some traditions are definitely worth keeping...
For many years --a decade maybe, we have been attending Jazz in the Valley in Ellensburg WA with the same four friends... sitting side by side, nodding heads and closing eyes and drinking in Jazz and Blues and good food and good friends. Sure - we are all busy and carving out a day in the middle of summertime is not always easy, and sure - with the live music and little time in between bands, there is little time to really talk but still, some traditions are worth keeping and some friendships --some family ties, they just keep getting deeper and stronger simply by sitting side by side in silence.
7. I learned that sometimes new contacts just do. not. work. out.
8. I learned that when you change your small group routine for the summer months so you only meet every OTHER week... well, Potlucks are (even more of) a success!
9. I learned that I am weak - WEAK, y'all! - when it comes to Book Launch Fun...aka how I love All. the. Books.
I am honored to be able to read words written by friends as well as by people I like to just think of as friends in my own mind! I am super excited to have been able to read
I am reading Erika's words with intention... in order to eat them up and put them to use. Ambers' words are waiting in the wings and I have heard that I will not want to or be able to put it down once I start, so I am carving out some time later this week and I can not wait!
10. I learned about a great App called Examine - you know, while reading a book (because of course!)
I am reading Pray, Write, Grow by Ed Cyzewski and he talks about using this app on a daily basis... a sort of self-care check in with how you are feeling app and so far, when I remember to do it - I am loving it!
11. I learned that the more you paint at church, the less awkward it feels...
I am somewhat new to painting in general and new to painting up front where people can watch specifically. My only hope is that they are actually worshipping during worship and not so much watching me. Still... it's not about me and I am finding that the voices that try to talk me out of doing it all together get quieter when I just ignore them and paint anyway!
12. I learned that a quick overnight trip out of town does wonders in seeking wonders...
Our goal: to find beauty and art and wonder... to BE beauty and art and wonder!
Here's a glimpse at what we found:
July was full but as I said - some of it was super bossy (like reading all the amazing books!) and some of it was less so... (like meandering through woods and gardens!)
I am praying you have been able to learn lessons both ways, too!
Here's to August and all she has to teach us!
Lord, let us have ears to hear and a heart to lean in and learn!
As usual for this post, I am Linking up with EMILY FREEMAN