November 2, 2015

What I Learned in October (aka The Wrap Up Post for 31 Days of Truths We Know it's just that Sometimes We Forget...)

While we are now blissfully in November (read: no more daily posting and more time to enjoy All Things Autumn) I have been participating in the monthly Link-Up over at Emily Freeman's place forever and creating an official "Wrap-Up" post to my #Write31Days series has become a tradition. 

So today, we are going to combine the fun and quirky link-up with the wrap-up of "31 Days of Truths We Know, it's just that Sometimes We Forget!"

Here we go!

12 Random Things That I Have Learned...

1. I (re)learned that God is faithful and if He asks you to DO something, He will also equip you - and better yet, He will do it WITH you... 

I didn't really want to participate this year for #Write31Days. I wasn't feeling it... I wasn't even wanting something easy. I just wanted to skip out and be quiet.  I was afraid of what He would make me say/do as I sat in front of a blinking cursor with my heart a little bleedy and worn out. 

I didn't think I had much to offer. But He gave me a theme/topic and within the first week, I felt Him speaking through me --teaching me, as I typed things out. He's so good like that! ('s just that sometimes I forget!)

2. I learned that you can Freak Out, or you can Choose to Trust anyway...

Nice, right? I mean... not a big huge deal - but still not fun! We all have things that happen to us that can cause us to freak out... to entertain all kinds of thoughts and fears and oh my goodness, how that downward spiral moves FAST, right? 

The car was simply a powerful visual for me.  Listen - we were parked and no one got hurt... we didn't even know it had happened! We were packing the car to head back home from an out of town trip and came upon our crunched up car. Thankfully, the guy who hit the car didn't just leave. He could have. We don't know if anyone saw him do it - but he could have just bailed. Instead he called the police and filled out a report and gave his insurance info... We could have worried and gotten upset and we could have lost track of the fact that things are just things. It wouldn't have changed anything - but it would have felt like we were doing something. What we would have been doing would have been wasting time and sowing bad seed.  Maybe it's not just a thing - maybe you, like me, have a person, a relationship, or a dream that feels all crunched up and busted... but here's the deal: He works all things together for our good! He can be trusted! He will work it out.

My Honey said from the beginning that it would be fine... it was still drivable so we were able to get home. The guys' insurance company came through (sort of) and while we were still gathering several estimates on how much it would cost, they cut us a check. It was less than any of the estimates. Still... 'all things together for our good'...

Long story short: my car is fixed, repainted not only on the crunched up portion, but on the bumper where the paint was chipping a bit too, and we have a little left over to buy new tires that I need this winter. "All things..."

It's no coincidence that I also wrote several times this month on Choosing to Trust! If you missed those posts, or just need a reminder again, you can read those posts Here, Here, and Here!

3. I learned that when God gives you a ridiculous love for a stranger - you should invite them over for dinner... 

So, I met Tinker (Yes, Tinker) at a Summer Bible Study that I attended and it didn't take long until I was head over heels in love with her! She is precious and wise and has a slight Southern drawl and she exudes adoration for Jesus and I would come home every Tuesday and talk about her to My Honey. He suggested I share her and I decided that was a brilliant idea because --more time with her! So I invited her over to dinner one evening and we broke bread and had the privilege of hearing her story and walking through the highlights of her life. She sang a bit for us as she paged through Dave's music book. (She was a professional singer and toured with Big Bands back in the day!) She was pure delight! She showed up on our doorstep a new friend, but she left with a part of our hearts and now we claim her as our own! (Also - that Cherry Coke Cake in a Jar... oh my! You're welcome!)

4. I learned that after 23 years of Wedded Bliss, a Saturday Afternoon Date is the new Hot Friday Night Plans...

It doesn't hurt that we live in a region that glows in the Fall with all the glory dripping from trees and the sunshine in blue skies... or that our girlie was working in the food truck at Bale Breakers... but we had a wide open Saturday and decided to head out to support a couple of locally owned businesses while enjoying a slowly unwinding afternoon! (Side note: We didn't expect it to be quite so packed full and were able to 'pair up' with another couple from out of town and shared a table. I had the best reaction ever when answering the "What do you do?" question.  I am usually a little reluctant to say that I am a blogger because - well, I don't get paid for this, but I do consider it my job/ministry and most people in this small town don't really know what that even means. But this gal? Well - her response was, "Oh I LOVE bloggers!" and she went on to mention several foodie bloggers that I was somewhat aware of and we just had a very positive exchange.)

5. I learned that when you are learning how to release your paintings and find value in them, it helps to donate the proceeds to a good cause...



The Lord had been speaking to me about finding value in what I do... which can be tricky considering much (read: all) of what I do, I do for free.  But He had been prompting me to be bolder in setting fees and prices and knowing that I am worth more than I often think.  I had been stepping out in Prophetic art for a year or two and had about a dozen canvases finished but not gifted or sold yet, when I realized that our friend Serena was raising funds for her World Race Missions Trip. She was hosting a fund-raiser dinner with a silent auction so I donated my paintings to help raise money to send her.  It was a win-win... to sell my work, and sow it right back in to good soil! Oh - and there was one painting that I really, really, really wanted to keep. But I knew God said to include it in the auction.  A friend, not knowing this, bid on it and gave it back to me! It not only went for the most amount of money, but it is hanging in my family room right now as a visual reminder that giving back is always fruitful!

6. I learned that I love Guests - both here and 'there'... 

I was so honored to host Erika Morrison on the blog this month, celebrating the release of Bandersnatch - which I can't stop gushing about! Seriously --y'all should read it! It will change you in all the best ways!  I also was invited to Guest post over at my friend Tara's place! I love an open door and cozy gathering and it was fun --even in the midst of a crazy, bossy 31Days schedule - to find room at the table and share community!

7. I learned that A Walk in the Clouds Orchards does a Soul Good... 

Seriously... some of these shots remind me of that movie, A Walk in the Clouds --which, of course, just made me fall in love with walking in the orchards that much more

It is no secret that I have a mad crush on Fall. I love him and all his flirty ways... but he is some kind of romantic when you walk with him through the trees... at sunset... in October!  Just breathing in the fresh, crisp Autumn air, and talking life with a friend = so good for the soul!

8. I (re)learned that I {heart} Bethel Music and also this: I can't quit Amanda Cook!

I know... I am a broken record lately... or more like a CD obsessively on repeat! Same thing. If you don't have these CD's... you need them in your life! You're welcome! (And congrats to Karina Allen for winning her own copy last month during the 31Days series!)

9. I learned that Writing ALL the Words cuts into my precious Reading Time...

I usually read several books at once and read them start to finish in a week or two. But with all this writing and, you know, actually living out the hard parts of what He made me write about...well, it has cut drastically into my reading time!

I am still working my way through these books:

    For the Love by Jen Hatmaker (laugh out loud and full of great wisdom... of course!) 

   Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong (divine timing anyone?) 

   The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning (Who doesn't love a pastor who hands this to you and says, "This reminded me of you guys!"?) 

   and Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey (this one is releasing this week and oh my goodness --so much yes and amen! I adore her... and all of her lovely words!)

Oh and there was this... a surprise package from sweet Susan Shipe --a fellow blogger and 31Dayer, who saw this Tshirt at the Zondervan table at Allume and actually thought of me... and then bought it, shipped it, and blessed this book nerds' heart oh so much!

10. I learned that while giving Guest Speakers 'ten minutes' to share rarely wraps up in 'ten minutes' -it always results in amazing messages and tips on how to better love our City...


We have been inviting Guest Speakers to come talk for a few minutes each Sunday during our Daniel Initiative series at Dad's House.  They have been city leaders who are loving and serving our city and range from city council members to school teachers to police department workers... including our Chamber of Commerce CEO and Mayor... and you guys, you won't be surprised to hear what they say: LOVE people! Love... that is the answer! He is always the answer!

11. I learned that my cat is not the boss of me... but he sure tries!
For real! Somehow now that our Nest is empty, he has taken to attempting to boss me around. As in, All. Day. Long.  He isn't a fan of my late afternoon coffee choice... can you tell? He follows me from room to room and sits --not near, but ON, my feet.  He's getting older and moves slower and somehow has found an extra helping of sass in his old age!

But still... he's oh so presh...

12. I learned that I (still!) can't pick a Favorite...

Right?  It's a real thing! This is nothing new... but in trying to write a Wrap Up post for the series, I thought it would be good to highlight a few of my favorite posts. You know, just in case you missed them. After all, thirty one days in a row is a lot of words and we all have lives beyond this screen, right? However, it took me a LONG time to narrow it down to these few... So if you have time or the desire, you can simply click HERE and get the Home Page to the Series, with every post linked right there, in order!  

But if you want to know which posts stood out the most to me... well, here are my Top Five:

(You knew I couldn't pick just 5... or technically 6... It's fine!
I couldn't possibly not also link the posts on Identity, or Being Authentic, because -you know... that's my jam!)

Oh - also, this last post with a Spoken Word... based on the series!

Whew... we made it! We survived October!
My Reward? This little cozy sweatshirt, that I will wear with pride!

Here's to November and the return of, you know, space and time and breathing room... the return of less words around here --but not less encouragement or inspiration (hopefully!) And here's to the continual learning and growing and re-learning of lessons!

This truth... this call... this is one that I never forget!

Let's all remember to:

For my regular readers... we made it through October and we deserve a little breaky!  I will be taking this week off but I am praying for you and trusting that absence really will make the heart grow fonder! I'll be back with new words and stories and truths remembered next week!

As usual for this post, I am Linking up with EMILY FREEMAN

P.S.  I'm also linking up with these lovely writers:

The 31Days Community over at Crystal Stine's place

The Community over at #SmallWonders 

Laura Boggess over at #ChasingTheBlueFlower
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp



So - what lessons have you learned? What Truths did we touch on here this month that you too tend to forget about -at least once in awhile? I'd love to hear!


  1. What a perfect dozen of joyful thoughts and lessons! Such a great summary of wisdom!

    1. Thanks so much Michele! It's such a fun link up!

  2. Such beautiful truths and photos to match. I'm kinda glad October is behind us too with all that writing. ha. Every November I tell myself that I won't do another 31 Days challenge, but every year I've changed my mind (so far) when it gets closer. :) Love your book choices! Would love to read each one of those myself.

    1. Oh I tell myself I am not going to do it again until I give in to how He tells me otherwise... sometimes the struggle lasts until Oct 1st! ;)

  3. Okay, a few things: I love that your met a new friend, Tinker, to sow Titus 2 seeds! Brennan Manning: I simply adore him and have EVERYONE of his books (that was my Amazon obsession about three years ago). A Walk in the CLouds is my all-time fave movie and walking in orchards and vineyards? Jesus and I do it as oft as possible. Now, confession: the tee was free!!! But, I still thought of you and sent it - that still counts? xoxo

    1. Tinker is a treasure indeed... as is/was Brennan and I CAN NOT WAIT for the movie of his life coming out soon! Also - A Walk in the Clouds... so much yes, right? Dreamy beauty there! My meeting place with the Lord is between a Vineyard and the ocean... because of course! And yes - it totally still counts!!! I'm wearing it today and it's like wearing a hug!


  4. I LOVE Orchards. I also loved how you invited a stranger over. We all need to make time for intentional community

    1. Amen! Community is strongest and most like the Kingdom when we are intentional about it, right? Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. The door is always open at my place. I loved hosting you there. And yes indeed write 31 days totally cuts into my reading time. And Cherry Coke cake! Cherry Coke is my fave! I couldn't decide so I got two shirts. Thanks for the reminder that God does work everything for good...that is so easy to forget sometimes. Love you friend!

    1. I'm not a huge coke or soda drinker but that cakke was amazing! It IS so easy to forget.. glad I am not alone in needing reminders!

  6. Love how you combined what you learned with your 31 days series wrap up. It flowed together very nicely. Thank you for blessing me and so many with your series!

    1. Aw thanks! I am a multi-tasker at heart! ;)

  7. So great! I love how God keeps teaching us the things He already taught us because they are just that important that He won't ever stop! :) And matter how much I love writing, I still crave that sweet spot of sinking into another persons words. Oh dates...yes! Thanks for sharing your joy, friend!

    1. AMen! I'm so glad you get me, friend!

  8. Wow. What a great wrap-up. God is good!

  9. I love all these beautiful lessons, Karrilee. And you remind me that I never did do a roundup post after my 31 days series. I'll have to get right on that :). Also, you won the Vibella bracelet from last weeks Playdates post! Yay! Send me your snail when you can and Ill get it right out to you. My email is:

    1. Oh Yay! Thanks so much Laura! How exciting! I love Vibella and will wear it gladly and share their story! And yes... those wrap up posts are so good and for me, such a great way to tie it all up with a bow (and be done with it... at least for a little while!) ;)


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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