September 3, 2014

What I Learned in well, over the Summer.

Here we are, in SEPTEMBER! 

SEPTEMBER, ya'll? For the love... how did that even happen? Honestly?

It is now the beginning of a new month, and a whole new season! With Summer wrapping up and Fall making his glorious appearance just around the corner, it's time for my favorite link-up where I share a random Gathering of Awesome things that I have learned... attempting to once again remember

So, here we are: What I Learned in August -well, let's be real... it's been since May! 

So - here is:
What I Learned over the Summer...
10 Random Things That I Have Learned. 

OK... so, before I dive right in and remind myself tell you what I have learned, I need to be real for a moment.  These posts are almost always among my favorite because they are fun and quirky and full of joy and I have to say that this last week... this past Summer... it's been hard, ya'll. And heavy. And in some ways it feels like I have not learned One. New. Thing. ...but in other ways it feels like I am learning just how much I don't know and that... well, that is almost always a great place to start, right? (Please say yes!)

1. I (re)learned that if you build it, they will come!  Well, ok - more like, if you PLAN it, they will come!  We try to have a neighborhood BBQ once or twice through out the Summer and while a few of us are pretty close-knit (ok, related!) - it seems that a simple invitation is all that is needed to draw out neighbors... making room and space to sit and chat and devour hamburgers and all kinds of summer delicacies! (And by 'delacacies', I mean like chips and potato salad... maybe some ice cream, in case you thought we weren't Fancy!)  We've been doing this for a few years and each time, I think of how we should invite the whole street rather than just our small little cul de sac of sorts. It seems we are all longing for Community and all it takes is an open door, and maybe the smell of a BBQ! We are looking to expand the party next time, and see who all will gather with us!

2. I learned that I love spending time with My Girlie (and I am so thrilled that I still get to do that... often-ish... and sometimes, SHE is even the one who calls and sets it up!)  So - I know... I already KNEW that! But it is different now that her address is not the same as mine! We are still adjusting! It's been hard... my days are emptier and for the most part, God hasn't really allowed me the luxury of filling them up right away!  However, in many ways, it's been easier than I anticipated.  There have been only a few days in a row, that I have been found curled up fetus-style, binging on Netflix, with a blankey. However, I am not fooled. I know that is simply because she lives just down the road and I am Oh So Grateful for the baby steps of her moving away! 

Sometimes she comes 'home' simply to eat and to nap... although that is happening less and less now that she has made her own house a home. Still... we go out for breakfast, we workout, she calls to have me run errands with her, we watch tv or just hang out and talk. 

We raised her from the beginning to be someone we would want to hang out with and it turns out, even when I don't 'have' to - I still want to (and get to - thank you Sweet Baby Jesus!) It turns out, she's pretty amazing and I love that I get to enjoy her as a grown up on her own terms. (Well, you know - mostly I love that!)

3.  I learned that sometimes, what is needed is the open road, some loud worship, and a few unscheduled days to just drive and unwind...  I took a couple of road trips this summer... a couple WITH my Honey, and a couple without - just on my own! Both were good, and both filled me up and refreshed me in different ways!

4. I learned that I am a Lover of Island Time and while we didn't get to our Family Vacation spot in Oregon (sniff, sniff! No Family Vacation this year!), my Honey and I did manage to hit the Island twice for some beach-sitting and water-gazing... We love to relax with our feet in the sand and an ocean breeze in our hair and this year, we managed to add in just a tiny bit of hiking to our times on Whidbey! The views are amazing! Such is Island life, right? Even if it's not tropical! Plus it means more time with my Sissy and her family so it's win-win!

5. I learned that even though I say, "No... no I can't possibly read any more books!" I can't turn any of them down and even in all this down time of waiting, I have books piling up higher and higher! I had decided in April that I was done with Book Launches for the summer because my personal stack of books was not getting any shorter... but then a friend asked and of course I wanted to read her words... and then another opportunity came, and then another... not to mention that I keep winning books (Oops?) so now I am wrapping up the last of my launches and am looking forward to digging in to my own stack! 

And oh how I long to read an actual novel! I tend to go in spurts... I will read all fiction, all the time, (well - not all fiction - but you know what I mean!) for months and months and then switch to teaching books and memoirs. I haven't read a work of fiction in years. Yeah... I'm pretty sure I just typed 'years' and I am pretty sure that is accurate

Clearly - I am needing to broaden my stacks to include some works of fiction too! *Side note - in my traveling alone - I rediscovered the love of AUDIO BOOKS! YOU GUYS... the author READS to you! Joyously Amazing!

6. I learned that reading The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith is dangerous to your walls. I had already been wanting to paint something blue... but still, I blame The Nester!  My Family Room has been in disarray all summer long because on a whim, with no budget, (and an empty nest - whatever!) I decided to redo our Family Room.  Did I mention no budget? Yeah... that.  So I have hopes that it will all be put back together in 'a couple of weeks' and I can type that now without breaking out into fits of hysterical laughter so I feel like it may be getting closer to the truth!

7. I learned that even though I don't think about it or have to deal with it myself, sadly - racism is still a thing and because I am white and middle class, I have lived in a fairly segregated world where I really didn't know it was still a problem! Like I said... this Summer has been heavy, with lots of hard hits... from sickness to unexpected deaths, to fog and uncertainty of what's next for us personally in ministry and adjusting back to just the Two of us, to a harsh national wake-up call and reality check and oh my Gah - that is all hard stuff for this Faithy, Glass Half-Full, Positive Bent of a girlie.  But as I wrote earlier, Ignorance is only Bliss for the Ignorant and I am no longer satisfied there.  I truly believe we can change the world, one choice to love at a time... over and over and over again. We must be intentional about bridging the gaps, about reaching out, and up and over... about being love.

8. I learned that we LOVE to laugh and discovered a few new people who make us do that... our current favorite is John Mulaney. You can watch his stand up routine New In Town on Netflix streaming and if you love him like we do, you'll be happy to know that he has a new sitcom coming in the Fall!  We have watched a few others, but it's Johns' routine that we keep referring back to in our daily lives... much like the various random bits we do that come from Brian Regan or Angela Johnson or Kathleen Madigan! (You're welcome!)

9. I learned that it doesn't matter if I want to rush on to the Next Thing... if He is calling me to Wait, I will wait!  OK - and sometimes, I twiddle my thumbs, and stamp tap my foot and get more than a little impatient because I just want to rush on to the Next Thing already, but He won't TELL me what that is... or maybe He will, but it's not what I was thinking or expecting and I realize I can't just move on... I don't know how... and it turns out, as usual, I need Him - especially when I forget that I need Him! (...and maybe that is what the waiting is all about anyway!) 

10. I learned that Waiting takes longer than I want it to and what He means by Wait lately, for me anyway, is to be Silent! Like - actual Silence! I am a lover of quiet... peace is an atmosphere we strive for in our home and embrace whole-heartedly but I am talking actual silence. No background noise. No distractions. No letting my thoughts wander (far!). I realized that I had fallen in to a rhythm of spending time with Him... I would come and sit and be quiet for a few seconds and then begin my dialogue monologue and then wait for a few minutes and He would talk. I liked it - no, LOVED it - when He would talk.  I remember when He always had things to say.  He used to be chatty.  I'm a Word girl and I love it when He gives me words or a picture to cling to.  Over this summer however, much of my time being silent with Him has brought no 'tangible' visions... offered no clear and precise prophetic words. 

"Just Wait... Bask in the Silence..." He would say.

"Wait... listen to the rhythm of My heart beating... let it drown out all the other noise that clamors and clangs for your attention..."  Thump. Thump. 

Thump. Thump.

It is enough.

It is enough to know that His heart beats for me.  That His blood was spilled and poured out - with purpose and intention, and that He lives inside of me.

It is enough to know that in the Silence, He is not disapproving of me, or punishing me... even when it may feel like that.  No, in the Silence, He is refilling me and refueling me and while I prefer words or visions, there is something unspeakable and full of glory when it is a deep work from within... when there just literally are no words...

* Side note - It's not very comforting, however, for a writer to have no words.  It's been stretching to sit and embrace the silence. But always... I want my thoughts to reflect His thoughts.  I want my heart to pour out His love... I want my fingers to tap out His Words... and so I wait. 

(To whom shall we go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life.)

I am Linking up with EMILY FREEMAN
Join us!

I am also linking with these lovely ladies:

Jennifer Peterson for #NoWordsAreNeeded

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory

Holley Gerth for #CoffeeforYourHeart

So - what about you? What did you learn last month - or this Summer? Silly, serious - informative or fun... share the wealth! After all, knowledge is power, right? Seriously, what did you learn?  


  1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my blog :)

    You've packed lots into your summer. I love audiobooks too, love all your photos and your pain isn't projects too!

  2. What a great list of things learned this summer! :) Good idea to journal those thoughts and pictures. <3 Hopping over from Holley's coffee table...hope you have a blessed morning. I'm give you a virtual "cheers" with me cup of hot tea! :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping on by and sharing a cup of tea, my friend!

  3. Beautiful pictures as always Karrilee, and such wisdom you are learning... I think what I love most about your writing is that you are a processor and even when you haven't got it all figured out you are sharing the "in the middle, here's what I've got so far" thoughts, and so appreciate that! As you know, I've been in a state of waiting (and healing) for a few years one, but it's been so long that often when I feel like I get a glimpse of something, I often forget the steps to get there and lose much of the learning. I think I need to be more intentional, maybe start to journal al the "in between"!

    1. Erica, I am so glad you stopped by today! Yes... I AM a Processor and I guess I just figure the chances of me ever having it all figured out are so small... LOL... I think it's the 'in the middle, here's what I've got so far' parts of our stories that really connect us down deep and create community! I think we would all be better off if we would learn to be more intentional... and yes and amen - journal those in between parts too! Love you, friend!

  4. Good morning from your Testimony Tuesday neighbor! Thank you for allowing me to enjoy your summer with you. I loved the pics and identified with several of your learning points. One of the things I relearned this summer is to just relax and enjoy my family. Relax and enjoy writing. Well, I see a theme here. Relax! That's hard for a reforming perfectionist :) Have a blessed day!

    1. Ah yes - relax! That IS a hard call, from one reforming perfectionist to another... we can do it! Thanks so much for stopping by! (I was just at your place too!) xoxo

  5. I wish I could put into words what I've learned over this summer. It has been hard and heavy, and like you, in some ways I feel like I didn't learn a thing. However, I know I've learned a lot. This is so inspiring, and I needed it to motivate me to step back, take a look at what He's doing and write it down. #10 though. Seriously, be still my heart. EXACTLY what I needed! <3

    1. Oh Chandra... all I can say is #Kindred, my sweet sister... Kindred spirits, indeed! and GAH - #10... right? yeesh... so glad it resonated! xoxo

  6. I've been thinking about a "by myself" getaway. Your words confirm.... Thanks. :) Also, I can really relate to the silence you speak of. I've just written on my blog about my own experience/struggle with it lately. It's agonizing and amazing at the same time. Gosh, it's good to know I'm not alone in it. (Terrific photos, by the way)

    1. Oh my friend... you are not alone! I can't tell you how many people I have talked with this summer who have felt God call them to a season of rest and silence. It's so agonizing and amazing and oh my goodness, it really does help to know that we are not in it alone! (Off to read your post now!) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. It looks like you had an amazing summer, Karrilee! It went by at warp speed + for us, too! So I'm not quite ready for the seasonal change like I am most years. I'm a summer girl at heart :) The last part you wrote really resonated with me - His silence can feel like punishment at times. But that's not His way. We so often box Him in our humanness, don't we? Thank you for reminding us of His soft gentle ways, working from within. Have a blessed week!

    1. Oh I hear you, June! Summer is only second to Fall for me! I love them both and would really prefer an Indian summer and a long Autumn... just a few weeks of winter would be plenty for me! ;) Isn't it good to remember that He is not our Punisher, as much as He is the Lover of our soul? He is always for us... it's just that sometimes He's not so vocal about it!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Love sharing life through your writing. We used to live on Whidbey Island and your photos are so sweetly familiar! Blessings.

    1. Ginger... I love that you lived on Whidbey and that these photo's stir up memories of years gone by! As always, I am so grateful for your friendship here! xoxo

  9. Anonymous12:12 PM

    YAY! I love your list! And yes, Brian Regan... so great. AND also, with the too large book stack-- AMEN.
    Mine are all nonfiction, every last one.. I've decided when I work through it, I have to read some Harry Potter or something like that!!!

    1. Cynthia, I so love this link up - and am glad I pushed through and did it... even though I was not feeling my normal quirky silly self! Amen for another Brian Regan fan... that guy! Too funny! We have seen him live a couple of times and he brings new stuff ("No! A New one!") every time! And oh my... this ever growing stack of books! Mine are all nonfiction too so when you pick one - let me know what you are reading! I need something frivolous and fun! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  10. Anonymous12:57 PM

    An eventful summer. Maybe now you are supposed to get rest. ;)
    Waiting is always the hardest time for me. I just want to know, even if it will be painful.

  11. I stopped over from Coffee for Your Heart, and I love to read about what God is doing in lives! Thank you for sharing and what a delightful blog! But oh my goodness, your pictures. They are STUNNING. Simply gorgeous. The ones under your #4 made my heart feel refreshed as well. Blessings!


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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