August 4, 2015

What I Learned in July... A Link Up

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!

We put together a random basket of ingredients and had our friend/pastor get a little practice in! He just may get a shot at being on an episode of Chopped and so we thought it would be fun to put things in a basket and set a timer for 30 minutes and just see what kind of magic he could come up with! We had a full house watching him work and it was so entertaining - plus at the end: food!  He did pretty amazing... so much so that everything got devoured! (His basket ingredients included chicken breast, sweet relish, puff pastry, baked beans, and black licorice... because, why not?  I'm sure he had some foodie fancy name for it- but he made a blackened chicken over a bed of spring greens with a homemade vinaigrette and a side of sweet Thai beans.)

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. 

 ...and that whole "It's not you, it's me" deal is a complete and utter lie! It's them. It's totally them! I went to see an eye specialist to see if surgery is an option. I was born with cataracts and had them removed from both eyes as a teenager but I have been having trouble with my vision/contacts for awhile now.  It turns out that I COULD choose surgery... but the specialist seems to think he can fit me with new contacts that will work just as good, without the risk. And you know... I kinda like seeing stuff sooo... (however - oy with the poodles already! These contacts and me... we are just not working 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!

We decided to meet every other week over the summer months to lighten up our schedule and give a bit more time for family and such.  Our Home group normally meets on Wednesday nights each week, but since we decided to change things up - it seems we all really miss each other and the nights that we DO meet are going later and later!  One of our people suggested a potluck and --well, who doesn't love a potluck, right? It was a huge success - with a full house, lots of great food, and tons of conversations.  The only down side is that next time we meet... well, chances are good there will be no homemade German Chocolate Cake!

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 
lovely offerings by Emily Freeman, Erika Morrison, and Amber Haines in July. I also have Jen Hatmakers' new book and am looking forward to several others coming out VERY soon. 

I read all of Emily's words slow... as they are intended. 
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...
This whole church planting deal has kept my Honey and I in town over these summer weekends. We are loving our church but we realized a few weeks ago that we had not left town for months.  So we decided to throw together a quick overnighter and go explore somewhere new! 

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

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



So - what about you? What did you learn last month?  I'd love to hear!


  1. Wow those lavender fields are beautiful! I also really like "Chopped" on Food Network. I have always thought it would be fun to try it out!

    1. They are gorgeous... and you can just imagine how wonderful they smell! It's AMAZING how fast 30 minutes go! I think the time limit is the hardest part, especially if you ARE a foodie... because if you are and you love to cook - most ingredients are not going to scare you - it's the limitation of having it all done and beautifully plated within 30 minutes! Crazy! But fun... so fun! (Definitely make a night of it if you can! We will definitely do it again!)

  2. What a fun thing to do - CHOPPED! I have someone in my family who would be good at it. Great idea. Your photography absolutely Gorgeous Ms K!!!

    1. It was SO fun! You should totally do it! We didn't want to 'make' him be in the kitchen the WHOLE night - so we only had him do one basket for a main dish... but it would be fun to do a couple of baskets! I think next time we'll have him do an appetizer, we will do the main dish and then later, he can do a dessert basket! (And thanks for the photog nod! I love it... it's just that sometimes I forget!) ;)

  3. I've enjoyed dropping by and visiting your blog for the first time. Love your photography and thank you for sharing what you've learned. I decided to subscribe because I think we might think the same way about a lot of things. Good to meet you!

    1. Oh Jerralea - I LOVE that! I am so glad you subscribed! Find me over on facebook too if you hang out over there (or on Twitter... or Instagram... you know... any social media!) I love your name... and I look forward to getting to know you more! #Kindred

  4. Gorgeous like you my friend! I have not joined in the what I learned fun yet but the process of just reflecting on the past month has got to bring up not only good memories but also so many life lessons that were learned. Joining you today from #TellHisStory

    1. Oh Mary - you should jump right in! It's such a fun link up! (I 'cheat' and just browse back through social media if I can't remember too much!) It is true - the practice ot reflecting back helps to remind me of some of the things i have learned... of some things that have changed, and others that I have intentionally kept the same! Come on over and join in on the fun!

  5. Homemade Germam chocolate cake! I'm drooling!! That's my absolute fave. I have always requested it as my bday cake. Chopped is one of my guilty pleasures. So much fun! I'm sure you all had a blast. Those books...I must read them all!!

    1. Oh man... it was so good - and it's Gluten free - but you would never know it! Our friend won't find out until September about Chopped - but that just gives us time to plan another practice round or two! (We're here to help! LOL!) And yes - those books... you really do need to read them all!

  6. So very much fun hearing about your life, so rich! All that in one month!! God is blessing you with moments of wonder!

  7. Good stuff, Karrilee! I usually do a month in photos post, although I missed doing one for July. I always enjoy reflecting back on how God is working. Here's to an August filled with sweet blessings and quality time abiding with the Father.


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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