February 2, 2016

What I Learned in January... A Link Up with Emily P. Freeman

I am like a broken record (does anyone even know what that is anymore?) when it comes to this monthly Link Up over at Emily Freeman's place! Y'all know how much I love it! It is fun and quirky and filled with tips and tricks and great lessons learned... and again,if you don't play along yet, I think you should!


12 Random Things That I Have Learned...

1. I learned that the way God is leading me to 'prepare' now looks so much different than how it used to - and that is OK! 

I was honored to be asked to speak at a women's event in early January and was given a blank slate to speak on whatever I wanted. Nice, right? And being who I am, and loving the brand new shiny start of a brand new shiny New Year, of course I chose to pray and ask if I could talk about seasons and change, because as much as I can plan a talk -He really is the boss of me! I have learned to ask Him what He has in mind, way before jotting down all my own ideas!  

Now I have been speaking at conferences and workshops and churches and Bible studies off and on for years. When I first began stepping out, it was on wobbly knees with sweaty palms and zero assurance that I could do it! My preparations in that season included several Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries, Greek and Hebrew helps, and a word for word speech written out and held with shaky hands.

Then there was a long (read: LOoooNG!) season of laying it down and not speaking or teaching or sharing at all.

Slowly, God has been releasing me once again and the process now is different.  I still use all the resources and spend time studying and praying... but God no longer allows me to write out word for word what we are going to say.  He doesn't often even really let me know too far ahead of time what direction we will take.  Instead, I pray and read and study and I rest in knowing that I am truly ready in season and out of season and it's not because I am educated or eloquent... but it's because I know His Voice and I let Him lead me... even when I am on stage and I thought we were going somewhere but He tells me to go somewhere else! (For the record, I still prefer an outline... but I am learning to truly be prepared more in heart and spirit, than to be prepared in memorization of speech. #notthattheresanythingwrongwiththat!)

2. I learned that I am SO OVER Winter...

This happens, honestly, nearly every year in January... but this year? You guys... So. Much. Snow.  #OverIt!

3. I learned that I treasure only a few 'things' - and most of them are because they were passed down... 

I don't have many inherited pieces or heirlooms, but I do have a few simple things from my Mom or Grandparents.  I am trying to be more intentional in actually USING and enjoying them, instead of just storing them away! What's the point in that? ...for instance, my Mom gave me this tablecloth that my Grandmother had on her table when I was a toddler... we're not huge tablecloth people and I use something else on my table during the holidays, but for January? Yeah... this'll do! And it brings me a ridiculous amount of joy!
4. I (re)learned how easy hosting a MercyHouse / Fair Trade Friday party truly is...

When I was asked to speak at the above mentioned women's event, they asked if I had a charity that we support and would like to talk about... so of course I said MercyHouse!  It was super last minute, but I shot an email out to them and Kristen got back to me right after the holidays and they shipped me a huge box of fun... so in addition to speaking, I set up a little table off to the side and shared the ministry of MercyHouse and Fair Trade Friday! This is my second or third time hosting a party and, honestly, it couldn't be an easier! Whether you have a party in your home, during a Bible study, at church, or a conference... the products are all gorgeous and the cause - well, you just can't go wrong! Check them out HERE to sign up to host your own party!

5. I learned that going back to school with your spouse can be fun...

My Honey and I, along with a handful of others from Dad's House church, signed up to take the first year of the Leadership Development Program through Global Legacy. Each month focuses on a Kingdom culture... January kicked off with the culture of family (which is kind of our jam!) There are online videos, books to read, sermons and messages to listen to, and a workbook to fill out! It has been fun to know that we are reading the same thing and sharing the books so I can see what my husband is highlighting and he can see what is standing out to me!

Plus there is this:
Yeah... every once in awhile, while the leaders are praying for all of the students, God may have a word for you!

6. I learned that finally - I couldn't pass up on trying ePantry - and I love it! 

OK, so I have seen this company on blogs and online for a year or two and am always tempted. I love these products so much already and they are way better than all the chemicals that used to be stored under my sink! It's a monthly deal, but you can push out your next shipment for several months and with just two of us, I definitely won't be needing another box for awhile.  You can check them out HERE - it's a great, small company that does amazing work (and their customer service is great!)

7. I learned that I keep forgetting how much I am in LOVE with my Crockpot... 
You guys? Somehow I forget this every year, but then winter rolls in and just. won't. leave. and I remember... hot meals are so much easier (and more delicious) when they are cooked slowly over hours and hours on low!  That Balsamic Roast Beef recipe? OH MY!!! (and you're welcome!)

And with the left overs... tacos,
because of course!

8. I (re)learned that I {heart} Vantage Point...

Seriously - as a writer, this movie ROCKS!  You get to see the same event, from several different 'vantage points' (ya get it?) and it is SO GOOD... and SUCH an amazing cast, too! I stumbled upon it while crafting and it is a movie I will watch over and over.  So well done! (I keep buying the DVD... but then loaning it out... but it may be on Netflix? Check it out! It's such a good film!)

9. I learned that Coconut Curry is my love language!

So a friend from church posted a picture of her dinner on facebook and I commented simply, "Oh My YUM!" and, you guys: She brought me dinner... and it came with rice and naan! Yeah... she's my new favorite!

10. I learned that awareness is rising and people are learning the truth about human trafficking...
We attended the Human Trafficking Awareness Walk again this year as a family... and several Dad's House people showed up as well.  There are so many great ministries reaching out in our community and making a difference one life at a time... if you think this is not happening where you live, wherever you live, --think again.  

But, my friends... Love wins!

Gah, how I love them!                                      

11. I learned that I LOVE worshiping with a multi-cultural family and embracing worship in many forms!
At Dad's House in January, we talked about various cultures in Heaven and also embraced various cultures among us and expressed this through our worship time... songs sung not only in English, but in Zambian, Hawiiaan, Spanish, and East Indian! I love our freedom in worship and how we all express ourselves differently and there is room to worship Him in spirit and in truth when we gather!  Part of our worship service often includes prophetic art as well and it's always fun to see how God is showing Himself through all kinds of creativity!

And finally...

12. I learned that if you ever get a chance to hang out with Bob Goff you should most definitely do it! (But I sort of already knew that one!)

I wrote about our evening with Bob HERE... but let's just say - it's as good as you may hope it would be! He's the real deal and his joy and childlike faith is most definitely inspiring, and hopefully extremely contagious!


So, here's to February and all his romantic ways! May he teach us all good things!

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

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

The Community over at #SmallWonders 

Laura Boggess over at #ChasingTheBlueFlower
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory

So - what lessons have you learned already this year? What new skills or tips or recipes did you try out? Any favorite new books or movies or music to share? I'd love to hear!


  1. You learn a lot each month. I always enjoy your posts! And that recipe sounds delish!

    1. Oh yes... that recipe IS delish! In fact, just posting about it again made me want to add it to the round for next week already! So good! Love you, friend!

  2. Sounds like you had a great month. Congrats on your time speaking and at the leadership conference. We only had a brief snowfall here. I would love another two to three inches so if you could send some our way. :)

    1. Oh Mary... how I wish I could send you some snow! It was sunny today... but still cold. So not much of the snow melted but we are seeing more and more snow-free landscape and it does my Spring-ready heart good! ;)

  3. What a great month friend. And, oh how do I love that you use Greek and Hebrew helps. I never had to take the translation piece of those languages at seminary since I wasn't going to be ordained, but I do love learning the different meanings of words we find in the Bible. That tablecloth from your Grandma...oh so great! I have a picture hanging in my dining room that hung above my grandpa's bed for a long long time. It is pics of my sister, cousins, and I. It brings me so much joy too. I have never tried naan but I do love me some coconut curry...actually any thai food! YUM!!! That picture of you and your hubby with Bob Goff is AMAZING...full of so much joy! And can you believe it, but this ND girl is kind of sick of snow and winter too! SO glad this latest snowstorm that has hit Iowa, Nebraska, parts of MN is missing us. Excited to head to California tomorrow. It may be only 60s BUT that will feel darn right warm to me! Love you friend!

    1. Oh my friend... you must try Naan! It's delicious with, well, anything! ;) Praying for your flight situation... may you get to Cali and enjoy the West Coast SUN!!!

  4. There is a grace in the cataloging of your thanks, Karrilee. It also makes one realize the power of gratitude and letting that sift into our hearts so that we can live with joy. :) Thanks for the reminder to keep a record of the days like this.

    1. (Can I tell you a hint... I totally cheat! LOL! I stalk my own Instagram feed to remind myself of what my month consisted of!) But I love this link up for the very reason you mentioned... it causes me to slow down and remember and reflect... and always, to give thanks!

  5. I love all your photos. They are so full of life. Great post. I've really learned this last month that even when obedience isn't easy it's a simple choice.

    1. That sounds like a good, hard lesson... but so true! Thanks for stopping by, Laura!

  6. Karrilee, I loved scrolling through your list of lessons and blessings from January. (and yes, I know what a record is! I got a record player for Christmas). So fun to read.

    1. Funny... I stumbled upon old Christmas lp's at my parents and was wishing for an old school record plater! Happy to have you stop by, Jody!

  7. This was such a fun post to read. The balsamic roast beef sounds wonderful. And besides, who doesn't love a good crock pot recipe!!! It truly is always good to stop here. Blessings on your February :)

    1. Aw, thanks so much Joanne! January was full... at times, it felt super bossy... but it always does my heart good to slow and reflect back and remember... and oh my goodness, that recipe is so easy and seriously AMAZING! If you try it, let me know! xoxo

  8. What a great January you had Karrilee! I loved reading all about it in detail. I see your pictures on IG so its great to read the 'whole story'. ;)

    1. LOL! You caught me and my 45yr old brain! I totally troll my own IG feed to remember what I learned the month before! ;) Glad you were able to read the expanded versions here! Thanks for stopping by, Melissa!

  9. God has done the same with me when it comes to speaking - more reliance on presence. Thanks for sharing your life with us all!

    1. So much Amen... that is totally what it is, isn't it? Love that! Thanks for popping on over Kelly!

  10. I am learning that when God gave me the word *GRATEFUL* for this year, He knew what He was doing!! It's stretching me for sure, but it's also seeping into my heart and soul, and permeating it with a new perspective!

    I heard Bob Goff speak once at our church - and he's like human dynamite!


    1. Perfect description of Bob! Love that! And Grateful! What a great word! xoxo

  11. I've missed visiting you during a busy season. Love your lessons, especially on speaking. So good!


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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