Wednesday, July 31, 2013

6 things I learned in July

1.  I've learned that my fear of taking off in an airplane has vanished. Last week, I flew 8,226 miles to North Carolina and back. That meant I had eight different take-offs, including the bumps, jostles, and feeling of falling out of the sky they include. Fear used to be a major player in my thought life. I was afraid of intruders, someone I love dying, kidnappers, and airplane crashes - especially if I'd left my whole family at home and was sitting on an airplane alone.  It seemed to sit better if we were all together, like if we all went down, we ALL went down - and that'd be dandy, right? Well, not really. Fear was gripping me, and that's never good.

About a year ago, I had a shift. A monumental shift in my thought life. Fear was replaced with trust, trust led to peace, and peace led to loving this new habit. Because changing the patterns of your thought life does include hefty doses of habit and scores of prayer.

Enter the girl who didn't fear a single take-off. 

2.  I learned that I have an inexplicable love for spiral-bound notebooks. Is anyone with me on this? Doesn't a fresh notebook make your heart soar? It has so many possibilities. One could hold your shopping lists, be a prayer journal, serve as the place you jot down your Gifts, big ideas, blog post brainstorms, conference or sermon notes, and funny things your kids say. I have notebooks for all of these purposes. What do you use your notebooks for?

3.  Even toy cars desire a loving marriage. I came upon this scene on my kitchen island recently. Two cars were ready to take the plunge and walk down the aisle toward marital bliss. Complete with a toilet paper aisle runner and tulle and toilet paper veil. Hopefully they're open to working on their communication without believing the worst about the other car. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt will work wonders in their new union. Especially when the blue car makes a comment about the size of the pink car's trunk when she's pregnant with a wee car.

4.  It is possible to love a box of tissues. After traveling last week and sitting next to Mr. Hacking Cough on a long leg of my trip, I came down with a nasty chest cold that set in as we arrived at the hotel. I was determined to have a good attitude (it was quite inconvenient to be sick at Disneyland) even though I was feeling poorly as the pre-conference sessions commenced. I ended up buying a couple boxes of these bad boys and fell in love. You must snag some for yourself next time you're sick. It's the same kind of love I have for my thesaurus. The one that I may or may not have hugged.

5.  Poppies make me smile. At the start of summer, when I was planning which flowers I'd plant along the path leading to our front door, I knew poppies would be involved. Now that the plants are mature, and the flowers abundant, I'm more in love than ever. There's just something about those papery blooms sticking up above the crowd with no leaves getting in the way that makes them so special.

6.  I learned that I want to make God's Word known. I came across a scripture that encapsulates my heart as I seek to encourage women along the road we're traveling together.

25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.

(Colossians 1:25-26)

That's my heart.

I've linked up with this fabulous bunch who share what they've learned each month (silly or serious) over at Emily Freeman's blog, Chatting at the Sky. Pop on over and see what they learned in July!


She Speaks 2013 - Charlotte, NC

Last week, I had the great and long-awaited pleasure of traveling to North Carolina for the She Speaks - speakers & writers conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries. For three days, I witnessed non-stop confirmation of the calling to be a writer and encouragement in so many areas of my life. All while being surrounded by 750 like-minded women. It was a dream.
I traveled with my dear friend Anne-Renee. (She's on the right-hand side in every picture we're in together.) This summer marked the fourth year in a row we've had high hopes of going. But for us, babies and businesses were booming, and it just wasn't the right time.
Until this year - and our husbands said, "GO." 
There were so many unbelievable things that happened there. At every turn, it seemed as if the entire conference was geared for Anne-Renee and I. There were personal touches everywhere confirming our choice to put our dreams on hold these past few years.  
I will share more in the coming months - specific stories, things I learned, and most importantly how God moved in me.
One of the highlights of the trip was getting to meet this beautiful bunch of women (pictured above) who were gathered as readers of author Emily Freeman's blog, Chatting at the Sky. Emily (in the orange sweater & black polka dot shirt) offered to meet with all of us for an hour before the conference began Friday morning. This group of women became Anne-Renee and I's conference BFF's.  They are a wonderful group of visionary women that I'm pleased to now know.
Emily even took the time to speak into my life and fears as a writer as I follow my own God-sized dream. I'm thankful for her mentorship, even if it was just for a few in-person moments. Her blog continues to breed inspiration for me, and I'm so thankful.
Excerpt from the song "Oceans" by Hillsong

Since coming home, I've started a Writing Dream bulletin board. It will be where I keep mementos of my journey on the path God is nudging me down. I love it already, and can't wait to fill it with all sorts of treasures. 

What dreams has God placed in your hearts, friends?


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Suck Me Dry

"I knew from the time I was 11 years old that I never wanted children," said the woman working her shift in the airport shop I was perusing yesterday, "they completely suck you dry."
Shocked by her blatant proclamation, I grasped for words. How do I encapsulate how important children are in a casual conversation while majorly jetlagged?
"My children don't suck me dry, but they are a lot of work. The best kind of work," I quipped.
After mulling over her words, I've realized that she was right. Children do suck you dry. But not in the way she meant.

Having the ever-humbling gift of being a mom is continually sucking me dry. But only the least desirable parts are being sucked out for my good, and God's glory.

The pools of pride are sucked dry when I choose to laugh at myself and my mama failings, rather than shame myself.

The riverbeds of fear are sucked dry as a bone when I release my grip on my kids - loving them with open hands rather than holding onto them with white knuckles.

Impatience swirls down the drain when I allow God's peace to suck my impatient tendencies dry.

So, God?

Suck me dry.

Yes, please suck me dry.

And, airport lady? I hope you get the privilege to be sucked dry too.


Friday, July 5, 2013


You can't do anything so amazing that He loves you more.

Or anything so horrific that He loves you less.

He loves you with the biggest kind of love there every was, and ever will be.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7 things I learned in June

1.  After months of suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawls, I found something that sort of takes away the sting.  Are you suffering too?  Try the Downton Abbey station on Pandora (make sure you give a thumbs up to THIS fantastic song so you'll hear it often) or just make yourself comfy on YouTube searching for all things Downton Abbey, you won't be disappointed.

2.  My closet is overrun by stripes. And I like it that way.  It really can't be helped, the stores are full of strange prints and I just can't be covered in solids all the time. 

3.  When things are feeling blah, a family drive might be just what the Dr. ordered. On this particular night (see photos), we stayed within 35 minutes of home and saw such grandeur.  A stop for ice cream and milkshakes helped too.

4.  I now have a new appreciate for air conditioning. After the beautiful (and rare) heat wave we experienced in the month of June, I realized how important air conditioning is to you folks who live in warmer climates. The baby woke up repeatedly through the night (even when sleeping in just a onesie) and cooking dinner seemed impossible.

5.  I have my nose in several books, but rarely take the time to eek forward in them (unless I'm in bed and can't sleep.) I haven't been able to sit still long enough to watch any movies either. I love to read, and I love to watch movies, but preoccupation of the mind has taken over. I've learned that I feel unproductive if I sit still long enough to read or watch a movie. I'm hoping it's just for a season...

6.  We had a grizzly bear in our neighborhood last week. We've had a rare black bear or two in the past, but never a grizzly! I learned that no matter how scared I was of it sneaking up on our property, I yearned for it to come close enough for us to see it, but not close enough to maul us. We saw neither hide nor hair of it. I'm thankful we can now go outside in peace! (we think)

7.  And lastly, I learned that I am feeling completely inept when it comes to knowing how to dress professionally. I love to dress up for church or other occasions, but I'm trying to put together my wardrobe to attend She Speaks in NC later this month and I'm just not sure what to wear! Do I need blazers? Will I be too cold in the air conditioned rooms in a skirt?  Clueless. My sister (who lives in TN) says I should look on Pinterest, and I have... but I'm still lost. If you have any outfit ideas for me I could use your help in the comments.  Maybe later in the month, once I decide what I'm wearing, I'll post pictures of my 3 days of conference outfits - or better yet, maybe I'll have you vote on outfits... hmmm....

Thank you for reading, I'm linking up with this group today to share what we learned in June! What did you learn in the month of June?

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