At the end of every month, Emily Freeman, writer of A Million Little Ways and Simply Tuesday, writes and invites her readers to write about things they learned during the last thirty days. It's a practice I'd like to engage in because I LOVE the turning of the calendar to find what's on the next page. The promise of a fresh start is always enticing to me. But by looking back on the month first, perhaps time will slow down a bit, helping me savor and find meaning in it before flying right through into the next one. So, in Emily P Freeman style, I'm reflecting on a few things I learned in May.
- Finishing up is as satisfying as starting! This month I found myself not teaching a Sunday school class, not going to House of Hope every Wednesday to lead an Ultimate Journey class, not organizing lessons and heading-up my super-fun writers circle, and not preparing for a big women's ministry event at church. Whew...all these March - April activities kept me super engaged in planning and meeting with people. I loved everything I was able to participate in , but the freedom of not doing them was also refreshing.
- I realized anew this month how much I enjoy one-on-one, face to face interaction, with a coffee cup in my hand. I love lively conversation and find that when someone engages me in this way, I am happier than happy! There's nothing better than talking with a woman about what God's doing in her life, what's happening with her family, what new book she's been reading, how she's feeling, what she is learning! Give and take conversation fills me up; I relish such encounters. I love stories and questions, fears and faiths. I am totally recharged by connecting like this.
- But at the same time, I need solitude. Being home alone in my writing studio fills me. Recharging time is essential for me to be creative and satisfied with my life. Creating space to meet God in my early morning hours stimulates my faith, my thinking, and my creativity. I can be away from these practices for a length of time, like I did this month, but when I get home, I find myself once again savoring the practice of settling into my chair to write the words that come and find me ready.
- I love my new Contigo, traveling coffee cup! It keeps my coffee HOT for up to 5 hours! I can hardly believe it. My coffee is as hot now as it was when I began writing this post! This cup is so worth the $11.99 I spent on it at Target today.
- I need to find some new clothes for summer. Every new season finds me taking awhile to get used to the change of weather. I'm wearing a long sleeved shirt when it is 80 degrees and find myself saying, "Oh yeah, I better roll up these sleeves!" But even more than that, my wardrobe needs a freshening up. Midday on Sunday, I realized that I was wearing the very same outfit I wore to speak at a women's event four years ago!! Have I not bought anything new in four years??? Calm down, yes I have. But perhaps I should move on from that particular combination in celebration of change. Contrast that to a certain millennial I know who gets clothes sent to her house once a month so she can wear new outfits and then send them back and have new ones arrive the next week. Ah, the new generation and ah, the old generation. What we can learn from each other is endless. I love that girl.
- In a discussion about why Christian women feel so discouraged I realized that I think many of us don't believe God. The Bible has a lot to say about God's heart for us and we just aren't sure He is telling us the truth or that we agree with Him. I find so many women who struggle with feelings of inadequacy. (I also fought this for many years). But today I strive to hang on desperately to the truth that God designed me as He wanted me to be and loves me just as I am. If God loves me that way, can I not also love myself? I've come to believe He only expects me to give from what He has given me. Nothing more. If I believe the lie that I "should" do, be or know more, I'll never achieve it. And worse, it will be never-ending striving. I can only give what I've been given. This truth is so freeing.
- I think I should laugh at myself more often. I'm too serious about getting it right. In this blog post, I told a funny story of me trying to feel like I had some bit of control over my grandchildren: ages three and two. The incident described in the tale made me realize I need to lighten up! I want to practice laughing at myself and enjoying the freedom it brings! We'll see how I do with that in the month of June! (Lucy is so good at helping me with this, sweet girl that she is.)
Well, I guess I learned a few things in May! Thanks for stopping by. I'd be interested in what you have learned this month. If you would leave me a comment, I would be so happy to read it!