Being Still-er (31 Days #29)

To read all the posts in the 31 Days series, click here.

I’m not sure I know what to say about my experience at Allume. I was asked about it today and this was all I was able to manage:

“I’m still figuring it all out. It was incredible and the messages were exactly what I needed to hear; but something was going on in my heart that completely took me by surprise, and it made me see everything through a really blurry filter. I’m praying through it to see clearly.” 

And I really want to — I want to pray through it and see it clearly and work through it with God.

But in order to do that effectively, I need to be still.

er.

Stiller yet.

God seems to be purifying me of some things. It’s rising to the surface and He’s wanting to skim it off. But before He can do that, I need to let it finish rising.  I need to be honest about the truth of it and I need to be still.

I heard that one blogger said this about her experiences at Allume: she didn’t get the answers she was hoping for the first year, and that her story is still being written in the second year.

And when I heard that, I just cried. Because I think that’s exactly what’s happening with me. I went for answers to the wrong questions. And God is still writing the story.

So I’m still processing Allume. But I will say this:

Meeting online friends in real life and loving them even more than you thought you would is the best feeling in the entire world. (Finding out they are sorority sisters is just icing on the Devil Dog.) And spending time with these friends — unencumbered by the responsibilities of real life for just a few days — brings a bond that it forever etched in my heart and His hands.

It’s a beautiful thing.

And I’m planning to be still-er to soak in the memories of that, too.

p.s. Ann Voskamp never stops reflecting the joy and glory of Jesus. Not ever. I almost grabbed a towel to throw over her head, because my eyes!

p.p.s. Melanie Shankle had the greatest hair and flat out preached. And I want all her accessories and booties.

p.p.p.s. Lisa-Jo Baker is tall. Like 5’10” tall, and I was so excited I almost did a happy dance! (In public. Definitely did one in private.)

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Being Realistic (31 Days #24)

To read all the posts in the 31 Days series, click here.

I’m heading to the Allume Conference today. It’s going to be three days and nights of learning and being inspired and laughing and drinking coffee and socializing.

And I get to hear Ann Voskamp and Melanie Shankle and Jennie Allen and Holley Gerth and a whole slew of others live and in person. 

(Oh dear…green is so not your color.)

SO.

I’m definitely going to try to continue posting in this 31 days series while I’m there. Because honestly, I’m loving the challenge of writing daily and I’ve already come so far! I don’t want to quit now!

BUT.

I’m also a realist. The schedule is jam-packed, and I want to fully engage with the people I’ve looked forward to meeting in person for months and months. AND. MONTHS.

So if I don’t post, I’d appreciate you throwing grace at confetti at me so I can dance in it freely, understanding I’m too busy being to do.

Because after all, isn’t practicing being the most important part of this process? Even more than writing about it?

(And collectively we all yell, YES and AMEN!)

(And can we have a moment to acknowledge I’m not organized enough to have posts queued up and ready to go?)

(Selah.)

I can’t wait to share about Allume with you! 

ALLUME

Thanksday #90

Wow, this is my 90th Thanksday.

Technically I should have well over 150 by now, since my first one was back in October 2010. But that’s why they call it “grace,” my friends. You just take a little and throw it at your feet for those times you were moving for the fourth time, or dealing with your baby just starting to walk, or moving for the fifth time, or washing your hands of this whole writing thing altogether.

Or moving for the sixth time.

Or flat-out forgetting.

The point is, life happens. And some weeks the focus needs to be elsewhere. And that’s okay.

Thankfuls for this week:

1. Rain. I’m going to just praise God for the rain and not complain one iota about the lack of sun. I’m thankful for warm clothes and socks and shoes and rain coats and galoshes. I’m thankful for afternoon cups of coffee and naps that linger on because it’s just so cozy in bed.

2. Back-to-School Shopping. I absolutely geek out over getting ready for back to school. I don’t enjoy school actually starting, but oh, I do love shopping for it. Jaana and I did most of our shopping online this year, but it was still so fun. Even more fun is having packages arrive daily just for her. And I’m beyond excited about these two words this year: saddle shoes. I canNOT wait to see her in her kicky pleated skirts and side ponytail and saddle shoes. Pinch me, for realz.

3. FaceTiming. This week, I finally got to see the beautiful face and hear the melodic voice of a bloggy friend I haven’t met in person yet. And oh my lands, are we two sisters from another mister! I adore her so much already, and can’t wait to hug her neck at Allume in October!

4. Jen Hatmaker. Because for realz, I cry with laughter when I read most of her blog posts. But especially this one right here.

5. The Letter Z. Because “for realz” is so much more fun to type with a “z.”

6. Making Lemonade. Not in the “when life hands you lemons” way, but (say it together) for realz making lemonade. Jaana wants to earn some money for church offering (collective “awwwwww” inserted here), so we spent one day this week melting sugar in hot water and squeezing lemons and lit’rly making lemonade. Here’s to hoping more money ends up in the offering plate than her piggy bank. (Y’all think I’m kidding, but I did not birth a total saint.) (True dat.)

7. BE-ing. You know what happens when you’re fully present where you are? And you sorta-kinda stop stressing about certain things? God has a way of filling in the gaps. And He’s been busy filling gaps lately. And while He’s filling gaps, I’m at peace and working hard, but not striving — and it’s a whole new world, there’s no doubt about it. But I’m embracing it with two wide open arms. Come to Mama.

8. Home Sweet Home. My sister-in-law and niece and nephew are back from a fun few weeks in Japan, and so we made an impromptu trip to The Big City to see them before they started school this week. There is nothing like seeing cousins who adore each other reunited and playing Chicken in the swimming pool. There just isn’t.

9. Extra Care Bucks. I rarely shop at CVS, mainly because there isn’t one close enough to frequent. But I go every time I’m in The Big City, and my in-store coupons that print out are endless. Well this week, I completed an online survey that earned me $10 in Extra Care Bucks, and I had another $6 in random bucks plus 30% off. So Mama got herself some mascara and such and paid next to nothin’. ‘Twas glorious.

10. And Such. I am thankful for phrases like “and such” that give no extra insight as to what I might have purchased at the CVS. It’s the “yada yada yada” of today’s youth, is what it is. For realz.

Well.

That’s about it, I believe. Life is about to happen, so it’s time for me to focus on this thing called Alone Time.

For realz.

What are you thankful for this week?

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