5 Things: Summer 2014 Edition

How is it that the days can feel so incredibly long and exhausting, but then just like that, it’s September 1st (what?!?), and I haven’t blogged for the entire month of August and I don’t really even care because life has been full.

Of hard things and amazing things and God-orchestrated things.

And I just know that those things were more important for this season than showing up in this space. That perhaps this has simply been a season for mostly setting this space aside to lean into Christ and who He is making me to be in this life and for eternity (more like Him…), and sometimes part of that process is laying the unnecessary things down … sometimes for even longer than just a short a season … and keeping my eyes fixed on Him. Oh, how that takes effort and intention sometimes. But it’s always always always worth it.

But it was time to come back. Because I happen to know that many of you look forward to these “5 Things” posts each month, and I have neglected them for the entire summer. Yep. That’s right. The last time I posted one was at the end of May.

So here’s the “5 Things: Summer 2014 Edition”…

5 Things Summer Edition

 

1. I can’t believe I just heard this Keith Getty song for the first time yesterday, but these lyrics are SO powerful and truth-filled (and this is just part of one verse)!!

“Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness…
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.”

2. In light of my angst over major (but good) life changes including a new job and new church (all in one week…), my sister/friend/roommate said:

“The only easy change is a baby’s diaper…”

HA! This might just be the best thing she has EVER said to me!

3. The bug-repelling candle pictured above will go down in the books as one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. Not because it’s extravagant, but because it represents that someone listened to my heart and then listened to the Spirit prompt her to be caring and generous. And that was (and still is) beautiful.

4. Speaking of being generous … it’s my new life goal. Something I’m intentionally focusing on and striving for. I long to be generous with my time, and my money, and my resources. And why have I never acknowledged this (much less written it publicly) as so important and central to who I am in Christ?

5. If you’ve been around this blog for any time at all, it’s no secret that I’m a WORDS girl. I love everything about words, I’m careful with how I choose and use my words, and words just plain mean a lot to me. And every once in a while, the Lord gifts me with friends and mentors who understand that part of me and speak into my heart and life in a way that few others can. These relationships are rare, and when I come across them, I recognize them for the gift that they are and treasure them.

One such relationship – someone who I know as both friend AND mentor – wrote a post about a week ago that spoke to me so deeply about the power of words. She once again reminded me and challenged me to pay attention to the words I choose to speak and the words I choose NOT to speak, and it’s a challenge (wrapped up in a sweet and precious story) that I couldn’t help but pass along … click here to read that post … it’s well worth your time!!

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*linking up with Emily P. Freeman at Chatting at the Sky as we all share different things we learned last month*

 

5 Things I Learned in May

5Things I Learned in May1

1. Sanding and painting furniture isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It probably helps that my amazing roommate helps with all of the things I’m most uncertain about and simply lets me paint. And for the record, chalk paint is awesome. And for the curious, yes, I will post a photo of the finished product (a nightstand) soon.

2. Sometimes capturing rest for a photo of the week project looks like taking a month off from said project when it starts to feel less like creative rest and more like a chore that has to be done out of duty. And then not worrying about it and just letting it go. (My blog, my rules, right?) I honestly haven’t quite decided if the photo of the week project is coming back for June or not. The good news? I’ve got two whole days to decide. And to those of you who sent me YOUR photos representing rest, THANK YOU!! I loved loved loved seeing your perspective and hearing about what rest means to you. Y’all are the best!!

5Things I Learned in May2

3. When you help your grandparents downsize to move out of the house they’ve lived in since 1959, you might come across your uncle’s old toy trucks in the attic. And even though your mom (his sister) is convinced he will never part with his fire truck, if he loves you a lot (I love him, too!), he might let you convince him that you should have them. And it will probably make your day. Because ALL the excitement!! My future children are grateful, too.

4. Confidence in my own confidence means absolutely nothing. Confidence in my secure identity in Christ means everything.

5. I suspect that this year of rest will become less of a season with an arbitrary time limit and more of a lifestyle. I’m learning so much on this journey into intentional rest – physically, mentally, spiritually – and have so many thoughts on the subject. But I’m taking my time and processing things slowly. And I’m genuinely ok with that.

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*linking up with Emily P. Freeman at Chatting at the Sky as we all share different things we learned in May*

5 Things I Learned in April

1. I made Aunt Sarah’s coconut cake for my family for Easter again this year. It’s still amazing. And super simple. But it looks impressive. Which of course I failed to document this time around. But it’s really just a win all the way around.

2. Shopping for baby gifts is hands down the best kind of retail therapy. Seriously. I could forever shop for baby items for friends and never get overwhelmed or bored. So much enjoyment from such a simple thing.

5 Things April

3. I learned a new word this month thanks to my sister-friend-roommate: laxity. It simply means being lax or loose. Please don’t ask me why I had never heard of this word before.

4. Sometimes closed doors are God’s protection. This has been such a powerful and shaping lesson that I don’t think I’m quite done learning and a truth that I’m certainly not done resting in.

5. And along those same lines, this:

“What may feel like overwhelming sorrow or trauma is nevertheless
within God’s compassionate plan.
He is not premature in what he allows.
His compassions never fail.
When you understand that image of God’s compassion,
you can rest there.
You can know that you are cradled within God’s perfect care for you.”

- from God Is Just Not Fair by Jennifer Rothschild

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*linking up with Emily P. Freeman at Chatting at the Sky as we all share different things we learned in April*

5 Things I Learned in March

1. I’m a cold-weather lover. Well, within reason. I’ve always lived in the south, so this probably affects my perception of “cold”. But still, the creative part of me thrives on and loves the short days and coziness of winter. But apparently even I have my limit. Enough with the cold. Enough with the snow and ice and freezing rain. It’s the end of March, and I am SO beyond ready for spring this year!

5 things i learned in march

2. I have been reminded this month of the goodness and graciousness of God in providing me and surrounding me with good friends that I connect with on a deep soul level. He knows He created me to need that. I do not take friendships lightly, and the Lord has blessed me beyond what I could ask or imagine. And this week has been packed with meals and movies and car rides and Bible Studies and coffee dates and phone conversations with my people. My cup is full to overflowing! Such a precious gift.

3. I am actually capable of trimming my own hair and not messing it up royally. Win!

4. The new Vanilla Macchiato at Starbucks didn’t impress me. At all. I’ll stick with my usual Caramel Macchiato, thank you very much.

5. And finally, this. Because y’all, I barely have words to explain how powerful it is that in John 17, in His priestly prayer, Jesus Christ says His desire is that WE may be with HIM, so that we would see His glory and know His love. This is HUGE and continues to blow my mind a full week after recognizing the sheer beauty of this truth:

“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me,
be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me,
for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
John 17:24 (NASB)

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*linking up today with Emily P. Freeman at Chatting at the Sky as we all share different things we learned in March*

5 Things I Learned in February

1. I’m totally in love with this gold nail polish. It’s an Essie color. But I have no idea which one it is because it’s not even mine. It’s my roommate’s. And she offered to paint my nails. Score! She’s just good like that.

5thingsfebruary

2. I’m featured over on my friend and favorite photographer’s blog today. {Thanks for the new photos, Kendra!! I loved the weekend with you, too!!} You should head over and check out her amazing work. Seriously. And if you’re in the Houston area, you should pretty much just hire her. You will not be sorry!

3. Speaking of photography, I’ve decided that my dream job (as in the one that’s likely to never ever actually happen, but I still think would be ridiculously awesome, even if it were just on the side) is to be a States-based, world-traveling humanitarian photographer. How amazing would it be to travel around for the purpose of capturing people’s stories?! Observing, listening, seeing. Giving others the opportunity to be known and seen and heard. I would need significantly more skill in the photography realm to make this a reality. But yep. Dream job.

4. One of the Bible Study groups I’m a part of this semester is studying the book of Jonah. We’re only through the first chapter, and I’m already amazed by all that’s happening in this story that I’ve never really paid attention to before now. There’s just so much truth there! (I mean, duh.) And we’ve already learned (or been reminded of) so much about the character of God. Such as how in all His greatness, He is perfectly holy and just and therefore holds us accountable for our disobedience. But He’s also endlessly compassionate, and in His sovereignty, His purposes prevail. Yes and amen.

5. I was beyond pleased with the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy last night. {side note: Grey’s is one of the few shows that I actually make time to watch on a regular basis. and I know it’s not the greatest. but I get sucked into the story and can’t stop watching. so there it is. guilty pleasure.} Let’s just say that I didn’t see the ending coming, but I liked it. A lot.

6. (Bonus!) I think I used the term “learned” rather loosely this month. But I’m okay with that.

What did you learn in February?

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*linking up today with Emily P. Freeman at Chatting at the Sky as we all share different things we learned in February*