(Two week edition: due to time away at a music festival last week.)
Out my Window: Last week we stayed in our friends’ RV on their property and woke to beautiful sunrises. This week the crescent moon has caught my eye out my window.
Enjoying: change of pace, meeting new people, fun with friends, making new friends, learning new things. Coming home to some quiet rest before more fun.
Listening to: variety of live music and speakers. I attended a few seminars and these people had some really good things to share.
Keri Cardinale kericardinale.com She shared her story and also what does it look like to love and walk with people walking in confusion, especially with how they label themselves and define themselves by their sexuality rather than their truest identity as one deeply loved by God.
Brett Ullman brettullman.com I went to his talk on Mental Health after a new friend recommended him. Great information. So very helpful. He also shared his personal struggles with mental health issues. He had great resources and communicated a grace-filled message of perseverance and love.
Kevin Lehman I went for two of his talks. I just love this man. He says things so well and helps you see things clearer, especially when it comes to relationships, specifically parenting. I highly recommend his book How to Make Kids Mind without Losing Yours. He is funny and honest. I was able to attend his birth order talk this time which was very good and helpful. He now has a full podcast that he will answer questions about how these things play out. http://birthorderguy.com/
Reading: I have been listening to Michelle Obama’s book Becoming on Audible. She reads which is lovely. It is so interesting and there are many nuggets in there so far that I have picked up for myself as a parent and as a person. It has been a very good listen. I am thankful for her ability to evaluate and process her experiences growing up, and her bravery in being honest about her perception, but also how she felt about things. I still have a ways to go.
Carry around book: The Middle Matters by Lisa-Jo Baker I am not as far into it as I thought. I did more listening to Becoming than reading due to tired level. Late nights and early mornings make me tired. So far it has been an easy read. Her middle of life looks different than mine. Some of it feels very bloggy instead of bookish, but there have been some really eye opening pieces that have helped me see myself and a few relationships better, so for that I am thankful. It is not a “everyone” needs to read, but I have a few friends I know I will pass it along to because I think they will relate better than I am, but it is still good.
Book Launches: I just finished launching His Presence is the Promise by Glenna Marshall https://www.glennamarshall.com/ . Definitely a book I will keep on my radar to share with friends who may be struggling with various issues. I am now on two more book launch teams. So thrilled to be on these. They are bigger authors and a larger group of people in the launch, so it is a different experience. The first one is Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons https://gracelaced.com/. I was able to read the electronic version already. It was beautiful visually and the content is a great encouragement to set our eyes on God and allow everything to lead us to worship. It is more of a devotional type book. If you read Gracelaced, it is similar, but even more stunning visually, and more depth in content. The second book launch team I am part of is Sarah Mae’s Complicated Heart https://www.sarahmae.com/ . We just started meeting and I should be getting the book in the mail any day. I think this will be a hard book due to topics, but I believe a very important book. I am thankful to get my hands on it early. I will be letting you know more about each as the month goes on mostly at https://www.facebook.com/inkblotlife/
Pondering: Thinking a lot about the lessons of my sunflowers. The sacred echoes continue. I wrote about it here https://inkblotlife.com/2019/08/05/bears-its-fruit-in-season/ but I continue to ponder it. A friend and I were chatting today about the sunflower and she mentioned that she thought her sunflowers were done because the flowers were drooping and the leaves were wilting and her father told her it was just blossoming. My friend was surprised to find all the tiny petals, instead of seeds when she lifted the head. This got me thinking further about seasons and how we judge them by their fruit but sometimes what we think is the fruit isn’t, really it is only the beginning of the purpose of that season. Sometimes something looks over and done bearing its fruit, and it is not yet there, there is more persevering to see that season through. Pondering what it looks like to abide and fully allow God to define, name, and give the proper duration to the season instead of me thinking I know what is being produced, or what is coming, or when it is over.
Learning: Even though I encourage people all the time not to have expectations except for God to do what He promises and be who He says He will be, I still fall into the trap of not being fully present to what is. I go in with expectations that I do not realize I had until I am disappointed with the way things are going, then I realize I totally expected something to go a certain way. I had hopes based on expectations of events, actions, or people instead of letting God direct and give as He sees fit for the moment. Slowly learning to go into situations with open hands and heart, instead of an agenda for God.
Home: So I did a lot of prepping for my husband who was staying home, and for my son and I as we were living out of our van for a bunch of days. Let’s just say no one starved, the house stayed clean, and now we are home and crashing, and catching up on laundry.
Fitness and Mental Health: Walking all over an amusement park was my fitness for days, wishing I had a fitbit or something to know how many miles I walked. Much standing and sweating also… Mental Health was curated by taking time to rest and regroup each day after getting my son to the venue bright and early before I landed and interacted, also going to seminars, thinking and processing what was instead of expectations I had gone in with.
Giving Thanks: For opportunities to connect with friends when I was away. Making new friends. For my dear in-laws who went to see my older son in his new world, and then travelled to see us when we got back. For the different blessings set aside for me at the festival, connecting with a new friend, getting information that will be helpful for a seminar we want to host. For our friends’ hospitality in letting us stay at their place and for their sweet family. For my younger son’s opportunity to be part of the festival and some of the quality people he got to interact with. For God’s mercies that are new every morning and how He patiently teaches and re-teaches me things.