Hello? Remember me? I can’t remember the last time I blogged an update. It has been a very busy season and I was blessed when Kathy Carlton Willis and her team sent me some wonderful blog posts to share this fall. They were wonderful and spanned throughout late September and October. Thank you, Kathy and team!
I thought I’d share what’s been going on and what’s coming up.
- I finished teaching Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst in as many as 5 different ways. I’ve never done this before and it was a HUGE step of faith. I taught it as a Sunday School Class and as it usually goes, I think I learned the most. I was able to lower my walls and make new friends. There have been times my biggest rejections came from teaching, so this was HARD. But God saw me through it, and I’m thankful. I taught twice a week through an online Facebook group (no video) and that was special. I’m so proud of those ladies. I also met with people privately and/or shared my journaling to encourage those I know are struggling. This book is a life-changer. I put it up there with Beth Moore’s Believing God.
- My husband is on the tail end of teaching seven weeks straight. Most of those weeks were not local, so that put me on full-time duty. It isn’t easy for any of us, but this is new for him, training on a full-time schedule, and he enjoys it.
- Our oldest started college. I didn’t think much of the transition because he is a commuter student, and honestly, I’m still recovering from his senior year of high school. His grades are amazing and he’s made a couple connections. We see more change on the horizon come January, but we think they are open doors we are excited to see him walk through.
- Our youngest started middle school. I also didn’t think much of the transition because physically, it is a move down the hall. No big deal, right? But, I forgot the drama. So much with girls and middle school. I really struggled with this one, but through it, she learned wisdom and discernment, and boundaries. I’m drained, and the hard part is, we’re just entering the teen years.
There was also a visit to my home town and a quick trip to the Adirondacks. I’m still critiquing and writing ENGAGED. I’m not where I want to be with it, but I have much of it plotted, so it should flow well. The feedback I’m receiving from promotions I did with ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED has been so positive, I’m so grateful. I also did a book club for ENTANGLED and that went really well. I’m trying one for ENTRUSTED on my author page, but it is slow going. I think that will pick up once more readers find me. And I pray they do!
At the end of Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst challenges readers to have the courage to ask loved ones, “What’s it like to do life with me?” Boy, that is tough. I haven’t done the official assessment yet, but late August my husband shared something that I knew was a blindspot for me, I didn’t see it. And instead of feeling rejected, I knew it was an area to work on.
So that’s everything going on right now. Tired? I am. I didn’t even talk about all the menopause stuff and the changed I’ve implemented. But that’s what life is like with me right now. Busy!
Stay tuned, throughout November guest bloggers will be sharing why they are thankful. I LOVE this series, I think it is our 9th year. I still have openings, you do NOT have to be a writer to participate. All you need to be is thankful!
To sign up, find a date that is open in November, click the box on the right, hit submit in the center bottom box. It will confirm and send you an email, and also a reminder. If you have trouble, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to help.
Sign up HERE
The biggest battle I’ve faced in any role I’ve taken on is rejection and isolation. I’ve joked that I’m the misfit toy, the one left in the corner while everyone has fun. I’ve watched even as an adult that I’ve been forgotten, passed over, added on when others said no, and all the other things that crush.
In the encouragement I give to others, I know I’m not alone. That’s why I am stepping out in faith to start a group on Facebook where we can meet weekly to discuss Lysa TerKeurst’s latest release, UNINVITED.
I am doing this under the umbrella of Praise and Coffee, a ministry that simply loves to have women connect so they can encourage and inspire. Groups can be as few as two people and can meet anywhere. Kitchens. Church rooms. Living rooms. Cafes.
And that’s what I’m doing. You purchase the book and read the assigned chapters for the week, and once a week for an hour we’ll discuss it. No membership, no commitment, just know that you are invited.
All discussions will be through this closed group page. The group can be found by anyone, but only members can read the posts. Our discussions will be confidential.
To request the group, click HERE.
This summer I’ve been working through Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. She has one term that is the goal for readers, imperfect progress. I used to be a very angry, wounded person, and unglued was my heart. Although God’s healed me from so much, imperfect progress sums up a lot.
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything surrender themed, so I thought I’d take today to confess and celebrate my imperfect progress.
In Unglued Lysa writes about exploding reactions and stuffing reactions. For the most part, I’m a stuffer. It took absolute rejection and heartbreak from more than one situation to help me communicate more. My marriage is so much better for that. I think what’s key is if the other person is as willing to receive as I am to share. Any relationship that isn’t where it used to be most likely is because I don’t believe the other person is willing to openly communicate and receive my honest feelings, even in a loving way.
Last year I was in my first of three casts, and even those casts in the end didn’t heal my broken wrist. This summer I’m free from casts, braces, therapy, and for the most part, the grief I carried from the incident and reality I’ll never be the same. When I feel an ache or struggle opening a child proof bottle I have to choose to find the positive. Last year I wasn’t sure I could write/type, and that’s the call on my life. This year I’m typing two-handed, no problems.
In that healing time, my exercise life flatlined. Because of that and emotional eating, I gained a lot of the weight back I lost two years ago. I’ve had imperfect progress with my mind, taking each thought about my body back to Christ. I don’t have to stay in that place, and I’m more about healthier choices than a number on the scale. The celebration is I’m almost done with the C25K app, and I didn’t hate it. I pulled way back on junk eating and am trying to be intentional to listen to true hunger and only eat then.
I feel like our family is in a new phase. Our youngest no longer has a little girl face, and she’s asking tween questions. Our son is receiving mail from colleges. His countdown to drive is in months, not years. I realized there is a lot more fear in this season than I imagined. I can’t control a lot of their lives, not in the early days when it was about redirecting their attention or picking them up for danger. Unglued? Yep. I have to trust God in all He gave me to raise them, and the promises over them. They are children of peace. Overcomers. Game-changers. And my prayer is they be invisible to the enemy.
This encompasses so much more than going to church and helping out here and there. My life is a ministry, and most of it is writing and speaking. I’ve relaxed a lot wondering what this is all supposed to look like and when, and God is in it. I’m extremely reluctant to allow anyone try to tell me what it should be, and I absolutely come unglued when I feel forced or manipulated. It’s in this category I think the depth of my introvertedness comes out. High maintenance people drain me. I give everything of me when I minister. My heart beats to see people live free in Christ, and that comes at a price. Rest, maintaining boundaries, these are vital for me.
Imperfect progress. Not just my goal, but I think a lifestyle.
How about you?
I know what true love is like. When my husband and I started dating he was so transparent. He made it clear how separated by two hours and 100+ miles made him ache to see me. We missed each other and every mile felt like 100.
Even some movies capture the ache love brings.
One of my favorites My favorite movie is Return to Me. If you haven’t seen it, grab a box of tissues and get ready to be swept off your feet as you watch David Duchovny and Minne Driver play Bob and Grace. I won’t give the plot, but at one key point Bob confesses, “I ache for Grace.” (((swoon)))
I write all that to say I feel something weird. I ache not for a person as much as I do a place. The first time I visited, I fell hard and had three contemporary romances sketched out because the creativity flowed as free as the waters surrounding me. I don’t know if it was the smell of the evergreens or the gentle breezes, but I was in a trance. I went back for my honeymoon, visited the area again on vacation, and took the family there six years ago.
Many years have passed since that first visit, close to 20, and I’m 2/3 done editing the umpteenth draft from the first sketch. It’s based in the mountains where I literally ache to return, in a village I respect. For a small county that has no red lights, I know four authors who are familiar with the village or live there during the summer. I opened Lysa TerKeurst’s blog in my inbox and she wrote about her vacation.
She was in the mountains. The Adirondack Mountains. To get even more specific, she was speaking at Camp-of-the-Woods in Speculator. Speculator is the place I know best, although I’ve been to Lake Placid and routes inbetween.
These days I’m about 10 hours from the pine trees, mountain views, hiking trails, rivers and the only place where I felt peace flood my soul just by standing on soil. I’m working on a writing retreat in Lake Placid, but the logistics are tough. It’s not like I can just hop in the car and be there.
So, I ache. Even as I typed these words, my Tweetdeck popped up with the hashtag #ADK. Sigh.
Am I the only one who aches for a place–I mean the kind of I want it so bad it’s embedded inside?
Unless you are writing from the Adirondacks. 🙂
I had a great Spring season leading a Journey group through my church. I mixed two Bible Studies–Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave with John and Stasi Eldredge’s Captivating. We watched the DVD’s and discussed, and the two literally married each week.
This week the Captivating lesson brought John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart group. The men opened up and shared treasures–their heart and the heart of men, period. I’m still chewing on all they shared, it was like an all access pass. When I drove home, K-Love shared that men don’t want a tie, they want to feel affirmed and believed in. Those sentiments completely confirmed everything we saw on the DVD.
Here are key things I learned:
- Men need to know you believe in them. This is their top need.
- They love to feel powerful, not in a JR Ewing way, but a “I fixed the toilet and was scared about trying way.”
- They feel constant pressure, a report card of sorts, that to them, feels like they never measure up.
- Women were created by God to have a core question built into them that asks, do you think I’m lovely? Men do not want women to go to them for the answer. They can’t answer it and know it. God alone through Jesus Christ answers that core question. The same goes for men. God created them with the question, do you think I’m man enough/can I get the job done? Women can’t answer that, not to the core. Only Christ. We all have a God-sized hole, and we fill it with relationships, food, work, money, shopping, chemical addictions. Those things will never fill the hole.
- Sometimes men don’t do what women ask because of fear. With that constant report card the pressure and lie from the enemy that they don’t measure up is always there, so to not do it feels easier than failing. Men also explained if they do it, the women won’t need them. They know it’s wrong, but the fear of women not needing them is strong enough that sometimes they won’t help out, because helping meets the need.
This Father’s Day, save your money and make an investment, even if you don’t get an immediate return. Tell your dad, a father figure, the father of your children, a male friend, a boss, a sibling that they make an impact. They get the job done. That you believe in them.
Now that’s a gift.
To purchase learn more about Captivating and Wild at Heart, visit here.
If you don’t blog, you have no idea how hard titles are for posts. I think I struck out today but I’m too tired to play. 🙂
I have a debut of sorts going on today and only a select few will get to see it.
Might you be one of them?
I’m going to give a sneak preview of my Fall presentation schedule at my webinar room. I have book studies, a small group and a monthly chat planned and I’m a
TAD LOT excited. All of the things I plan to do are free and online for anyone with good internet access. Dialup would probably not work, sorry.
When is this debut?
1pm EST. Well, kind of. My webinar starts at 1 and I would love for you to check it out. I’m going through Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave.This is not a diet book, this is a want to book for wellness. I am a HUGE fan of this book and you don’t have to be on a diet to read it. Food doesn’t even need to be your issue. But if you want more out of life and are tired of the cycle, this book is a home run.
Sometime during the webinar I’ll present my Fall schedule. If you want to help me spread the word, I’d be thrilled.
So…see you at 1 Eastern?
Link to my room: