The Top Ten Things November Taught Me!

I am linking up with Emily Freeman’s monthly link-up today. You can check out all the posts over at Emily’s Place.

(1) It is so much fun to find new clothing lines. Thanks to my friend Lindy for introducing me to LuluRoe. I am so excited to try out my leggings. I also will be purchasing a dress or skirt.

(2) Even.If.Not has become one of my new favorite phrases penned by my blog friend Kaitlyn. I am on her launch team and am so excited for all of you to read her book. Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between will be released in early 2016. For more information, click here!

(3) Time with dear friends is so so good for the soul! Lunch with KG, coffee with CT, Beer and Hymns with EG and AH. We need to take time to gather around the table more often friends!

(4) We need to find a cure for cancer! I know this isn’t news to anyone. But too many individuals have been taken way too soon. My friend Laura completed her Baptismal journey yesterday. My heart breaks for Laura’s daughters who have now lost both of their parents to cancer. Two weeks ago, our local Taco John’s held a fundraiser for a young wife and mother who was battling cancer. She passed away two days after her fundraiser. And it seems that more and more people are being diagnosed with cancer.

(5) Thanksgiving with the family is the best! Love spending time with my family especially as my grandparents age. Good food, great conversation, competitive Rook games, lots of laughter and so much more!

(6) The gift of community! I especially have noticed it in the last 24 hours. Voxes, Tweets, Facebook messages and the list goes on. In the words of my friend Sally, it feels like one giant cyber hug. And my friends, that is a perfect description. As the Wartburg Seminary community grieves, near and far, there is power in knowing that we do not grieve alone but together.

(7) Peppermint lattes, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, vanilla egg nog….oh the goodness! I love this time of the year. There is something about curling up under blankets with a hot beverage in hand.

(8) I am a champion chili maker! I repeated as the Lutheran Campus Ministry chili feed champ which is voted on by local officials. This year it was local cops; last year fire men!

(9) Sometimes we just have to reward ourselves for completing a goal/challenge. I bought myself a new tshirt AND tank top for finishing the Write 31 Days challenge. I couldn’t decide so I rewarded myself with two items!

(10) Pinterest isn’t always a fail! I led the Family SS activities two weeks in a row. And the cute cupcake liner angels from Pinterest were not an EPIC FAIL. In fact, they turned out rather cute.

Linking Up Here!

What October Taught Me

I am linking up with Emily Freeman’s monthly link-up today. You can check out all the posts over at Emily’s Place. (Sad face….I missed the link-up deadline!)

October came in with a BANG with the Write 31 Days challenge. And, of course, I thought it would be a great idea to do two series: one on my personal blog and one on a blog I just started for church. I am happy to say that this overachiever finished both Write 31 days series.

This is what I learned this month….

(1) I absolutely love hosting friends over at my place. There is something so incredibly holy about inviting them to sit at my virtual table and to hear their stories. I hope to invite more of you to come to visit here. Thanks to Karrilee, Melissa, and Colleen for sharing their stories of God’s grace this month. Please know that the door is always open to all of you!

(2) Throughout my 31 days, I learned that I absolutely LOVE the discipline of sitting down and writing every day during the challenge. I love doing something that stretches me and blesses me in more ways than I could ever imagine.

(3) The Interwebs and SOCIAL MEDIA! I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing it has been to find a community that has blessed me in more ways than I could ever imagine. I am thankful that I got to Periscope with several of the Five Minute Friday crowd while they were at Allume this past month. (Allume or another blogging conference is totally on my bucket list!) And thanks to Susan for this beautiful gift that she sent me. I cannot wait to dive into it!

(4) Project Life App. This has become one of my new favorite apps. My friend Sarah gifted it to me and I cannot get enough of it. I can make pages on my phone or my I-pad Mini, upload the page to Shutterfly and drop into a page. It is so slick. Here is a page I recently made ALL using that app.
(5) ShutterFly. I absolutely love making Shutterfly photo books. And  cannot wait for the orange package to arrive in my mailbox. I have been so far behind. But due to the Fall weather and being cuddled up under blankets at home, I have been able to catch up. 
(6) As my friend Karrilee stated in her monthly wrap-up, Write 31 days totally cuts into our reading time. Amen to that! I just started “It’s Simply Tuesday” by Emily P. Freeman and am LOVING it! On my to-read list is “Beautiful UnCertainty” “Accidental Saints” and so many others.
(7) I LOVE reading others blogs, commenting, and encouraging them. One of my favorite things this last month was encouraging my friends through the challenge, but also meeting new blog friends. I never realized how much of an encourager I am until others pointed it out to me.
(8) I am learning the many ways God has called me to be brave while also learning to be brave in new ways too. The other day, my friend Mary pointed out how she thinks my brave is in “telling our story.” Anyone else think God was trying to show me something over a year ago then when I was called to write this: Being a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness
(9) Adulting totally sucks sometimes! At the end of last week which also happened to coincide with the end of the month, my car had all sorts of problems. I had to have three tires replaced. In addition, my automatic window engine died which of course had to happen immediately after I had rolled down my window so it was stuck in the down position. Thankful it was all fixable and that my Dad is able to help me out.
(10) Spending time with family is wonderful! I loved spending time with my aunt, Grandma and Grandpa earlier this month. As Gma and Gpa age, I treasure the time I have left with them even more! We hung out at the Norsk Hostfest and got to see some awesome concerts especially Martina McBride.
(11) I am a kid at heart! It was so much fun to dress up for the church’s Fall festival. I also love hanging out with my favorite peeps! 
And that is pretty much what I learned this month. What have you learned this month?
(Also after Write 31 days, I am taking some time off from the blog to simply rest. I will see you back here late Thursday night or early Friday morning for the Five Minute Friday. Not sure if this week’s word will top last week’s prompt of  “bacon” And oh how much do I love that our writing tribe picked that word! Love these quirky lovely people!)
I am linking up with these lovely faith-filled ladies:

What I Learned in September….

I am linking up with Emily Freeman’s monthly link-up today. You can check out all the posts over at Emily’s Place.

Things I learned this month….

(1) I am a writer! After participating in the online discussion on the book “On Being a Writer” by Charity Singleton Craig and Ann Kroeker, I can honestly say that I am a writer. I have learned that writing is indeed so much a part of who I am. There are limitations, but those limitations often push my writing to be better.

(2) In the words of my blog friend Katie Reid, we write to remember. As I remembered the suicide of my college friend Chewy and the anniversary of September 11, 2001 on my blog, I realized how true those words are. It is so important for us to remember those who are dear to us, those historic events in the world, and so much more.

In addition, remembering can be bittersweet too. I watched the finale of CSI the other day. When I was at seminary, a group of friends and I would spend every Thursday night watching CSI together. It was hard not to think of them and all we had been through as I watched the finale. I miss those crazy people!

(3) When Life is Wearing On You, God places people–friends—in our lives to journey with us because God does not want life to wear on us. God places those people into our lives to listen to us, to be there for us, to be that shoulder to cry on for us and to a hold a piece of each other’s stories..not to take our stories away from us but to bear the burden with us.

(4) It is so important to spend time with family! I decided to drive home for Labor Day weekend as my Grandma had suffered a stroke several weeks before. It was so good to spend time with my Grandma, Grandpa, my sister, my aunts and uncle, my dad, my step-mom and my sister. We spent a lot of time picking produce from Grandma’s garden which she gladly shared with all of us. I treasure the time I spend with my family especially as my grandparents age.

(5) SO MANY GOOD BOOKS! I finished “Searching for Sunday” by Rachel Held Evans and “Wild in the Hollow” by Amber C. Haines. I just started “For the Love” by Jen Hatmaker. “Accidental Saints” by Nadia Bolz-Weber and “It’s Simply Tuesday” by Emily Freeman are just a few of the books on my to read pile.

(6) Voxer, Periscope, and Twitter…all the social media! I absolutely LOVE Voxer. And I am starting to love Periscope too. It is so cool to be able to see the faces and hear the voices of my blog friends spread all over the world. I have even begun broadcasting my own Scopes on Periscope. I know that so many feel like the world wide web can be such a negative place, but what I have learned is that there are some amazing communities there as well. I love my blogging community so much. You each bless me so immensely!

(7) “She is far more precious than rubies!” A friend commented that to me on a blog post and then I got a Tweet sharing a picture with those words. It is so easy for us to think we are not enough, to think we are not worthy but the truth is that we are ENOUGH! I have put on the new name tag of “more precious than rubies” and I invite you to join me in putting it on because you, my dear friends, are more precious than rubies too!

(8) I learned all the many things that I forgot about the beauty of Fall. I love watching the seasons change. I love all things Pumpkin. I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte a few weeks ago. I love the cooler air and watching the beauty of God’s creation changing all around me.

(9) Sometimes we just have to be silly and laugh! Thanks to Agape, Joe Davis and Rachel Kurtz for this awesome photo op idea. Little did you know that I needed a good laugh that day. And this photo op made me smile and still makes me smile!

(10) God’s grace is sufficient! It is a grace that God doesn’t wrap in a pretty bow, but rather simply sets it on the table for us to receive. So often we forget the gift of God’s grace though. And because I am continuing to receive and learn from God’s grace, I will be joining in the Write 31 Days challenge and will be sharing 31 Stories of God’s grace. Click Here to learn more about my Write 31 days challenge.

(11) And most of all, I learned that it is pretty great turning another year older. I am so incredibly loved and you all let me know that on the anniversary of my birth. So many Tweets, well wishes on my FaceBook wall and birthday presents. I felt so spoiled! And I got to top it off with some of my favorite gals in the world at our favorite wine bar. Tiger cake, good wine, some of my bestest friends, and celebrating another year of life! I am so very thankful for my 37 years on this year…and trust that year 37 will be a fantastic year too.