I know. I just finished writing a 31 day-long series, and I’m already back. I just can’t stay away, i guess? 😉
But really, wanted to write a What I Learned Post for October before I forget it all. 😀 I should start writing these things down, but eh whatever.
Honestly, I just have to check back through social media to remember what I learned. Here we go:
1. October is the month of the comebacks, apparently.
GUYS. GILMORE GIRLS. ADELE. OLD NICKELODEON. TRACY MORGAN. THE CUBS (*wipes tear*)
EVERYONE’S COMING BACK AND NOTHING HURTS.
But seriously, apparently October is the comback kid month. I wholly approve.
2. I am a serial book-starter. (and non-finisher)
Apparently these days I have an awful attention span when it comes to books. I’ve started 3 different books this month, on top of 2 I’d already started (whoops) and have yet to finish any of them! Yikes! I am making headway in Big Magic, though. It’s not even that the books aren’t keeping my attention– I just keep putting them down for other things.
And now guys I just pre-ordered Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey GUYS why I am doing this to myself?!?
I just want to read ALL THE THINGS at the EXACT SAME TIME!! Such a struggle.
Guess that means I need to spend more time reading, huh? Now that I won’t be glued to the laptop for 31 Days, I guess I can make more of an effort there. I hope.
3. A change of scenery can really make a huge difference.
Our roomates moved out earlier this month (*praise hands*), and with that, we got access to our screened-in back porch back. It was not that we couldn’t use it, but it was awkward because it’s attached to their room, and they frequented it often. So, now that they’re gone, I’ve spent many nights on the porch, reading, writing, doing Bible study… I apparently get a lot more done when I leave my bedroom. Imagine that!
It’s revitalized my reading life, my Bible study life (more on that in a minute), and it’s the one space in the house that is completely silent. If only it was heated, because these 70 degree days are becoming far and few between. (Sadness)
4. Choose the life-giving things– even if they make life harder.
As of today, I am registered to go on my 4th mission trip to Cozumel, Mexico. I couldn’t be more excited!! When I think about it, I feel nothing but joy and anticipation (is it March yet?!?)
With all the crazy life changes lately, I didn’t know if it was going to be feasible for me to go–neither mentally nor financially. But, after thinking and praying on it, I said yes. Simply because when I think of Cozumel, I think of something that makes my soul happy– it’s life-giving. I knew that while it might be difficult, it’s currently one of the few things making me happy. So I said yes.
Sometimes circumstances make yes hard– even if it’s a good yes– but despite that, sometimes it’s the best answer.
5. My intuition is scary on point (and I need to trust it more often).
Y’all. God gave me intuition as one of my gifts in personality– I have a good feeler, and it has shown off a lot this month. I need to learn to trust my gut– it knows things better than my brain does sometimes. I love and hate this part of me, but the more I trust it, the more I love it– even if it gives me bad feelings about something.
on that same line…
6. When you step up and do something, God shows up in the midst of it.
Even if it’s something as simple as going to a concert of a beloved singer. Instead of sitting at home, wishing I could go, I did the work, paid for the ticket, and made it happen. And God showed up. Life is made to be lived, people. I learned that most of all this month. I can sit in bed all day, or I can get off my butt and do something. And surprisingly, He showed up in spades when I actually did things.
7. Spontaneity is not the enemy.
Hard pill to swallow for someone that likes her plans planned out. But as I said above: when I did something spontaneously, it worked out in ways only God could explain. So maybe I should be spontaneous more often.
My spontaneous Jon Foreman concert was worshipful to my dry bones. And oh so needed time away from the house. I loved it so. (and have fallen back in love with Jon’s and Switchfoot’s music, which is never a bad thing).
(also learned: spontaneity is a really hard word to spell…)
8. Scripture is not only alive and well, but it keeps becoming more and more real and alive for me.
Real talk: I struggle so much with sitting down and reading the Bible. I fully admit how bad I am about it. Part of me thinks I’m going to get bored; the other part of me is afraid of what I’m going to read. Because I’m supposed to live it.
Also, reading it alone without someone to read back to and talk about it with is hard for me– which is why I’ve relied so much on devotionals and whatnot– to provide me a dose of scripture with a good word/encouragement I need to hear.
Except scripture isn’t supposed to be a daily dose of encouragement. It’s supposed to be read, lived, and acted upon. (Even when it’s hard-actually, especially then).
And I can’t get that by reading a teensy bit of scripture tied to someone else’s words about scripture–but from the scripture itself.
So this month I’ve been going back to the basics– back to me and my good ol’ Bible. Not on its own, though– I found a fantastic journal from Life Lived Beautifully. Its whole goal is to help guide me through journaling scripture and prayer. And it has been such a gift. I have learned so much by reading and journaling through the scriptures. Right now I’m reading through Romans (plus a Psalm a day) and have learned so much more about scriptures I’ve read over and over again. It’s amazing when you delve right into the source how much more you learn than if you just scrape the surface, you know?
I’ve written about this a bit at one point this month, but I foresee another coming soon. Romans 12:2 is a earth-shaker, y’all.
(sidenote: I need suggestions of where to go when I finish Romans, so if y’all have suggestions, send ’em my way!).
9. Bob Goff practically lives in my head.
So, I’ve been a Bob Goff fan since sophomore year of college. My copy of Love Does is practically falling apart, and I’m still waiting on that 2nd book he told me he was writing when I met him after he spoke at devo my sophomore year (c’mon Bob, we’re waiting!).
He posts a lot of quotes from Love Does or thoughts he’s written on twitter and instagram a lot. and lately, they’ve all seemed to be in-tune with either what I’m needing to hear, what I’m thinking, or things I need to hear but don’t want to talk about (or all of the above). He’s magical like that, i think.
10. Grief isn’t reserved for the dying.
I finally (finally) let myself grieve saying goodbye to teaching. It sucked. Royally. but it needed to be done. I had to stop acting like I was okay with it when I was literally falling apart inside. So I cried. I yelled. I let myself be sad about what it all means, both logistically (ugh) and dreams-wise. I had it all figured out… then I didn’t. That’s flipping hard, guys.
When I finally let myself grieve it, I think God helped me lift the burden a bit. He pulled me out and is preparing me for what’s next now that I’ve had my penance with the past (though it’s far from over- I’ll probably grieve this dream for awhile, if not forever). I’m not actively grieving it every day now, though- I’ve let the burden go. Now I’m ready for whatever is next (but I’d like a hint sometime soon, God. Thanks).
My blogger friend Kaitlyn also wrote about this grieving phenomenon this month, and her words echo so much of my own. Her whole 31 days series was pretty great, if you want some impactful reading. 🙂
11. All my life-changing ideas and words come to me in the shower.
Anyone else suffer from this strange thing? I felt the need to write something, and all the words literally came out while in the shower tonight. I remembered most of them, but dang, could ya wait til I’m in least an arm’s reach of a journal or something?
12. Sometimes, it’s worth it to buy things because they’re pretty, not because you need them.
Sarah Bessey wrote about this earlier this month, and she hit the nail on the head. I love my stuff. I like having things– sometimes just because I like them, not because I need them.
I’ve been so bad about cautiously saving every dollar I have, letting a nice thing go by even if I have the money in my account. What’s it going to do just sitting there? So I allowed myself to buy a couple of nice things I didn’t necessarily need this month- like my Jon Foreman tickets, my new Bible journal, some books, and a couple other random things.. They’re useful things, yes– and some, like the journal and the concert– impacted me much more than if I hadn’t spent the money. While I can’t buy every little thing I want (nor should I- girl’s got loans coming up!), it’s worth it to splurge on yourself when there’s something you want if you can.
And who knows, maybe God will work through the pretty things we have on earth-– like he did through my spontaneous concert and a new flowery journal. 🙂
13. Annie Downs never fails to disappoint.
I saw Annie speak live twice- once at chapel this spring (Thank you, Caroline– and Lipscomb 🙂 ), and at Q Women last fall (thanks again, Campus Ministry!). She’s speaking again at Q next week, but unless I hit the lotto that ain’t happening on my own. But luckily for me, Q posted Annie’s talk from last year on their website, and I’ve watched it 3-4 times since then. Man. I love it so much. I’ve learned more from it every time I watch it. Not to mention she’s utterly hilarious.
14. Facebook’s On This Day app either cracks me up or makes me weep at nostalgia.
It depends on how old the post is. If it’s college-age, probably weep with nostalgia. I saw a post about Dodgeball and got all sad. I miss it.
If it’s high school, I laugh until I weep… if only because of how awkward i was. (and also, how did I keep any friends on social media when all I talked about in high school was Glee?!?! I would’ve unfriended myself if I could!)
15. And, finally: Write 31 Days was long, somedays hard, but it made me want to write more.
I’ll probably write a post of its own to wrap up once I recover (ha!), but I enjoyed writing. Though by the last week I wanted to throw my computer, I am really glad I did it. It made me want to write more, at least more regularly (and gave me ideas about future posts). Next year, I’ll probably either come up with a theme or go day-by-day. I couldn’t do the topics FMF gave me some days because I had other posts in mind (if you couldn’t tell, God taught me a lot this month- and some days I just had to write it out!) or because I just could not figure out a post based off the word. Other days it was hard writing at all, because life. But i did it! I stuck through. I didn’t pre-write or schedule posts or anything– I just wrote every day. And I need to keep doing that– though I might not always post the writing, I need to write more every day. And if that’s all I got from it, it’d be enough. 🙂
Okay I think that’s enough- this is already a mouthful. I’ll leave you with a song, as I always do. Thanks to the Jon Foreman concert I’ve been on a Switchfoot/Jon Foreman kick as of late, so I’ll leave ya with an oldie and a new song off Jon’s last Wonderlands EP, Dawn:
Dare You to Move– always a good choice
Mercy’s War– so much goodness.
and one more-Thrive (been on repeat the past few days).
May November be what God entails it to be- and for us 31 Day-ers, may it involve less blogging and lots of napping 🙂