Thank you for asking me what I learned this month. It has given me something to pull out of circumstances that were hard, amusing, and just plain ordinary.
But first I want to let you know a little bit about what you have taught me. God led me to you during a time in my life where I didn't have words that adequately expressed my heart's cry. I had no courage. And I didn't know that I could create art. Then your words showed up on my computer screen. My ears started to hear something other than the voices that were swirling around in my head. You told me about the covert bully who "disguises his voice with one that sounds like your mother, your friends, you co-workers, you. He pushes you around in guilt and fear. . ." You told me about how I live my life trying to live up to everyone's expectations of me but that Jesus has a different message for me.
I read your book. Twice. I learned to breathe in air and breathe out worship. Your words gave me the courage to face shame and fear and replace them with grace and vulverability. You said, "The truth is, admitting weakness is the very doorway the Lord uses to lead the tired good girl to a place of rest." I have found true rest in learning to receive grace. On page 194 I wrote in big letters "WHO AM I? HOW DOES GOD SEE ME?" For quite a few months I was on a journey that ultimately led me to being able to see myself as God sees me. Your voice was soothing through the painful process. I lived in the "hear and now" through the whole painful process so I could delve deeper into a relationship with the Lord. And the more I listened to the quiet, the louder the voice of hope was heard. The voice of God rang louder than the critical voice within.
Emily, your words became more than just words on a computer screen. They were printed off, highlighted pretty colors and enhanced with my own thoughts between the lines. The Lord used your words along with the words of Renee, and Ann, and Karin, and others the Lord used to speak truth to me in private and in coffee shops. I have found courage, rest, strength in my weaknesses. I have come to peace with the ugly cry. I began creating art in this space. I took the time to figure out what makes me come alive. I took your advice and let the Lord speak. I let my heart speak (for the first time). and I am letting my life speak.
What I learned in June:
1) That I have two summer cravings: a new bottle of lotion from Bath and Body Works (I think I can smell the 4th of July super sale coming) and my grandmother's back porch (she passed away a year ago and the porch has long been sold but I long to go back to the peace of those summer days sitting with her on those back steps)
2) I learned that no matter how good of a parent I think I am, I can't trust my own "good" parenting skills. I found myself with no other option but to trust the Lord with my kid.
3) My family and I are picking letters from the alphabet and doing a fun activity that begins with each letter throughout the summer. I picked "V" and I learned that Valentine parties are just as fun and meaningful in June as they are in February.
4) We haven't had cable for about a year now. And I learned that I really didn’t miss it. We just got a nice new tv and some extra cable channels and I haven’t sat down to watch it once.
5) My husband and I celebrated our 19 wedding anniversary this month. On our weekend getaway I learned that we really do work well as a team rowing a canoe around a lake. I don't think our earlier attempts 15-17 years ago were quite as successful!
I could go on but I won't! Thank you, Emily, for this link up. Blessings to you as you journey down a new path. God has already paved the way before you and I am excited to hear where it will lead.