Sunday, November 29, 2015

My Break is Over!

After writing for 31 days I opted to give myself a break.  Unfortunately, that translated into NOT writing in November for almost as many days as I had written in October.  Praise God that I have been inspired to return sooner than I did last year!
I was asked to join a team of caregivers to write on our experience in that role and it was one of the hardest writing “assignments” I have taken on.  It was hard for me to write in first person about my husband’s cancer and how it affects me as his spouse and caregiver.  It is especially strange to call myself a caregiver since the “real” caregiving hasn’t even started yet.  It will be published tomorrow, November 29th, and the link is here if you would like to read it.

However, this exercise taught me a few things and reminded me of other things:

Remember when you say YES to something that it is rarely as easy as it sounds – always start earlier than you think you need to.

I am a caregiver no matter how “little” I do right now.

I love to write and my hope is that something I say will encourage someone out there in the blog-osphere.  

God always gives me the words if I will choose not procrastinate; pray about it; sit down and start taping at the keyboard.  He is just sweet that way.

I am so glad I said yes and that I had the opportunity to write down how I was feeling!!!  It’s also really weird to create a bio when you don’t hold a title.  It is the second time I have been asked to write my bio in the past couple of weeks.  I wonder what God might be preparing me for?
No matter what is in my future, I know who holds that future and I am so GR8tful that He loves me and guides me and overlooks my tendencies to put things off and allow fear to control my actions or decisions.  God is good all the time!!!

I am also so GR8tful for this amazing month of gratitude and all that God has done in less than 30 days!!!

Here are a few things I am GR8tful for:

Sweet friends who encourage me.

Sweet friends who check in on me, and the hubs, via text.

Snail mail.

Eating out.

Eating in.
Two places to spend Thanksgiving 2015.
My new Periscope Tribe.

I discovered that I can write.  And that doesn’t mean I am a professional.  Or that I will ever get paid to write.  Or that I am using the proper grammar.  It just means that I can communicate via the written word and a few people are happy to read it.  And, that is good enough for me.

I am good enough!

And the list could go on!!

What are you GR8tful for from the past few weeks of November?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day 31: Community Never Ends!

Wow!!!  My second year participating in this 31 Day Writing challenge and it was so much harder than last year.  I thought this year would be easier since I wasn’t moving into a new house; adjusting to a new town and state; and grasping the reality that my husband’s 29 year career as an active duty Marine was coming to a close.  Not to mention a few other challenges going on.  This year was so much harder despite the fact that I have known about this for months – or actually a year, right?  I thought this year would be easier because my topic came to me right away.  I am so much more passionate about community than I was about the topic of transitioning well and yet I would change very little about these past 31 days.  This past month was hard but so worth it. 

What would I change?  I would make sure I had a few days already written because I had company for over 10 days and I spent 5 days out of town – which means I wrote just as many blog posts totally distracted; on little sleep; and totally rushed than I did in the peaceful environment of my office.  And I know I am better for it.  Day 29 almost killed me and yet my perseverance has fueled a fire in me to continue to persevere more!!  Isn’t that so sweet of our God to teach us a great concept while we are right in the middle of it?!!!! 

God was so sweet to me every day of this process.  Every. Single. Day.  And I am even more passionate about doing community well than the day I started back on October 1st.  I still have more to write on this topic and God gave me so many opportunities to do community all month – to include today!!!  One year later and I will end this 2nd round of the 31 Day Writing challenge with a ton of new friends – both in person and in bloggy land; knowing many more of my neighbors; loving our little town more than the day we moved in; and as a stronger writer, Jesus-follower, overcomer, and a HUGE Periscope fan!!!

I went back and read Day 31 from last year.  It was interesting that I used the word Tribe in my last post – which I wrote about this year during my series on “Doing Community Well”!!!  Gotta love God!!!  He started preparing me for this series on Day 31 of last year!!!!  Wow!!!!

It’s hard to think of wrapping up this series today because I believe God has given me so much more to say.  And, because, community is on-going.  Never ending.  A daily walk to invite others into your life.  To invite others to participate.  To put others before yourself.  To invite others to find a safe Tribe to spend the rest of their days with.

Here is what I have learned:

Many struggle with the concept of community – and I want to change that!

I struggle with community though I love it!  And I have been told I do it well. 

Community is just as hard today, as it was on October 1st, and yet so much more fun than I realized.

Community is exhausting and worth every second!

Community requires us to be intentional.

Community requires forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Community beckons us to come to the table, warts and all, and be real.  And allow others to be real as well!

So, what is next?

My goal is to continue this discussion on community right here on my blog.  On a personal level, my goal is to help many more people discover the beauty of community and to help them jump in.  Eyes wide open but anticipating all that God has for them as they do community well with their very own Tribe.  If you don’t have a Tribe of your own you can join my Gr8tful Tribe here.  Everyone is welcome!!!!

How about you?  What will you do about this topic of community?  What has been your favorite part of this series?  What would you like to hear more about?

Thank you for joining me this month.  I have appreciated your love, support, prayers and honest comments!!!!
Go out!
Find many things to be Gr8tful for daily!

And go “do community well”!