“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” So says the charming Kathleen Kelly in the well-known film, You’ve Got Mail. Think what you will about rom-com’s (I’m not usually a fan): this particular one is clean and funny, and my husband and I enjoy its reminders of how we started getting to know each other. Unlike Kathleen and Joe, however, we already knew each other when we started IM-ing — but it’s still fun to watch and reminisce over past life events.
Anyway, about getting personal . . .
How about meeting for a virtual cup of coffee and comparing notes on life lately?
I want to start sharing more about life behind the screen — what I’ve been doing, reading, enjoying, or pondering — and I hope you respond in the comments with your recent doings and musings.
What would you share if we were sitting next to each other in cozy overstuffed chairs, listening to soft music or a crackling fire, and sipping our favorite hot beverages? It could be a particular verse or phrase that you’ve been thinking about, a challenge you’re facing with a friend or family member, a product or book that’s caught your attention, or a dream you’re just starting to put into words.
Whatever it is, I’d love to hear about it.
So go grab an over-sized mug, fill it with something sweet, and let’s settle in for a chat about life lately.
What I’ve Been Doing . . .
Getting back into routines. We got home the first week of January after traveling for deputation meetings and the holidays. It was a two-month trip, which is a very long time to be on the road and out of your normal routines. Thankfully, two weeks later, I’m finally feeling organized again and have started re-establishing most of my routines for maximum effectiveness.
Goal setting. I’m one of those people who loves the fresh start of a new calendar year, and capitalize on that feeling to bring momentum and clarity to my long-term goals. This year we’ll be traveling more for deputation meetings and I’m taking a few more grad classes, so setting feasible goals was a bit challenging. But I’ve been taking time to think and pray, and have chosen a handful of things to develop or achieve this year — including growing spiritually, continuing my education, finishing the first draft of my book, refreshing the DFD brand and website, and pursuing various artistic goals.
Grad school. I’m taking another seminary class online, so I’ve been doing a bit of required reading from various systematic theology books. We started with the means and method of theology, and are moving into the theology of Scripture. In fact, I’ll be writing my doctrinal statement about bibliology this week. It’s a whole semester’s worth of information crammed into just seven weeks, so it’s got a pretty intense schedule!
Appreciating . . .
Gerber daisies by a snowy window scene. At least, if I’m spending my days working and studying, I have a nice view! I bought a new desk last summer that allowed room for a vase of flowers and an essential oil diffuser. My husband was sweet enough to let me add fresh flowers to the grocery budget, and right now I’m enjoying some brilliant gerber daisies, a window scene that looks out on snow-covered slopes, and the sweet-spicy scent of cinnamon. It actually makes me want to sit at my desk and work!
Reading . . .
Called to Create. I made it through this just before my class started, and I hope to review it soon in greater detail. For now, I’ll just say that Called to Create is perfect for any sort of Christian entrepreneur or creative, and I’m giving it 5 stars.
Jane Eyre. This was actually a re-read, but the last time I read it was around 2003. This time, I re-discovered how much I could relate to Jane’s mental perspectives. Her personality and mine are different, for sure; but there are enough similarities in how she processes events and thinks through her responses that I can relate to her more than many female protagonists. (Side note: I tend to agree with this author’s arguments for her being an ISFP.)
Blogs. I follow a lengthy list of blogs — some because I know the authors personally, some for personal enrichment, and some because I want to keep up with particular industries. A few that have caught my attention lately (and that you’d enjoy too) are:
- Carrie’s Busy Nothings — a friend who’s resuming her blog on life’s “busy nothings” after a break
- Theology in 3D — practical biblical exposition from several of my seminary professors
- Renewed in Truth — biblical counseling and discipleship topics that are relevant to everyday life
- 5 Minutes in Church History — which is just what it sounds like, and also available as a podcast
Pondering . . .
Am I addicted to the noise of social media? Or movies, or video games, or novels, or . . . fill-in-the-blank. The necessity of solitude is often overlooked, but it’s so helpful for turning our hearts to meditate on and commune with God! Read more here.
Dying to self daily. Not a fun topic to ponder (or to learn!), but so very necessary for us self-centered people! We can’t love others fully, without putting their interests above our own. We can’t love God fully, without seeking His pleasure more than ours. Read more here.
Long-term goals for my lettering art. I’m hoping to open a shop this year and start selling some of my work. That will give me the push I need to continue improving, and help me achieve what I believe is my purpose for doing art — to encourage others to love God and know Him more intimately. To do that, I need to learn or research so many things, so I’m trying to break it down into smaller micro-goals to get there one step at a time. (PS. I’ve been sharing my lettering regularly on Instagram — follow me there if you aren’t already!)
Dreaming about . . .
Pursuing God’s call for church planting. Just because I can’t set certain things down as goals, doesn’t mean I’m not dreaming about seeing them happen! For instance, my heart is pulled more and more towards sharing the gospel in Cache County, Utah. I long for the day we can settle there and start building real relationships with people in the community. Even now, when we head there for shopping or various appointments (since Kemmerer has practically nothing in town!), I can’t help but observe the people around me and wonder . . . will you be in our church someday? will we be family in Christ? Pray for us as we raise support so we can focus on the ministry full-time. Pray for God to call team members to join us, even for just a few years, so we can have help where it’s needed. Because we can’t do it alone!
Reducing medications. I’m also praying that this is the year I can start reducing my daily doses of immuno-suppressants. I’ve been on them for almost eleven years; and while all my labs have been looking fantastic, there’s always a risk of flare-ups, especially once you start playing with medications. But the side effects include ongoing fatigue, and I would love to have just a little more energy to pursue my goals and just simply enjoy life a little more. I have an appointment next month, and I think we’ll be discussing it . . . so your prayers would be appreciated for that!
Now it’s your turn!
What have you been doing, reading, enjoying, pondering, or dreaming about lately?