Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nine Things I Learned {from #31Days} in October 2013

I breathed a small sigh of relief when I hit publish on the last post for 31 Days for October 2013. I thought I would take a break. But apparently it was a fleeting thought.

For when I thought about all that I had learned from posting {almost} every day {all but the Sundays} for the month of October, I realized how it has blessed my life in many ways.

It required dedication to the commitment and revealed a number of lessons I wasn't necessarily expecting.

Discipline. I need more of that in my life. I don't just whip up a post and some days I wanted to ignore the fact that I had indeed challenged myself to writing for 31 days, but it was beneficial to require something of myself that I don't 'have to do'.

Time. Which is a precious commodity for anyone, but for the most part we choose how we will spend our time. I spent more of my time {especially on-line} more intentionally and less time mindlessly wandering in cyberspace. Also, finding balance with the time I spend writing and blogging is definitely something I still need to work on.

Creativity. Writing and shooting and editing photos was beneficial for me as a creative outlet.

Truth. Digging a bit further into truths that I have taken for granted for so long was such a blessing. Some posts I had to wrestle out and made me further examine what I have been taught for many years.

Vulnerability. Some posts I shared deep from my heart and it was hard to expose myself in such a raw way not knowing who would read it and what they would think. But my desire was to encourage others as I more fully claimed who and whose I am.

Humility. Although my desire was to encourage others, what was revealed to me about my own heart was humbling. As I painstakingly poured out there was an honest desire that others read what I vulnerably share that it might be 'worthwhile my time'. In a way, I had hoped that this month would find more readers connecting to what I wrote and I found that my motives where not always pure and had to examine and repent and keep in check my heart's desire. The more we grow in our relationship with Christ, the more, I believe, our sin will be exposed and this was made evident to me this month. I give thanks that God does indeed continue to create in me a clean heart, completely by His grace alone.

Passion. From writing these posts and sharing at two women's events I realized God has given me a passion to communicate His love to other women and how He woos us and desire that we live more fully and free from condemnation. To see how he takes beauty from ashes and makes all things beautiful in His time. I look forward to see how He may continue to use me and make me fit to be used.

Practice. Improving in anything comes with practice. I learned that I need to keep practicing writing and communicating. I hope you, my dear reader, may not mind that I 'practice' on you.

Grace. It flooded into my life all month. From my husband and children as they knew I was challenging myself and preparing to pour out my heart for the women at the two events I shared at. From the God of all grace that continuously and graciously give us all things. He gave me the strength to carry on this month when some days I wondered if I should throw in the towel.

I was blessed as I pursued the aspects of who I am in Christ and pray that this quiet little place on the web may have been a blessing to another.

Care to join me for the mercies of God that new every morning for the month of November? 

Find more on 'Hunting for God's Grace, Steadfast Love, and Mercies that are New Every Morning in November' here!

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