Oh, October. I do love you so– from your acorns falling on my sandals to your last days of candy-crazed-costume fun, you are always a favorite. This October was the busiest I can remember. We traveled ALOT; a few mornings in a mountain cabin, one family wedding, one beautiful weekend in lovely Greenville for the Allume Conference, and then a few days of recovery time at home. October bursts at its red and yellow seams with good memories– and as much as I anxiously await November, October always seems to be just a few days too short.
Today I’m sharing what I learned in October with Emily Freeman– join me?
Saying ‘No’ in the right way is life-giving and leaves room to breathe. This year I looked at what October held and opted out of the 31 Days of Writing Challenge. Not wanting to lose the discipline completely, I took up my own Instagram challenge called 31 Days of Noticing. It was my goal to be present in each day and notice something, large or small. It was great fun and I appreciated the discipline amidst the steady pace of the month. A few people joined in and you can check out the hashtag #31daysofnoticing on Instagram for more!
Stretching myself creatively is a good thing. This year at Allume, we had the chance to take part in one of several different Creative Sessions and I was so inspired, I stopped on the way out of Greenville and bought a small set of paintbrushes. I’ve never been a painter because I’ve always tried to paint in a style which isn’t easy or enjoyable for me. When I just relaxed and let myself enjoy the feel of acrylics on canvas– I had a completely different result. And it was fun.
Creative dryness looks a lot like exhaustion. At one point this month, I found myself exhausted and a little bit lost. Having worked toward a desired “result” for such a long time only to learn that the finish line was really just more road… and that said “finish line” was completely out of sight until further notice.
Disheartened and exhausted from throwing myself into something for so long left me quite unsure I wanted to keep going in the same or another direction. Sometimes quitting looks awfully attractive when going forward is hard. For several days I felt unmotivated and unable to take a step in any direction. What brought me back to the writing chair, was not really writing at all– but finding other ways to be creative for a few days. I cooked a lot. I developed new recipes. I created a new soup and a new cake and then made it again a few days later to perfect it. (Yes, we gave most of it away– thank goodness.) That is also when the painting day happened. And then I read ALOT. Good books. When I was ready to come back to writing after a few days, I started where I always should– with Scripture. Reading and writing scripture every morning has been a new habit and it has completely changed the way I retain the verses. The next time I feel empty– it will most likely be because I am and I need to be filled with the only One who can FILL me with Himself and His truth.
And so, we press on. Knowing that He has called us to these things– and when the things are hard and exhausting and it’s all “wait– WHAT?!!? Why am I still DOING this?!” We can know, it is hard because it just IS. And we are ill-equipped to handle it alone. But God is good and He is always enough.
What did you learn this October? I would love to hear!