What I Learned in January

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Friends! We’ve almost made it through snowy, blowy January! Let’s give each other a pat on the back, shall we?

In order to celebrate, I thought I would link up with Emily’s delightful “What I Learned in January” fun. So without further adieu, here is the silly and serious of what I learned in the month of January:

1. Of the nine spiritual temperaments, the top three that match my personality are: Naturalist, Contemplative, and Sensate.  Basically this means that for me to feel closest to God–and at my healthiest spiritually–I need to spend time outdoors, devote some quiet time with the Lord, and experience the kind of worship that makes my senses come alive. All this was gleaned from a fantastic book by Gary Thomas entitled Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God. If you want to discover more about yourself and therefore best steward the life God gave you, I highly recommend this read.

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2. I can make a book wreath. I’ve wanted to make one for years but never have because I thought it looked too hard and time-consuming. Well, on a rare, low key Saturday, I rolled my eyes at myself and said Girl, if you want a book wreath, then just make a book wreath. So I bought a couple books from the thrift store, tore out several pages, and hot glued leaf-shaped cutouts to a wooden frame I already had. It’s not the flashiest book wreath, but c’est la vie. I like it!

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3. I have officially fallen in love with the blog The Sugar Box. Written by the super savvy Kendra, it features entertainment themed posts, and oh. my. word. They are hilarious like nothin’ else. (I still laugh out loud when I think about her post If the Golden Globes Were Summer Camp.) And the only think I like more than watching Downton on Sunday nights is reading her Downton themed posts Monday morning. Golden, I tell you.

Also, if you live in the Greensboro, NC area, you can receive a real, hold-it-in-your-hands Sugar Box -- a Hollywood-themed package of homemade treats. Just don’t tell me if you get one, because I’m a little jealous and find it difficult to be happy for you (grin).

4. My readers and I are joyously simpatico and on the same pageHere’s to another year of creating a welcoming space where folks receive a lift by way of words and connection.

5. I *can* listen to music with words while writing. Well–sort of. As long as the words are coming from the smooth-as-velvety-chocolate voices of Christa Wells or Ellie Holcomb. Otherwise, I have to go the instrumental route.

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6. I can wear bangs! I didn’t think I could really pull them off as my forehead is about 2 inches long. At my last haircut, my hair lady cut them pretty short, but they were still long enough to go over my eyes. So, I ended up sweeping them over to the side. This time, I had her cut them even shorter. I like them–although we’ll see if I wear them close to her artful style or just sweep them sideways once they grow. At any rate, it’s fun to embrace a little change (which is a near and dear subject to my heart, especially now).

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7. The ESV journaling Bible is wonderful! One of my boys gave it to me for Christmas and I love it. If you like to write notes in your Bible but never feel you have enough room to do so, then you might love it too.

So, what did beautiful you learn in January? I’d love to know.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. xo

If Commenting on Blogs Isn’t Your Thing

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Every whipstitch, the subject of my blog comes up during a conversation with an old friend, a new acquaintance, or a family member. This always surprises me a little–with so many to-do’s on everyone’s list, it’s nice when the one I’m talking with mentions they enjoy reading my blog. But what I find really interesting is how often said person will look at me sheepishly and mention that while she reads the blog, she doesn’t comment.

Or, gasp, she actually apologizes for not commenting. This happens often.

That’s when I do something along the lines of shake my head back and forth vehemently, maybe even grab her hand and say, “Never apologize for that! It isn’t necessary for you to comment! Promise! I still love you and think you’re the bee’s knees just the same!”

A couple weeks ago, y’all graciously affirmed what I feel led to do here. I’m so thankful you said yes! alongside me to fresh air over frantic trends, to cultivating community through commenting over me just standing up and having my say (no thanks). I am so, so grateful. After all, you are smart and insightful, and your words sharpen me. But a handful of you made an interesting statement in your comment to this post, and that comment went something like this, “I don’t usually comment here, but…” While no one directly apologized for not commenting, some of the verbiage came close. This reminded me of something I want to make sure you know. So if you’ll just sit down next to me for a minute, let me look at you and tell you this one thing:

Commenting here is always an option, never a requirement.

The way I see things, this is a place where we meet as friends–good friends who don’t bring expectations to our relationship. Chasing Blue Skies is an open house of sorts, a place you can come and go as you please. If you choose to sit and chat with me, wonderful! I’ll take you up on it every time. But if you’d rather just peruse the rooms and hallways, grab a few bites to eat and be on your merry way, that’s okay too.

I’d rather shut down this blog than create a space that adds one more expectation to your already trailing-to-the-floor list of things to do. We have no demands ’round here. I don’t expect you to bring anything to this blog but simple friendship. For some of you, that friendship shows itself through your comments, and as I said before, I love it when it does. But for many others (for most others, according to my stats), your friendship shows itself through heartfelt prayers or simply through your presence. This makes me smile with contentment just the same.

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You darlin’ people have lives to lead. You have groceries to buy, chicken to bake, families to love. Some days your only time to read is while waiting in line at Target. Whatever the circumstance that brings you under these blue skies, may you find a good word and an encouraging breath of fresh air. May you find others who, like you, are on a quest to live true to the unique way God fashioned them and true to the way Jesus sees them. But under no circumstances may you ever find pressure to leave a comment.

So if commenting on blogs–especially this blog– isn’t your thing?

No worries. Promise.

Now onward with your day, friends. xo

Want to read another post on this topic? This one is a gem!

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