It's the time of year when birch trees, pool days, 70 degree weather, rocky shorelines, cherry-flavored everything and fish boils crash into one incredible week of vacation. Northern Wisconsin is my heart personified!
Going on twenty-five years of visiting my favorite place on this earth has created a deep-seeded understanding of "sweet anticipation." To go somewhere I've known with people who know me deeply is my idea of heaven on earth. Now that we spend the majority of our lives apart, it's extra special to wake up together, make a big breakfast, drive around town in one car, and say goodnight in person. The small things are the big things. The countdown begins; I can't wait to be there in a few short weeks!
Meanwhile, I've been enjoying downtime here in Nashville, including the purchase of a new camera. It was time for an upgrade! I also completed leadership training through my church, Midtown Fellowship, this past weekend to continue growing into my role as a small group co-leader. It was AWESOME. Only the Lord above could instill genuine excitement for 15 hours of lectures and group discussion in one weekend (lol, but really).
On a similar note, I started attending counseling back in March and am so, so grateful for the opportunity to grow in my relationship with the Lord as I learn more about myself. It's amazing what can happen when the right questions are asked, and what can happen when you voice true, honest answers. No need to impress! Every time I end a session, my counselor prays over me and sends me on my way. It is truly the most special time.
Since starting counseling sessions, I've noticed my tolerance for the beliefs of this world has significantly diminished. The more often lies are replaced with Truth, the more evident my true joy is traced back to God. I hate how the world (tv, social media, etc.) tells us our value should be placed in the exterior. I also hate how often I believe it to be true. It's all too easy as a woman in her 20's to believe her value comes from her appearance. I have to fight this lie everyday with scripture. When I do, it's like wiping down fogged lenses and seeing clearly again! I just don't want this world so much anymore.
10 things I've taken to heart since starting counseling:
1. Counseling is tough and exciting and tough.
2. God is concerned about the motive and desire of our hearts, not the outcomes.
3. Taking risks in life can be both a gift and a response.
4. Anxiety is listening to your heart, peace is talking to your heart.
5. Emotions are valid but do not serve as my life compass! (This one is especially tough for me to remember.)
6. Scripture tells us true love is sacrificial. To give without expecting anything in return. It is both a feeling and an action.
7. God has the absolute best planned for me and it's worth the wait!
8. Pursue people, even when you don't understand them.
9. In times when I've been missing family/close friends from home, people show up here in Nashville. Family can look different at different times in your life, and that's okay.
10. Not everyone wants your advice, but everyone wants a listening ear (and probably a hug).
There is always work to be done, but the work feels especially hopeful. I tell my counselor I've been "side swept with love and grace" in every area of my life lately. He is so good.
Hope you all are enjoying your long summer days!