Lessons Learned in 3D — Wrapping Up

I am home today in my jammies.  I had one vacation day left, and I had to take it before the end of June.  We are wrapping up the semester this week at work, and next week there will be a whole new shiny list of things to do for the new semester.  I am learning that endings are really just beginnings in disguise.  Something new is looming ahead, and I have to let go of where I am to leave room for the new things God wants to do as I press forward.

A while back, I visited Emily’s blog, and her monthly wrap-up post inspired me to start this weekly list of things that I am learning — because I am prone to forget, and I think God wants me to remember.   I do this once a week here, usually on Fridays.  But, this week, Emily is hosting a new link up for bloggers to share 10 things they have learned in the month of June.  So, this week’s post is going to be a bit of a review of the month with a few new things sprinkled in.

Here in no particular order are 10 things I learned in June:

1.  Lysa TerKeurst reminded me that my identity is in Christ in her guest post for (in)courage.  I am not in a popularity contest:

“‘For in Christ

all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN

FULLNESS IN CHRIST,’

(Colossians 2: 9-10).

I have been given fullness.

In Christ.

I can place

the wholeness of my identity in that reality…

and see everything else as small in comparison.”

2.  Studying the Bible with a group of girls can be a life-changing experience.  This month, I started reading Jennie Allen’s book Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul as part of the Good Morning Girls Study.  I am sharing this journey with 20 amazing women.  I am so excited about what God is going to do in our lives!  Jennie is challenging us all to put feet to our faith through the “If Gathering.”   If you have a heart to mentor younger sisters, make sure to check this out.

3.  Something magical happens when we gather around a table with friends and food.  Shauna Niequist is reminding me in her amazing book Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes.  Have you read it?  The Bloom Book Club for (in) courage is digging into this amazing book this summer.  Go here for the details.  Here is a quote from the “Introduction” to whet your appetite:

“What’s becoming clearer and clearer to me

is that the most sacred moments

in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly,

when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly,

take place at the table” (p.13).

Shauna also wrote a great post on here blog earlier this month where she outlined 7 things I should do to be a great dinner party guest.

4.  Community is hard!  That’s why this post by Robin for (in)courage really challenged me.    Am I really going to live out the Gospel and forgive as Christ calls me to do?

“Love and forgiveness are possible when we surrender our right to have rights, when we relinquish any sense of entitlement–

  • to expect others to behave how we want them to
  • to withhold a loving/forgiving response until they’re truly repentant or compliant
  • when we’re the wronged party, or in any obvious sense, are ‘right'”

5.  Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy got me thinking with her post Making it Yours”:

“Ownership–and we’re not just talking money–is a powerful construct. When you make something yours–a town or a book or a baseball team–it becomes part of your identity.

My husband and I have been thinking about what we want to make ours as a family. What will our thing be? What makes us us?”

I mentioned a while back that my husband and I have “our spot,” and we do make an intentional effort at “keeping company,” but what she said about identity really grabbed me.  What do we want our identity as a couple to be?  This is something to pray about with my husband.

6.  I love this idea over at The Dating Divas for a wedding anniversary tradition:  Time Capsule Anniversary Gift. 

7.  I need to be intentional about affirming my husband.  Kristen at We are THAT Family provided me a framework in her great post “What Every Husband Needs to Hear.” 

8.  This week, Lisa at Lisa’s Notes challenged me to “be a ripple”:

“When Jesus heals a soul, he doesn’t stop with one.”

9.  Jenn at Running This Thing Called Life reminded me that “God is waiting to heal our upwrapped wounds.” 

10.  “Always have enough for everyone.”  Tricia lives this out with her boys in “People Need Spoons.”

Q4U: What did you learn this week?

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I am joining Emily and Jessie this week in sharing some “linky love.”

things-you-learn-in-june

Burn the Midnight Oil

hourglass

Did I tell you that I had a Puerto Rican Sister?  Agnes is her name.  We share the same last name — well actually, we used to share the same last name, but then I got married and became a Dunbar.

I met Agnes a few years back at church, but now we work together.  Today, we jumped into my car and went to grab a quick bite to eat.  Our kind boss allows us to venture out for an hour, but we only spent about 20 minutes eating our 6 inch subs.

“Agnes, it’s only 12:35.  Let’s go party!” I exclaimed after checking the clock on my iPhone.  We were sitting in my car at a red light.

She replied, “We have time to burn…  or is it, time to kill?

“I think both sayings are correct.”  Sometimes Agnes asks me to clarify American sayings.

“What’s that other saying,  something about burning the midnight oil?” my Puerto Rican Sister asks.

“I don’t think that one will work here, Agnes.  ‘Burning the midnight oil’ means you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.”

Back in my office, I sit down at my desk and got to work with a sense of urgency.  I won’t be in the office tomorrow, so I must complete the project at hand today.  I don’t want to stay late and “burn the midnight oil,” I think.

That’s when it hit me.  The contrast is stark.  How am I facing my days as I look toward eternity?  Do I act as if I have plenty of time to burn, or am I burning the midnight oil and living with a sense of urgency because I understand that time is short?

Paul encourages us in Ephesians to “redeem the time.”  I love how The Message translation says it:

 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! (Eph. 5: 11-16)

It’s time to burn a little midnight oil, my friends.  Make the most of every chance you get.  Time is short.

Q4U:  How do you “redeem” the time?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking ThursdayTell His Story,  Playdates with God and Soli Deo Gloria.

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Photo Credit:  Pedro Simao

Lessons Learned in 3D: Sleep Deprived

I am thankful that basketball season is officially over.  Now begins the season of rest — when I can go to bed at a decent hour instead of staying up all night either agonizing over Miami’s ineffective defense of Tony Parker or celebrating Ray Allen’s clutch shot made with 2 seconds left on the clock.  The NBA seriously needs to reconsider scheduling games at 9 PM.  Sleep is essential to my mental stability.

In all seriousness, this night owl needs to get to bed earlier.  I hope to get back into a more normal sleepy time ritual starting this weekend.  Please pray for me — I am much like the whiny five-year-old who refuses to go to bed at night.  Will I ever learn that I can’t function on 4 hours of sleep?  Stay tuned…

On Fridays, I try to make a list of the things God is teaching me — little nuggets of truth that He is speaking to my heart.  I want to be intentional about documenting this so that I don’t forget.  So, here in no particular order are 10 things I learned this week:

1.  Ten minutes of engaged activity will move me forward — especially on activities I don’t want to do (like dusting, ironing, or paying the bills).   Deidra at Jumping Tandem calls this the “Ten Minute Stretch”:

Sometimes I tell myself,

“Just run for ten minutes, and then you can stop.

You’ll be better on the other side.

And, if you’re not better, at least you’ll be done.”

2.  Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy got me thinking this week with her post “Making it Yours”:

“Ownership–and we’re not just talking money–is a powerful construct. When you make something yours–a town or a book or a baseball team–it becomes part of your identity.

My husband and I have been thinking about what we want to make ours as a family. What will our thing be? What makes us us?”

I mentioned a while back that my husband and I have “our spot,” and we do make an intentional effort at “keeping company,” but what she said about identity really grabbed me.  What do we want our identity as a couple to be?  This is something to pray about with my husband.

3.  God requires complete and reckless abandon.  I have been reading Jennie Allen’s book Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul, and it is rocking my world.  Oh my!  And, then this week, I opened up feedly on what I thought would be a regular morning to discover that Jennie is challenging us all to put feet to our faith through the “If Gathering.”   If you have a heart to mentor younger sisters, make sure to check this out.

4.  I am changing the world.  This week in India a little girl’s life is better because I opened my heart.  I love how Ann explains the difference child sponsorship makes in her posts “A Letter to the North American Church–Because it is Time” and “The Research that Proves You Can Change the World.” 

5.  I love this idea over at The Dating Divas for a wedding anniversary tradition:  Time Capsule Anniversary Gift.

6.  Blogging can be used very effectively for community Bible study.  The gals over at She Reads Truth have breathed a lot of life into my spirit the last couple of weeks as I joined them for a study of I Peter.  Their fantastic devotions and the reading plan are available through the You Version App, or you may subscribe to the blog to receive the posts. Check out the blog if you are hoping to dig in to the Word in a fresh, relevant way.

7.  Mercy breathes life into a broken soul.  This week I clicked on a tweet and spent the next 20 minutes reading an amazing story of redemption.  Go here to read Jacque’s story of how mercy found her.  I am so thankful that I did.  I love this quote she shared by Ann Voskamp:

“God appoints people who do disappoint–

to point to a God who never disappoints.”

8.  I need to be intentional about affirming my husband.  Kristen at We are THAT Family provided me a framework in her great post “What Every Husband Needs to Hear.” 

9.  I need to “get on my face before the Lord.”  That’s what you do when the “bottom falls out.”  Love this post by Mary Margaret for LifeWay’s Women All Access.

10.  God knits our hearts together with others as we pursue Him.  One of the first bloggers I connected with online was Laura — I love her passion for Him.  I am so honored to join her as Social Media Manager for Missional Women.   If you aren’t familiar with this Online Missional Magazine, head on over and check out the amazing articles and resources.

Q4U: What did you learn this week?

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I am joining Jesse and Crystal this weekend for