Do you know what one of my favorite things is? I love meeting up with friends at a local coffee shop for a good heart-to-heart. On a Fall day, when the morning air is crisp, I prefer to sit in the big comfy chairs near the fireplace. I slip off my shoes and curl my legs up all comfy-like as I wrap both hands around my coffee mug and bring it up next to my face so I can feel the steam and inhale the rich, sweet aroma. Face-to-face we share what’s been happening in our lives, both our joys and our burdens, and when our time comes to an end I leave knowing that I am blessed to have such great friends.
Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t been here on the blog much lately. Maybe you’ve discerned from my last few posts that my heart has been a bit downcast.
It has been one year since we moved to South Carolina and I think it’s finally hit me that the way I once did life with old friends is not the way it will be now. Many old friends have drifted away and I don’t even see them much on Facebook anymore. That’s pretty natural I guess, for those that were more surface friends. For those that remain close we’ve found different ways of staying in touch, though it will never be as satisfying as face-to-face over coffee.
I hate to be a “Debbie Downer” (a big sorry to all you Debbies) but I want to be honest and real. Fall has always been the hardest season for me because of the Seattle gloom, but even living in sunnier South Carolina I find myself having a bit of a rough time. Sure, we’ve begun to create some great friendships here, with some really amazing people that God has brought into our lives, but since we’ve been traveling into the next city to attend church we haven’t really made friends in our own community. I haven’t found any girlfriends nearby that I can text and say, “Wanna meet for a cuppa’ Joe?”
This sadness has made me lose much of my “zest” for blogging. Then there is the part of me that says, “Here I am, the Freedom Session lady, in a great big funk! Where is my freedom? What kind of example can I be?”
I KNOW that we aren’t to walk in self condemnation and I KNOW that I haven’t lost my freedom just because I feel sad. In fact, sadness is perfectly normal given all the changes we’ve made this past year (hubby’s job, moving far from friends and family, leaving behind a thriving ministry that we loved, losing our Snoopygirl, plus a few physical issues that have cropped up). But sadness isn’t where I want to stay and, as Mr. OTN says, staying stuck is not an option.
So today I want to share some NEW THINGS I’m doing to press forward into this new life of mine:
- First, since Mr. OTN doesn’t like to see me sad he recently made the decision, and I quickly agreed, that we need to start searching for a church in our own city. At first that idea made me even sadder as I felt like we would be starting all over again, but it’s not like we are really starting over because we will continue to remain friends with those we’ve come to know. So we’ve been church hunting and will be trying out a new church close to home for awhile, to see if we are a good fit.
- The second “new thing” is that I’ve begun writing for a new site called Faith ‘n Friends. This site is made up of several inspirational bloggers who will be coming together to share and encourage our readers. We will also be hosting a weekly link party on Fridays where you will have the chance to link up your own encouraging thoughts. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as to our start date in October.
- A third “new thing” is that I am getting back into a regular exercise routine. For me, that is always a great mood booster. My broken wrist last Spring and the resulting nerve damage threw me, big time. The healing process has been very slow and being on the computer has been especially aggravating. I can now swim again without pain and have been able to do some modified Pilates exercises, so I am committing anew to becoming strong in body!
- “New thing” number four is that I will be continuing to work on the book that I started writing (yeah, I probably never told you I had a book in me) and stepped away from due to lack of time and lack of confidence.
- “New thing” number five, I (we) will continue to wait on the Lord and see what doors he opens for us to give back to others what we’ve so freely been given. It has been over a year since we were directing Freedom Session and both Mr. OTN and I feel that we are not at our best if we aren’t sharing our hope with others.
- Number six, for the second year I will be attending the Allume blogger’s conference in October in hopes of getting answers to some questions I’ve been struggling with. Does my blog format need to change? Are there aspects of my blog that I need to step away from? Are there things I need to add? Even . . . should I just stop blogging altogether? I’m hoping to gain some clarity at the conference.
Thank you SO much for sitting down and listening to me today. I know that I am blessed to have great and encouraging readers like you and I hope you know how much I appreciate you. It’s your turn to share now, because even in the midst of my own stuff I care about what’s happening in your lives. What’s on your mind? What are your thoughts about MY thoughts? Have you experienced similar feelings? What kind of things are you going through now? Do you have any victories to share? Maybe we can even pray for one another!
We are all work in progress and the story is not finished yet!
Blessings sweet friends,
I have been know to link to the following Inspirational Parties:
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Wednesday Prayer Girls Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays A Little R & R Whole Hearted Home So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Women with Intention Coffee for Your Heart Capture Your Journey
Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Live Free Thursday Thought Provoking Thursday Imparting Grace
Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup Grace&TruthSharingRedemption’sStories Dance With Jesus The Weekend Brew
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew Saturday Soiree Recommendation Saturday Make My Saturday Sweet
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness