starting to finish

This month is coming to a close and a fresh new month is mere moments ahead of us, it's still ever so slightly out of reach, but it is coming.  

Funny thing about "it".  It never comes to stay, it always comes to pass.  

Reminds me of my autobiography:  I'm in trouble, just getting out of trouble, or about to be in trouble.  

I told that to someone in high school lamenting my lamentations.  Funny how that still holds true.  I'm just observing observations.

Please note that as October 2015 melts into its last moments and is gone into history, I will not be sad.  Thank you October 2015, in the moments you were good you were REALLY good and the inverse is equally true.  You didn't have much in between type moments for us.  So thank you for being either hot or cold, what use is lukewarm anyway?

I'm starting to finish cleaning up, cleaning out, and catching up on my space in our home.  Our room and closet had become a catch all for clutter I couldn't deal with and some of it was stuff others of us apparently couldn't deal with.  

One time somebody smart said it was a good idea to take stock, look around and evaluate things a bit.  So I like to look back and take stock of what I have accomplished.  My favorite place to do this is on a brand new to-do list that I usually start to write after I started the doing. In looking ahead to this new month, a new season of goals, I'm looking back at what I have already done and hope to encourage you in the pursuit of whatever it is you're doing that is worthwhile!

Recently, I went after the following in an effort to pursue the passions and calling God breathed into me so that His message of love and the hope Jesus offers could go out:

1.  Podcasting.  I discovered a fire in my heart to carry the message of hope out to others by sharing the stories of women pursuing their one thing...their story of setting aside what can wait and going after what will not be taken.  The Better Part podcast was born!  I hope you'll listen and share with friends, subscribers appreciated!  Keep in mind, I'm a 2 month old, basically, in podcast episodes (think dog years only slower than human).  So, I'm learning and growing and making mistakes and awkward at times.  My friend Osheta reminded me that was okay and was, in fact, normal for a brand new baby podcaster.  #graceupongrace 

This month I got to talk to a few people here and there that are interested in figuring out podcasting too!  It's the best thing making friends in your line of work, or that share a hobby, or common interest!  Here's to new friends!  HUZZAH!  Thank you to a few new podcaster friends that extended help & encouragement to me.  I think you'd like their shows too!  

Amy Bennett host of the Feathers Faith In Flight podcast

Jacey Verdicchio host of the Around the Table podcast

& Jamie Ivey, host of The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast, led a great breakout session at the 2015 Allume Conference. 

2.  Creating.  I rediscovered the joy that creating in writing brings to me and, I hope, to readers.  I also rediscovered the joy that painting/creating art brings to me, and I hope to the buyers.  

So, I talked it over with the one I married and together we decided that things worth doing are worth doing well and that it would be good to place some value on these two hobby turned self-employment opportunities.  One way I put value on my writing/podcasting was to attend Allume.  I didn't get so much technical training as I did training on why we do what we do as writers/bloggers/podcasters, how to find my unique voice for carrying a unique message with purpose, and to connect in friendship with other women who share a similar calling and purpose. 

I've begun to place value on my created art and painting by selling my work and seeking out opportunities to do so publicly.  It always feels strange and awkward to put art out for all to see.  That awkwardness pales in comparison to connecting with someone who values your art and wants to own it for their home.  That is just something else, man, what a feeling.

I create art and paint for people under the name The Keeping Room.  Isaiah 26:3 says You (the Lord) will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on You, because their trust is in You.  In the olden days, a keeping room was a small room off a kitchen that the fires were kept going in so that there was a warm place to gather or even sleep in severe cold.  It was a place of comfort and rest.  So that purpose with the reminder from Isaiah is how I chose the name, The Keeping Room.  Here's some recent work.  

3.  Gathering.  This month we had the chance to have a special friend and her family over for supper.  I love to have friends over.  We need to gather together. Sometimes when you look around and see your house messy and grungy and dated countertops it's hard to decide to have people over.  I hope you'll forsake that!  We almost didn't pull it off.  It was a hard, hard week and day and the moods and hearts weren't good.  I was nearly sure we should cancel on our dear friend.  Thank you Jesus for whispering into my heart to stay the course, thank you for helping me renounce the enemy and for giving us the strength in our weakness to audaciously be hospitable.  Nothing compares.  

The last time my friend Damali and I shared a supper together it was in Jinja, Uganda, the night before my group of friends were to leave for our homes in the States.  She is so dear, really words do not have the power or loveliness to describe this woman of God.  She is so young and is the director of Sonrise Baby Home.  I have seen the work she does for Jesus first hand and I hope you will take a look at it. Sonriseministriesinc.org  This is who I traveled to spend time with in Uganda back in Feb/March 2015.  I hope you'll get to know and love Sonrise too!  Find the baby home on Facebook, Sonrise Children's Home on Facebook, and Mirembe Cottage for Girls on Facebook.  You can partner with Sonrise by sponsoring children to help with the fees for their school and room/board at the homes.  Please also connect with our Facebook page She Loved Much,  this is where we share about immediate needs that come up for Sonrise & where we share updates on our friends in Jinja.  

Damali is here in Mobile traveling around to churches in the states to share the gospel and stories about the work Sonrise is doing.  She is working hard to fundraise for this ministry and you can be a part.  If you would like to sponsor a child or TEN and stay connected with Sonrise, please visit sonriseministriesinc.org.  See for yourself the precious ones whose lives you can be a part of.  I have seen Jesus multiply the tiniest offering of resources time and time again!  It's a joy to be a part of His work!  I hope you'll join us! 

That's the look back.  Now, into the waning moments of October 2015!  Tonight we celebrate with good friends and good pizza!  

What are you starting to finish?  What'd you finish in this last season?  What're you looking forward to next month?

Coming up soon:  How I figured out podcasting!  If you are interested in creating your own podcast, you should!  I'll be posting a blog in November sharing my road to starting a podcast for myself!  If I can do it, you can too!  I'm nearly evangelistic about podcasting.  So pull your chair up to the table, there is absolutely room for your voice, your ideas, your words!