Friday, April 11, 2014

LIFE and A Follow-Up to the Love Idol Movement Challenge

LOVE these Daily Grace - Open Your Heart Place Cards from DaySpring! 


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This week I spoke briefly to a group of 130 women at their end of the session brunch about (in)courage, (in)RL and the book Love Idol - as I'm co-hosting an (in)RL conference in my home this month, and leading a discussion group for Love Idol this summer. 

Although this is the church I attend (Crossroads Christian Church), there were only a handful of really familiar faces there. They do a great job of welcoming here; women attend from many churches, denominations and I'm willing to bet there are several non-churched attending the Daughters Of the King (DOK) weekly studies. I haven't attended this year at all, so of course it makes sense that although I went for 2 1/2 years when we lived here before, hardly no one knows me any more. There's a whole new group of women attending! It was scary, but yet refreshing. I felt like I was at a table for a small women's conference!


They had a table set up for me at the entrance of the Chapel, and I was able to set up books from (in)courage authors, the adorable Daily Grace - Open Your Heart - Place Cards from DaySpring on it, and the sign up for the discussion group that I'll be facilitating in June on Love Idol. I had used a chalk pen to write the words "loved," "beautiful, and "preapproved" on them, helping to make a quick point to Jennifer Dukes Lee's book


Everyone was so kind, and it was fairly easy (I only shook a little, LOL) to talk to them from the stage. So. Out. Of. Practice. Sigh. Nonetheless, I enjoyed being back in the company of so many lovely women, and I'm going to be signing up to take a class with them in the fall, for sure (maybe sooner!). 


I even met a neighbor! :) She and her husband are retired, and they live around the corner on another street in our neighborhood. I'm praying we get to know them better too, as well as the 2 other neighbors we've recently met. 


All in all, I loved being there. Loved the teaching, the worship, the food, and the fellowship! 

AH, and now - My #LoveIdolMovement Journey...


God's still working on me. I've done ok with not posting to my Facebook page (only updating my timeline photo to reflect the upcoming (in)RL Conference), and I don't talk to myself in posts all day long anymore. I still want to share things on it - but I'm so glad I'm staying true to not doing that. I'm not posting on my wall, or commenting to other's posts (so I barely read them at all). I am posting and commenting on the few group walls that I'm in (book launch groups, and a few for (in)courage). 


I've found that I tend to still *waste time* online, now shifting to Pinterest and Instagram, so I'm trying to phase those out for the next few weeks, only posting for work. It's going to be hard, but I still have a few books that I'm reading and reviewing for book launches - so I'm grateful to have that distraction - and the weather has warmed up (thank You God!) so I've been working outside too. 


As far as my *preapproval* status goes with the actual challenge, it's growing me! I had a disappointment, and it happened to hit at the same time I had written a blog post about wondering what direction I should take my writing and blogging... so I pulled my post when I realized that it might be misconstrued (I had written it before the disappointment, and in reality I was not upset about it, I was totally ok with it actually - it just hit me funny and I could see that folks might read more into it than what was really going on). 


I am beginning to listen more closely for God's voice in my day to day life. I have had a few sleepless nights, and last night got up out of bed and did some reading, praying, then searched the internet on a God-prompt for Rich Mullins. After listening to some music of his, I happened to read an article about him, and stumbled on this quote of his on lonliness:


"I would always be frustrated with all those relationships even when I was engaged. I had a ten year thing with this girl and I would often wonder why, even in those most intimate moments of our relationship, I would still feel really lonely. And it was just a few years ago that I finally realized that friendship is not a remedy for loneliness. Loneliness is a part of our experience and if we are looking for relief from loneliness in friendship, we are only going to frustrate the friendship. Friendship, camaraderie, intimacy, all those things, and loneliness live together in the same experience..." 

- Rich Mullins

Bingo! It hit me squarely in the heart: God is teaching me this very thing. Maybe that's been my whole life's lesson... learning how to be holy lonely (and also wholly lonely). I have amazing friendships around the world, a 30 year marriage to my best friend, and am ALWAYS lonely. I don't think it's bad, and I crave to be alone when I'm in too much people... but I've never viewed it as this. This. It makes sense. 


SO this is a part of my Love Idol Movement testimony too, to be able to be content in loneliness, and not view it as an aspect of being judged, or viewed as less-popular, less-desirable, less-friend worthy (because when the friends are all scattered, it's hard knowing that no one will be stopping by for any holiday, and we're all too laid back to plan a birthday party... or even to send a card... and these are the things that society somehow sets the standard of how rich our friendships... and our lives themselves... are). 


I've determined that this is important. To be content in loneliness. I want to do lonely well. I want to enjoy it, and when I'm with Him in my lonely time, I want to invite Him in. I want to DELIGHT in Him. There. In the midst of lonely. 


Another area of discipline that's being assisted by the Love Idol Movement is the impact that it's having on my wife skills. I'm talking to Mark more (or he's talking to me more?) since he can't read my life and feelings on Facebook. This is a good thing. :) 


It's freeing up time for me to do more house-blessing (read: chores). I've been able to keep up my laundry more, clean the house more often, and although we've been eating out of the pantry and deep freezer, cook more too! Can this all really be attributed to stopping posting on Facebook?  Oddly enough, I think it can, although I don't have the faintest idea how to describe how it works!


Have you picked up your copy of "Love Idol" yet?  Amazon has the Kindle version available. I suggest you check out Givingtons.com for purchasing the soft cover book. If you are so led, you can choose ViBella Jewelry as the non-profit to donate your purchase to; that would doubly-bless the Lee family! They LOVE the work of ViBella and the hope it brings to women of Haiti, Mexico and here in the U.S.