At the end of every month, I share the silly, random and sometimes profound things I’ve learned. For October, I’m revealing what you taught me during my 31 Days to London series. And each one comes with a grateful heart.
1) I’ve had the most email responses to my posts this month since I started blogging three years ago. Perhaps what I wrote felt more personal to you?
2) Almost every morning in October, I woke up to an email of encouragement, a Bible verse or prophetic word from a reader. On days of despair your words buoyed me with hope reminding me that kind words are sweet to the soul and bring health to the Body. I learned it only takes a few minutes on the keyboard to bring Light into someone’s darkness.
3) People respond most to those things that are common to all of us. Our New Home was the most popular post in the series. Because we all feel strongly about laundry and dishes, of course.
4) Writing every day about life is a helpful process for gaining clarity and an important exercise in becoming better at crafting blog posts. Your kind responses as this being “some of my best writing” is a reminder that people long for authenticity over perfectionism.
5) Daily, I was surprised to learn who was reading my every day thoughts about our move to London. From relatives to neighbors, a best friend from high school to authors I admire, every time someone told me, it was like winning the lottery. Only better. (But winning the lottery would be good about now.)
6) Many people are suffering in their own waiting period. Empathy goes a long way to comfort the waiting weary. Your vulnerable stories in my inbox prove that. I’m so thankful to those of you who wrote me.
7) Responses to When the News Isn’t What You Hope welcomed the beauty of redemption when a reader sent an anonymous check through a mutual friend to help us through the transition. Two bloggers gifted me with an Allume ticket, another a hotel room and then someone sent me a check to get my hair done and go out to dinner with H. Christmas ornaments came in the mail from England. Because I gave away my Christmas tree, of course.
8) Telling almost anyone that you are moving to England is the very best way to start a conversation about Jesus – with the ladies behind the makeup counter, the grocery store manager and your pharmacist. I can’t tell the story and leave out the most important person, can I?
9) I thought this 31 Days to London was about writing but discovered it’s about relationship. Because Jesus cares more about us than the destination.
10) So, I’m going to continue writing about our move to London because it’s an exciting adventure when you are travelling with me. Echoing a new friend who wrote to me, this might be a 70 day series instead of 31. And don’t worry; no one wants more of me in their inboxes on a daily basis. I’m going back to posting a couple times a week.
If you are one of the sixty new subscribers, I hope you will continue sojourning here on the blog with me. It’s been a beautiful, unpredictable wrestling match of learning how to trust and relinquish timetables to the work of waiting.
While I hoped to be boarding a plane to London today, I know God is with me, that His timing is perfect. You told me that over and over again. And I believe it.
He knew I would still be here on the Atlantic 31 days ago. And now it’s time to go cook dinner.
Join me on Monday for a surprise guest post from one of my all-time favorite writers EVER with a giveaway of his new book. Okay, now you know it’s a dude. Don’t even try to guess, I’m not telling you until Monday.
I think, Shelly, you could have listed thirty-one things you’ve learned. Smile! =] But it’s obvious God i s teaching you so you can teach others. And I suspect you’ve learned mostly that He can be trusted.
Praying for you, your sojourn, your ultimate crossing, and your book. Enjoy this writing time.
I echo Lynni’s thoughts, Shelly. What an adventurous journey you are on. So much to look forward to when you finally get to London, yet learning so much in the waiting. And you ARE teaching us. I DO believe more people have related to these posts, like me, because of your honesty about frustrations and unexpected delays in the plan. But I’ve also learned about compassion for others in the ‘wilderness’, even as my own family waits in the adopting of our sweet toddling granddaughter. She will soon turn two and it has been two years of procedure, delays, set-backs, red tape. Yet we do not despair. We’ve learned so much, like trusting, resting, fervent prayer. It’s all good, as they say. Because we KNOW God is in it, all the way.
I, personally, am thrilled to know you will keep writing about this lesson in trust, Shelly. May God continue to stretch you, but certainly not to the breaking point. He will deliver on his promises at just the right moment, cuz He’s in it…all the way. (Have I told you I’m keeping all your posts in my ‘Shelly File’?
Jillie, such wonderful, heartfelt encouragement for Shelly, and I’m so sorry for this wilderness journey your family is taking over this darling little one. But God has her safe with you, and He is making a way.
Love you so, Jillie!
This is beautiful, Shelly. I continue to learn so much from you.
Oh I love this… and now that it is not October with all the bossy writing, I will get to go back and read every post! Praying with you and for you, my friend!