This year I welcomed Spring in beautiful Chapel Hill, NC with Lara Casey and 70+ women. The sunshine, beautiful setting, and time set-apart were the perfect place to begin a new season. I came to Making Things Happen overwhelmed, weary, and worn out. I had been trying to do it all and it wasn’t going well. On Wednesday as I flew home, I reflected the two days previous and the work that had only begun. God’s not done with me yet, but in hope to encourage you, I share with you some of my favorite lessons from MTH.
It’s really hard to hear the truth through all the noise.
If you have heard anything about MTH you know that you give up your phone for the majority of the time you are there. It was incredibly freeing to let go of Instagram, text messages, podcast, e-mails and the many things that keep me connected.
Instead of being still and really listening, I would turn on a podcast and learn. Instead of starting that hard task, I would pick up my phone and scroll through Instagram. Social media and podcasts are GOOD tools, but they aren’t the best.
Our phones can be an easy time filler, especially for awkward social situations. What would happen if we sat in the tension and were fully present? It might be uncomfortable at first, but ultimately I would take messy & awkward real life over an Instagram-worthy facade.
A season of waiting is a time of ripening
I went into Making Things Happen with open hands, and I had a few things I knew I needed to wrestle with God about. My heart was heavy with long awaited prayers, big dreams, and struggles. To be honest, I thought that if I could just get quiet enough it would suddenly be all clear and make perfect sense. When our final day arrived I didn’t have perfect answers, yet I was at peace. I know that this waiting time is a ripening time. And that maybe, just maybe, it’s okay that the answers don’t arrive neatly wrapped in a pink bow. Waiting teaches me that I don’t have to fix the problem or have the perfect answer; I just need to listen to Him.
Good things grow when we have time and space to flourish
There is only so much time and space in my daily life. If I want to cultivate what truly matters, it begins with pulling out the weeds. Pulling out comparison, getting ride off screen time, tossing out negative thought patterns, & clearing overcrowded schedules.
I’ve fallen into the trap of trying to do ALL THE THINGS. And it’s just like when we garden. If you put twelve tomato plants in a gallon pot, none of them will survive. Good things only grow when we give them time and space to flourish. I’m stepping into a new and unfamiliar season. It’s a season of less, stillness, grace, and margin. It’s different and slightly terrifying, but I know that in order for good things to grow, I need to begin by making room.
A cultivated day IS possible.
The week after I returned from MTH, I met up with my dear friend (and MTH Alum) Diana. We chatted about all things MTH – the Carolina Inn (that hallway!!), the encouraging speakers, NO PHONES, the time to process, the beautiful community, the fruit water, the sunshine…basically, we are both major fans of MTH 😉
Towards the end of our chat, I shared Nancy Ray’s commissioning at the end of the conference. She shared that “You are capable and have everything you need to do what matters”. It sparked a beautiful conversation about what it would look like to have a cultivated day & what would it be like to work a little MTH magic into daily life.
For me, it starts by choosing to…
-Start the day with lemon (or lemon blueberry) water not coffee.
-Take refreshing stretching breaks or walks during office days.
-Find intentional, bold women to hold you accountable and be brutally HONEST with them.
– Never underestimate the power the environment can play into your productivity. Doing a 10 minute desk clean up at the end of the day can set you up for success the following morning.
Life is too short not to accomplish those big dreams that God has placed on your heart.
Oh friends, this was possibly the hardest and most important lesson I learned at Making Things Happen. God whispered such truth into my heart that the dreams He has given me aren’t selfish or lofty, they are ways to give Him glory.
To be honest, I’m scared to type this next sentence. I’ve never felt like a writer. I’ve struggled with my lack of spelling abilities, imperfect grammar, and have felt like everyone else’s story is stronger, more important, or valuable. But here is the bigger picture-If the words I share encourage JUST one person, they are worth it.
God has given me (and YOU TOO) a message to live and speak out with our lives. We can choose to hide away because of fear or step boldly out. Your mess can become HIS message. So let’s step forward together and choose to make what matters happen.