My counselor often says–“take time to write that down, Jen.”
How can we so easily forget the beautiful provisions and lessons that are so life changing? We have amnesia of the moment. Whatever is right in front of us gets our attention.
So, I am writing it down–“blogging it forth”–“setting the Ebenezer up” to remind me of moments of thankfulness this year. It has been a huge year in my heart–growth-a-palooza with a side of a long way to go.
In NO particular order, the Ebenezers go to…
*A reentry back into writing. My soul was missing the way that writing makes me dig and process. For a 7 on the Enneagram (which tries to avoid all pain), you can see this is a healthy practice for me. I can take myself WAY LESS SERIOUSLY than I did when I started this blog 11 years ago January 1.
*The Enneagram. Seriously, I think in terms of these 9 numbers now. If you are thinking…”oh yeah I took this cute little test on that,” Stop. Right. Now. and get “The Road Back to You” by Suzanne Stabile and Ian Cron. There are several good podcasts too! A test will not suffice. This is a helpful tool for understanding and growth!
*The growth of new and seasoned Business Partners on the Rodan + Fields journey. It has been exciting and such a joy to encourage and grow with these women and my team all over the country. Even more than ever, I realize that God expanded ministry opportunities through RF instead of closing me off to them with the disbanding of Women’s Discipleship Concepts 4 years ago. The highlight was a retreat for some of my directs in April. It ended up, through the Spirit’s leading, to be a time of rest in the Lord, an encouragement for souls on the journey, and time of forming a deep community.
*Puzzles: I am so thankful that I got a “hankering” for a puzzle one day, and the rest is documented in a big pile of puzzle boxes in our downstairs bedroom. I know I am a nerd. Yep.It is a practice that makes me set aside time to just be. That is sooo important for our hearts, mommas. (and, PS, I am donating some to an assisted living–in case you think I need to add “puzzle hoarder” to my profile.)
*The freedom and financial ability to do some fun trips with the boys AND do Boat Club as a family. A little Chattanooga trip to explore for Spring Break, A full-fledged vacation to the beach for a week (first legit vacation we have paid for), some Smokey Mountain fun for Fall Break at Dollywood, Season Passes to Dollywood… I want presence, experiences, and adventure with my boys. Who knew that everything would be so expensive??? This has been a HUGE blessing from my continued growth in my RF business.
*A special trip with my Mom and Sister to go to my nephew’s wedding in Spokane, Washington. What a beautiful part of the country. I am so Thankful for time with family.
I loved the enriching conversations that this trip brought with strangers. I am reminded that God wants us to engage the world with His Beauty and Truth, and we get so bogged down with what’s right in front of us that we miss out.
*My oldest son’s Kindergarten and 1st-grade year…I was so scared. Sensory Processing Disorder is no joke, and we have worked so hard to help him build resiliency and coping skills. I am beyond thankful for our school, the wonderful teachers and community, our OT, Mrs. Kathy, the children’s ministry at our church, and family friends that have encouraged our little guy so much. He is a different kid than when we started this journey over four years ago. The motto around our house is “you can do hard things!” Including the parenting part for Greg and me. There was a HUGE marker in this journey in December as we got to reflect on how much growth has come in our buddy–HUGE thankfulness to God!
*RF Convention in New Orleans. It was a beautiful and fun week with 30 members of our team, countless dear friends that are sideline sisters, and friends from all over the country that I have made on this journey. It was so fun to walk the stage and go to spectacular parties. Dressing up is fun, and I rarely do that in life! However, It was a monumental week in my heart for none of those reasons. God intricately brought restoration to so many parts of me, and I straight up was overwhelmed by His Fathering, His pursuit, and His deep love for me. Someday I might tell the bigger story, but I do not feel released to yet. I am reminded that He can use anything anywhere to do His work in us. Hilariously, I had a worshipful time in a city known for its darkness reminding me that His light pierces through our darkness.
*Y’all…I did a scary thing that I dreamed about. I got the opportunity and encouragement from my friend and business partner, Lindsey, and I pressed go LIVE on a training platform for 180,000 RF consultants. The topic in April was “Times I almost quit: Building the art of resilience,” and the topic in August was “Get Real Thursday: examining the posture you are taking toward business and life.” I am amazed at the personal growth in public speaking I have gotten over the last year and a half, in particular. Every time someone asked me to stretch to speak at something new, I thought 2 things: 1) that is not my strength–I don’t do this! and 2) I don’t have anything special to say that anyone has not said (aka someone else could do it better!) Here’s the truth…both of those statements are probably true, but we only grow when we stretch to new things. It is uncomfortable, exhilarating, challenging, full of anxiety, and yet, if I had listened to my fears, I would have missed out in sad ways. Note 1: Live videos always choose the greatest screenshots–eye roll here. Note 2: I also discovered the spray tan the 2nd time around.
* The growth of my sweet, sassy, smart boys. I am so thankful that Greg keeps a running list of their hilarious quotes. Every day I think about the slipping time, and I am sobered by the responsibility and privilege of being their Momma (yep–over my dead body will they call me anything else!!). Greg is an amazing Daddy–I need him for balance:). As I have read back over the earlier years of my blog, I remember that there was a time that I surrendered that they would not be here. Maybe it’s my age, their preciousness, or my period of infertility, but I am so thankful for their lives and this opportunity.
The truth is, as I reflect more, I will remember more. Why? I so easily forget the beauty of God’s hand in my life. What about you? What are your Ebenezers for the year?