10 Things I Learned in June


At the end of each month, I share things that I learned. This habit helps me pay attention to life, myself, and God’s presence. It’s my way of reflecting and celebrating. It’s how I take notice and be present.

These “10 Things I Learned” posts really have become some of my favorite. I love the process of looking back, and seeing the deeper lessons that I might otherwise miss.

In no particular order, here are 10 things I learned this month:

1. I really want to take a practical, intentional step in my spiritual journey with God this month. 

I decided that for the month of July, I’ll be creating a small bit of space to encounter God through doing the Daily Examen. If you want to join me and others, check out 30 Days of Abiding.

2. Ten years of marriage is NO JOKE.

Steve and I had a wonderful weekend getaway to celebrate ten years as a married couple. The best part was reminiscing about our favorite memories together. To ten more years!


3. Sometimes you write something vulnerable, hit send, and have NO IDEA what the response will be.

I wrote an article about my journey as a woman leader and preacher, and it felt very personal. I sent it to The Junia Project (a community that advocates for gender equality in marriage and church leadership). I didn’t hear back for a while, and was beginning to wonder if it was too personal or not informative enough. Anyway, I ended up getting great feedback from the founder, and they published the article! You can read it here: My Journey as a Female Preacher.

4. Speaking of preaching, I got to preach at my church two times in the last two months.

Want to listen to the sermons? Here is Embraced in the Love of the Father, and me and Steve co-preaching Romance, Marriage, and Never Being Alone (tip: listen to hear our proposal story).

5. Coaching is the new theme of my life.

I do a lot of “coaching” as a spiritual director and church pastor. And starting in August, I’ll be head coach of Aaron’s soccer team. So if you see me marching around with a coach’s whistle around my neck, now you know why.

6. How to cook AMAZING enchiladas.

I put out the word on Facebook: “YOU GUYS…HELP. I’m in Hawaii where there IS NO good Mexican food. So if anyone has legit Mexican food recipes, please send them.” Well I’ve got super awesome friends, particularly our pal Christina who visited us and gave me an entire cooking lesson on her enchilada recipe. Rejoice! Now I can cook them and not die every time I pass by a Taco Bell.

7. My 3-year-old is trying to convince me that earlobes are called “ear cheeks.”

I find this endlessly funny.


8. It’s nice to listen to podcasts while I drive.

On my way from dropping the kids off at school, I’ve been listening to TED Radio Hour and several blogging/business podcasts. It’s a great way to pass the time.

9. I get so angry when I feel like I am being expected to do something I can’t do.

Last evening was a hard one. The kids were all whiny and needy, and I reached the end of my inner peace reserves. At some point I had to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes just to have space to breathe. Ughhh. Later, as I thought about what was so difficult for me was that I felt like everyone’s demands were being heaped on me all at once. I have no great solution to this, only the observation that I feel angry and resentful in those moments.

10. There is a Benedictine monastery on Oahu, and it hosts people for prayer retreats.

Later this month, I will be taking a 2-day personal prayer retreat, and I am SO READY for it.

What about you, friend? What things did you learn this month?

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