jessica lynn shull

becoming the woman God needs me to be

Lessons: Observations, Wandering & Permission

Yes, you can have too many green beans.

I have no idea how many people a pound of fresh green beans should feed. Once you snap off the ends you have less than when you started and yet its never the right amount. Its just as much a mystery as how much spaghetti in a pot is the right amount. My parents had a garden as a kid, and it felt like we were always eating green beans. Now I know why. They multiply. They divide. They are the most inconsistent vegetable. We had leftover green beans for more days than I care to admit.

Prepare to be deceived. React accordingly.

Buy the flowers.

I love fresh flowers on my kitchen table. It really doesn’t matter what kind. But once I realized that seeing them and smelling them brought me joy every time… I realized it was worth the money. So each weekend when I grocery shop I find a cheap little bouquet. Different than the previous one. So it never gets old. So I look at it and smile. If I can find something for $7 that lasts 7 days… at a dollar a day its more than worth it.

Find something small that brings you joy and inject it in your day.

Look for the rainbow after the storm.

We’re entering tornado season in the Midwest. And its precursor… randomly gusty winds that scare you and tear down down trees and are highly unpredictable with their targets. We always want the rain to keep the grass green and the farmers fields growing, but it seems to always come with a watch or a warning. And yet sometimes it comes with something else. This time when it stopped, our neighbors walked outside. All of them walked into the street, looked up at the sky and pointed. People in pajamas, work clothes, crocs… kids, adults, pets… we all looked up. It was beautiful. The colors. The sky. The rainbow.

It’s easy to be afraid. It’s easy to see the scary. But it’s important to look beyond it.

Don’t let the storm prevent you from seeing the beauty beside it.

Not all who wander are lost. (But they might have missed a turn.)

So this is what it looks like to get turned around.

Sometimes the path is obvious and clear and well worn. There might even be directions. But sometimes you realize you missed a turn. You back track. You cannot find the turn. So you make a new path, a new way. You find a creek. You follow it. You stop and look around. It’s not where you planned to be but its pretty amazing. And then you look up and there is a path that’s new to you. It’s well worn. It’s well marked.

Sometimes the path isn’t what you expected. You just kind of wandered there. And that’s ok too.

Braid wet hair for (occasionally) awesome results.

When I was a little girl, I used to ask my mom to put my hair in multiple braids at night. Not the most comfortable thing to sleep on, but I loved taking them out in the morning in all of their 80s wavy glory. As someone born with stick straight hair, I loved the poofy the fullness the wavy, even when it didn’t lay quite right.

I confess I still do this. (The braids, not the pink bow.) Sometimes it turns out amazing. And makes its way into photographs from a travel trip. Sometimes I look like a bad hair metal album and it ends up in a ponytail.

This week’s lesson? Practice. Find the techniques that work for you. They might not work for someone else.

They may also result in a poofy do.

Give someone permission to try.

Sometimes we need to be encouraged. We need to be reminded that we’re not imposters. That we have skills and value. That our passion is worth pursuing. That there are more choices than the obvious choice. We need to be reminded that God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. That the devil is a crafty liar, and likes to remind us of times that didn’t turn out the way we hoped. He tells us that was a failure, we are a failure and we shouldn’t try again.

But God says something different.

That was a lesson, He says. What did you learn? He asks. Ok. Now go do that thing, but this time do it for me. And do it a little different. I’m giving you permission. To try.

There is someone you’ve been meaning to reach out to. You hold back because of fear of rejection. Because people are busy. Because <insert excuse>. Don’t hold back.

I said yes to three meetings over the last month. Three different people I met at three different times of my life. Their stories were different. Their concerns were different. Their paths were different. And yet there we were, listening to one another. Encouraging one another.

Giving each other permission. To try.

thoughts go here... be nice... be thankful...

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2020 by in myfaith.
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