10 Things I Learned This June

I have been struggling to write a post for sometime now. Primarily it is because of the mass amount of frustration I have been experiencing due to a personal situation. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down this summer to write and just couldn’t get my head into the right space. One day, in my frustration, I finally reached out and posted on the Hope Writers Facebook group about it. Within minutes I received encouragement and tips, and I began to feel more at ease with this struggle. One of the tips was to write a “list post” of which I had to actually google but quickly figured out. Writing this simple “list” post snapped me out of current pity party and forced me to reflect on all the things I have learned in just the last 30 days.

This is what I discovered…

1. I am a type 6 on the Enneagram

When I first took the test I tested as a 2, the Helper. I tried that on for maybe a year and it just didn’t fit. So I moved into what I thought was my wing 3, The Achiever. I hung out there for a bit but I just couldn’t get past the image thing and the need to succeed and be valued. I have no problem showing people my true self. Then a situation at work began to raise my anger levels and I moved right into an 8, The Challenger which on the behavioral side felt more like me but the underlying motivation wasn’t fitting either. By this time my friends were joking that “I WAS the Enneagram” – lol! But then I stumbled onto 6 (The Loyalist) because of the Enneagram Instagram account @justmyenneatype did a Subtype series and I am definitely an Intimate, Counter-phobic 6! The moment I discovered I was a 6, I instantly felt shame – ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Then I began to research type 6 further, and discovered it’s not so bad. Type 6’s are brave, courageous people and I am beginning to see a new side of myself more clearly now because I FINALLY figured out my number…I hope (that’s so 6 of me!)

If you have zero clue as to what I am talking about, check out this site.

2. Starbucks Cold Brew with heavy cream is by far the best thing on their menu.

Living in Portland I am totally spoiled by all the amazing coffee shops and roasters we have. However, there are times I don’t have the 10 minutes it takes to park and walk into a fancy shop and get a cup of coffee. So the Starbucks drive thru has been a lifesaver.

3. I love teaching the Bible (and I am good at it too) 

I knew I loved learning about the Bible all these years but it’s only been recently that I have stepped out of my comfort zone to preach one Sunday morning and start a Women’s Bible Study. The affirmation I have received has been so encouraging. I am not sure where else to go with this but I do know I need to keep stepping out in faith.

4. Golfing can be dangerous. Be careful where you swing!

My husband and I were at our local driving range with a couple of our closest friends enjoying a sunny afternoon. Our friend, Mike, was giving me some tips while my husband Josh and Mike’s wife, Whitney were shooting the breeze behind us. The next thing I knew, my club hit the tent pole, snap the head clean off and flew right between Josh and Whitney!! I couldn’t believe it; I almost killed my husband and friend! We all laughed it off but it was a good lesson to learn: Make sure you have plenty of room to swing!

5. Boundaries make me more gracious and patient towards others

Boundaries are never easy to make, especially when I am in the midst of pain from my lack of drawing boundaries in the first place. I had to draw a hard boundary this month and though I spoke through mostly tears, I placed a marker in the sand and said “no more”. Afterwards, I felt immense freedom, followed by an increase in grace and patience towards the situation. When it comes to making boundaries I always refer back to what Brene Brown says in her book “Rising Strong”:

The trick to staying out of resentment is maintaining better boundaries-blaming others less and holding myself more accountable for asking for what I need and want.

Page 119 of Rising Strong

Need help setting boundaries? Grab my Boundaries Assessment!

6. High school was (actually) fun 

I had my 20 year reunion this last week in Eagle River, Alaska. It was fun and insightful to remember those crucial forming years of my life. My love for music came through my choir teacher Mr. Lange, I am still friends with my BBF’s from that time, and our class of 1999 was a pretty great class. We liked each other for the most part and so our reunion was a blast. As I walked through the halls of my old school, I remembered the drama and tears, the colors and games, and decorating of lockers. This last weekend, I laughed with old friends and heard how their story continued to form from our graduation on. I walked away feeling honored to have been a small part of their story and them mine.

7. College libraries are the best places to write

No seriously. They’re quiet, you can bring in your own coffee, and they often have WiFi for guests. Nuff said.

8. I need to start with God

It’s unthinkable how much I forget this or I stubbornly think I have moved past this truth. I am a natural problem solver and go right into “what’s next?” or “what if?” mode more than I go to God. I am at the brink of a major transition in my life and my worry meter is out of control. I kindly was reminded by a beautiful friend of mine, to start with God. Her message to me came from the Message translation:

“Start with God – the first step in learning is bowing down to God”

Proverbs 1:7

The first step in understanding anything is beginning with the only sure thing, God Himself. This is the beginning of wisdom and where I must always default to.

9. My spending habit hasn’t died fully

Once again our budget reflects my nickel-diming habit of a coffee here, a coffee there, a trip to Target, a trip to New Seasons. So beginning in July, we are switching back to a very strict spending diet which is one of the reasons I find myself writing at the local college library with coffee I made at home! So here’s to dropping a few financial pounds this next month!

10. 6 month old puppies are way less work than 7 week olds!

Even at 67 lb our German Shepherd puppy, Ingrid is so much better than when she was an adorable 10 lb fluff-ball with razor sharp teeth. The work of training and socializing is finally paying off and she is just a delight. I am totally in love! If you get a puppy, be prepared to put months of work into them but it will eventually pay off. I promise.

Now your turn! What have you learned this June?

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Hey friend! I'm excited to meet you! I live in Portland, OR and completely love city life. My hubby and I have been married for over 14 years and still completely adore each other. I am a Jesus follower who is passionate about building up the local church and developing healthy communities. It's so nice of you to stop by! So grab a coffee or a glass of wine, and hang out a bit.

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