31 Days of Lessons in the Desert (2013)

I’ve been feeling a tug in my heart for a while now. A nudge from God to talk about the experience I had that got me back writing and blogging and willing to share my story and take a chance at being transparent, vulnerable, and open.

In the past year that I’ve really dug into blogging, I’ve heard so much about the 31 Days project and wondered off and on if I’d be able to make and match that kind of commitment.

I’m about to find out.

There are times where my story will be darker than you’d like to hear; sadder than you’d like to know; and more complicated than you’d like to think about. But stick with me. As with anything guided by the Lord’s hand, it doesn’t stay that way, and always finds its way back to the plans that He has prepared.

As I prepared for this writing challenge and journey into my recent past, there were several times I wanted to throw up my hands in frustration and exasperation. I wondered out loud and on my social media sites (so friends could share my pain!) why I hadn’t decided to enter into this challenge with something less grueling … like 31 Days of Tea? Why, I wondered, was I choosing something that still felt like it had burnt edges that weren’t all the way healed; that felt tender to the touch like a lingering bruise beneath the surface?

In the few weeks leading up to this challenge, I found myself writing into new territory. Being willing to talk about things that I hadn’t been willing to share before, being willing to open up in ways that would have scared me a few months ago, and being willing to say things that I might not have had the courage to have said out loud or in print when I first began. And it wasn’t just me. All around me in my writing circles, women were writing truth – and writing fiercely into the hard, difficult things in their life and confronting those things head on; full of grace and determination and the knowledge that God was opening doors and moving mountains.

And that is exactly why I need to share these lessons and say these things out loud. I shared an old post of mine recently where I said:
I read recently that we need our messy stories. We need to write them and we need to share them. Because sharing them allows the Spirit of God to bind up our wounds and the wounds of those who read them and are impacted by them. But it's a risk – that trick of transparency – being brave enough to show your mess to the world. So I'm choosing to be brave – a little braver each day – a little braver each time I write. And trust that in revealing my own mess, somewhere, the Spirit will bind up a wound, and spill grace abundant into someone's life. Leaving them just a little bit less alone in their mess.
You will find quite a bit of mess here – as you read through what preceded my journey into the desert and the journey itself. But the lessons that God showed me through the walking and the waiting made such a difference in my life. And maybe they will in yours as well. And we’ll share that messiness and bind up our wounds together and go forward hand in hand being just a little more brave because we’re doing it together.

Welcome. I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you’re coming with me for 31 Days of Lessons from the Desert.

Posts will be linked here, as well as shared on the main page of my blog

September 30: An Introduction to Lessons from the Desert

The Lessons
October 1: He is With You
October 9: The SNAP Challenge
October 16: The Gift of Empathy
October 23: Binding Up My Anger
October 24: Without Reservation
October 25: Together


  1. Thank you for sharing the messes! Maybe I'll be brave enough to share mine, IF I figure out what they are! ha ha patsy

  2. LOVE this! Praying with you friend... I know there will be healing here... for you - for others! It will be a thing of Beauty! Thanks for being Brave!

  3. "writing into new territory" - just, YES.

  4. I considered titling my 31 Days challenge the same as yours, because I literally live in the desert, but now I'm glad I didn't. I'm especially looking forward to your post tomorrow. The title you gave to it is something that's often said in my home.


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