My first Jane Austen Society event

IMG_8815 When I decided to start the book club, it only seemed fitting that I also venture out and meet up with some other serious Jane-ites. So in December I somehow found a way to squeeeeze in a little morning out to celebrate Jane's birthday with some other ladies in my local JASNA chapter..

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There was tea, an abundance of snacks, Jane-related gifts and even a few people dressed in regency attire.

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I happen to have an empire-waisted maxi dress that my mom bought me that actually looked quite regency-esque in context.

This is the dress (I also wore it to a Cru vision dinner recently, so this is a photo, with a dear friend of mine, from that event).

For Jane's party I wore it with a long-sleeve white tee shirt under it.

We played a few games to honor Jane-- it was truly like a classy grown-up birthday party. The first was a guess-which-JA-character I am ice breaker. We each had a name tag with a quote by or about a character. I felt like I picked a pretty obvious one, can you guess who I was?  (I'll give the answer in the comments).

"Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied."

We also played a game of charades. Regency charades are actually word riddles; it's the modern game we play where we act words out silently. Some of these were quite tricky. Our group solved a few of them... naturally, when I quizzed David later, he was able to figure out all but one (he's a clever one). Are you in the book club? I'm going to share a few over there for fun.

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Then we worked on "translating" a letter Jane wrote to one of her nieces- she wrote each word backwards, showing what a fun, playful aunt she was (something that I feel like Elizabeth Bennett would have done).

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Other than one other younger girl who came with her mother, I was definitely the youngest one there. But I loved it! The ladies (actually there were also a couple of gentlemen there!) were all so sweet and welcoming, and they truly had a love for Jane. I really do think I'll be joining JASNA and returning again.

Have any of you Jane fans been to a JASNA event? Local friends, who wants to come with me next time?

Where I find myself these days

My Women's Summer Discipleship group just started up for the season. Our church transitions out of weekly co-ed community groups and into men's and women's groups and all-church beach nights for each week of the summer. It's already my favorite season and this shift in how we do life together with our church family is just the icing on the summer cake. This year, we're reading a book on Biblical womanhood which is redefining for us what that term means and helping us to see ourselves as created in the image of God, uniquely reflecting different characteristics of Him than men were created to do. So far, between that and our inductive Bible studies that we're training our groups in, it's been really rich.. and we've barely just begun.

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{David took this photo on Mother's Day.}

The question came up in our discussion about where-- other than in Jesus-- we find our worth and value. My first inclination was to give a superficial answer of living up to cultural standards. And while that may be true to some degree, it's incomplete.

The truth is, the deeper I dig in my own heart, the more I see myself finding worth in whether I feel included by my peers.

This effects me in many areas of life, but I feel the rub a lot in blogging. Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel because I don't feel that successful or popular enough (ugh, here I go, back to high school).

Blogging niches feel a little like various in-crowds to me. I don't identify with a super specific niche per se, so I feel a bit like an outsider, standing outside of a variety of circles but not quite included.

Sewing is one of my passions, but I rarely have time to do it, let alone write about it. I'm not a fashion blogger, although I'm interested in really figuring out my personal style. I'm by no means a food blogger but I love to share recipes with you. I don't write exclusively deep thoughts on my faith filled with poetic language and tangible analogies (although I'd love to write like that more often).

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I'm trying to be at a place where none of that matters, but it's still hard on some days. The idea of fitting in is a constant struggle that I'm trying to stamp out with truth. I'm trying to see myself as me enough, even if I don't feel green enough, creative enough, deep enough.

I'm reminding myself that God was intentional in crafting my renaissance soul. This is who He made me to be and maybe not fitting into any particular box is a good thing.

And as for writing, the more I write, the more I think I will become who He made me to be as a writer, because I know He's the one who created me with words that spill out of my heart and make their way to my little corner of the internet.

I'm experimenting a bit with my writing and blogging. The times when I can get on my computer and compose tend not to be my most creative, inspired moments (usually that "free" time coincides with my exhausted-and-want-to-veg-out-moments), so I'm going to try going a little old-fashioned. If I write my inspired thoughts down on paper when they come to me, maybe I'll end up publishing a few more blog posts... it's worth a try anyway! ;)