The Conlectio Newsletter
In the Heavy Seasons
Dear friends,
In the heavy seasons, the ones where your head is down and you're trusting hard, we often feel completely beyond capacity - probably because we are.
No one can fully understand the burdens, the heaviness, the difficulty. I personally feel like no one can carry it for me - not even my husband. There is so much to do, to weep for, to bear up under, the sheer amount of it is overwhelming.
I used to feel angry that no one could understand. 
One day I was talking to a friend about her childhood. She told me how her mother failed to come through for her in a pretty significant way when she was young. “She didn't do what I wanted her to do,” my friend said. “But you know what? Her absence is the reason I met the Lord. He filled that void, and I'm with Him today because of it.”
My friend's mother wasn't right in her decision, but God filled the gap for my friend. I immediately thought of how often I had longed for people to fill a similar void. How often do we expect people to do what Jesus promises to do for us? I know I've lived many years of my life this way. I've longed for people to play a Savior role. I've tried to BE the Savior to those same people. 
I am doing a series on conversation and hospitality on Instagram right now (I'm on break but the reels are being posted daily) and this question is relevant to such content. Sometimes conversation and hospitality must be “metered out”, balanced with the stage of life we are in. Josh and I have had to limit how often we open our home at points in our marriage: When he lost his job and I was 7 months pregnant, when we had a newborn, when I was under deadline for a book. Other times we were limited due to our own grief or being split across multiple relationships with people in need. But isn't that the beauty of the church? When one can't bear another up, another person can step in! We need a broad range of believers loving one another so Christ can work through us all.
Last year I was having a particularly hard time with this issue, since I have struggled to adhere to boundaries in this area. “I feel like I am suffocating,” I said to my counselor. “I can't carry it all. I can't help them all. I feel like all I do is disappoint people.”
“Phy,” she replied. “When Jesus gave the parable of the sower, he described four kinds of soil. Three of those types of soil rejected the seed he planted. That means only one quarter of the people to whom Jesus preached believed what he had to say.” She paused and looked in my eyes. “What makes you think you can do better than Jesus?”
Now, when I'm tempted to play the role only Jesus can fill, I pray for wisdom - and I ask that question. You must do what God has called you to do with the people he has called you to do it. But to know that, you have to walk with Him closely, listen for wisdom, do your best to obey, ask for counsel, and offer what you can in the season you're in. 
I have spoken before of the “third great awakening” - a movement of believers who are on fire for the Lord, who are growing in Him, who are active in their faith. I believe it is coming. But I also believe that our spiritual life in the Lord can only grow to the degree we allow HIM to be king. I have personally seen how worship of people's opinions has directly hindered my walk with Jesus - keeping me from true love for others and obedience to what He is calling me to do. So - what is He calling you to do? He has offered to carry your burdens. He is stepping in to fill the void. He is strengthening you for the tasks ahead. He is there for you, as He has been there for me - even when the season is heavy.
A disappointment to
the poor left in their wanting
the regime still cruelly reigning
the disciples still expecting
the rich in their achieving
the religious in their striving
and yet, in disappointing
their every expectation,
he fulfilled the only truth
that mattered.
“Thou Long Expected Jesus”, P. Masonheimer

 July Theology Basics Zoom Class
The 4-week Theology Basics Zoom Class starts this Thursday and we have 5 spots left! These weekly calls will include a lecture from me, Phylicia, on basic Christian Theology, discussion time, and a non-graded summary of assigned reading for each week. Includes Theology Basics ebook. Link to register is below!
In the Know
  • We have launched a few new theology class options for summer! First is the July Zoom Theology Basics Class - the first time this has come back for 2022! This begins the first Thursday night in July at 8:30 PM ET and is four weeks of teaching and discussion. Includes the Theology Basics ebook. Grab your spot here - 5 left.
  • We are also launching a BRAND NEW offering that I am SO excited about: Theology Basics at Willows Bend Farm! These are LIVE, one-day retreat-classes. Lunch is provided. Grab your spot for one of the two dates!
What I'm Currently Reading
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling: I finished the HP series this weekend and may have cried a few tears at the end. Such powerful storytelling!
  • Deep Work by Cal Newport: After my friends Lisa and Laura both recommended this to me, it's my audio book this week. I was worried listening to this would make me discontent with my season (I have to be able to work with lots of noise and interruption) but instead it has showed me where I have not disciplined my mind and habits for effective work. I've been making changes already!
  • Call of the Wild and Free: This is a homeschooling book but the principles would apply to all families. I am not an unschooler (we classically educate) but there are still things to be gleaned from it, so it's another one of my audiobooks.
  • Firekeepers Daughter: This is my novel for bedtime. I am excited for it because it is set here in northern Michigan and focuses on the Native population in our area of the country.
he is always
more than good
This phrase is printed in my Bible. It was sent to me in a message on Instagram from a woman who had experienced great loss. God is kinder than we let ourselves believe - his gifts are good, and we shouldn't be scared to accept them, celebrate them, and rejoice in seasons of blessing.
What I'm Loving
  • The Abundance and Theologian tees are what I'm wearing around the farm. I am one of those people who cuts the sleeves off my tee shirts (arms gotta be free!) and I love turning our tees to tanks. The Abundance tee (above) has the words on the back. The Theologian tee has them on the front.
  • Patio Date Nights. Josh and I cut back in a few areas of our budget (something we do each quarter) and one area we trimmed was date nights. Because we work from home and homeschool, home dates are not our favorite - we are home all the time and it's honestly a bit suffocating some days! We decided to get creative by sitting outside on the patio to watch a show together on the iPad, turn on the patio lights once it's dark (up here, that's 10:30 PM!) and talk.
  • Antique slates: If you have read Anne of Green Gables, you may remember the moment Anne smashes her slate over Gilbert Blythe's head. I hope my girls won't do that to their brother anytime soon, but I was so delighted when my friend Kate bought me three slates at a local antique fair - I plan to use these for math and memory work!
  • RightNowMedia: Another area of our budget we have been working on the last few months are subscriptions. They sneak up on you! We cancelled all our subscriptions and streaming and now use the library, our DVDs or free sites with ads like History Channel. But another awesome source is RightNowMedia, which most people can get through their church. It is full of great kids' shows and bible study videos. Our kids love Torchlighters, Superbook and Animated Old/New Testament.
Around the Christian World
In Our Homeschool
  • July and August are “hosting season” here since everyone visits NoMi in summer, so school is very light right now. Lots of reading, Lego, fort building, bird watching, and some memory work! Josh does math with Adeline a one or two times a week to stay current. We are spending lots of time with family over the 4th of July U.S. holiday - coffee at my parents' farm (15 minutes from us), waterfront walks, and rained-out fireworks have made up our days.
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On the Farm
  • The piggly-wigglys are getting fat! Last year the pigs were at Willow's Bend, but this year we moved them to my parent's farm. They are happy there!
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  • Josh's primary job as COO for Every Woman a Theologian is shipping out your orders from the EWAT shop (which supports our staff and ministry)! He has been hard at work before and after the holiday. While he is working, I am inside working on new fall products, schooling the kids and running farm responsibilities. 
  • I'm making a lot of quiches here to keep up with our chickens' egg supply. My favorite recipes are from Joanna Gaines' first Magnolia cookbook, but I modify every recipe to suit my tastes!
  • We picked strawberries last Friday with the girls and stored up 20 jars of jam. I'll do another ten jars of blackberry or raspberry when those are in season, and when cherries are ready in a few weeks, freeze a bunch for smoothies. The jam lasts us all winter and smells just like Michigan summer! (I use the pectin box recipe for cooked jam. I've done regular sugar and low sugar.)
for the awakening, 

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