Two weeks ago I traveled to northwest Arkansas with several of my fellow (in)courage writers. It was a fantastic weekend spent with some of my favorite people. It was also a lovely getaway in a beautiful small town (bracketed by that gloriously solo road trip). And it was four days packed full of lessons.

What’s that, you ask? What did I learn? Well, let me tell you!

What I Learned in Arkansas:

1. Bentonville (hometown of Walmart) is the cutest little town ever. At least the downtown is (which is where we stayed). We were there over the weekend, when the downtown square fills up with a farmer’s market and food trucks and, basically, buckets of Cute and Quaint. It was like walking around Stars Hollow or Stuckeyville or Bluebell. Or all of the above.

2. Food trucks make great food, but buckwheat crepes are not my thing. To be a little more specific, a banana and chocolate crepe is delicious, but an eggs, cheese and salsa one is not my favorite thing. Or worth waiting in line for an hour. You know what’s worth waiting in line for an hour, though? The chance to chat with friends on a shockingly mild July morning. And the actual French guy who runs the truck using actual French words when we placed our order.

Side note: The taco truck wasn’t open when I wanted a full meal, so I only tried one little taco. That one little taco, however, was the stuff of my Mexican food loving dreams. And I might need to go back down there JUST FOR ANOTHER TACO.

3. I don’t get art. Especially modern art. Or contemporary art. Or WEIRD art. I don’t get that stuff at all. (Our hotel was also an art museum with some seriously weird stuff in it. Seriously. Weird.)

4. No matter how many times I visit the DaySpring offices, being there makes me silly-happy every single time. Having the opportunity to work for a company like DaySpring is a privilege I’m so thankful to have. The people are genuinely kind and extremely talented and creative. And, as I mentioned on Instagram, there’s so much pretty there! (But seriously, working for a company that begins every week with Monday morning devotions and worship is a blessing I don’t take lightly. I do, however, love it.)

5. Sometimes it’s a good idea to try new things. From gluten-free cupcakes to flavored teas (and a conversation with a tea expert) to cowboy boots, the weekend was full of new things. And it was fun! I don’t always take risks and try new things on my own, so I’m glad when others push me out of my comfort zone. Well, you know, when it involves things like cupcakes.

6. The new contributors to (in)courage are amazing, every single one. I was thrilled to meet several of the new writers who have recently joined our team. If you read (in)courage, make sure you get to know the new writers. You’re going to love them, too!

And, finally…

7. Expectations and assumptions in friendship are a waste of time and only lead to hurt feelings and missed connections. And yet, I engage in both nearly every time I’m with a group of women – even longtime friends! Today I’m talking about what I decided to do differently this time. Join me at (in)courage to talk about reaching out and being a friend?

Now it’s your turn. What have YOU learned recently?

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