Today, I am linking up at Emily P. Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky for What We Learned this Season. Hop on over and join us!
As I reflect on what I’ve learned this season, just for my own brain capacity, I’m going to divide this up into the main areas of my life.
- I have been doubting God’s wisdom. I know right? Not really what you want to admit to, but I’ve been going through Chip Ingram’s book, The Real God (I’ll be doing a review later this week). It highlights seven attributes of God, and when I went through the chapter on God’s Wisdom, I got an ugly surprise. I didn’t even realize a part of my heart was questioning God’s wisdom or that I was harboring a niggling doubt that I somehow knew better. Yes, knew better than GOD ALMIGHTY! As I read through this passage in Job, I found myself repeating those words to God in repentance of my attitude.
- I don’t always have to be right (see above!). This past election season and the aftermath has been a major training ground for me in this area. Part of the problem is I have a real issue with truth and unfairness, but I have to ask the hard question of – what is my purpose in engaging in this forum? Is there anything profitable that can happen or is this going to dissolve into a virtual shouting match? I’ve found most of the time, it’s better to just let it go and move on.
- God’s goodness and generosity to me is based on who He is and NOT on my personal performance. Yes, I knew this in my head, but somehow reading it (again in the book by Ingram), sealed it deeper in my heart. It was kind of a beautiful thing.
- I have grown in my ability to serve. I’m going to be honest. I have ZERO serving gifts, and taking care of my family has always been something I want to want to do, if you know what I mean. While I have a long way to go, when my oldest son got the stomach flu in January, I realized I had also come a long way in this area (although I have to admit I did my serving with rubber gloves on!)
- My parenting is now one more step removed from hands-on. If you have young kids, this might seem like a distant dream, but as my kids get older, I’ve found more and more that I need to get out of the driver’s seat and become a passenger. This has become especially glaring as my oldest son goes through his freshman year of college. He has chosen to go to a local college and live at home, but this is NOT high school 2.0. He’s a great guy, but he makes some choices that I definitely wouldn’t. I’m learning to listen and keep my mouth shut. (See the above on always being right to understand the difficulty!)
- I can’t do everything at once. I know – duh, right? With way more ideas than follow through, I thought if I only buckled down, I could do all the things. In recent months, I’ve found that doesn’t really work. Instead, I need to focus on one thing at a time. I actually end up getting more done than if I try to multi-task! Monotasking – the new thing!
- I can’t listen to all the voices. There are so many GREAT people out there that have all this GREAT advice. Maybe some people can take that all in and filter it, but I can’t. I have found that I need to choose just a few experts to listen to and let the rest go. Same with all the great advice. For me, in order to not feel completely overwhelmed, I have to just focus on the next thing – not all the things!
- I like writing for upper elementary/middle school much more than early readers. I do have one book written that is for the younger reader and I am finishing up a picture book, but overall, I find myself drawn to reading and writing stories for kids who are a bit older. Trying to force myself to write for younger readers just smothers my authentic voice.
Odds and Ends
- I can do hard stuff. In January and February, I did a Whole30. For those of you unfamiliar, during the Whole30 you avoid grains, sugar, dairy, legumes and alcohol for 30 days. As someone with a die-hard sweet tooth, those 30 days were much easier than I thought they’d be. Because I also felt about 300 times better than I normally do, I decided to do another Whole30 this month.
- I spent much of February working on planning and dreaming about this space. Over the years, I’ve basically shared what God is showing/teaching me. I have realized I need to be a bit more organized and intentional if I want to any kind of consistency, and let’s face it, with my current schedule, that isn’t going to happen without some kind of plan . I’m excited to say that starting this week, I’ll actually start posting regularly, and I have a real plan on what I’ll be writing and when!
Winter is often considered a time when everything is asleep or hibernating. I’ve found these months have been a time of planning and dreaming for me. I’m excited to see what sprouts this spring!