Hey hey, a little note before the post to say that it’ll be quiet here for the next few weeks because… I’m on my way to Israel by way of London! I leave this afternoon and will be, fingers crossed, posting to Instagram often throughout the trip. If I’m able to connect to wifi, I’ll do my very best to take you along via Instagram Stories. I’d love to connect with you there!
One of the ways I intentionally practice appreciating the beautiful but so-very-ordinary stuff of real life and regular days is by keeping track of what I’m learning. It’s far from complicated, but somehow jotting down notes of the small, the sacred, and everything that falls somewhere in between helps me stay grounded and present in the place where my feet are planted.
As I said a few months ago, more than anything else, this helps me pay attention to what’s happening around me, what’s happening within me, and what surprises me along the way. This list holds a little bit of everything.
1. There isn’t an “extra” S on Daylight Saving Time.
Tell me I’m not the only one who has always and forever called it Daylight Savings Time…
2. It’s safe to say I’ve fallen down the Enneagram rabbit hole.
Y’all. I’ve researched and read articles and listened to dozens of podcasts. The Enneagram is fascinating to me. Do you know your number? If you don’t know much about the Enneagram, I’d recommend this book as a starting point.
3. Prepare to answer the question “why?” if you decide to give up sweets.
For no reason other than to prove to myself that I could do it, I decided to give up all sweets/desserts for the month of March. Here’s how that went:
But really, it got a lot easier as time went on. However… #4 on this list happened two weeks into March and, well, when you can’t handle solid foods for two weeks and you suddenly find yourself on a completely liquid diet, you give yourself grace, call it quits, and run through the drive-thru for a Frosty. Amen and amen.
4. Oral surgery is no joke.
I’m not going to say too much about this because let’s be clear — I very much don’t like going to the dentist. So oral surgery? No. Thank. You.
But it’s possible, lo and behold, to wake up one morning and discover something has suddenly appeared in your mouth. And as it turns out, that “something” may grow quickly and end up leading to several appointments where you hear the word “tumor” as you pay all the monies and take all the medication.
(I’m fine, by the way. But also? Oral surgery is no joke. Dear Lord, please let that part of my story be completely over.)
5. I don’t miss homework, but I do miss the classroom.
This is something that I’ve suspected for a long time now, but it doesn’t make sense in this season for me to pursue another degree. When I found out I could pay to attend one evening theology class (called The Gospel in the Books of Moses) at Samford (where I went to college), it took all of 25 seconds for me to register.
The afternoon of my first class, I pulled out highlighters, colored pens, and the thick notebook I used through all of my Religion classes (I graduated with a Religion minor). And I literally couldn’t wipe the grin off my face.
Every week, my hand ached from frantically filling the remaining empty pages in my trusty notebook with hurried scribbles and references and verses.
We covered a lot in a short amount of time, including: sacrifices and sabbath rest, festivals and holy days, the priesthood and the sanctuary, offerings and worship. Every week we’d open the pages of the Old Testament and we’d find Him there — the One who came for us in the New. In every storyline, there He was.
The Gospel is woven all the way through; it can be found on every page. In daylight and darkness, under blue skies and in the pitch black of night, we can trust His nearness, be comforted by His kindness, and celebrate His goodness. What we see as “the end” may simply be the turning of a page.
I can’t necessarily say I went “back to school” because it was only one class, but I can say that I truly loved it. Three years ago, I was accepted to seminary. This class, back at one of my favorite places on earth, felt like the smallest glimpse of it. For that, I’m so very grateful.
6. Making sure your website is GDPR compliant is no joke.
7. If you quickly say “rise up lights” you’ll sound like an Australian saying “razor blades.”
Thank you, Instagram, for this fun fact that continues to make me laugh two months later.
(For almost three years now, I’ve joined Emily Freeman as we’ve written and shared our “What I Learned” lists. For more fun facts + inspiration, visit Emily’s corner of the Internet or click here to look through any of my previous “What I Learned” posts. This link will take you to the list of what I learned last spring.)