What We Learned

It’s a first for me today! I’m attempting a blog link up. Since I’m kind of an octogenarian stuck in the body of a 35 year old when it comes to technology, it’s a bit intimidating.

On her blog, Emily P. Freeman does a quarterly link up for us to share what we’ve learned in the last few months. I’m thrilled to be giving this a go because I too often get my blinders on and focused solely on the future. Yet, it’s interesting how many times in God’s word we are told to remember – especially to remember what God has done. So this is my remembering – What I’ve Learned:

1. How to nit pick – literally!

A few weeks after a missions trip to a rural camp this summer, I caught my oldest daughter scratching away at her head. Yep, it was lice. A lot of lice and a lot of nits. And it had spread to three of my four other kids too. The boys were a snap to take care of. A quick buzz cut and everything was peachy. The girls, one in particular with long thick hair, well, it was an ordeal. After researching all possible remedies, I learned that the most effective way to eliminate head lice is to pick out all the nits by hand. Every few days. For weeks. I’m now a pro at spotting and picking nits.

Not only that, it turned out to be a poignant object lesson for my kids.

I’m positive that my oldest daughter caught lice either from the girl she shared her bunk with because the camp ran out of beds, or from the girl she loaned her coat to because all that child’s mom had sent her to a week of camp with were the clothes on her back and a blanket.

Oh, and another of my daughters had her camera stolen at camp too.

It was a lesson for them and a reminder for me that there’s often a personal sacrifice involved in helping others. Sometimes we help and it ends up hurting us. Even in these moments we can cling to the One who for such great good suffered greatest loss.

In this, we exemplify Christ.

I will gladly pick out nits from my girls’ hair if it’s in the name of loving God and loving others. And I hope and pray that all my kids grow to have the same attitude – to be willing to face adversity for the love of God.

2. I am creative – we all are!

For years I’ve labeled myself as not creative, as someone whose outside-the-lines attempts are utter failure. But I was brought to tears several weeks ago when I finally admitted that I AM creative, because I AM created me in His image. And the same is true for all of us!

I’ll never be named among the great creatives of our time, but that doesn’t matter. Every act of creativity is the activity of His image in us. In this, we begin to till the soil of great Joy.

*I recently finished reading a deeply soul stirring book relating to creativity – Walking on Water, by Madeleine L’Engle. I already want to read it again. For a nudge or a shove in the direction of art and faith, read this book!*

3. Sometimes waiting is an excuse for not taking initiative.

I’ve longed for a mentor type person in my life for years. Yet than person never presented herself to me. I mistakenly assumed that someone would/should pursue this kind of relationship with me. So I’ve spent a lot of time waiting and praying and waiting some more. Wondering when God would answer my prayers for this relationship.

But God intervened in this stubborn mind of mine and showed me that I needed to be the one taking the initiative. If I want this from someone, I need to tell them – other people can’t read my mind after all! The young women I am mentoring approached me, not me them. I haven’t done for others the very thing I was wanting another to do for me.

So, back in September I took the initiative and asked a woman I know from another church to meet with me. We’ve only met twice, but it has been such an encouragement already!

It’s still a bit of a mystery to me, knowing when it truly is time to wait instead of charge ahead, or when it’s time to make a move in faith. But I see now that maybe I’ve used waiting on God as an excuse and have wallowed in unanswered prayers instead of pursuing the good things of God intentionally.

4. How to Bullet Journal

I think it was in September that I first became aware of this whole Bullet Journal movement. Have you heard of it? I decided to give it a try. So I got myself a nice journal from Target, set  it all up and started journaling in October. It’s definitely still a work in progress; I’m figuring out how to make it work best for me. But, to echo the concept of remembering I mentioned earlier, this has been a helpful tool in helping me do just that – remember.

The purpose of the journal isn’t to be a fancy to-do list to check off, but a record of what has been done and experienced throughout the day. Yes, I do use mine as a to-do list somewhat, but I’m also keeping track of things like thoughts, books I want to read, what I am currently reading, quotes, funny kid stories, prayer requests and writing ideas.

Since I had so much written down in my Bullet Journal, this blog post was surprisingly easy to write. I just had to thumb through pages. It helped me remember things I otherwise would have forgotten.

Might I encourage you to spend some time remembering today? How has God been shaping your story these past few months? How have you changed and grown? What new ideas or skills have inspired you? Or what fun tidbit have you learned?

I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below ~~~~~



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