When Emily Freeman announced that she was going to invite readers to join in on her monthly ritual of sharing what she had learned-- however meaningful or not important, life-changing or trivial those things may be-- I knew it was a linkup I'd be joining in on. This seems to be how I blog a lot of the time these days anyway, so why not!
At the end of each month I like to share a few things I’ve learned. Sometimes it’s educational and informative but usually not. Usually I’ve discovered a quirk I didn’t know I had or a fascinating-to-me celebrity connection. It’s a mishmash of ordinary life stuff, things that may go unnoticed if I didn’t decide to write them down.
So fun, right? So here goes. In no particular order, a few things I've learned this month...
1. I bared my soul a bit last week and was deeply encouraged by your comments. Not only those that built me up personally but also those of you who feel the same. And then I read a post by Lisa-Jo Baker and was again reminded of this truth that I am not alone in this inner desire to fit in and this call to be a leader, outside of the circle, simply because that's where the Lord has put me.
We can keep looking for a seat at a more popular table or we can pass the bread basket and an introduction to the women sitting right where we already are.
Everyone is on the outside of something. But that is only half the story. We are all on the inside of something often without even realizing it.
(I think she wrote that for me.)
2. Sometimes even those whose main love language is gifts (ahem, me) need a break from the creativity and hard work of dreaming up and executing an inexpensive yet uber-meaningful something, and it's a beautiful thing when after ten years of marriage a date night with surfboards and a dinner without the interruptions of kids [on the docket for tonight!!] is indeed a gift in and of itself.
3. The rhythm of quiet afternoons (for at least an hour) is life-changing and renewing. Why did we ever get out of the quiet play time habit with Gigi?!
4. Hart of Dixie. Not exactly something I learned this month, but more something I discovered. I saw it on Netflix and thought it looked cute, so I texted my TV guru and asked her if she'd seen it. She had, and she told me I would love it. She was right. It's a little bit of Gilmore Girls, a little bit of The Help with a lot of love triangles, southern hospitality and finding the true self. The perfect lighthearted summer show to have on the iPad during baseball season. :) Anyone else a fan?
5. When reading clicks, it clicks. Just after school ended, Gigi caught the bug and while we may have over half of her phonics book left (and we do plan to finish still), she is officially a Reader. And it's amazing.
6. Sticking to a budget is hard. Cash envelopes are brilliant. If you want to know more about this, read/watch Dave Ramsey. He's rocking our world. In a good way... even when I'm mad at the budget because I really really want those blue mason jars and my new purse (ack!! it's on sale now!) that keep getting squeezed out every month.
7. I'm really bad at writing/working after dinner. I'm just too fried and I am required by my body and mind to chill out with David, reading or watching tv or eating ice cream. Since the end of Simple Homemade, every single time I tell myself I'll write that blog post at night, I never do. Time to figure out some time for myself elsewhere in the day.
8. I love the idea of a dog, but I so do not want/need one right now. We just finished dog-sitting for two weeks and I am always amazed at the amount of dog hair that is left behind. That and the extra time it takes to try to get a dog to go potty on command when I'm already late for a playdate. Of course the plus is that she keeps our floor under the kitchen table clean.
9. It's funny how as moms we can hold on to what we consider part of our children's identities more than they themselves do. It turns out that Gigi isn't actually the-girl-with-the-long-blonde-hair anymore like I thought she was, and her spunky short hair is the perfect fit for her.
10. I love our home. I love opening it to others and cultivating comfortable space with my creativity. But I am not a homebody. Getting out most days is key to our family-with-small-children's success. And by getting out I mean going to the beach, or the pool, or the playground by the beach preferably. Feeding my soul with our happy places makes for better mothering and better days. Bonus points if friends come along with us. :)