What I’m Learning – Spring 2019 Edition

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One of my favorite things to pay attention to in life is how God keeps bringing specific themes across my path. It feels like a grand, beautiful puzzle, one I’ll be constructing all my life.

And every once in a while, I find a piece that fits. The pleasure and curious contentment this brings is a thrill that’s hard to equal. It’s like a little postcard the Lord drops in my mailbox, just to say,

“Hey. I’m thinking about you. You’re on the right track. Keep going.”

I keep a running list of things-I-am-learning in my bullet journal. I actually have several places I keep ideas and notes, but my bujo (this one is my favorite) is where I turn the most consistently to record a light bulb moment.

Here are some of my favorite and fun takeaways from this Spring.

N0. 1 My identity isn’t dependent on my performance.

This is one that’s been growing in my consciousness for a while now, and really grabbing onto it has been life-changing. The concept of the identity we’ve accepted about ourselves permeates every single area of our lives—how we judge our own actions, how we view God, how we treat others, etc. This spring, I started writing it all down. We’ll see what comes of it, but meanwhile, here’s a post I wrote on the subject that Kindred Mom kindly published in April.

Springtime in Georgia

N0. 2 Having a blog is apparently important to me, so here we go again.

I dropped my first official blog sometime last spring, and let go of the URL in the fall. But seeing as how the desire was hibernating, not disappearing, I’m starting over. I feel a lot more focused and aware of what actually needs to get done in an endeavor like this—and what doesn’t.

Welcome to the new home for words I write. We’ll see how this goes.

N0. 3 Facebook Feed Eradicator is the best thing since Facebook.

I read about this browser extension a while back, and quickly installed it. I’m not an affiliate for it, I just love. it. that. much.

I don’t usually have the Facebook app on my phone, so the majority of the time I was spending using the platform was while on my desktop. The extension completely blocks the news feed, and replaces it with random quote—all you see are the sidebars and navigation bar at the top.

So, if you use Facebook as I do (primarily for business and information, not for keeping up with people that you don’t spend time with in real life), you might enjoy the simplicity and ability to focus that it provides.

I definitely saw an increase in my concentration, when I began using the news feed eradicator.

N0. 4 Beauty is its own form of evangelism.

Great writers and theologians have been talking about this for eons, but I’m new to the discussion. It doesn’t take much to convince those of us who follow God that all lovely beauty has its origin in him. Wherever we find beauty in the world, it can point us back to him, if we have the eyes to see it. In addition, beauty has a way of walking into the room, quietly, unassumingly, in a different manner than either truth or goodness.

It’s funny how I’ve often considered beauty an “extra,” a superfluous add-on. One glance out the window on a snowy day or a springtime morning points out that God’s opinion seems to be quite the opposite. Perhaps this is part of what Paul was speaking of in Romans 1, when he said that God has shown himself to us through creation.

At any rate, I’m learning to look for beauty and appreciate for its own sake, instead of trying to meld it to a “deeper” meaning. God created beauty, and that is sufficient reason to rejoice in it.

In light of that…

N0. 5 Making my home pretty makes me happy.

For a long time, I underestimated the power of small actions in the home-decorating department. I felt inadequate and unsure of how to create a house that was not only functional, but also lovely, inspiring, and made me smile.

I’m still figuring a lot out, but my biggest discovery has been that much of what I already have can create a look I want.

For instance, about a month ago, I took all the pretty bath products I’d been given for Christmas and put them on display in my bathroom. It took seeing a picture, rummaging in my cabinet, and ten minutes. But I grinned on the inside for days, every time I stepped into the room.

Considering what I already own, and considering how it could be used differently, doesn’t come naturally for me. I struggle to come up with ideas on my own. I use Pinterest, the homes of my friends, and these books to get me started.

N0. 6 I want Easter to be a much bigger focus in our family going forward.

I love Christmas. Like, really love it. So much so that I also celebrate Christmas in July. (No joke. Cookies, lights, a tree, the works. I’ll share more about it next month!)

As important as the meaning of Christmas is for a believer, Easter is twice that. Unfortunately, how we celebrate it tends to be comparatively lopsided. Christmas is a season, while Easter is often treated as a one-day event (although many liturgical traditions do attempt to celebrate for an entire season—but it doesn’t get the hype everywhere else).

This has got me thinking about how to make the physical, visible, and tangible celebration of the resurrection of Jesus a season-long celebration for our family. I don’t have all the ideas I want yet, but at least I have learned that this is something to pay attention to.

What about you? What have you learned this spring? Share in the comments below.

This post is one of many shared by a community of writers who meet up every quarter on Emily P. Freeman’s blog, to trade what we’ve learned. Check it out here.

8 thoughts on “What I’m Learning – Spring 2019 Edition”

  1. Amanda,
    I’m learning that God gives us gifts of friendship. This past year opened my eyes to many different types and all are precious.

  2. So great to read these ponderings: YES, you should definitely persevere in blogging and sharing your good thoughts.
    I’m with you in the celebration of Easter as a priority.

    • I know – I read about it in a story on Medium, and quickly installed it. It’s the best.
      Good luck with getting back into blogging! I really had to change my perspective on the whole thing, in order to jump back in, but it’s working, so far!

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