What I Learned in April
1. I learned a lot about writing (and more) at Faith and Culture 2015. That experience was the highlight of April. I’m still processing all that I heard while I was there. One of the speakers was Tony Kriz (if you read Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, you might know him as “Tony the beat poet”). He generously shared a writing checklist that he uses before publishing his writing. I found it to be helpful, and since many of you are also writers, I’ll pass it along. Tony’s Writing Checklist
2. If I want to get the most benefit out of something that I think is important, investing, with actual money, is the surest way to make it happen. Maybe it’s because I’m somewhat frugal (even though I hate that word). I ‘ve learned that I put my efforts where I’ve put my money. Case in point: I’ve been extra busy lately, and my workouts have been sparse- but the weekly barre class that I pay extra for (in advance) is the one that I never miss.
3. Unroll Me is my favorite tool for managing large amounts of e-mail. I’m on a lot of subscriber lists for newsletters and such, and I do want to read them, occasionally, but I also don’t want my inbox to be clogged. It makes it hard for me to see the important stuff that needs my response. This free service allows me to unsubscribe with one click from anything I don’t want, and sends anything else I choose into a daily digest. Genius.
4. I live in a very damp climate (Seattle) and I live in an older home. This is a recipe for mold/mildew problems. I’ve been battling this issue for years, and it’s always the biggest problem during the winter. I have tried everything. Every closet has damp rid hangers in them, but I was still having problems- and constantly replacing them. This fall, I wasn't going to mess around, so I bought the largest tubs of Damp Rid (meant for garages and boats) and placed one under each of our beds. Now that we’ve made it through winter, I think I can safely say that I’ve finally beaten the mildew issues! I have no affiliation with Damp Rid. I’m just happy to have finally found something that worked. It's my housekeeping tip for the month.
5. Not all callings last a lifetime. Take the lessons that you’ve been taught and apply them to whatever comes next. Nothing is wasted. My own experiences, the books I’ve been reading, recent events in the life of my daughter…they’ve all been working together to bring home this point.
6. “When children can’t find their elusive passions, yet feel compelled to proclaim one, they grab onto an interest, label it a passion and buy the requisite instrument or equipment. This is not a harmless charade, because fake passions crowd out real ones.” This article, titled Our Push For Passion and Why it Harms Kids, by Lisa Heffernan was something that I really needed to read. Yes, I already knew this, but I needed to be reminded again. I found myself feeling uncomfortable in the void that was left after my daughter quit ballet, and this helped me to relax and allow her the time she needs to explore and experiment with her newfound free time.
7. When I don’t know how to pray for my kids, I can always use scripture, and pray that over them. Arabah Joy has made a wonderful set of cards for this purpose. You get can get them here.
8. Netflix is bringing making a reboot of Full House, called Fuller House! It doesn’t come out until 2016, but I’m excited. This was my favorite show as a child. It appeals to the cheesy feel good side of me. I like cheesy- and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
9. Those at home lash extension kits are great- if you like the feeling of having sand in your eyes! Sorry, I know, many people are raving about these kits, but I guess I found my limit when it comes to vanity. I tried for three days, and every day, I couldn’t wait to come home and take off my make-up. Sure, they made my eyelashes look great, but the flakes that kept falling in my eyes were making me tear up all day.
10. I learned that God is for me and that he really loves me- in a deeper way than I have ever known before.
So there you have it- a mixed bag of serious, inspirational, mundane, and silly. That was April for me. What have you been learning? If you'd like join the link up, go here, to Emily's blog.