What I Learned in 2015
This year, with the beginning of this blog and my book writing, I was on a steep learning curve. It was challenging but good! I certainly can't say I was bored in 2015. Most months, I participated in Emily P. Freeman's once a month link-up at Chatting at the Sky, called What I Learned. I'm happy that I have these posts to look back on, to see what I learned throughout the year.
With the end of the year upon us, Emily has invited people to do a What I Learned wrap-up of the entire year. I thought I'd share one thing from each month, little pieces of information (some serious, some silly) that were not only helpful to me but things I hope will be useful for you, too.
This was the month I was preparing to launch Above the Waves. My nose was buried in books full time as I researched the topic of trusting in God. Looking back, I can see that I learned to listen better. I wasn't writing yet, publicly, I was just learning and listening to God, doing my best to hear what His plans were for me and the year ahead, and I can see now, that this was just what was needed.
" I will wait to watch Downton Abbey with the rest of the country next season. I got impatient and watched it on the UK schedule last fall, via a website. But then I couldn’t say anything! When my friends were making comments about it on social media, I had to be quiet. Do you know how hard that is?! That was a lonely place to be. I learned that this is a social show, best shared with friends."
I wrote that in March. But I guess the lesson didn't stick. The pull of Downton Abbey was too strong. I've watched the final season already. I have to be quiet now, so I don't ruin it for my friends. Once again, I'll have to stay out of the conversation even though I really want to talk about the show! Patience is something I need to work on.
I learned some interesting information from the reader survey that I gave. Some practical things, like darkening and enlarging the font and streamlining my blog to make content easier to find- by making snippets of my posts...those were easy to implement and change.
I've been trying to learn how to use Twitter. Here's something weird and random I learned: if you tag someone in the middle or end of a tweet (-Life moves pretty fast @FerrisBueller) anyone can see it. But if you use the @ at the beginning of a tweet (@FerrisBueller -Life moves pretty fast), only you, the other person, and your mutual friends can see it. If you want everyone to see it and you tag someone at the beginning of a tweet, you have to add a period. (.@FerrisBueller -Life Moves Pretty Fast) I didn't know that. Maybe you did. I'm still probably making a lot of dumb mistakes, but if you want to find me on Twitter, you can do that here.
Squad = group of friends My teen daughter sometimes refers to her group of friends as "squad". This was a new use of that word for me, and I thought it was unique to my daughter and her friends- but no. Even Patrick Steward and Ian McKellan, old as they are, knew better than me on this. This story, about the two friends, asking to join Taylor Swift's squad made me laugh.
I learned that another way to look at the Sermon on the Mount, in Mathew 5-7, is to see it as a description of who God is. As Christians, we are blessed, not because we successfully live up to those standards, but because Christ did- and we are in Christ. It's a little shift in thinking that makes a big difference.
Costco has the best pumpkin pie. It’s better than any homemade pie I’ve ever tried, and definitely better than Safeway’s. Yeah, we’ve been doing some research at my house…you know, getting ready for the holidays and all. ; )
Shared unpleasant circumstances can bring people together in a way that is quite pleasant, sometimes. As I've mentioned before, my husband and I spend a lot of our weekends sitting on bleachers, watching our son play football. We hadn't gotten to know the other parents very well- as everyone kept to themselves. That all changed on one stormy Saturday this October. A couple of thoughtful families brought canopies to set up in the bleachers, and invited everyone else to sit and crowd close under them, to stay out of the rain. That's when everyone finally got to know each other- and it ended up being a lot of fun. I enjoyed that rainy game more than any other of the season.
This was the month I was working on book edits. I learned about asking for help...how to do it, how not to do it, and how to communicate more clearly to get what I need.
"God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:9
There is much to be thankful for at the close of this year. God is faithful. The privilege of writing in this space has been a blessing to me, and I pray that you've been blessed by reading. I think of all the beautiful friendships, thanks to blogging, that have been made over the course of the past year and my heart is filled with gratitude. I'm looking forward to what's in store for 2016 and I wish you all a very happy New Year.