One of my favorite practices is the monthly Share What We Learned link-up with Emily Freeman. It helps me notice and pay attention a bit more. The monthly recap is fun but the annual recap usually throws me for a loop– so this year I took to Instagram to remind myself of the highlights and lessons learned. I’ll give you two guesses of what I found.
Pictures of coffee.
Iced Coffee. Hot Coffee. Black Coffee. Coffee with a book. Coffee on the porch of a cabin. Coffee on Main Street in Disney World. Coffee at Allume. I’m really not sure what that says about my year. Was I that tired all year long or is coffee that much of a work of art to me? Either way, in 2015 I apparently learned how to drink coffee like a Gilmore.
Kidding. I actually only drink one coffee a day, I just happen to think it’s pretty.
There actually were several highlights during our last dance around the sun.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS OF 2015:
- I read more than SIXTEEN books, start to finish. That may not be many for some– but the last time I read that many books in one year I was in college and it was required! As much as I love to read, I have always been a book stacker instead of a book devourer. But, this year I set out to simply read more– and 16 books is an accomplishment for this girl. My 2016 reading goal is 24 books. That’s two a month and my hope is to make it about 50% Fiction. (Curious what I read? I wrote a little list below. I would recommend nearly every one.
- By God’s grace and the help of a very patient husband, I finished my first book proposal. The future is certainly unknown to me in that department, but just completing the task was a major mountain climbed. The technical and spiritual processes of it all were entirely educational and, mostly— fun. Such a valuable exercise.
- We had a great year as a family. We took a few trips and enjoyed both travels and times of just being home. We cooked a few new things, worked on our house a little, and just loved being together.
LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2015:
- We spend our whole childhood standing on our tip -toes to be grown and then relish in the things that make us feel like children again. My daughters are just six and three and already– I hear them say things about growing up and being big. And I hear them say it as I hear my younger self ringing in my own ears. One day I’ll be grown and I’ll do… They do it already, I did it for sure.But a couple of weeks ago I sat in a dark theatre rich with the smell of salty popcorn and anticipation. As the words, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..” rose slowly up for everyone to read, I sneaked a look around at a room full of grown-ups and I saw one thing: sheer delight. Many in that theatre remembered what it was like to be small and not be able to read well enough or fast enough to know what those opening words said. But now we are big enough, and it feels good to still feel a little small. And it is still every bit as cool. It’s why I clutched my husband’s arm the first time the Millennium Falcon came across the screen. For the very same reason I teared up when we met Belle at the Magic Kingdom in September and saw the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle. I feel it still when I curl up on my parents couch and sigh. It’s interesting to me– and I don’t really understand fully but I think all of us grown-up’s? We have much to learn about being small. Being like children in our delight and our faith and trust and enjoyment of every little thing. And P.S.– did Chewbacca seem taller to anyone else? I have a theory about him being bigger this time around.. since well, many of the audience would be bigger than the original movies. (ok, Star Wars-Talk Over.. but in my defense–as a child of 1982, The original trilogy was basically the background music for most of my childhood.)
- Perspective is crucial when listening to the voices of others. It is possible that I can learn many things from those I disagree with on many things. I can listen and appreciate the input of people I have little to nothing in common with, from one Image-bearer to another, I can listen and hear them. I can learn. There is a need for balance when listening to others.. others that in the past we would be afraid of. Those we may feel threatened by and want to build a wall to keep out. Balance, sure. Wisdom, definitely. I can disagree and STILL BE RESPECTFUL of who they are as a human being. And at the beginning and end of everything, there is God’s truth as the only REAL truth we can know. If God is silent on a matter, than I need humility above all else, above all opinions.
Those two lessons stood out to me the most. What did you learn last year?
Books I Read:
- Dear Mr Knightley, Katherine Reay. Fiction.
- Lizzy and Jane, Katherine Reay. Fiction. (I really love Katherine Reay books.)
- Longing for Paris, Sarah Mae. Non-Fiction.
- Nobody’s Cuter than You, Melanie Shankle. Non-Fiction.
- Where’d You Go Bernadette, Maria Semple. Fiction.
- Wild in the Hollow, Amber Haines. Non-Fiction.
- Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist. Non-Fiction.
- You and Me Forever, Francis Chan. Non-Fiction
- Speak, Nish Weiseth. Non-Fiction.
- The Fringe Hours, Jessica Turner. Non-Fiction
- The Song, Chris Fabry. Fiction.
- Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott. Non-Fiction.
- Bringing Lucy Home, Jennifer Phillips. Non-Fiction
- Longing for More, Timothy Williard. Non-Fiction, Devotional. I began this in Fall of 2014, but it’s a daily companion for me.
- Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson. Fiction. I read this to teach to my 8th Grade literature students– I can’t believe I had never read it before.
- Delicious, Ruth Reichl. Fiction.
(Books I began in 2015 but am still reading,)
Curious Faith, Logan Wolfram (This beauty releases March 1st !!)
The Bronte Plot, Katherine Reay (I am nearly finished with this one, and I hate that it’s almost over!)
Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg. Non-Fiction
Anne of Avonlea, L.M. Montgomery. Fiction. I mean, of course.
Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers. Fiction. This one I’m slowly going through with my Lucy girl.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” –Mary Ann Radmacher