1. I love the smell of Pine. I’ve long loved the smell of Christmas trees, but always avoided the smell of anything Pine-scented for fear that it would smell exactly like Pine Sol. HOWEVER, this year thanks to this lovely scented Countertop Spray in Iowa Pine from Mrs. Meyers– I’m a believer. Then my friend Amanda brought these Vintage Spruce Candles from Target to our Christmas Favorite Things Party– and it basically smells like living inside the most beautiful Christmas tree ever — minus the sap. And neither smells like something with which you would clean your bathtub. Just clean and fresh and completely appropriate well after Christmas. Clearly, since I’m still hung up on it.
2. I discovered Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel.
And let me just say, WOW. Thank you to the sweet girl at Sephora who pointed me in that direction. She mentioned it was a great tool to help your entire eye area stand out. I’m a conscientous eyeliner and mascara gal, but my eyebrows have always grown really slowly, so they get waxed about once a year and I call it good (I know, and I’m giving you beauty tips??) But this stuff is pretty stellar. In the same way that false eyelashes make your whole face look “awake” — a little swipe (literally, a little goes a long, long way,) of the brow gel adds a big “little something” to your eyebrows. Trust me. Ok, enough talk about eyebrows.
3. I discovered ALOT of great music. Some was new, some was just new to me but if you are looking for a few good tunes, check these lovelies out.
- Ellie Holcomb- As Sure As the Sun (Personal Fave- #8)
- Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors- Good Light (Personal Fave- #4) ** Drew & Ellie are married and they make gorgeous music together, along with the rest of the band. So fun.
- Christa Wells- Feed Your Soul (Personal Fave- #5) **I had the sincere joy of hearing Christa in person at the #writersbarn event last September and her lyrics have become a part of my permanent playlist since then.
- Colony House- When I Was Younger (Personal Fave- #7) **Fun Fact– Two of the band members are sons of Steven Curtis Chapman. Their music is upbeat and a fun album to have playing in the kitchen while you chop, stir and sauté away. Ask me how I know.
- Ben Rector- Live in Denver (Personal Fave- #12, which was previously only available by pulling up the YouTube video, so yay!) I normally don’t love Live Albums, but I enjoyed this one, because well– Ben Rector.
4. Perhaps the MOST important lesson- I learned to respect the slow, the quiet, the lull. When I think back over the year I’m aware that we had moments where a lot seemed to be happening and moments where our lives seemed rhythmically slow. I learned I am happy with both, and I need both.
There are times when we are waiting on God and it might feel as though we are merely waiting on our selves. It can feel stifling to feel as though I’m waiting on myself to get my act together, frustrating even– to think I see what my next step is but not know when and how to get there.
Back in September, Christa Wells said something that has stayed with me regarding the quiet wait- “Much good happens in the space where nothing is happening.”
The space where nothing appears to be happening to advance what it seems God has called us to do– can be a long and sometimes lonely wait.
I have felt this off and on this year and at the end of the day it boils down to one thing, my impatience. I say I trust Him and His timing, but the process often seems too long for my taste and I stop short in my enjoyment of it.
I miss the opportunity to just rest in His care and to watch the story unfold. I become just another Israelite with a long history of seeing God act but yet whining why He hasn’t “moved” in me yet. I’m realizing He IS moving– in me– in the quiet, the time of little goings-on, the lull. Nothing is wasted when He is the artist making something beautiful of all my broken parts. I want Him to build this house, and I want to be ready to not only wait for as long as it takes, but to wait with the anxious anticipation of a child.
What did you learn in 2014?