Here are a few things I learned in January…
1. Moments of joy and moments of sadness can exist right alongside each other, almost in the same breath. December was rough. The month began with the sadness of losing another baby in miscarriage and most of December was a bit clouded by the strange mix of joy and pain we felt. I would have never have chosen to experience that kind of tragedy at Christmas. Would anyone? But God in His wisdom gave us the gift of reveling in bright moments throughout a time that would have been somewhat overshadowed by what we experienced. I have never been so happy to see the girls just being together and loving their little lives as I did in December. Our joy was not tainted by the sadness, but our true Hope was made more clear. More on this here. It has taken me this long, until late January to really see this truth at work in our lives, that whether chaos, frustration, or sadness is the order of the moment; joy, peace, and light are right there– we need only pay attention to them.
2. It is the quality of a respite, not necessarily the quantity that matters. January began bright and shining with books, coffee and the beach. Lance and I took a quick overnight trip to one of our favorite spots and spent hours talking, eating, reading and hopeful-dreaming about the new year. It was absolutely everything we needed. I considered the difference of a brief but peaceful time like that and one of say, our week long vacation to Disney last year. Much longer, much more activities and completely 100% magical, but not at ALL the same tranquil feeling as watching the waves dance in over the top of a really good book. Vacationing with toddlers is absolutely crazy/wonderful but rather less like a vacation and more like herding a pack of feral cats through Walmart on a Sunday afternoon. However, if we did not do one, we may not really appreciate the other. We may not appreciate moments like this– in the same way. I am truly thankful for both. It did cause me to realize that for me, when I’m seeking rest and refreshing, a latte and a book are a better use of that time than a busy grocery store and a long list.
3. I learned how to make my own face cream. I know, how crunchy granola am I? Seriously though, I’ve been using the same yellow Vitamin E face cream that comes in a huge nondescript container from Sams Club for oh, maybe 10 years. As in, before I met my husband. It’s smooth, creamy and for about 7.00 you can moisturize your face for about 2-3 years. I’ve actually only bought it maybe three times in our relationship. Except that here’s the thing… bad, scary, hard-to-pronounce ingredients? It’s got them, it’s got them all. I’ve been slapping that stuff on my face for a DECADE. Of course I tried other things over the years with shorter ingredient lists and higher price tags, but they always underwhelmed me. Enter Pinterest. I noticed this blog on making homemade skin creams using shea butter and essential oils and thanks to our new relationship with Amazon Prime– lo and behold a container of shea butter *miraculously appeared on my doorstep within 48 hours so I could try it. I whipped the shea butter with a mixer until it was fluffy and then added the oils. I used Frankincense, Lavender and Melaleuca. and I will go a bit heavier on the Lavender next time. Otherwise it smells a bit too much like the gifts the Wise Men brought. The Frankincense is extremely beneficial for wrinkles and fine lines and the Melaleuca gently kills the bad and keeps the oily skin factor way down. The verdict: All in all, I really enjoy using it. When summer comes and it’s a bit more humid, I may choose to change the base to something less thick– but at the end of the day I love knowing what’s going on my skin.
Okay, your turn friend– what did YOU learn in January? I would really love to know.
I’m linking up with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky to share what we learned, won’t you join us?