What I've learned:
1. Time flies. More specifically, six months of marriage flies. I think this is a realization that can only come with age, and the relentless pursuit and collection of people and moments that make your soul feel full. Craig and I have laughed and shared more in the last six months than ever before. I would marry him again in a minute.
2. I am more prepared for my job than I originally thought. After two weeks of training on the keys to child welfare, there was so much I found that I already knew how to do, which is really exciting given that I recently asked my boss if I was qualified to send a fax to a doctor's office for a child's medical records.
3. Confidence comes with experience. With number two in mind, no amount of book knowledge can really prepare you for this kind of work. You have to go out and be willing to go out and get some dirt under your nails. So far, I have driven out to several home visits with my supervisors or coworkers, and sat in a court room to watch a case unfold that would have been appropriate for Law & Order. Also, I stayed by myself in a hotel for two weeks for training. The longest I had ever been away from home and my husband.
4. I love my coworkers. There is just something about this office and the people in it. Typically, the turn around rate in social work is through the roof -- but most of my coworkers have been here going on ten years. They are some of the most encouraging people I have ever met. One might also get the impression that social workers are incredibly serious, but the whole building is full of jokers, and a day does not go by that we don't laugh about something together.
5. Generally, things are much less scary than I make them out to be. Like staying in a hotel by myself for two weeks, or my first solo visit with a foster child who is, shall we say, not low risk. Everything anxious in me leads me to believe that things are going to turn out horribly, when time and time again, I am reminded that the Lord is in control.
6. My bank is super on top of things. Like security breaches after I shopped at Target. It had barely reached the news that Target's database was hacked when I received a phone call from our bank saying that my information had potentially been compromised and that they were going to cancel my current debit card and send me a new one.
7. Don't put too much emphasis on the blog statistics page. Numbers are not everything.
What I'm reading:
"How I've Taught People to Treat Me Differently," by Allison Vesterfelt.
"When Christmas Stretches You," by Ann Voskamp.
"I Know Close to Nothing, but I Believe in These Things," by Hannah Brencher.
"Grace for the Good Girl," and "A Million Little Ways," by Emily Freeman. [Sidenote: I fly through most fiction, but when it comes to books that really challenge me, it could take forever to finish. Especially recently, I have tried to be much more intentional about reading slowly and prayerfully.]
What I'm laughing at:
What I'm watching:
Craig and I don't actually have cable, but during my two-week hotel stay, I managed to catch The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood. I generally don't have a problem with Carrie or her music, though I'm not an avid fan of the country genre. I only have this to say: if Julie Andrews did it right the first time, there's no sense in trying to do it over again.
What I'm listening to:
Top posts of 2013:
Dear Church, I'm Still Here.
Note to Self, but also to You.
This is not an open letter.
Linking up with Emily Freeman for "What I Learned," and Leigh Kramer for "What I'm Into."