A few things I've learned this winter.
1. I am allergic to some antibiotics. I learned this the hard way when I was sick with bronchitis and a sinus infection last month. After about two weeks of not getting better, I finally broke down and went to urgent care. A week into my prescription for amoxicillin, I broke out in a terrible, itchy rash that drove me absolutely mad. Honestly, I would have preferred the sickness to the side effect.
2. Google has created a digital wellbeing app that tracks how much you use your phone. Let’s just say that this was a little too revealing and I wish I could unsee the numbers. Just today, I’ve spent over an hour looking at my phone (and let’s be honest, it’s early in the day, so that number will probably grow). Getting down to the heart level, I know that there are better ways to spend my time and my energy—because isn’t what we give the most of ourselves to what we worship the most? So I’m taking a page from my friend Aliza’s blog and considering what I would rather hold, because what I hold the most is what ends up holding me.
3. Tracking my progress motivates me and helps me reach my goals faster. I know, I know—could there be a more elementary revelation than this? Here’s the thing, I didn’t actually get this until I saw the growth happening. Whether it was building my savings or reading all of the books on my to be read shelf or attending a certain number of yoga classes in a month, actually watching the numbers grow makes me feel kind of unexpectedly giddy. The key to this, of course, is actually starting and sticking to it.
4. My car makes the best prayer closet. Praying out loud in my car is becoming a game changer for me. Sometimes I startle myself with how honest I get without the angst of needy distractions. And isn’t that how we are supposed to pray—with the kind of honesty that surprises ourselves?
5. I am tender because God is tender. It was after my friend Monica came home from a second funeral in as many months. I forget the words I said when I hugged her at our little church’s Sunday gathering, but I have not forgotten her response: she called me tender. She couldn’t have known that I’d spent the last few weeks feeling so much disdain for my own softness and eagerness to love. She couldn’t have known that I’d been feeling ghosted by a friend whose feelings I gave more weight to than my own when making a big decision recently. She called out a part of my belovedness that I’d been wanting to bury and helped me to acknowledge the simple, beautiful truth that I am tender and soft and eager to love because my Creator is tender and soft and eager to love.
6. How much I love Colossians. It overflows with beautiful imagery of growth and continuing down this path towards Jesus. It’s full of invitations for me to rely fully on the work that God is doing in me rather than my own striving for perfection. Paul uses really intense language to get his points across because he does not want his friends to miss out on the mystery. It is beautiful. Focusing on it over the past several weeks has made me fall more in love with the Word.
7. How to do chest compressions and bandage wounds. I have wanted to get certified in first aid and CPR for a long time. Honestly, a lot of this is due to my anxiety. In the event that someone close to me were hurt, would I know what to do? So I decided not to put it off any longer, and I registered for a class with the Red Cross last month and practiced CPR and how to use the AED machine. After an eight hour class, I left with a certificate and a sense of accomplishment.
8. To be radical is to be rooted. Recently, I read that the root rad means “to have roots.” What this actually looks like in my life is a daily practice of humbling myself through vulnerability. It looks like recognizing the person I was created to be and daily choosing to “sink myself into it,” as Galatians 6 says in the MSG translation. It looks like discipline and slowness and discerning between what is vapor and what is eternal. It looks like remembering that God delights in giving me all the fullness of himself and that I can live totally free from accusation in Jesus’ name.
What are some things you’ve learned recently? Sharing is caring!