Years and years ago, John started a dinner table tradition. Each night, he asked what did you learn today. It did not matter if it was a school day or a Saturday in the middle of summer vacation, John asked the question. If you were at the table, you answered- including me and John.
That simple question taught our children to think about and process what they learned. It helped them learn how to share what they learned with others. It made them critical thinkers.
That is why I decided to take part in Emily Freeman’s What I Learned monthly link up.
The process of reflecting on what we learned- the fun and the serious- is an important part of changing our story. We need to know where we are to know where we need to go.
As a part of this process, I am going to resume linking up with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into monthly round-up. Remembering the things I like and how I spend my time is not only fun, it reveals the why behind what I learned.
What I’m Into:
On My Nightstand:
I read four books this month, and I am deep into a fifth.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty: I actually listened to this book. It was my first audiobook- if I don’t count all the books I listened to on record as a child. What a way to start!
The Husband’s Secret is a fascinating story about the impact of secrets. It stirred deep thoughts, causing me to wonder how far I am willing to go to protect my secrets and the secrets of those I love most. A MUST READ!
Bright Side by Kim Holden: This was not my favorite book, yet it provoked great conversation during book club.
In fact, I have three blog posts in the works as a result of our discussion.
*trigger and content warnings- mostly for language
For the Love by Jen Hatmaker: I DEVOURED this book!
The official release date isn’t until August 18, however you can already preorder it on amazon.
Since I am a part of the book launch team I will be talking about this book ad nauseum over the next few months. So, I won’t say more, but trust me it is A MUST READ!
So, I was completely surprised that I not only liked it but that I loved it! I will not wait for the movie to read Allegiant.
In fact, I already borrowed it from a friend. It is waiting patiently for me to finish my current book and our next book club book.
On the Screen:
Truth: I do not watch a lot of TV.
I am currently involved in zero television shows.
This is stunning considering I use to consume TV the way I consume Dr. Pepper.
However, I love movies.
The Devil Wears Prada must be on HBO this month, because I watched it no less than 3 times. For the life of me, I can’t figure it out, but when Ann Hathaway and Meryl Streep are on the screen all else fades away. It doesn’t matter what I am doing.
I also watched my other nemesis. Star Trek. Specifically, Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Captain Kirk and Meryl Streep? I know; my taste in movies is…. unique.
On my calendar:
Fortunately, nothing major happened this month. The most adventurous thing I did was attend a ladies only small group outing.
I am grateful March was uneventful because after this weekend I have something major planned every week until July 4.
On my heart:
My daughter is preparing to leave the country on an 11 month long mission trip.
My oldest is preparing to leave the country for the summer to digitize New Testament manuscripts at the National Library in Greece.
My youngest is just preparing and growing up- fortunately, he is only leaving the country for one week this summer.
Parents, Hug your babies now. Before you know it they will be traveling the world.
J is making a name for himself in division 1 college baseball.
A (girl) is developing her talents and finding her way through high school.
Like my youngest, A (boy) is growing up so fast I can hardly catch my breath over the changes.
This picture is two years old! The shortest is now the tallest, that pretty girl no longer wears braces, and the tall one is in college and on his way to professional baseball. NO JOKE! Have fun with your kids now. So you can keep having fun when they are big.
My heart is full and my prayers are long for these six amazing people.
On the blog:
I finally wrote a post I have been waiting a year to write.
I also started updating my archives. That led to a good laugh as I reread the first blog post I ever wrote. Front page and My Space? My, how things have changed.
Everything I did this month taught me something. Some lessons are still in process. Others are coming into shape. Some I hold close to my heart. Others I am ready to share.
What I Learned in March:
1. I love audiobooks!
I didn’t think I would.
They are great for doubling down on reading. I am not a good multi-tasker when it comes to reading books in the same genre. I discovered I can read a hard copy fiction book and listen to a fiction book at the same time with no trouble.
Also, audiobooks are the perfect solution to my reading in bed problem:
There is no light to keep me awake. I can set a timer so I can easily find my place the next day. Because my eyes are closed, I am not tempted to read just-one-more-page (which we all know is code for the-rest-of-the-book).
With audiobooks I drift off to sleep naturally and get a little reading in!
2. I like planning our family’s meals.
In an effort to manage my time and reduce stress, I tried eMeals.
eMeals is a cost-effective, time-saving program that delivers a menu and a grocery list to your inbox every week. Because there are tons of menu options to choose from anyone can find a meal plan that fits your family’s budget and preferences.
eMeals is amazing, but it isn’t for me.
I love to cook, and apparently, I love going to the trouble of planning those meals.
For people with little time and less interest, eMeals is a great, inexpensive solution. If you want to give eMeals a try, they offer a 14 day free trial.
3. 750 million people lack access to clean water.
This fact humbled me.
I complain about drinking bland, flat, not-cold enough water daily. I am learning to drink more water and to express gratitude for something that most of the world considers a luxury.
4. Community isn’t just for individuals.
Our pastor just concluded a three week series on community. This series and a chapter in Jen Hatmaker’s book caused me to realize that couple friends are just as important as individual friends.
As a result, my husband and I committed to build close couple friendships. I am excited about a few ideas we have in the works to make relationships a reality.
5. I love photography.
My friend Tanya has been pestering (I mean, encouraging) me to get back into the habit of taking pictures. After all her pestering (I mean, encouraging) I agreed to take a photography class with her and to participate in a weekly photo challenge.
I had a blast playing with my cameras on Saturday. I cannot wait to share my pictures and post with you. Here is a sneak peek.
Without following the link trail, can you guess what word I am trying to capture through my photo?
March was a good month. Had I not reflected on what I am into and what I learned, I would not have come to that conclusion. It was full of challenges and wacky weather, but the good far outweighed the bad. Thank you, Emily and Leigh for leading me through this process.
Do you think reflection is important? Do you take time to think about what you are learning? Share your thoughts in the comments. I love hearing from you.