What I Learned

What I Learned : May 2016

After a long weekend, which somehow officially marks the beginning of summer, it’s suddenly going to be June tomorrow.  My girls still have four weeks of school, so our summer hasn’t arrived, but we’re counting down the days and looking forward to time at the beach, lazy mornings, front porch dinners and reading for days.


Once again, I’m linking up with Emily to do a round-up of things learned this past month.  May was a full month for us, and my goal was simply to survive.  We made it.  By God’s grace, for sure, but we made it.

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1. I could get used to a day off every week.  Bradley took a four day weekend last weekend  for the sole purpose of giving me a day off.  He gave me two rules:  Do whatever you want and don’t think about anything at the house.  It was lovely.  And I needed it.  The weather even cooperated and I finished off the day sitting on the beach in absolute quiet.

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2. Clark’s shoes aren’t just for my Mom.  We did some shopping while in Pennsylvania over spring break, and Bradley took me into a Clark’s outlet and said I wasn’t allowed to leave until I had purchased two pairs of shoes: flip flops and some wedges.  He knows how difficult it is for me to spend money on myself.  I’ve been hesitant to buy Clark’s because I felt they were for older generations.  But my feet usually hurt because I only buy the least expensive shoes I can find.  The flip-flops have been worn to the zoo and I can wear my wedges to church carrying children up and down steps and my feet are never sore.  Lesson learned:  invest in good shoes.


3. Podcasts are helping me keep my house clean.  Yes, I am so behind in the times because I’m just now entering the world of podcasts.  I have dabbled in a few, but every week I look forward to the hope*writers’ podcast.  It’s SO good.  Emily Freeman and Myquillin Smith have been two of my favorite internet people/authors for a long while now, so to listen to them chat every week, along with their Dad and friend Brian, is a gift.  I reward myself with podcasts:  I can’t listen to them unless I’m doing some sort of housework, usually with Cooper by my side.  This means that my floors are cleaner than they have been in a long time and the clothes are getting put away more consistently.

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4. The site of kitchen counters covered with dirty dishes and leftover food makes me extremely happy.  It means that people sat around our table talking and enjoying food and fellowship.  At one point during the evening, someone came in to get a drink and asked me, “Are you just in here slaving away in the kitchen?”  My reply: “Actually, I love this.  I love creating a place for people to talk and be together.”  Yes, it means I don’t always enter as much of the conversation as I’d like.  But that’s part of hospitality.  It’s opening up your home, inviting people in and encouraging community.

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5. Potty training goes more smoothly when I enlist prayer from others and focus on my heart in the midst of it.  Potty training my oldest two girls was the worst.  Yes, it’s messy and inconvenient, but it also brought out a lot of sin through wrong responses on my part.  Jennavieve is almost three, and I’ve been putting off training her for a long time because of my previous struggles and the fact that she has been a challenging child to us in many ways.  The day I started training her, I texted my mom and sisters, asking them to pray for my heart as I trained her.  I also prayed that she would catch on quickly.  In addition, I fasted from Instagram until she was consistently using the potty.  Maybe that sounds weird, but it was helpful to pray for my heart each time I wanted to scroll through my feed.   Amazingly, she has picked this up super fast and we’re down to her going almost completely on her own.  I’m so thankful for God’s strength and help in these seemingly small details of our lives.  And, I’m also thankful that we now have just two children in diapers.

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  • Reply Margaret

    We had a Clarks in Scotland when we lived there and it was a very popular place for younger people to buy shoes (my two favourite winter boots came from there). I was really surprised when we moved back to find that people my age (can I still say I’m “young”?) didn’t see it the same way. I’m glad that is changing! Those wedges are so cute!

    May 31, 2016 at 3:45 pm
  • Reply Bekah

    I had to smile at your podcast part! My husband and I do one every week and the number one thing people tell us they do while they listen is clean their house! {And at Christmas, apparently we helped wrap a lot of gifts.} Perhaps I should learn from all of you and use podcasts as my own cleaning therapy. I hate cleaning!

    May 31, 2016 at 7:29 pm
  • Reply B

    Found your blog through the link-up on Chatting at the Sky and thought I’d de-lurk to recommend Jamie Ivey’s podcast “Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey.” She interviews inspiring women every week, and she even interviewed Emily Freeman a few months ago. (I came across it when she interviewed Mandy Rose from House of Rose, and I’ve been hooked ever since.)
    Enjoy! 🙂

    June 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm
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