I'm joining Emily P. Freeman in her quarterly posts focused on reflecting over what we learned during the the past season. While winter doesn't "feel" finished where I live in Pennsylvania, I'm sharing this post with great hope that spring will come in mid-March. In the meantime, I have much to reflect on from this winter, but here are five things that I've learned so far.
1. I'm a mom!
Brandon and I were surprised and delighted to find out in December that we're expecting our first child! Our little one is due around August 18th, and we couldn't be more excited! At the same time, it has been odd to realize that I'm a mom already and that I have a lot to learn as we enter this new season of life. Stay tuned for more on the Mama Madi front.
2. Structure is helpful in my time with Jesus.
I once thought that "mature" Christians don't need to read devotionals during their time with Jesus. They just read the Bible chapter by chapter, right? (ha!) Well, I realized in January that I needed a different method for spending regular time in the Bible. I just can't focus mentally when it comes to reading the Bible chapter by chapter in this season of life. So I pulled out a devotional that I bought a few years ago called New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. It has been such a help in my time with Jesus each day.
Paul Tripp offers a reflection on the gospel for each day of the year and shares a passage of Scripture that pertains to the reflection. It has been so fun to just read different parts of the Bible and have someone challenge me to think about different ways that the gospel affects my life. If you are someone that also needs a little bit of structure or guidance in Bible reading, definitely look into New Morning Mercies or another devotional.
3. I miss blogging regularly and plan to continue blogging in 2019.
A number of Christian bloggers wrote about the future of personal blogging in December, and they shared about how personal blogs are still valuable despite the boom in the big ministry blog and social media's micro blogging. I agree with them, and I found myself longing to blog again in December. I began 2019 with a resolve to blog more in this year, and I've been doing so.
I missed blogging, particularly the joy and thrill of writing and sharing content.
4. Putting my phone in my kitchen at night saves my sanity in the morning.
I have grown tired of my phone, and yet it feels like a necessary part of my life in allowing me to communicate with others. A few weeks ago, I decided to try leaving my phone in our kitchen at night to see how I felt in the morning, and the difference was amazing! It is a breath of fresh air to not wake up in the morning and check my phone right away, which is what I would do if I charged it by my bedside.
I'm hoping this remains a habit in my life.
5. I need regular introverted time.
I've been in denial about this for a long time, but I've finally come to terms with the truth: I need regular introverted time despite my extroverted tendencies. I started to realize this the first few months of being married, but my need for introvert time was solidified last week during a snow day. I had the whole day to work on projects and things that I normally do in the cracks between time with people or meetings. I didn't think a whole day focused on tasks could feel so refreshing until the snow gave me what I needed.
This revelation has made me rethink my schedule and think through how to guard and prioritize regular introvert time throughout my week in order to flourish energy-wise.
These are just a few things that I learned this winter. What are some things that you've learned this winter?
For a number of years I took part in a 31 day writing challenge. Every October (except for 2017 and 2018) I would write for 31 days about a topic of choice. This challenge always proved to be a fruitful exercise for my writing, and it was a joy to finish the month with a cohesive series. I'd like to think that these series will one day pave the way for the discipline of writing books to be published.
I have never put all of the series in one place before, so it's fun to see them all together. My personal favorites to read and write were Seeking the Kingdom and Confessions of a Creative Christian (my very first series). Follow the link of the blue title next to each year to view all of the posts for each series. Enjoy!
2018 - Longing For Home
2016 - Seeking the Kingdom
2015 - Faith > Fear
If you'd like to see more series on the blog or if you have an idea for a future series, feel free to leave comment below.
I like to think of myself as both a content creator and a curator of content on this blog. While I enjoy writing my own content, it is a joy to curate and share "the good stuff" that I've found in the midst of life. "The Good Stuff" usually includes articles, music, books, podcasts, movies, and television shows that I've enjoyed, thought about, and definitely talked about outside of the interwebs. Here are a few things I'd love to share with you this week...
Cultivating a Work-Wise Family // Hannah Anderson
How do families in an increasingly digital marketplace prioritize the family, the home, and create wise boundaries that allow work and home to flourish?
Second Wife, Second Life // Lore Wilbert
I gladly read anything that Lore Wilbert writes because she has a way with words. In this article she shares thoughts about being her husband's second wife.
Hormones, Surgery, Regret // Walter Heyer
A former transgender woman shares about his experience with gender dysphoria.
When Calls the Heart // Hallmark
For most of January I enjoyed this sweet Hallmark series about a female teacher that takes a position in the Canadian frontier at the beginning of the 1900s. It's available on Netflix.
Anne With An E // Netflix
A new retelling of the classic novel Anne of Green Gables. I've been really enjoying this show on Netflix.
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She Laughs Without Fear