Once a quarter, I try to post about What I Learned, a practice of looking back over personal and practical lessons. It sure is affirming to look back and see — oh yeah — that was a cool discovery or – yes, what a God-lesson.
Winter has been chock full of lesson. Chock. Full. Here are the highlights.
God Delights in Restoring.
If you follow my Instagram, you know that we have a big May coming up. My second son Nicholas, is marrying the love of his life and shower season is in full swing.
May will also bring the arrival of my first grandchild. (Side note: After announcing the first grandchild, the next question is always about your “grandmom” name. I’ve googled. We’ve brainstormed. But I kinda want this little one to name me! Let me know if you a recommendation.)
May will be a month of tears – both for the gaping hole of missing Dan in these huge milestones but also for all the good. God is restoring.
I’ve clung to this verse in the last five years. I’ve longed to see it. And while I know God spoke this promise specifically to Israel, His character doesn’t change. The same God who restored the Israelites restores the little Appelo family and restores you. God delights in restoration and I’m embracing it for all I’m worth.
We also have two graduations in May, so more tears. But these transitions are right and the next season while different, still has so much life in it.
God Can Get a Teen Boy’s Attention.
Again, on Instagram, you might have seen this. We had a terrible storm and woke up to one of our huge oaks on Zach’s car.
That morning, we gathered for Bible and decided to start by thanking God in this. Matt was thankful the tree didn’t hit the house, Annalise was thankful for a new treehouse, Zach was thankful the gas tank was on dead empty. 🙂
Seriously, though, I’ve noticed in parenting that God often teaches teen boys so much about prayer, provision and His timing through that first car. So while God is teaching this, we’re back to sharing my minivan.
I Can’t Stay Away from This is Us.
I tried. I deleted my Hulu account. Then signed back up. I’m intrigued with how the show is handling three themes – family loyalty, anxiety and death. We learned Jack (the father of triplets) died when Randall, Kevin and Kate were teens and I’m so interested to see how This is Us develops this.
While I’m actually not much for tv, I’ve binge-watched several really good series. Do not miss BBC’s Victoria. The set, costumes and storyline are swoonworthy. And catch the Crown in Netflix if you haven’t seen it!
Hand Lettering is as Fun as it Looks.
One aspect of grief is the loss of interests. Perhaps because all your emotional energy is going toward healing or maybe just that few things really matter in light of such huge loss.
But I have a new interest. Inspired by handletteredtruth, I ordered this pen and these practice sheets. I can’t wait to handletter in my journaling Bible and hopefully for gifts and prints. Again, such grace to see God’s restoration in what the locusts had eaten.
I’m a paper calendar girl.
As the year rolled over, went back to my old paper calendaring system. My phone is a backup but I need to write it and see it on paper. I picked up a calendar from Barnes & Noble but I’m researching planners for next year. If you have one you love, I’d love your recommendations.
100 Days with Christ is just as good the second time.
We’re on Day 59 of this chronological Bible study through all four gospels. And it is better this time than it was last year. For one, I love that so many of us are doing this study together. I love seeingyour posts on Instagram (#100dayswithchrist). But the gospels are so full we could study them every year and God would continue to reveal new insights for us. Isn’t that the best? That until we go home to heaven, there is yet more.
The last 50 days of this study makes a perfect Lenten study. You can join us and download the free 100 Days with Christ Bible study and journal here.
So there it is. Some of the highlights of our winter. What did you learn this winter? Any new interests or insights or lessons? I’d love to hear in the comments.