What I Learned in August

This month I am linking up with Emily on Chatting at the Sky in her “What I Learned” series. I’ve enjoyed reading these for a while and thought it would be fun to try.  Here are some things I learned in the past month, in no particular order.

  1. I love middle school. Seriously – middle school is my jam.  It is so perfect for me.  I don’t think I’ve ever been happier at work. Yes, there is drama. Yes, I stay busy.  But, I don’t feel my blood pressure rising throughout the day. The tension headache that had become commonplace by 2pm hasn’t happened in the last two weeks.  I leave work feeling content and energized, not beat up and frustrated.  I’m sure this is still a honeymoon phase of sorts, and I don’t have it all figured out, but this job change was most definitely the right choice for me.
  2. My dog is neurotic.  I refinished my bedroom furniture this summer.  Because I rent a mostly furnished home, all my bedroom stuff is in the guest room.  Once I finished setting up the room I decided I wanted to sleep there instead, so I moved out of the master.  Apparently I should have asked Finn first, because moving from a king bed to a full has very much upset him.  So how does he solve this problem? Well, most nights he gets in bed with me in the new room but as soon as he thinks I am asleep, he hops off the bed and I hear him prance down the hallway and jump up on the kind bed.  He stays there, gloriously stretched out, until my alarm goes off in the morning. Then he slithers back to me, curls up in my arms, and acts as he’d been there all night. Hilarious.
  3. There is such a thing as too many tomatoes.  I never thought I would say it.  Tomatoes – especially home grown ones – are one of my favorite foods.  But with the production of my little garden and the contributions from my crop share, I simply cannot bear the sight of them anymore.  I’m sure the feeling will pass quickly.
  4. My HOA is stupid….and I’m thankful to be renting.  I do love the townhouse I’m renting…so much so that I’ve entertained the thought of buying in the neighborhood.  Not true anymore. The HOA doesn’t notify anyone in advance of any work done on their property, does not allow people to lock their own crawlspaces, and allows contractors to use electricity and water from any house without prior authorization and notification.  It’s a lot of fun to come home from work and see a busted lock and a hose that isn’t yours taking water down the street.  Sure, I’d love to pay for the water to take care of a communal lawn.  Not a contract I’d ever agree to sign.  For the love.
  5. Everything I know is wrong.  My worldview is just being rocked lately, especially when it comes to racial issues in the United States.  The more I learn, I feel like the less I understand.  I’m trying.  Eventually I may start writing about it.  For now, I *just* pray.
  6. My aunts love me something fierce.  It’s September 1, and this month I will get to meet my twin nieces, who are expected to make their arrival sometime in the next three weeks.  From the moment I learned about their existence on March 7, I have loved them (well, back then I guess I only loved one of them).  I have woken up at night and prayed for them.  Then, on June 3, I found out that this theoretical baby was actually two beautiful girls. And then I REALLY LOVED them.  I am obsessed with these babies.  I would give them a kidney right now.  Family is so precious, and I am now blessed with the opportunity to love two more family members.  I am going to know them and love them the rest of my life.  It’s so obvious but such an amazing gift.  And I can’t wait to tell them about Jesus. And then I think about my own aunts and I wonder, is this how they thought of me? Wow. I should strive to be a better niece.
  7. The opposite of shame….I guess like #5, I’m still learning this one. It first struck me while listen to Annie Downs’ podcast with Emily Freeman.  The two of them discussed shame and its opposite.  Annie said that for her, the opposite of shame was family.  At first, it didn’t make sense to me at all.  It’s stayed with me for a couple weeks.  What is the opposite of shame? It’s got to have an opposite, right?  Esteem, honor, respect.  What is it? Annie says family.  That’s beautiful.  I’m still not sure what the opposite of shame is for me.  A few days after hearing that, I read Acts 10 in which Peter has a vision from the Lord.  “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Other versions say not to call it “common” or “unholy”.  In Christ, there is no room for shame anymore.  I am free.  I am clean; holy; dear loved.  I am not impure, unclean, common or unholy.  I am honored and I belong at the table because He says so.  Maybe Annie’s right.  The opposite of shame is belonging.  

And that’s all I got. This was fun!  What have you learned?

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