Lessons Learned in January

lessons learned in JanuaryFive Things I Learned in January

1. I learned that having a word for the year makes life interesting. As in, God puts a word on your mind and suddenly a whole area of growth opens up. My word, constrain, means to both hold back and to compel. God is teaching me when to keep my mouth shut, and he’s also compelling me out of my comfort zone.

2. If you wonder where the money to buy new books will come from—wait, if you wonder where the money to buy food will come from because you spent half your food budget on books—you’ll want to sign up at NetGalley.com. So far, I’ve been approved to read two books And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Good-bye by Kara Tippetts and A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson. You’ll need to poke around on the site and figure out how it works—most importantly, you’ll need to fill out your profile so that when you request a book the publisher can make an informed decision about whether or not to lend you the galley proofs (evidently, the books won’t stay on your Kindle shelf forever). In exchange, you agree to write an honest book review and post it on NetGalley and other sites (Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, etc.).

3. I’m a big chicken. I knew this. But I know it some more now. So, I’ll be brave. I’m writing a book proposal. It’s actually the second one I’ve written (I’ve been too afraid to actually DO anything with the first one). This month I’ve kept a calendar and a to do list, and so I’ve made progress. Please pray for me to keep working on it. I think it’s an important topic—mental illness in adolescents. I’m using our (mine, Sarah’s and Laura’s) Write 31 Day series as the bones, so you’d think it would be easy to just whip it into a book proposal. Not. If you’d like to help me out with things like the title, being a beta reader and helping me find influential people who might be willing to endorse the book, click here.

4. Red-tailed Hawks don’t like it when Great Horned Owls show up in their territory. Whilst out bird-nerding a few weeks ago, I came across this scene. Red-tailed hawk vs. Great Horned OwlNo one got injured, and it provided a magical moment for me to enjoy the wonders of creation (look at how the owl places himself where the hawk has a difficult time making a direct hit!).

5. Our baby will have a baby in August! Ok, we learned this amazing fact in December, but I couldn’t say anything about it until they had made their announcement. In December we got to go in with her for an ultrasound, and we saw the baby’s heartbeat (at 7 ½ weeks, there’s a heartbeat!). I’m pretty sure I don’t act old enough to be a grandma—or maybe I just want to be the kind of grandma who swings from grapevines in the jungle to entertain her grandchildren.

What about you?  Did you learn any cool lessons in January? 

I’m joining my friends over at Emily P. Freeman’s, where you can find all sorts of delightful lists of things people have learned!

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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