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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

8 Things I Learned This Spring

Even though summer doesn’t begin for a few more weeks on the calendar, since Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, summer officially started.  And when it’s the end of spring, it’s time to join Emily P. Freeman and other writers who link up and share what they’ve learned the past three months.  Here’s what I’ve learned if you’re interested to find out.

#1  I learned about hurry-ness and how enjoyable it was to spend an evening with friends and Emily.  I had the privilege on a rainy evening to go to a nearby church with my SMC blog writing friends, eat Maxie B’s cupcakes, listen to and laugh with Emily as she talked about doing the next, right thing, and getting to talk with her again afterwards.  In her personal and funny stories, along with one about a woman who took the time to anoint Jesus’ feet, were needed reminders that being in a hurry isn’t always the “right thing” and it’s OK to be inhospitable to hurry-ness and hospitable to rest.    {We also got to see and buy her new adult coloring book based for her latest book Simply Tuesday.  It’s a great thing to do to stop you from hurrying.  It’ll be a fun, summer-time thing to do while you take a little extra time to slow life down.}

This was the first time we had planned a “Girl’s Night” out.  I’m pretty lucky to know them as friends, writers and teachers as they’re part of our church’s women’s ministry blog team.  Thanks y’all!

#2  Eyes are some of the strongest muscles in our bodies.  I was watching one of my favorite shows, The Amazing Race, and a commercial came on which stated that fact, so I checked into it a little more. I’m always interested in the topic of eyes and vision since I’ve lost a portion of mine.  I learned the muscles in an eye constantly move and readjust your eyes’ position to maintain a steady fixation point so you don’t become dizzy.  But, those eye muschles can become tired.  “In an hour of reading a book the eyes make nearly 10,000 coordinated movements”.  So maybe that’s why it’s good to read a book if you can’t get to sleep!

#3  What it’s like to follow an ambulance with your daughter being the patient in it.  It’s not an enjoyable experience.  I’m very grateful it wasn’t a major emergency or injury, but when your teenage “baby” is lying on a gurney in a bumpy, wide, red and white vehicle by herself, it gets to you.  Our daughter was at school in PE class and was simply walked to sit down in a line while her friend was sitting down at the same time and somehow collided and her kneecap popped out of joint!  She was very calm and collected as she waited for the ambulance to get there because I DIDN’T ANSWER THE PHONE (or even check voicemail) when the coach called to tell me the ambulance was on the way to get my daughter.  Hey, I didn’t recognize the number.  I’m glad 15 minutes later my daughter called from her phone, and then I answered it to learn about her accident.  (I was awarded the Worst Mom of the Year!)

I got to school in the nick of time, planning to get in the ambulance with her, but the EMT told me I wasn’t allowed to and needed to follow them. Seriously?! Ugh.  So, of course they took the longest route possible to get to the hospital as I was worried sick that she was by herself in the ambulance.  But she’s a strong, thirteen- year-old girl.  Once at the hospital, thankfully it took the doctor three seconds to pop it back into place, but somehow it took us four more hours before we were discharged.  We had no idea that easily popping a knee cap back into place would take a few months of PT to get her leg back to normal.  She’s been a trooper!

#4 There’s many unique or strange names of cities and towns in Pennsylvania.  For spring break our North Carolinian family met up with my husband’s parents and we took a couple of days to drive to Pennsylvania through the simple city of Lancaster and the crazy city of Philadelphia.  We particularly went to Lancaster because there’s a restaurant those fun grandparents take our kids in the summer that my husband and I had not been to.  They’ve insisted for years we needed to experience this quarter of a mile buffet.  Well maybe it’s wasn’t quite that long, but it seemed like it!

After our one night stay there, we drove another hour to the big Philly (that we ate while there).  On our way, though, we saw signs with names of nearby cities towns that were quite entertaining.  I had been to Pennsylvania only one other time and didn’t notice them or had ever heard of them:  Red Lion, PA; King of Prussia, PA; Scalp Level, PA; Moosic, PA; and Bird-in-Hand, PA to name a few – not including some that can be embarrassing when you kids say them out loud if you know what I mean.  There must be some interesting stories of why they were named those names!

#5 The length of your arms while stretched out straight on both of your sides, from middle finger to middle finger, is the same measurement of your height.  I don’t recall learning that in school but science was not my thing.  Our friends’ daughter informed us of that interesting fact.

#6 How great this year’s group of Elon University FCA students are.  Well, I’ve been learning from them the past nine months but this spring ended another academic year for these folks and FCA meetings on campus.  They’ve taught me about being strong and courageous, rising up to face the challenges of life, resiliance, dedication to their work, team and their faith, how to overcome obstacles, compassion, care and how Christ shines through them on campus.  I’ve also learned a little more about some sports I’ve not watched much before now.  I’ve enjoyed hanging out with them at Huddles, attending some games and grabbing meals together and so thankful for all they’ve taught me about Jesus.

#7  How perfect the book Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning is for me (and maybe you) to read right now.   I’ve always had on my “Must Read Books” list any book he’s written, but haven’t yet.  In a recent conversation, one of my spiritual directors told me I needed to read it, so I took his strong advice and bought it.  It’s about being your true self and how your identity as God’s child – Abba’s child –  brings pleasure in who you are. “God loves who we really are – whether we like it or not.”  It might be of interest to you.  Now I want to read all his books.

#8  Refinement is not a pleasant experience but worth it.  An online study I lead this spring was based from a book that made me a hot mess.  Not that I wasn’t already one, but it opened my eyes to see why it’s important to be a hot mess sometimes.  Because in the messiness of life, where sin, guilt, regret and shame burn in our insides, God is allowing it to happen so we can “come forth as gold” (Job 23:10) once we get through the refining process.  The Lenten study guide is “Holely, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement” by Kris Camealy.   I highly recommend it.

It’s not really a choice to learn something new because we’re just wired to do so.  So, think about what you’re learning this summer as your evenings stay lighter longer, you’re not in quite as much a hurry and make some time to frolic and play.  Have a great summer, y’all!

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