What I Learned In April
Another month passed and another busy month ahead. A lot of trips on rainy weekends to soccer games and pollen are just two of the many things that filled our calendar and noses. It’s time to look back and see what I learned this past month.
1. Chick-fil-a’s new lemonade milkshakes are light, delish and worth every penny. For Christmas gifts 3 out of 4 in our family received those funny and so creative Chick-fil-a calendars. We went to cash in April’s coupon which was this lemonade milkshake. I highly recommend them. It’ll be a perfect summer treat…but I’d take it any time of the year.
2. What P.S. means. I signed P.S. in an email I sent out earlier this months and I thought…”What does P.S. stand for?” I probably was told or read what it was years ago but I needed a refresher. It means “post script” if you had forgotten or didn’t know it either. Isn’t it funny how we use or say words and we don’t really know what it means but know how to use it.
3. Walmart’s first store was in Arkansas. OK. There’s nothing too exciting about that but I learned it playing – yes, once again – Word Crack.
4. An app called StoryCorps. I wish I had thought of creating something like this a couple of years ago. (Like I know how to create an app – Ha!) I wish I had known about this a couple of years ago. For several years, I’ve loved to listen to many a story from people over 70, recorded them on a little voice recorder, typed the stories out, and then create them into a book. This app though allows you to use your phone to record a story (and the app included questions to ask someone), and then you can share it online for anyone to hear or you can keep it to yourself. It might be pretty helpful with what I’ve been doing and something I might explore in a little more.
5. How Tony Evans preaches. Our small group started a study about the Armor of God. We feel now is a relevant time to be studying this passage these days for more than one reason. Our church recently offered an online resource called RightNow and it’s a collection of Bible studies and videos of well-known authors and speakers. It’s like a Christian Netflixs. So we searched for Armor of God and a preaching series by Tony Evans appeared. I’ve learned a lot from him in this series and he can preach the Word. It’s a change-up for me and those are needed to keep our minds fresh and receptive.
6. Ants and peonie’s go together. On the side of our house is a row of peonies that were transplanted from my husband’s parent’s garden who was transplanted from my mother-in-laws mom’s garden. They’ve been passed along for generations and that makes them beautiful in more than one way. This month we’ve been watching the buds form and grow and we’ve noticed that ants are crawling all over those blump blooms. Why is that? I went online to see what I could find. Here it is. Ants are not a problem, and you don’t need to spray the plant to keep them off. Once the peonie bloom begins to open, the ants leave. That’s a good thing!
7. How God uses other people to open doors for you that you never really dreamed would be opened. I had been getting emails about an upcoming conference that I thought would be a great 0ne to go to, but knew (so I thought) I wouldn’t be going, so I didn’t give it a second thought. The afternoon registration was opened, I received a text from a friend telling me to register to attend the event because I’m being sponsored. “Really?” Yep. That was my first response. The next 20 hours there was a lot of personal questions and prayers. It all boiled down to faith and the gut belief that this door wouldn’t have opened if I wasn’t to go. Maybe this opportunity is one God has given me in order to help equip and point me along a path He wants me to take because I need as much guidance I can get! God’s Spirit has planted some new seeds in me the past few months and I’m excited to see if they’ll grow as I continue to desire reaching out to women at our church and the community.
8. Our world is so broken and we need to cry out to God. Just the past week with the huge earthquake in Nepal taking the lives of thousands and leaving the others homeless with their loss of about everything in their land, to the uproar and riots in Baltimore, it’s made me feel kind of numb. It’s hard to imagine being there in Nepal, even on the streets of downtown Baltimore and experience those things. I’m so numb because I wonder what can I do to help? The day the riots in Baltimore broke out, I was at the same time watching a conversation seven women – all from different races – talking honest about their desire for racial reconciliation. It’s so needed. And I know so many want that.
So, what can I do? Pray. If there’s anything, that’s a huge one. Pray for safety during aftershocks, strength, comfort, recovery and physical needs to be met in Nepal. Pray for the broken, lost and homeless to feel God’s presence. That they’ll see miracles amidst devastation. Also, here is a tangible way through Feed the Hunger to help by providing meals (specify Aid and Relief). Also, pray for peace, respectful conversation to come from these riots. Reconciliation. For restoration and for us to see each other the way God sees us and originally created us to be: unified.
That last one is a heavy one to end this month and I have a feeling this will be something I continue to learn about in the weeks and years to come. God, show me. Teach me. Use me.
What about you? I’d love to read something you’ve learned in April, so feel free to leave a comment.