What I Learned In January (And December)
Well, here it is already February 2, and the groundhog saw it’s shadow today. Here it is already February 2, and I’m finally getting together what I’ve learned recently, and joining in with others who are sharing what they’ve learned at Chatting at the Sky. Since I did a What I learned in 2014 last month and didn’t include specific things in December, I’m adding them to this January edition of “things I’ve learned.” So, here it goes.
1 – What it feels like to be in the back seat of your car while your son is driving the very first time. Wasn’t he just in preschool a couple of years ago? Wasn’t he just starting kindergarten, or middle school last year? Wasn’t he just playing with Legos last week? (Well, actually he was with his younger cousin and you can never get too old for those). But now, he’s finished Driver’s Ed, passed his test at the DMV and got his picture snapped in front of a blue wall. Lord, help and protect us all!
2 – There’s a town on the borderline of Virginia and North Carolina called Virginila. That’s right. It’s smack dab in the middle of the states, on the line and maybe has 200 residents. We were sad to have to go there because my husband’s friend’s father passed away unexpectedly and we went to his funeral which took place close to that town. Such incredible stories were shared from those whose lives he shaped and impacted. I had never seen or met this kind man but it was hard fighting back the tears. He lived to make his community better. He showed his love for Jesus by serving and giving and not wanting to be known for it.
Even though his children had grown up, he was on the school board and financially supported the county because he was passionate to make sure each child in school owned a few books to call their own that they could read at night before they fell asleep. He believed in the importance for children to read and be taken away in a story allowing kids to imagine and dream being one of those characters. He wanted children to become princes and princesses, detectives, heroes, heroines or whichever character they wanted to be – even if it was for just 10 minutes a day reading a book. That story about this man is what made me swallow down tears because he made dreaming and imagining possible for children from all walks of life.
3 – Roses still exists. While in that town of Virginila, we also saw a Roses store! Do you remember those? I thought they had become extinct after Wal-mart and Target took over the “everything-in-one-store” retail twenty-some years ago.
4 – Goats eat Christmas trees. When you take all the decorations and put your tree out on the road to be picked up, consider taking it to the nearest farm that has goat. Christmas trees are full of nutrients and a few of them can eat it in a hour! It’s like candy to them! And it’s a good way to recycle them. Here’s the story.
5 – Most people probably already know this, but I had no idea there’s spray-on glue! Or in other words Spray Adhesive. For all those years I’ve made school projects – myself and with the kids – I’ve depended on Elmer’s glue and glue sticks. Go ahead and laugh.
6 – These pineapple cutters. My mom gave me one for Christmas and I had never seen them before. They really do make cutting fresh pineapples so much easier.
7 – Adult women’s shoe size 7 is the same size as Girl’s size 5 shoe. I was on a hunt from some boots. You know, the kind that many females wear these days that climb up to right below your knees that you stuff your pants in or that cover your tights. Those. With my wide feet it does become a hunt but there is a shoe store that sells that kind, and with happiness, they had some I liked. The friendly sales clerk who I see most times I go to that store, was assisting me and he told me that since I have a 6 ½ size foot, then I can also find shoes that will fit me in the girls size 5. He then told me it would save me a few bucks too since children’s shoes are a little less expensive. What a great sales clerk. Thank you, sir.
8 – What it feels like to have plantar fasciitis. It hurts. I’ll tell you that. There’s all the things to do to help it – roll a frozen water bottle under you feet. Put a heating pad on your calves. Take ibuprofen. Don’t wear stylish boots. But the best yet is when your husband asks to massage your feet -what a painful yet oh so wonderful feeling. Thanks love. But, to the doctor I go this week.
9 – I really like hanging out with college students who want to know Jesus more. I did some 20 years ago but you kind of forget what it’s like. And what a different perspective there is now. I was able to briefly speak at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Elon University, but stayed for the entire meeting. It was so refreshing to hear them talk in their lingo and hear them interpret the Bible so well and even share their “dry bone” life experiences. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I learned so much from them that cold, January evening. I went to the meeting with the knowledge I had a few minutes to share about IF:Gathering, inviting the students to come, especially since it’s on Elon campus. I had no idea we were going to get in small groups and large group and pick apart some verses in Ezekiel 37. Whoa. They blew me away. What provoking questions they asked. What wisdom they already gleaned about the meaning of the Word. Not that I thought they wouldn’t or couldn’t but how they wanted to. They were on fire with their faith. What great memories it brought back to me, too. Thanks Elon IV for letting me come “do college” again. (Here’s more about my experience there.)
And while the Truth of God and his Word never change, cultures do. The Spirit and work of God continues to move in fresh ways through new methods. The Church throughout generations attests to this. It’s exactly what Paul meant when he said, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” I Corinthians 9:22 Jennie Allen
What have you learned in January?