• Beth Hildebrand

What I Learned In May And Things I’ve Counted


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There’s only a few days of school left.  Good grief!  How is this school year over already?  Summer might as well be here because it’s in the upper 80’s and humid here in North Carolina.  The kids are in the midst of final exams and I’m trying to prepare myself for unstructured, long and hot summer days that start in a few days.

While I have this time, I’m continuing to practice being more aware of what I’m still learning in life and I’m joining with and sharing What I’ve Learned in May.   At the end, I’m also sharing the joys I’ve counted this past spring.   What have you learned this past month?

  1. I had no idea that the rug you put at your front door is spelled Coir Door.  I thought it was a corridor rug because it sit at the end (or beginning) of most corridors.  I was at a local store to buy a new outdoor rug for our front door because 1 – the one we had was old and 2- all the heavy rain we’ve had the past month tore it up.  When I was at the store, the label on several of the rugs said Cori Door Rug.  I researched a little about that and this is what I learned:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Coir is  “extracted from the hairy husk of a coconut, coir, or coco coir peat exhibits a high level of lignin, making it one of the strongest natural fibers in existence. An extremely coarse and stiff fiber, coir effectively resists bacterial and fungal growth and defends against stress, water, and salt and poses great competition for peat in horticulture. Biodegradable, coir products implement and sustain the “go-green” movement for planet safety and longevity as they are created from a renewable source.”    If you want to more about it, go here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So coir is the material which makes a coir door mat not a coir-door mat (haha!) and corridor is the space or a hallway that leads to a door.  I got that straight now.                                                                                                                                               

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  1. The first Mother’s Day took place in a Methodist church.  We were visiting my husband’s family on Mother’s Day a few weeks ago and we went to church with them.  The pastor shared some history of that special day for mom’s.  A woman named Anna Jarvis sent a carnation to her mother’s Methodist church in Grafton, WV to honor her mother.  She then began writing letters to leaders in DC and on May 8, 1914 president Woodrow Wilson signed a piece of paper declaring Mother’s Day as a national holiday.   I thank God for letting me be the mom of these two great kids.  I feel blessed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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3.  I learned how to change authors in the subtitle of posts on a blog I manage for our church.  We have a gifted team of writers but I finally figured out how to change the authors’ names on each post.  (And how long did it take me to figure that out?  Too long is all I’m saying).  I also changed the theme of the blog, which I’m not the best at, but it’s readable and taught me some aspects of it I hadn’t known before.

4.  Bees are born fully grown.  I learned that from a Snapple TV commercial.  Kind of weird commercial but creative!

5.  I love to watch baby birds “grow up” and fly away outside our garage window.  One afternoon in May while I was in the garage, going inside our kitchen, I heard the sound of baby birds.  I looked out the window in our garage and to my surprise saw a mother cardinal feeding brand-new baby birds that must has just hatched a day or two before.  I had  no idea there was a nest there but I had been wondering earlier that week why a male cardinal had been fluttering around the outside of our windows in our kitchen and back screened in porch.  It must have been “protecting” the new born babies.

Our family watched each day as the mom and dad bird brought 3 cute baby cardinals food.  This past Saturday morning though we were so excited because when we looked out the window one of the babies was standing at the edge of the nest.  All of a sudden it took a leap of faith and hopped off the nest and hit the ground about 6 feet down.  After going to get some pictures, I went back in and then the second bird took that same leap and then the third!  It was so fun to watch and below I have more pictures of those quirky looking baby birds.  They didn’t look developed enough to me to be ready to leave the nest but I assume they know what they’re doing!  I hope they’re now OK and have learned to fly.


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5. Lessons from the Chewbacca Mom.  Who hasn’t at least heard about, if not having seen too, the live video Candace Payne posted on Facebook last week about the Star Wars Chewbacca mask she bought herself to replace a pair of yoga pants that didn’t fit?  I read a story about her that gave such a beautiful example of how to life life fully.  In it she tells how she saw a vision from the Lord for her future, and how she can bring Him glory.  Not understanding what that meant when she first heard it, she’s now able to see how God has used her to bring joy to this burdened world.  It’s not all about buying a mask, although expressing joy and laughter is a big God-glory-giver, but it’s also about this:

“It doesn’t matter how talented, how anointed, how gifted, how passionate, or how willing you are if you’re not fit to do the things that God has called you to do… And that is spiritually fit. The thing that will take you further and farther in the Kingdom of God is three things: diligence, patience, and obedience… Do not try to make a name for yourself. His name will always outshadow yours.” Candace Payne

There’s many lessons to learn from her and I’m grateful she was herself and shared that laugh with the world Speaking of grateful, below is my list of spring joys and gratitude.

Joy Day Count Spring 2016

#2862  listening to our daughter playing her flute in her room

#2863  planting a spring garden

#2864  having a mom and daughter day with Jamie Grace and Mama Mona

#2865  the joy the girls had getting to meet Jamie Grace in person


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#2866  front row seats at the concert

#2867  praying with a group of women I don’t know

#2868  going on a date with my son to watch Star Wars for the second time

#2869  my son taking me on a date

#2870  planting herbs

#2871  taking pictures of ministries in the community to show people places to serve the Lord


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#2872  a text from my son

#2873  girls night out – of all places, chick-fil-a – they treated us royally – so many laughs


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#2874  seeing sunrise on a bus

#2875  giving a homeless man a piece of pizza and oreo cookies

#2876  12 year old girls and a mom moved by serving

#2877  seeing cherry blossom trees in bloom in DC on a field trip


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#2878  our tour guide Walter and our bus driver

#2879  a place to sleep in a hotel

#2880  the art of monuments

#2881  stories of the history of our country

#2882  CFA fruit

#2883  coloring Easter eggs with friends using rice


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#2884  purple flowers everywhere


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#2885  dad got the best blood work report in months battling cancer

#2886  parents going to the beach for the day

#2887  an email a friend sent me about “Encouraging Budding Speakers”  I was humbled.

#2888  I was asked to speak at FCA

#2889  our dog who will eat the cereal on the floor when I dropped the bowl full of it – and milk

#2890  hard eucharisteo – being interviewed for a job – the first one in over 18 years – and not being offered the job

#2891  peonies in the kitchen


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#2892  new software for writing

#2893  starting and finishing emily freeman’s book Simply Tuesday


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#2894  baby bunnies in our yard


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#2895  seeing a squirrel taking a nap


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#2896  reflections in puddles


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#2897  big oak trees


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#2898  shade under a tree

#2899  my abilities

#2900  2 books given to me by a friend as a “for-no-special-occasion” Make it Happen by Lara Casey and Dare Greatly by Brene Brown

#2901  our first patch of broccoli in our garden – ever


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#2902  sharing lettuce from our garden with neighbors

#2903  getting ice cream with college girls

#2904  what my kids wrote in the mother’s day card they gave me

#2905  wind chimes at the lake


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#2906  being at our favorite “get away” place – smith mountain lake – with my family

#2907  dad able to get away for an entire weekend – the first time in over a year and a half

#2908  son taking gran and daddy mac for rides in the sea doo


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#2809  sunset on a boat ride


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#2910  nephew’s first time ever on a boat and sea doo


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#2911  our friends parents who let us stay at their house

#2912  God created flowers because they’re beautiful.  So beautiful.  And watching them bloom day to day


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#2913  the smell of gardenias and roses


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#2914  making a bouquet from flowers in the yard


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#2915  the most gardenias that have ever bloomed on our bush

#2916  discovering a cardinal’s nest right outside our window


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#2917  watching baby birds “growing up”

#2918 hearing baby birds chirp

#2919  watching all three of those babies leave the nest and got to watch them hop and try to fly after their parents (I sure hope they survived because they didn’t look old enough to learn to fly but they supposedly know what they’re doing!)


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#2920  the holy spirit reminding me of Matthew 7:7 to ask, seek and knock and then answering a prayer request just a couple of hours later

#2921  our first hummingbird for the year


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#2922  the first year our hydrangea bush has bloomed


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#2923  celebrating a friend’s “milestone” birthday


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#2924  watching college girls tennis tournament


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#2925  taking pictures of kids having a blast playing messy games


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#2926  a rainbow at Scorch 2016


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#2927  a friend encouraging me to “worship and proclaim who God is and who He says I am” when I was in a hard spot.

#2928  another hard eucharisteo – being with my dad, mom and sister for a couple of days – but because my dad was in the hospital.  Even though I’m not happy he’s in the hospital yet again, I’m thankful for the time we had together.

#gratitude #joy

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