What I Learned This Winter


I love this round-up post hosted by Emily P. Freeman (an author and blogger I really love) -- reflecting on what I've learned throughout a season is a great way to take note of what's working, how I'm growing, where I need to focus my attention, and what the Lord is doing in my life. I downloaded this helpful free sheet from Emily's site and taped it inside my planner so I could jot things down throughout the last few weeks (a lifesaver!) and now I get to share them with you. This list is from December through February!

Here's what I've learned this winter:

I really can do hard things. This is probably the biggest thing I learned over these past few months. I can humble myself to ask for honest feedback. I can step away from relationships that aren't helping me thrive. I can ask for help. I can start training for a 10k after 4 knee surgeries and a lot of years of being told I can't and shouldn't run. I am capable.

The changes in weather that come in the winter will make me sick every time. This "winter" has been crazy -- it's felt like spring for nearly all of February, but in December and January, I got sick several times from the weather changes. Not fun.

Nothing makes me giddy like sharks. I got to see sharks at the National Aquarium this winter, and it made me SO VERY HAPPY. Also, I treated myself to this hoodie. Because, of course. (If you didn't know, I love sharks, I think Shark Week is the best week of the year, and I don't care what you think. It's just so much fun, okay?)

Natural manicures are A+. My mom and I got natural manicures right before Christmas, and it was an awesome experience (especially because they were free since it was our first visit!) -- loved  that there were no crazy chemicals used, and that manicure lasted so long!

Apple cider vinegar mixed with local honey, cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice, and hot water is a magic cure for colds. Also, spoonfuls of elderberry syrup. Also, turmeric (try this latte or this smoothie).

Powersheets are a game changer. It's been my first round of Powersheets (affiliate link!), and while I haven't had perfect success with my goals, I'm finding myself paying much more attention to them and living much more intentionally as a result, which is so good.

No laughter? No spark? No butterfly feelings? Then not a good match for me. Lesson learned. (There's a lot more to say about this, but I want to be respectful of the other humans involved, so that's all I'll say about that!)

Getting real running shoes makes all the difference. I went to a little local running boutique and ran up and down a hallway for a while as a guy judged my gait and everything, and then matched me with great options for my feet. It wasn't nearly as awkward as I expected, and those shoes (LIME GREEN!) have changed the game. I've never really been a runner, but I feel so great in those shoes that I actually think I could become one someday...

Also, I can run more than I thought I could. I have been doing the Couch to 10k training app, and I've been surprised by what I've been able to do so far. Going from 4 major knee surgeries and nearly 7 years of not running (because my surgeons and physical therapist said I shouldn't...), I was surprised I could run for 5 minutes straight. I haven't made much more progress since then, but I know I can, and I know I will as the weather continues to warm up outside!

Going to events alone isn't that scary after all. I've gone to more than 5 events by myself so far in 2017, and it's been great. Not nearly as intimidating as I expected. So worth it.

We are all humans who feel things. Look at this to get what I'm talking about.

Making a budget can be fun. Who knew! Thanks, Mint!

You can't create in a vacuum. Trying to make art on my own (of any kind) never works as well as when I collaborate with others. Asking for input, accepting help, brainstorming together, making in tandem... all helpful. All necessary.

Life's too short to not do impulsive things just because. Like piercing your nose. Why not?

Weather in the 70s-80s in February is a bittersweet gift. It makes me sad for how real global warming is, though, but I do love that I already have a tan and have been able to be outside nonstop on the weekends...

Creating a capsule wardrobe is really easy when your wardrobe already has a clear color scheme. Blog post about my capsule process coming soon!

Ministry can be hard. It won't always feel like fun. It won't always be easy. There will be disappointments and discouragements, but like a wise friend shared with me, we can trust that decisions that were made in prayerful, intentional clarity were good decisions and that the Lord will be faithful to see things through. I've been so humbled by being in ministry these past few months, and so wrecked by all the ways I've realized I was putting pride before the Lord and putting myself in a higher place of importance. Man. Hard lessons to learn, but so necessary.