in tribute to my 31st birthday, here are 31 things i have learned over the past year -- about myself, about life, & about completely random & maybe even useless stuff! these are in absolutely no particular order.
in the past year, i have learned...
1. ... that i love brussel sprouts.
after hating them my entire life, it's been mind-boggling to give them one more try & to actually love them. i mean, love them like i love chocolate. i crave roasted brussel sprouts now on a regular basis. they're like candy.
2. ... all the words to train's "50 ways to say goodbye."
this took alot of practice.
3. ... more about the meaning of godliness.
this topic could be a whole blog post & probably will be someday. but for now, i'll just say that my current understanding of godliness revolves heavily around prayer.
4. ... how to make homemade vanilla.
5. ... a little more about maintaining balance in my life.
although this still remains one of my greatest daily challenges to date.
6. ... greek.
yep. ancient koine greek. i'm working on a beginner's level still, but i love it.
7. ... how to drive our riding lawn mower.
for pete's sake, i didn't even know how to start the thing! shaun let me take it for a whirl around the yard the other day. i decided it needs power steering.
8. ... why people jump out of planes.
because the door was open! shaun & i went skydiving one year ago tomorrow, & it was the most exhilarating experience in my life so far! i can't wait to do it again.
9. ... the book of james like never before.
i did beth moore's "james: mercy triumphs" bible study earlier this year, & it has been incredibly powerful in my life. james is one of my favorite books, even though he writes such hard stuff. i like his bluntness & sometimes snarkiness!
10. ... how much i love morning routine.
as a notorious night owl [hence, the timing of this post] & major sleeper-inner, most mornings i usually wake up just in time to rush around before i have to be somewhere. but when i take the time to do my full morning routine, it's so relaxing & centering. i love each little activity i do & how one flows into the other. if i could just get up on time now!
11. ... about the walt disney pandora station.
thank you, conner dixon!
12. ... that i have an auto-immune disease.
it's of the inflammatory arthritis kind. it's loads of fun. [read with sarcasm.] but seriously, i'm so blessed that it's not worse. so far, the worst of it is daily pain meds & bi-weekly shots. otherwise, i function pretty normally so far.
13. ... that ted dekKer wrote an alternate ending to his book "green."
i haven't read it yet -- can't wait to get around to it.
14. ... that shaun has never actually seen "mary poppins."
we'll be remedying the situation shortly!
15. ... what esse quam videri means.
and how to pronounce it properly. thank you, jayson rawley! for that, & an unforgettable, life-changing week of camp this year. [it means "to be, rather than to seem" & you say the "v" like a "w"]
16. ... tons about equipping ministry.
which is good since i'm the coordinator for our equipping ministry at church! i am still inadequate in person & knowledge, but it has been an awesome year of learning & growing & especially seeing God work in mighty ways!
17. ... homeopathic remedies for lots of stuff.
since i have an auto-immune disease, & i have to take pain meds every day, i want to minimize my reliance on them & on the need to increase the dosages or switch to stronger drugs. plus, i just like the idea of holistic health, which goes hand-in-hand with alot of homeopathic approaches. i've learned how to make my own non-toxic bug spray & how to ease headaches without additional pain pills [which i can't take]. i've really enjoyed it!
18. ... more about the jewish passover from experience.
we had friends invite us over for a messianic passover, & it has been one of the highlights of my year! the symbolism & ritual is incredibly beautiful & deeply meaningful.
19. ... how to restore a rusty cast iron dish.
thanks to my brother-in-law, jeffrey. also, he makes the best campfire eggs-&-bacon breakfast in a cast iron skillet ever!
20. ... the power of team work.
i have had the blessing of working with several teams of people over the past year. the roll-out team that launched our conneXions ministry, the current conneXions team, our church ministry & office staff, & event teams. i have been consistently overwhelmed by the wisdom that God brings forth through the people around me, how they are willing & graceful vessels of His wisdom, & how He creates such synergy among us.
21. ... ephesians 4.
this is my "theme passage" this year, so i memorized it. i'm a little rusty right now though...
22. ... more of the history of my current county.
i really enjoyed going to the feast of the hunters' moon last year & learning more about the rich heritage in the tippecanoe area. and the food was amazing!
23. ... how to open my heart ever wider to love two new nieces to the moon & back again!
shaun's sister carrie had sweet emily back in february, & my sister rachel had paige-bug last month. my cup overflows!
24. ... how to make my own household cleaners.
i've done some simple ones before, but now almost every cleaning solution we use is made at home from things like vinegar, baking soda, & dawn. it makes me feel so domestic!
25. ... how to mix & do real tie-dye.
i've done tie-dye for years at camp, but when i threw my sister rachel's baby shower this summer, the fun activity was tie-dying onesies & burp cloths. they turned out fabulous, & i love getting to see paige wear & use them now!
26. ... how to give myself a shot.
i can't believe this one myself. but i have a b12 deficiency, & it's permanent, so i have to get shots regularly [currently bi-weekly] to make up for it. since this is a lifelong issue, i had to learn eventually. it's actually not so bad!
27. ... indesign.
technically, i've used indesign many years ago, but i had forgotten all but the very basics. i've done all my design work for years in some seriously gerry-rigged ways, but they've always worked & looked fine. but still, indesign is easier, faster, & has more fine-tuned capabilities. it's been really nice.
28. ... that loss does not mean the end.
that may be cryptic, but we'll have to wait for another time for me to unpack it for you. suffice it to say for now that even in a time of devastating loss, there can still exist joy, hope, & life.
29. ... greater awareness of the materialism & excess that surrounds me/us.
i also did beth moore's "daniel" study, & the focus of the first half is intentional godly choices against the excess of our culture. it was eye-opening to say the least.
30. ... that being 30 isn't so bad after all.
31. ... that getting older is a privilege & more a matter of attitude than about time passed.
you know, you're only as old as you feel/act/think you are -- something like that!