These are verbal snapshots from a recent link-up party hosted on "I Don't Have a Clue ... But I'm Finding Out." (Find post here.) The prompt was: "In 2013, I Learned ... " Click on links to find the whole post! There are some real gems hidden in here!
1. Katy on learning how to dress like a grown-up: "I had always been that girl who dressed in garish colors and gaudy patterns, because I considered my style "artsy." After getting married, my husband (with a real eye for design) informed me that a plaid skirt, a paisley blouse, and striped tights do not comprise a decent outfit."
2. Johanna on distraction and vulnerability in relationships: "And therein lies the major issue I have with the online dating craze. The majority of people I know who use such services do it as a means of distracting themselves from whatever is currently bothering them in their lives. Instead of taking the time to heal, feel, and/or mourn over a recent broken relationship, we turn to an app on a phone or click on a website in order to give us a sense of comfort."
3. Lynsie on accepting motherhood and her own limitations: "But you know what, the idea of having my life and incorporating my husband and kids into it I believe has stolen a lot of joy that I could have experienced."
4. Josh and Sarah on their new lives as missionaries in Papua New Guinea: "How to make a spear and go diving for fish and other sea creatures."
5. Aleah on gratefulness for her daughter's life: "Baby girl, your life paints a picture of faithfulness. Every celebration of you shoots right up to Heaven. Every celebration of you shines light in the darkest, scariest places. You have seen those places and God has been faithful to show you light."
6. Susie on a host of spiritual and practical lessons in PNG: "I don't always like what obedience means. Sometimes it means taking a risk in a relationship. Sometimes it means be willing to go forward even if you don't know what's coming next. Sometimes it means being willing to wait."
7. Aimee on her brother-in-law's response to cancer: "This Christmas I saw a great example of a man living quietly and peacefully, minding his own affairs, and working with his hands - the perfect illustration of simplicity - my focus for 2014."
8. Melissa on general life lessons: "Mistakes are OK. Goes for everyone in the family. We all make mistakes; it's simply human. The problem comes with repeating the same mistakes. Then it's not a mistake, it's a bad habit and has to be stopped."
9. Greg on moving his family to England to pursue a PhD: "These scholar-pastors stand as faithful workers whom God has preserved and blessed in ways that most MDiv students will not be able to understand. I feel privileged to gain this additional insight into exactly what they've gone through and come out on the other end, not only standing, but thriving in their service of the church. Keep pounding, guys."
10. Kate on significant verses through a move to England (with Greg): "Take a big risk ... "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." - Matthew 19:29."
11. Hannah on a variety of thoughtful (and beautiful) subjects: "it's ok to be disappointed with God, while still knowing there is hope in the midst of this crazy life."
12. Astleigh on a year of transition and hope: "At the end of 2012, I knew the upcoming year was going to be one I would hate and one I would love. Yes, I had a pitiful outlook on a brand new year, while also feeling hopeful for what it would bring. It's a strange combination that mixes up all kinds of emotions, especially a person's sense of self."
13. Jaime on jungle adventures: "Ziplock bags have a long life when washed and hung to dry ... repeatedly."
14. Hannah on small, but valuable lessons: "Sometimes it takes time to see shifts in your life. They can be subtle."
15. Amanda on not making resolutions this year: This year I'm taking a break. I'm taking a break because resolutions are for people who have slept through the night at least once in the past 7-months."
16. Ree on launching a blog and starting a new business: "People generally want you to succeed."
17. Anna on working through dietary restrictions and resting in the Lord: "I've come up with many pretty plans for myself (not that they were all bad), fought hard when they were taken away, and scoffed at many others. Yet I'm learning even this year through all sorts of God giving and taking away, that His plans are indeed better (though not necessarily easier ... ) than mine."
18. Mark on beginning life as a pastor (and also, on pirates and trains): "However, for now, we're called to be great deflectors. Ministry isn't about us. Even in the hard times, it's not about us. It never is. It never will be."
19. Jessica on running a household, ministry, and blogging: "I learned again how important it is to set aside my to-do list at times so that I can be there for the people around me."
20. Katherine (me) on life after seminary: "Every time you say no to your own selfish desires, to your own agenda, and say yes to the will of the Lord, you are growing in grace, regardless of who is around to see."
Thanks again to everyone who participated!
Lesson Learned: There is so much wisdom to be learned. And my friends are amazing.