Wednesday, February 5

6 Things I Learned in January

At the end of each month, I like to share what I've learned, mostly so I won't forget and partly because maybe you'll learn from me and not repeat my mistakes or maybe you'll learn something new as well.

January was a month of deeply profound moments, along with some silly realizations and lessons learned along the way. So here you go:

1.  I'm a new Apple product user. I own an iPad mini, and can I just say how excited I was to learn that you can take a screen shot by holding down the home button and the power button at the same time? If that's what they're even called. This has been a game changer for me. I save all sorts of reminders in the form of quotes, pictures, or articles. I know you already knew this, but this was huge for me.

2.  I didn't learn this in January, but I was reminded how much I love listening to some good soul music when I'm making dinner. My favorite songs are Aretha Franklin's Send Me, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's Ain't No Mountain High Enough, and Natalie Cole's Everlasting Love. Sometimes I listen to a sermon podcasts, sometimes worship music, sometimes I watch old episodes of Downton Abbey, and sometimes I listen to soul. You just never know.

3.  Though they might be cute and they may be cheap, don't be tempted buy those skinny multicolored drinking straws at the store. They're so narrow that you'll turn blue in the face from lack of oxygen before finishing your glass of water. I bought them, so I'm determined to use them up one tiny sip at a time. I've tried the two straws together trick, like my kids do at church with those little stir sticks that aren't even straws. But that was a no-go. I love straws and always have them in the house. So if you come into my kitchen, you will nearly always see a glass of water on the counter with a straw in it. But this month, the straws are skinnier and deeply perplexing and I can see the hope of larger straws off somewhere in the distance.

P.S. McDonald's has the best straws. Though the worst food.

4.  After a carbon monoxide scare earlier this month, which had the children and I evacuated at 7:30 a.m., I learned that one should keep the diaper bag stocked at all times with what is needed for a full day out of the house. Because extra diapers are a really, really good thing. Thankfully, we didn't need the extra diapers, but it was a lesson learned. And then there's the issue of food. We sat in our driveway with the paramedics until around 10:00 a.m., and none of us had eaten breakfast. We were fine, of course, but having water and snacks stored in the car for such occasions would have been smart.

5.  If you are anything like me, and you get a phone call on an ordinary day asking you to adopt a 6 year old-boy in need of a family, your first reaction will be a mix of sheer panic and grief. Panic that has you asking, can we and should we do this? And grief that mourns at the sadness of it all. But panic and grief turn into resolve, which then turns into a mission. It took us a week to come to what we felt was the best decision for this little guy and our family, and wrap our heads and hearts around what God was trying to do. While we thought the process to bring him home would be a little quicker, the time to prepare has been good. So good. We've had the time to tether our thinking, adjust our prayers, and ready our children and home. And part of  that preparation involved the building of two sets of bunk beds. Jeremy has worked non-stop over two weekends and every weeknight to get the beds completed. And now they sit ready to be painted and assembled.

He may be brought to us or we may fly out to get him, we aren't yet sure of the details. But either way, a son is coming home, and that's reason to rejoice!

6.  Now this next one completely blew my mind. I've never gone to Bible school, though I secretly hope to take classes someday, even if only online. But each week, as I sit in my women's Bible study, I get a taste of what going to Bible school would be like. A few weeks back, one of our Pastors, came in to give us an overview of Biblical history at the time of the prophets. We were beginning to study the minor prophets, so we were getting our bearings, making sure we knew the background information. Maybe you've known this forever, but it was the first time I'd ever heard it. For years, I've been confused when the Bible talks about the king of Judah or the king of Israel. Why were there two separate kings? What happened? I could have simply asked someone or looked it up, but I didn't.

Simply put, the twelve tribes of Israel had a falling out with each other, resulting in a bad breakup. The 10 tribes who would become the northern kingdom of Israel, refused to accept Rehoboam (Solomon's son) as their king after King Solomon's death. So only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to the house of David, making up the southern kingdom of Judah. Some time later, the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians, leaving Judah the sole remaining kingdom.

My mind was blown. How did I not know this?

Also, the Samaritans? You know those people in the New Testament that were disliked by everyone? After the Assyrians conquered Israel, they settled in the city of Samaria, which was the capital city of Israel making them the Samaritans. No wonder nobody liked them.

Please tell me you didn't know this either.

Well, that's it, friends -- that's what I learned in January.
Did you learn anything cool, silly, or interesting this month?

I'd love to hear.

2 comments on "6 Things I Learned in January"
  1. Actually, the Samaritans were a mixed group--some of the Israelites who were not taken away in exile intermarried with the Assyrians who conquered. This is why they still believed in the law as given by Moses, and upheld the Torah (the first five books) but not the Prophets (most of the prophets in our Bible were in Judah, but not all). John 4 shows us that the woman at the well knew about Moses and talks about the well that Jacob dug for her ancestors.

    Bible history is incredibly fascinating. One of the projects I had to do in my Old Testament class was make a prophet chart and do a timeline of when all the prophets lived and who the kings were. I still use it for Bible Study classes today. That and a family tree of Abraham through Jacob and his twelve sons (and Dinah and other unnamed daughters)--wow is that one complicated!

    1. Oh, yes! I'd forgotten about that!! So, so fascinating!


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