Every year, I tend to do a wrap up blog that shares what I've learned through the year. I always enjoy that- I'm a reflective person, and I process my life often, and much of that tends to be about things I've learned, both good and bad, silly and serious , and.... you get the point.
I've been connecting up with more bloggers lately, and in so doing, I am often inspired for a new blog or to link up to their idea.
Through Chasing Blue Skies, I also found Emily's blog, which prompted this one- What I have learned in January. Life is a journey, and we are always learning new lessons. Why not share them with others? You can choose to read or move on... but here's a little bit of what January brought my way and taught me.
1. Reading is one of my guilty pleasures in life.
I have always been an avid reader, but over the last several years, I have, in many ways, abandoned that love out of guilt. Guilt that laundry was calling or dishes needed done or my kids needed me doing something for them. And by the time I got around to even thinking about picking up a book, my eyes were far too heavy to get further than a few pages. I am putting away the guilt and picking my books up again. I love it. I'm still present with my family. If they truly need something, I'm right there. As for dishes and laundry, an hour of reading doesn't mean those won't get done. They just get done a bit later. And sometimes, that's ok. I am taking all kinds of book suggestions (Ahem... feel free to leave me suggestions!) and writing them down and, little by little, even crossing them off. I love to read fiction and non fiction both. My mom used to sit and read for hours. Sometimes to us, and other times, her own book, even late into the night. Life never stopped because she read. Why should I think mine will if I pick up my books? It's been great to be back at the library and soaking in books again.
2. I am most definitely an event planner, and it's a gift
My whole life, I have been sort of made fun of (within my family especially) for being a planner. I used to be pretty ridiculous about it, but the older I have gotten, the better about it I have become. That being said, this week as I was thinking on some things I am currently planning, it donned on me that I am, in fact, an event planner. It's kind of a gift, even. I am not perfect at it, but not everyone can plan something and pull it off. This is not to toot my own horn. It's honestly just more of the cool things I"m learning about myself on this journey called life. I am an event planner. My goodness, it's even led me into the career I'm in now, which combines passions of both running and planning! God could not have put me in a more perfect environment. I don't know it all, but I sure love figuring it out and watching it unfold. I love making lists and crossing them off. I laughed, mentioning this to a friend this week, who was kind of like "Duh, Rachael! You're just now figuring that out??" I am currently (besides my life career, which plans all year for one event) planning an event for March and an event for May. And I guess I kind of did a mini event this weekend, even though I didn't really view it as that. Sometimes my planning is annoying to others and I have to curb the excitement I get over it. But honestly, it's a gift God's given me and I am going to use it for Him and keep on going with it. Who knew when I was 10 and planning out life that somehow that piece of me would turn into this?? God knew. He always does! It's pretty awesome, really. What I start planning sometimes evolves into something completely different, but that's part of what I love about it at times.
3. God is Patient, and my plans are often not His for me.
I make the same mistakes over and over or I have the same frustrations over and over or I experience anxieties over and over, but God is forever waiting there for me to remember to come back to Him with it all so He can carry it, instead of me trying to do it on my own. He can take care of me, not others. My worth comes from Him, not from words or work or people. He is forever patient with me, as I learn this lesson over and over. I am so grateful for His patience. And hope that as He is patient with me, I will learn to be patient with others as well. And along with that goes the fact that my plans, what I want, isn't always what He has for me. But somehow, what He has for me is way better. And He patiently waits for me to come to that conclusion.
4. The Value of a True Friend
How often do women struggle with friendships? I will be honest, I am a people person and crave friendships all the time. I love to be around others and soak them in and, honestly, share my life with them, too. I've heard it said you really only have 3-5 true lifetime friends. I am beginning to understand that. People come and go, but every once in a while you find that very true friend in the midst of the chaos. One you can always call, no matter how much time has passed. One who you can not have to say much to and they understand what you're feeling and thinking. One who is with you when you mess up and celebrates when you succeed. I wrestled through this a bit this month for some various reasons I won't launch into here, but needless to say, I am quite blessed to work through the discoveries of true friends. You don't need a hundred... let me rephrase ...I don't need a hundred.... God has blessed me with a few. And though some are near and others are far, those few are precious gifts. And I hope I can be the same to them and others around me.
5. You don't take things with you.
What does that mean? This life is temporary. It's often hard to remember that. But in the end, when life is over, those things are still here. What continues on though are memories. And legacies. What am I doing today to capture special moments and leave important life lessons behind me when I'm gone? My mom did that well.... I want to , too. It's not about things. It's about people. and loving. and being in the moment.
I suppose January has taught me a lot, or re-taught me even. Some fun things, some serious. Thanks, Emily and Kristen for the prompt :) Now, my readers, what have you learned this month?