8 Things I Learned in January

I’m not sure I’ve caught onto this pattern of thinking yet, but I’m working on it–the kind that looks back in order to see more clearly when you look forward.

It’s a reminder to take notice of small things in your life that you love, or don’t love, or choose to do anyway, and to use your observations to propel you forward. If I’m learning anything at all right now it’s that small isn’t meaningless, small isn’t insignificant; small is the life we live, day in and day out.

So why not notice the little things and appreciate them for what they are? Amazing little pieces of the story of you, the story that God has already written.

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1. My kids can run like the wind.

A friend of mine organized a group of our kids into a running challenge, to see if they can run 26.2 miles by the end of May (not all at one time, obviously). We met at a trail to kick off the running season, and I kid you not, I had to force my kids to stop running.

Landis ran almost 4 miles, and the girls close to five. They were unstoppable. I finally texted my friend to ask when the heck we were going to make them stop, and she told me my kids were setting the pace, so maybe I needed to talk to them myself. And so I did.

Clearly they don’t get this running vigor from me, but I admire it and couldn’t have been more proud.

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2. I can still accompany a choir.

Y’all, I got a job. Yes, it’s just once a week and yes, it’s only an hour, but it involves me, the piano, a choir, and a choir director, which all added together equals my love language. I haven’t done this in years, but I couldn’t be happier.

It truly is my favorite thing to do with the piano. I was really nervous that I’d forgotten my skills when I was about to go to the “try-out,” but it all came back, just a tiny bit rusty. It’s so good for me to know that what I’ve spent almost my whole life working on, what my degree is actually in,  still speaks to my soul.

And, I’ll get a paycheck. Bonus!

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3. Setting up a writing corner was the best decision.

I’ve procrastinated about this for, well, ever, but I finally feng shui’d my bedroom and came up with this, and pretty much have spent 2-3 hours about three days a week in here, if not more. There’s something about being away from all the dishes and the dog and the laundry, almost like being at the office, except it’s in my cozy little room. (and I jest about the feng shui, although if you were peeking in on me it may have looked that way as I moved things around and sat in this chair and that one to find the perfect situation).

Well, it may be an old chair and an even older desk, and I may have scratched the wood floor after rearranging the furniture, but I now have a writing corner that is hidden away in my bedroom, the room I feel the most restful in.

 4. Philippians still hits home for me.

It’s been my favorite book of the Bible since I was in high school, and it still speaks volumes to me. I pondered over what it means to “suffer the loss of all things,” but there’s so much more that speaks to my soul, and I’m so thankful it’s always so fresh and new when I open it up.

5. 2 out of 3 successful pinterest recipes is a pretty good ratio.

I added two pork tenderloin recipes to my repertoire. I tried this pork wrapped in bacon recipe and we loved it (hello, pork wrapped in pork, it’s a win-win situation), and also this slow cooker balsamic glazed pork, both of which were extremely easy–definite repeaters. The not so good recipe was a Red Thai Curry Peanut sauce to which Luke wrote on the recipe, “Never make this again.” I agreed.

6. I joined hope*writers and am loving it

I needed a place to interact with other writers, and a venue to ask my dumbest questions, and this place has been it. I’m learning a lot and really thankful for this online community.

7. Luke & I are different, and it’s good

We went to the beach early on in the month which caused some of our differences to be extremely noticeable, and I realized how good it is for us to embrace our differences, to lean into them and learn from each. It’s so good to be stretched.

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8. I figured out Mail Chimp all by myself.

See #2 to understand what I’m good at, and then maybe realize it’s not in any type of computer skills.

But I’m learning! I’ve been working hard at getting a subscription link up on my blog so you can have an easy way to read new posts. If I learned anything in January, it’s that I want to speak to you through the written word, and I want it to get to you in the easiest way possible. (and that Facebook doesn’t always come through for me). I’m writing with you, my readers, in mind, and I honestly I don’t want you to miss out on something encouraging or an opportunity to dialogue with you about something.

I’m so hoping you (YOU!) will subscribe so you can start getting posts straight into you’re inbox. I’ve set up every possible way for you to do that…at the end of this post, an annoying little pop-up, and on the sidebar.

(Also, I’m going to be putting together newsletters from time to time too as an added bonus, with recipes, tidbits about my life not on this blog, and who knows what else.)

What did you learn? Please tell all! I hope your January was both meaningful and intentional, and here’s to February, already in full swing. Make it a good one!

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe!

(linking up with Emily P. Freeman, at Chatting at the Sky.)

 

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  • Naomi

    I loved your list!!!! As for me, this January, I mostly just survived – BUT – I did learn that I need to use a toner before I put on my face cream, soooooo that’s kind of significant! 🙂

    • Naomi

      also – your #6 makes me especially happy!

  • kelsi folsom

    Gabrielle, I’m so happy for the changes and for your choir gig 😉 i could use your accompaniment skills right now as i need to find someone to accompany me for an audition recording…remembering fondly when you accompanied me at SAC!!! I miss you dear friend!

    • I remember that day fondly, although I remember feeling like I really didn’t do that great and I felt bad for you having to have it on your recording. Ha! That’s cool though that you have an audition recording, what is it for? I miss you!

  • Courtney

    I have been scheming and rearranging and cleaning-out this week in preparation for making a little writing nook almost exactly like that one! I was actually considering doing something very similar in what looks like exactly the same bedroom corner, but I think I decided today I’m going to put it in front of the guest room window. I’m so excited!!!

    Also, as a choir nerd in a former life, I’m super happy for your accompaniment gig!

    • In front of a window sounds so great! That’s the only thing about this corner is that I’m staring at a blank wall. But I’m scheming about what to hang up so it won’t be blank for long. And thanks, I guess I’m a choir nerd too, I’ve always loved it so much!