10 Things I Learned in August

At the end of each month, I share things that I learned. This habit helps me pay attention to life, myself, and God’s presence. It’s my way of reflecting and celebrating. In no particular order, here are 10 things I learned this month:

1. Coconut oil can treat infant cradle cap. 

Cradle cap is a form of skin condition that Aria had which caused her scalp to be flakey and crusty. Our doctor told us it would simply go away at some point. But then my friend Jeanne tipped me off that rubbing coconut oil on the skin would do the trick. We rubbed some coconut oil on Aria’s head, gently combed the skin on her scalp, and like magic, no more scaly skin.

2. Parenthood is about carrying long term vision and hopes for your children.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what kinds of people I want my kids to become. Empathetic. Resilient. Creative. As I mine my heart for these hopes, I feel challenged. How am I modeling these to my kids? How am I, as their parent, coaching and nurturing them into these qualities? This is probably a whole blog post for another time.

3. Netflix has a series called Chef’s Table, and it’s beautiful. 

Each episode enters the kitchen and life of a renowned chef, and explores his or her unique passions and worldviews. It’s very much like Jiro Dreams of Sushi (which is a great documentary).

4. Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. 

I discussed this life habit more here, after reading the powerful book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Truly, this concept resonates deeply for me. As I think about my life’s activities, relationships, time, and tasks, I keep asking the same question, “Is this thing speaking to my heart? Is it life-giving? Is is deepening my joy?” As I ask myself these questions, I have so much clarity about what I need to keep or let go.

5. I’m now a soccer mom with a minivan and three kids. 

Um, yeah. I’m a living cliche. I’ve suddenly entered into this new stage of life where I constantly have a baby strapped onto my torso, a purse that’s stocked with diapers and crackers, and am chauffeuring kids to school and activities. I thought graduating from college was a big adult milestone, but this parenthood gig is a whole other beast.

6. If it weren’t for my husband, I’d be a less courageous minister and leader. 

Steve and I have been partnered in ministry and leadership for as long as we’ve known each other. We have mentored people, taught seminars, led missions teams, and developed new ministries together. And all along the way, he has continued to be my biggest advocate. There have been so many times I have been filled with self-doubt that threatened to paralyze me from taking risks in leadership. But then my husband will encourage, challenge, and support me in a way that propels me into more confidence. He’s the steady voice of, “Of course you can do it,” that leads me to saying yes to speaking at a conference for the first time, and the voice of, “Your wisdom and input is needed,” that helps me to speak up rather than stay silent. I do not take this man or our partnership for granted, and for the billionth time am grateful for my choice to marry him.

7. My kids are Michael Jackson fans. 

Their favorite and most requested is “the zombie song” (Thriller), but really they love it all. I am dancing for joy that we don’t have to listen to children’s music or the Frozen soundtrack. Bow to the King of Pop.

8. Sometimes Amazon gives you a refund, and doesn’t require you to return the item. 

This happened to us several times this month. We had to return several items (that either didn’t fit or work), and Amazon sent us our money back or a replacement with a message saying, “No need to return the original item.” Thank you, Amazon!

9. This little squishy is 6 months old. 

I love how much joy increases in our home and family because of her! And I am saying this despite being completely and utterly sleep deprived for the last 6 months.

10. There are several wonderful historical fiction books set during World War II that are worth reading: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Nightengale by Kristin Hannah.

I somehow began reading these simultaneously, one on Kindle and one hardcopy from the library. Both are so poignant and lovely and tear-inducing.

4 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned in August

  1. I've been wanting to read BOTH those from #10, but the library has it on intense wait list (I'd be #62 or something), so I need to go get them.
    Also I love Amazon's customer service. Top notch.


  2. This has been my summer of reading WWII historical fiction too! Not on purpose, it just sort of happened. If you want to continue on reading in that era, try SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys (YA) and ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan (MG)


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