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. It’s how I take notice and be present. In no particular order, here are 10 things I learned this month:
1. A trip to the DMV can be a surprisingly pleasant experience.
I finally bit the bullet, and transferred my driver’s license from California to Hawaii. Meaning that I had to take a written test and eye exam. The eye exam basically consisted of me completely guessing an entire row of letters. Thankfully, the DMV staff was very forgiving, telling me, “Uh, you should probably get an eye check-up. Here’s your license anyway.”
2. Studying the Bible with a few friends “just because” was one of the best things I did this month.
Steve, our housemate Ryland, and I felt inspired to hold our own weekly study in the Gospel of Mark. We all do a lot of ministry and leading, so it has been great for us to look at Scripture for ourselves.
3. A shockingly low number of films pass the Bechdel Test.
The Bechdel Test is used as an indicator for the active presence of women in films and other fiction. It’s a simple test that uses the following criteria: it has to have at least two women in it who talk to each other about something besides a man. Sounds simple, right? Many movies don’t make the cut, which is worth considering if you’re at all interested in gender inequality. You can see the movies which pass or fail at Bechdel Test Movie List.
4. My kids look good all dressed up in new Easter clothes.
This lasted about 10 minutes before they got chocolate smudges everywhere, and wanted to run around the house in only underwear.
5. The Leuchtturm 1917 notebook is THE BEST.
No, don’t even start with how your other notebook is great. Sorry, you’re absolutely wrong. The Leuchtturm has details like an empty table of contents, numbered pages, and a storage pocket. I hug mine before going to bed at night.
6. “When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, we are ripe for making a move.” Ruth Haley Barton in Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership
I’m slowly reading this book for the second time, and purposefully letting its wisdom wash over me. I love Barton’s insights on leadership, calling, and living out of our authentic selves.
7. Your writing will be a lot better if you remove “that.”
If your sentence includes “that,” take it out and see if the sentence still makes sense. If it does, take it out. For other words to banish, see Five Words to Eliminate from Your Writing.
8. Getting from place to place with multiple kids is easier with a wagon.
We got our wagon from Costco, and have taken it everywhere. Here’s a similar wagon on Amazon with great reviews.
9. I’m surely late to the game with this, but you can rearrange and hide your boards on Pinterest.
If you have boards that you want to be seen at the top of your Pinterest page, you can move them around in whatever order you wish. And you can make certain boards private.
10. True compassion gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering.
I’ve been thinking about compassion a lot these days, mostly wondering how I can allow more compassion to flow in my life. Do I really want to live with compassion? That feels like a costly choice in many ways. What’s the quality of compassion that I extend to others? To myself? In these musings, I mostly have concluded that I want more compassion, am limited in my own compassion resources, and need to let God pour his own compassion into me.
What about you, friend? What did you learn this month?