Wednesday, December 30, 2015

10 things I learned in 2015

My #2015bestnine Instagram photos. 

Before turning the calendar page to 2016, I'm taking a minute to reflect on what I learned in 2015. 
Here goes:

1. Even for a fairly unsentimental person, losing my wedding rings last Christmas hurt my heart. I'm still praying to St. Anthony and hoping for a miracle.

2. I am not good at reading weather maps, or maps in general. Up until this past winter, it was part of my charm. But driving through blizzard conditions with 3 precious kids in the backseat made me want to get better in this area. 

3. It's only hair. It will grow back. Just go for it, whether it's a dramatic cut or new color. And find a good stylist. 

4. Find a cause you believe in and support it. For me it's earth care, and I support this cause through my work at Faith in Place. Your cause and the manner in which you support it may look different from mine, but it is no less important. Sometimes this will terrify you. Do it anyway. Your actions make a difference. Along the same lines, your dollars make a difference, from the food you buy to the clothes you wear. Become an educated consumer and support fair trade and sustainable companies when possible. 

5. Everyone's a mess, some of us just hide it better than others. Don't compare your real life to someone's Instagram life. 

6. I need to add (and claim) "writer" to my resume. I've had several things published this year through a series of good connections/dumb luck. But if I want to continue, I need to make more time for my writing. That might mean saying no to other things. I need to be OK with that. 

7. I made an audacious (at least for me) goal this year: to find a way to go to MomCon in Indianapolis and meet Jen Hatmaker. Through some hard fundraising work, saving, and planning, I made it happen. It feels so good to check things off my bucket list. 

8. Something I heard from Margaret Feinberg at MomCon has stayed with me: "Remain suspicious that God is up to something good." Spending time in my busy day looking for the lovely breadcrumbs God keeps dropping just for me has brought pleasure to the mundane. 

9. I cannot take enough pictures of my kids. Every one is a gift. 

10. Wearing a dress for 31 days was not as hard as I thought. An unexpected takeaway: wear the nice stuff--the stuff you save for a special occasion--on ordinary days. People will wonder what you're up to. 

Your turn: what are your top 10 lessons this year?

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