A couple weeks ago I shared the “Top 5 Things I’m Learning and Living This Year (because I have neither the time nor inclination to blog)” on Facebook. Since that time I’ve been learning a 6th really key lesson; and since my Facebook readers and blog readers aren’t always the same, I’m taking the time to share this here too. I’d love to hear in the comments what you’re learning and living this year!
1. ON MARRIAGE: I neglect Date Night only at my peril. Sometimes after a busy month I look at my husband and think to myself, “We don’t even know each other.” I don’t want to get to the end of 20 years and think those thoughts; 20 days is long enough. All my work is at the house: mom, teacher, writer, housekeeper. So I have to get out of the house with my man Jonathan Trotter. To breathe, to think. To connect, to focus. To relax, to commune. I literally can’t live without Date Night.
2. ON HOME SCHOOL: I’m loving read-aloud time (part of the reason I have neither time nor inclination to write). I’m finding that children’s literature is sometimes the best thing I can read by myself too. And I’m starting to think that one of the hardest parts about this home education gig is teaching basic phonics & decoding (reading) and base ten arithmetic. Those two hurdles are hard to jump for a 5 or 6 year old. And they’re so intuitive to this 34-year-old former engineer that they can be hard to teach, too.
3. ON FORGIVENESS AND HEALING: Sometimes healing from a fractured relationship means letting the other person go and being completely at peace with the loss of relationship. I never thought I would get there, but I am. Slowly.
4. ON SOUL CARE AND THE RHYTHMS OF WORK AND REST: I tend to work too hard and too long. I tend not to carve out enough time to rest. I have to take enough time to feed my soul and rest my body. I have to take time to feed my hunger for awe and wonder. It doesn’t get fed enough when I overcommit myself or work too much. I’m slowly coming back to a better rhythm of work and rest (also part of the reason I have neither the time nor the inclination to blog).
5. ON SYMBOL AND METAPHOR: I am all about the symbols and metaphors lately. Symbol: a word or phrase that encompasses a world of meaning. Like Genesis 1:1 or Prodigal God or Passover or Kassiah Jones. Just one word and everything I know about something comes flooding back to my mind. The symbol is paramount, as is the metaphor. I can’t get enough metaphors for God: Shepherd, Father, Rock, Bread, Wisdom. We can only see facets of His character — and we need them all — but He isn’t in any one of them. Still, I love the metaphor.
6. ON NEGLECTING REAL-LIFE COMMUNITY: Community is something I’ve neglected in my overwork and overwhelm. But I neglect it at the expense of my mental health. I was beginning to lose the mental game in several areas of my life — that is, I was beginning to lose the mental game until I started reaching out to real-life friends and confiding my struggles to them. Presto! Mental game, ON. We really must do as James says and confess our faults to one another and pray for one another, that we may be healed. So thankful for real-life friends who support and encourage me.
What about you? I’d love to learn what you’re learning, too.