What I Learned: Winter

1. How to practice Lectio Divina

I learned about this spiritual practice through reading Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton in January. (Side note: I highly recommend this book.) Since reading about it and giving it a try, I’ve been incorporating this practice into my schedule on a weekly basis and it has been so transformative. You can read Barton’s explanation on the practice here and try it for yourself!

2. "Secondhand offenses are the hardest to forgive"

My husband nonchalantly said this while we were waiting in the car before a doctor’s appointment and it put words to something so true about me (and probably most people honestly.) It is so much easier to forgive a person for something they said or did to me, but when those words or deeds are against someone I love, forgiveness feels nearly impossible. Unfortunately I don’t think Jesus included a “secondhand offense” clause that excuses this particular type of unforgiveness. I have much room to grow in sanctification here I’m afraid.

3. Kristen Bell and Dax Sheppard are married

This is admittedly shallow and I considered not including it on my list, but it is something that blew my mind. And it was followed by a weird coincidence: the morning after I learned they were married, I was listening to the radio and the two of them were introduced as that day’s guest hosts. Crazy.

4. How to play Settlers of Catan

Josiah and I enjoyed game nights with friends this winter, and I learned how to play a few new board games. The most fun by far was Settlers of Catan. It’s not nearly as complicated as I thought it would be, but (as a person who always comes in last) does require strategy to win.

5. Josiah doesn’t like baked beans

I don’t know how many times in our marriage so far I’ve made a dinner that includes some form of baked beans with cornbread or BBQ sandwiches, but this winter I learned that my sweet husband doesn’t even like them. I’ve managed to stop lamenting what an unobservant wife I am and start enjoying the fact that there is always so much more to learn about each other. At the very least, now I just buy the tiny can of baked beans big enough for me.

6. Face oil goes on AFTER moisturizer

This piece of info alone has changed my skin. Every winter my skin gets dry and flaky (ew...I know. But true.) no matter how much moisturizer and face oil I use. After watching Jamie B. Golden’s instagram stories about skincare, I finally learned what my problem was: I was putting my face oil on before my moisturizer instead of after. The geeky science behind this is that moisturizers are usually water-based. When a face oil (I just use sweet almond oil) is added before moisturizer, it blocks that moisture from absorbing into your skin. BUT when face oil is added after moisturizer, it seals in all that hydrating goodness. Here’s to that winter glow!

7. C. S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle share a birthday

Yep. November 29.

8. Coconut water is the best cure for acid reflux in the third trimester

To be honest with you, I learned so many things pregnancy/childbirth-related this season, but THIS is the thing I found most interesting and worth sharing. I had terrible acid reflux in the beginning of January (think: waking up most nights to vomit) and I was a little miserable. A friend suggested coconut water and, because I love coconut water, I used pregnancy as an excuse to splurge. Out of everything I tried, this was the one thing that made a difference. Now I buy coconut water in bulk at Sams and haven’t had a bit of acid reflux as long as I drink some every day.

9. The importance and beauty of bringing "not only the message of Christ to someone but the manner of Jesus to someone." (Zack Eswine)

I listened to this podcast interview with Zack Eswine and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this idea. It speaks to the importance of the fruit of the spirit in a really beautiful way. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control - all of these describe the manner of Jesus, how he lived and moved and went about his days on earth, and I want them to be evident in my life as well.