Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I Learned in August

It’s that time again. August was a wild ride and the stuff I learned this month? 
Pretty random. 
Here goes.

1. The Olympics are my favorite. Oh my word. I get lost in the backstories of the athletes, the drama of the competition, the rivalries. Love me some rivalries. You have medals? I want you to win more. You don’t have medals? I want you to finally win one! 
I will cheer for the USA as long as we are in the fight, and if we aren’t, I’ll pick some other country to cheer for. And my reasons for choosing are as logical as wanting to see the home country win or as random as having issues with the color of someone’s uniform. I love it. I stay up late to watch even though I know I could Google it to find out who won. But where’s the fun in that?! I know some people who just don’t care about the Olympics, but I am not one of those people. 

2. The InstantPot rocks. I got mine a few weeks ago when they lowered the price on Amazon Prime day. I’m still figuring it out, but I love it. Boiled eggs - perfection. They peeled so easily, I might actually be able to make some pretty deviled eggs now. Roasts in 70 minutes. Frozen chicken breasts become shredded chicken in under 30 minutes. I have dreams of meal planning and always being prepared when dinner time rolls around but I have yet to see them come true. The InstantPot is a lifesaver for someone like me

3. Lularoe for the win. Have you heard of this stuff? Leggings that are as soft as butter. Shirts that actually hang down long enough to cover your rear when you are wearing those leggings because—say it with me—LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS. My sister got me hooked on LLR and I now own several (cough, cough) pairs of leggings and a few (or, you know, 6) shirts. They are so comfortable. Seriously the most perfect outfit for a homeschooling, writer mom who needs to be able to run outside and throw the football one minute and then snuggle up with her laptop in the next. These are actual clothes—and they look like clothes—but they are as comfy as pajamas. What more could a girl want?

4. Always travel with $1 bills. Let me explain. I rarely have cash. When I do, it’s because I just hit an ATM. So I have $20s. $20s work just fine until you need some smaller bills. Say to tip the bellman at the fancy hotel you just showed up in. But you only have $20s. And he’s nice and friendly and he got your key card to work for you but $20? I’m generally a big tipper, but I can’t go $20. So instead you turn as red as your laptop cover and mumble how you don’t have anything to tip him with but could you please get his name and hunt him down later? And you can tell he totally doesn’t believe you will, and then you spend the next 3 days trying to locate him in the lobby of the hotel. Lesson learned. Keep some $1s and $5s handy. 
BTW—I found him. His name was Kevin and he was awesome and I was right. He didn’t believe me. We ended up having a lovely chat and he told me people say that all the time and then never follow through. So if you don’t heed my advice and fail to have small bills handy, promise the bellman a tip and then make good. It just might open up an opportunity to share a teensy bit of the Gospel with him and who knows what God might do with that? 

Me with Lynette Eason after the Carol Awards!
5. Listen to your mentors. Someday I'm going to talk more about this, but for now, here's what I've learned. If God has been gracious to you and put mentors in your life, when they tell you you "must" do something? You should probably do it. I'm not going to say always, because humans are fallible and it's possible they could be wrong. But if you have two mentors who gang up on you and INSIST you take a certain course of action? Yeah. Probably better just say, "Yes, ma'am" and do it. 
The screen shot that left me stunned.
In my case, two of my mentors (Lynette Eason and Edie Melson) ganged up on me last March and insisted I enter a couple of contests. Contests I had NO PLANS to enter. None. I said things like, "It's a waste of time and money for me to enter." They refused to listen. And now they walk around with big heads saying, "I told you so." :) 

Me with Edie at the ACFW Gala.
6. Sometimes obedience is fun. Edie shared that little nugget with me a few weeks ago when I was being all angsty about winning awards. Recognition and awards are awesome. Really and truly awesome. But I struggle with it. I don’t want to be prideful—and I know how fast my sinful heart can go there. But I also don’t want to be ungrateful. As another dear friend (and frequent deliverer of spiritual Gibbs’ slaps), Lori Roeleveld reminded me, these awards are gifts from God. Gifts from my very good Father. And as a parent, how would I feel if I gave my children a gift and they said, “It’s nice, but I didn’t really want it?” So I’m trying to stay close to Jesus and enjoy the gifts He’s giving. And trying to remember that while sometimes God does ask us to do hard things, sometimes, obedience is fun. 

So what about you? Did you discover something awesome in August? Share it with us in the comments!