It’s officially May! At the beginning of every month, my friend and mentor at The Larissa Monologues does a reflective exercise of writing 10 things she learned in the previous month. I like doing this exercise too as a way to be aware of how I’m doing, what’s happening in life, and where God is moving. So here are 10 things I learned in April:
1) God doesn’t always tell us what is “right” or “wrong”, but he does invite us into compassion and deeper understanding of others. Sometimes I just want to be told the “right” thing to do, but often it’s not that straightforward. Instead, I’ve found that God sometimes shows me what the other person involved in my situation is struggling with or going through.
2) Feeling misunderstood makes me angry and upset (often at the other person). Sometimes I end up crying and not knowing why, but this seems to be my biggest trigger.
3) On a related note, it is better to strive to understand instead of being understood. This is hard for me. I frequently remind myself to work to understand the other person and then work on communicating effectively.
4) This 100 Day Project is just what I needed. Sometimes you just need a little extra push to get things going. This has proven true in my work.
5) Showing your true (and sometimes yucky) self and being loved for it is an incredibly powerful thing. To me, this is the power of Jesus, that we are loved in our imperfections (Romans 5:8), not that we are loved because we do or say the right things. There is no reason to judge another, because we are all under this love. I am also extremely blessed because my boyfriend is pretty darn good at this 😀
6) Effective teaching is effective storytelling. I’ve been watching a lot of TED talks related to these topics. If you can tell a good story, you can probably hold your audience pretty well.
7) Change comes slow, but it’s exciting when it does. I’m starting to see change happen in myself, in my work, in my teaching, in the youth at my church. Stepping back and seeing where God’s work is being done has been helpful and encouraging for me.
8) This recipe for beet soup is my new favorite surprise discovery. I had some friends over for dinner this week and I made this recipe because I had beets in my fridge, and we were all pleasantly surprised. But beet juice-covered knives laying around my kitchen do not make for a welcoming environment.
9) The only time I will willingly eat kale is in smoothies. I’ve been making strawberry, banana, coconut milk, and kale smoothies recently, and they’re slightly green but otherwise quite tasty.
10) Improv games are actually quite fun. I played some with some friends a few weeks back, and loved it. If you can push past the fear of potentially making yourself look like an idiot, it’s fantastic. You have to be creative on the spot so it works your brain, you can really just let yourself go, and nobody’s judging you anyway. It’s a fantastic get-out-of-your-shell-and-let-loose exercise, which I think I need sometimes.
What did you learn in April?