Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I Learned in 2014

Emily Freeman does a blog post each month where she invites readers to link up with what they've learned that month.

As an educator, I hold true to the theory that we are always learning, so I look forward to this post each month.  Looking for things to include in my own post has made me actively seek out learning experiences, or at least made me use google a whole lot more to clarify or substantiate information.

This month, she's reviewing the whole year, and I thought that since I like to do a year in review anyways, this would be a great opportunity.

So, here it is... what I learned in 2014.

1. I learned that God knows what you need when you need it.  From the very beginning of the year, I had focused on my word "be".  My key verse for the year was "Be still and know that I am God." I wanted to be intentional, yes, but I also wanted to embrace every single moment and opportunity given to me. I learned just what it meant to be still and know after my Grandma died.  I learned that to be in the moment, appreciating every second, is the single most important thing we can do in our life.  Too often I focus on the future and make big plans... but I'm not promised another single day.  And I spend a lot of time kicking myself over things I've said in the past... but that's over and done with.  BE.  I'm learning...

2. 2.4 seconds is a lifetime. Seriously. Always before, I would start celebrating a win with two minutes to go. Not anymore.  In March, as I watched a win slip from the clutch of my Ladycats, I learned that nothing is guaranteed... and almost a year later, losing is still hard to swallow. Just ask Caleb Bates.

3.  "Go Big Blue" sounds much sweeter in an arena packed with Big Blue Nation fans, where you just might hug the neck of the college girl next to you... even if you spent the first twenty minutes of the game trying to avoid hitting her elbow with your elbow because arena chairs mean there are no strangers.  Also, flying home and missing the Championship game is worth it to witness the Kentucky loss with a great bunch of friends.  We were so close to that championship, but this year it is ours for the taking...

4. There are no words to describe the Grand Canyon.  Authors have tried, and have done an injustice, and I feel as though I would do an injustice, too. Standing on the brim, looking down and across at all of nature's colors... I was reminded of just how vast my God is.

5. There is never enough time to read... and sometimes reading isn't the best thing. When I retreat into my own little world and care more about fictional characters than those outside my house, or those inside my house, even, it can be a bad thing... but sometimes this is my tendency.  This year, I was convicted big time over this.  That's not saying I'll not be reading in 2015... just that if I'm prompted to put up the book and participate in life around me, I'll not say, "Just one more chapter."

6. Quitting isn't necessarily a bad thing.  This year, in the wake of my Grandma passing and a bad winter full of snow and feeling like I was out of sorts all semester long, I struggled through my own college work.  I decided to drop my classes in the summer and sat out in the fall.  I was better able to appreciate life and those in it with me, without worrying about a paper all the time.  I'm still not as refreshed as I'd like to be, but I also learned that even though taking a breather can be good... it can sometimes make starting back more difficult, so I'll be crazy once again in a couple of weeks as I enter the (hopefully!) last year of my doctorate program.

7. In relation, not living by a to do list can be a very good thing.  Once I quit school, I didn't have quite as many things to keep up with, and I (for what may have been the very first time in my life since I was responsible for my own actions) started flying by the seat of my pants.  It was a little scary.  This was prompted when I lost my planner in September... and I just never got back in the habit of using it.  I may or may not have forgotten some things... but I lived to tell about them. I know that because I need to get organized in the coming year, I'll be going back to the planner and to do list (plus I'm waiting on a lovely Erin Condren planner, so why WOULDN'T I want to use it?), but it's been somewhat exhilarating to be free.

8. God is good, even when life isn't. There is no explanation for that statement.  It's just the truth. No matter what you're going through, He is there with you. You may not feel Him.  You may not want Him. But He wants you... and He loves you. I'm so grateful that this year, I learned more about His love.


  1. I love the idea of writing about what you learn each month! I'll have to check out her blog.I didn't realize you were in school, but I agree you have to do it when you are ready and can really focus. Good for you for learning about breaks and lastly, GO BIG BLUE ;)

  2. Oh friend, flying by the seat of my pants is something I have learned to adjust to. It's a new normal. I think a little planning is in order, around here, for 2015 though. Taking a break from whatever causes me to keep my eyes down, instead of up, is something I choose to be more aware of this year with ya! Loved this list of things learned!

  3. Just got back from Arizona yesterday after a three day road trip with my family. Phoenix is always home for me, no matter where I'm living. Love the Grand Canyon and the wonder of God's creation.