Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sharing a Baker's Dozen of Things I've Learned in February 2015

I feel like I have nothing to say, until I sit down and gather what I've learned in a month. At first, I wonder if I gained knowledge about anything and then I come up with over a dozen of amazing, interesting, or who-really-cares things that I learned in the past 28 days.

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul,
a hope . . . "
{Hebrews 6:19}

1.) February has been a month of silence and feeding my soul.

I continue in this journey of healing and one of the greatest battles in it is guarding my mind. It's too easy to go down the wrong thought pattern. I read this quote this month by Elizabeth Elliot, in Loving God with All Your Mind:
"people who have themselves experienced both grief and fear know how alike those two things are . . . They are equally disabling, distracting, and destructive."
I know this to be true! I'm learning that we just can't block these emotions, we have to replace it with something. I've been actively replacing them with good things, things that are true, lovely—music, sermons, theology, classic literature, handwriting thank you cards, testimonies, reading books, looking for beauty in life as it is, scrubbing sinks, appreciating how God continues to take care of us through caring people. I've got a long way still to go on this road, but I'm learning. Slowly!
"The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:5,6

2.) I found out on the first day of this month that I became an Aunt for the 23rd time. I also had the privilege to learn what an incredible honour it is to have a precious new life, not from my own womb, to share my name.

I love you, thank God for you and pray your life will always bring glory to His name, Keira Hope Rebekah.

3.) And then . . . !! my baby grew up and turned five years old this month!! I'm learning what it is to slow down and to savour every single moment. She learned to snap her fingers yesterday and her joy. is. contagious.

4.) So are all the sick bugs that won't leave our house!

I've learned that the shortest month of the year can drag on for what seems like forever. It doesn't help that I have lived like a hermit this winter. I look forward to sipping my morning coffee on the back deck in a few months. And, yeah, in about four months I'll be cranking up the air conditioning when instead of -40 degrees celsius with the windchill it'll be +40 degrees celsius with humidity.

5.) Speaking of weather, I learned that it has been the coldest February in Canada in 115 years!! It's sunny and balmy today at -9. {Oh, wait! I looked again and it's -2 now. Spring is in the air!}

6.) Some studies this month, revealed that my oxygen saturation levels remain fairly stable during sleep, so it appears that six months post my open-heart surgery my body is back to managing its oxygen levels on its own. Praise God for His healing mercies in my body!

7.) Yes, that is six months this weekend that I have been recovering from high risk open-heart surgery. I came across the surgeon's two-page summery of the operation yesterday and still can hardly grasp all that was done to my heart and what I have been healing from. God surely does heal broken hearts!

8.) Broken hearts and this broken world that breaks my heart over and over. Murders, martyrs, hateful wars on social media between parents who love their children, the conversations we are forced to have with our children in spite of desperately wanting to allow them their innocence that they deserve, new curriculum that reveals just how far we have rejected God and He has revealed His wrath. But God! He has provided a way to be saved from His wrath and made righteous in His Son. This is Good News!

I spent a lot of time this month meditating on the Good News of the Gospel of God that Paul talks about to the church in Rome. You ever wonder if the Bible is relevant for today? Start reading in Romans 1 and you will see just how relevant those words written around AD 56 are for today.

9.) I also learned a lot reading this bookPlight of Man And the Power of God by D.M. Lloyd-Jones. A must-read for anyone who proclaims the Gospel of God! Go here for an online version.

10.) Another book by D.M. Lloyd-Jones that I read and learned a great deal about growing more intimate in our relationship with God: Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms. Another highly recommended read!

11.) So while, apparently, almost the rest of the world was watching the Oscars, I was listening to a sermon and realized that I am such a nerd. I'm ok with that. The Oscars may be glitzy, but the Good News is glorious! The more I learn, the more I learn that I've got so much more to learn. I'm thankful for friends that can completely relate. Kindred spirits.

12.) All that glitters is not gold? It's true, like the rest of the world, I learned that things aren't always what they appear. My husband and girls say they saw blue and black while my son and I subtracted the blue in our brains and totally saw gold and white. Hmm, #thedress that broke the internet?

13.) One more thing. I learned that I needed to hush some of the noise in my life, or rather, what I contribute to it. I deleted a certain app on my phone that causes me too much distraction in my daily life and prevents me from looking into real faces. Now, I occasionally log in the old fashioned way, check messages, and sit for a bit like a wallflower, but I'm silent in the conversations; taking a break from likes, comments, shares. It may be gone for forty days, maybe longer?

{I am still on Instagram —because I challenged myself to get out everyday—sharing my #greatoutdoors365 shots. I missed three days this month.}

*Linking with Emily at Chatting at the Sky.

**Photo 4—courtesy of my Mom—my firstborn holding her newest cousin

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