• April Knapp

What I Learned This Winter

I have not written a "What I've Learned" post in a while. In the busyness of every day life, it is easy to forget the lessons we learn. But, that's why we're here right? To experience God in the mundane-to listen and remember.

For a few years, author Emily Freeman has hosted a link up for such posts. She challenges us to listen and remember by recording what we learn-silly and serious.

I started practicing this discipline again, so here is what I learned this Winter (maybe you'll learn something new too!):

When the junk piles on, God sustains us.

This truth is not new to me, but I often doubted it through my "what ifs."

Then the junk piled on.

Recently, we had trials pour down on us (we had a pipe burst, so one trial was literally pouring down). This was the second time the junk piled on us in a period f a few months. But, God was there and he sustained us.

I have seen friends suffer great losses. I have seen their faith become stronger through their tears. I often wonder if my doubting heart will be able to stand the weight of such sorrow. Though I did not suffer great sorrow, I suffered pain, fear, and stress. My faith did not buckle under the weight. Instead, God came alongside me and held the weight up. I oddly found myself resting more peacefully in his arms when the hurricane was swirling around me then I do in the calm.

I truly believe that when trials come, God hands his children a special grace to survive.

Bursitis is a thing.

Speaking of trials, I learned what bursitis is-an inflammation of your bursa sac (the tissue in your joints). I also learned you can get it by simply smacking your elbow on the end table when you're trying to hit snooze. I also learned that it can get infected, be incredibly painful, and almost send you to the hospital.

Apparently it mostly happens in elderly people and very active people, of which I am neither.

My child is her own person.

This is another thing I knew, but has become abundantly clear to me lately. My eldest just turned six and lately she has been exerting her independence and opinions. Honestly, I find it comforting. She's always been so compliant and dependent that I worried we would have to shove her out of the nest. But, she is opening her wings on her own. Hallelujah.

She holds many thoughts and daydreams inside. I don't always know what is going on in her active little head. It is terrifying and thrilling all at once. It's terrifying because I must relinquish control and that is always terrifying. It is thrilling because I trust that God loves her more than I do and is making himself known in her little world better than I could alone.

You can escape quicksand by floating on it.

No, I did not get stuck in a vat of quicksand. But, after hearing a quicksand illustration in a talk, I decided to research it because I'm a nerd. The movies lied to us (of course). A person will not sink and drown in quicksand. However, we can sink up to waist deep before we start naturally floating and when you get your feet stuck, it's really hard to get out.

If you ever find your feet stuck in quicksand, here's how to make the escape easier: DO NOT STRUGGLE. The more you struggle, the faster your bottom will sink down and the sand will enclose on your feet like cement. But, if you stay calm and trust the process, you will eventually float naturally to the top. When you can, lay on your back and float on top of the quicksand, then it will be easier for someone to pull you out.

In other words, Wesley and Buttercup would still be stuck in Fire Swamp.

It really is a great illustration for trusting God rather than ourselves. But I don't recommend throwing your Sunday school kids into a vat of quicksand to prove a point because lawsuit.

People have conspiracy theories about ice dancers.

While my husband watched the Winter Olympics non-stop, I googled. The most hilarious piece of info that I learned was about the gold-winning Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

By now you probably know everybody and their grandchild wants the two to be a real-life couple. Some crazy fans take it a little too far. Though the pair deny being in love, there is a coterie who believes the two are secretly married and have a child. Of course, this child would have been born eight years ago, when the theory started, so my questions are- how do you hide an eight year old? And why would ice dancers lie about being married? It is beyond hilariously ridiculous. I am also scared that these people have internet access.

So, that's what I learned in the grind of the Winter.


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January Favorite Things

What I Learned This Winter 2017

When God's Answer is Not the One You Want