Sunday, May 01, 2016

Lessons Learned in April (2016 edition)


This month has worn me out.  We have traveled from Tennessee to North Carolina to Iowa to South Dakota to Idaho then back to Iowa.  Next came Texas, Missouri, and Tennessee and now we are in Illinois for the weekend seeing my sister.  It has been a month of transitioning and getting ready for our next adventure.  We have enjoyed time with friends and family.  Slowly all our i's are being dotted and our t's are being crossed as we are getting ready to move to West Africa. A reminder to self: Next time you are making a transition, don't try to do it in two months.

Each month I take time to look back and see what I have learned.  I also link up with Emily and other bloggers at Chatting at the Sky in what they have learned.  

Here are five lessons from the month of April




1. I Don't Like to Travel Alone

On the leg from Iowa to Texas, I was by myself.  I thought it would be okay.  I could listen to whatever music or podcast I wanted.  I would have time to think.  Instead the hours dragged on and on as I made my way to Texas.  Maybe next time I need to travel alone, I will make sure to have an audiobook or fly.  

I did enjoy stopping in Tulsa for a night to see a friend I had worked with in Central Asia.  So breaking up the trip was a great idea.  

2. I Want to Be As Healthy and Energetic as my Mom when I am 70.

My mom turned 70 this month.  I was blessed to spend a week with her and see her the morning of her birthday.  We spent the week playing scrabble, shopping, watching Hallmark movies, and going on walks.  

At 70, she still mows her huge lawn and has a big garden.  She is active in the children's ministry at her church.  When the whole family is there, we often take long bike rides or play tennis.  The day I left she was driving 9 hours to see my sister.  I pray I can stay healthy and have that energy when I am her age.  Maybe it's in my genes?  

3. You Should Call Every 6 Months to Renegotiate Your Different Bills.

While in Texas, we were able to watch an "expert" negotiator in action.  Our friend puts it on his calendar every six months or so to call the electric company and other companies whose plans or rates change periodically to make sure he is getting the best deal.  We witnessed his exchange with a telephone/internet/cable company.  He was patient, firm, and persistent.  His internet which he needs for his work had been cutting out.  He was working on a resolution and some type of reimbursement.  In the end, he was able to save his family $500 for the next year plus a few other perks thrown in and get his internet issues fixed.  Our friend told us the time he spends talking to the companies is worth the money his family saves.  

4. Medical Issues Bring Out the Worst in Me

I lived in a high security area for almost 7 years.  No problem.  Give me a possible medical issue, and I freak out.  My medical issues really are minor especially compared to many issues that my friends face.  But somehow the worry creeps in and tries to take over.  It helps that my husband is supportive and helps talk me through it.  On a spiritual level, I need to acknowledge that God is in control of my body just as much as He is in control of my circumstances.  So for now, I am learning to cope with my right pupil being bigger.  Luckily, I really like my new prescription sunglasses.   Even though I hate taking medicine, so far I have been blessed to not have to take much in my life time.  Hopefully things will settle and I can go back to just taking my vitamins.  For now, I am trying to trust in God's plan whatever it may.  Thankfully these little things are not life threatening just annoying.

5. Stories Strengthen Our Faith

This past month as we have traveled, we have stopped and seen family and friends.  We have heard stories of God working through the buying of a yellow house and making it available to be used for God's glory, by an after school club in the projects turning into much more, and children who have been adopted growing in spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  God is good and working.  Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by the news but maybe we need to start sharing our story and listening to the stories of those around us.  What is your story?  How is God working around you?


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