April went by so fast (cliché, I know, I know), yet its beginning feels so distant at this point that I’m struggling to remember—so I’m especially grateful today for my little yellow Moleskine notebook and that I had my wits about me enough to jot a few things down throughout the month. If I hadn’t, well, buh-bye memories. (Full disclosure, I spent 10 minutes looking for the notebook in order to write this post.)
So here’s April in a nutshell, short and sweet (well I tried, anyway):
• I attended the Influence Network‘s one-day conference in Charlotte on the 9th (the first of several they’ll offer this year), and it’s tempting to just transcribe my scribbles for you here because there were so many takeaways that I found poignant during this season. (I won’t, though.) The kicker for me was this: Want to invite people into your life? Share your story. I listened to women talk bravely and honestly all day long, some through nervous laughter, some through tears. And I was completely ashamed of myself when I realized I had made judgment calls about several of them before walking in the door that day—solely based on their appearances and social media presence—and I had been so, so wrong. These were real women who had walked (or were still walking) through times of real pain and real struggle. I had no idea. Their faith was astounding. I was blown away by their testimonies and honored that they were willing to invite a room full of strangers into their stories.
There’s a lot more there, but this isn’t supposed to be one of those posts, so I’ll leave it for now.
• Hamilton. I’m talking about the Broadway musical. (Yes, I was just introduced this month. Yes, maybe I do live under a rock.) Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
• Ready for another cliché? I blinked, and all of a sudden my tiny newborn baby turned 2. Didn’t we just bring her home from the hospital last week? When did she go from this:
• Even journalism majors need to work on their writing skills. I’ve been taking Ann Swindell’s online course, Writing With Grace, and while it was humbling to acknowledge my need for a creative writing refresher, her course has turned out to be an incredible encouragement to me on this little journey. We’re a little over halfway through the six weeks, but I’m already willing to say I highly recommend it. There’s always room for improvement, and there’s always something new to be learned—not to mention the publishing field is ever-changing, and it’s been about, oh, 13 years since I’ve taken a writing class. Yeah, I was overdue. Onward!
• Finally, this month being brave looked like:
not pretending I like something just because it’s popular. Doesn’t that sound silly? But certain books, music, movies, blogs, podcasts, whatever—it’s hard for me to say, “Actually, I didn’t really enjoy that” when someone (especially someone I admire) is raving about it.
answering the question, “So, are you going to have any more kids?” with all the back story you could ever want. It was probably the most challenging post I’ve written to date, but God’s nudging on this one was not to be ignored. I was moved by the many responses I received, and it was affirmation, once again: When God tells you to share your story, share it. You need to tell it, and someone out there needs to hear it.
Until next month…
Check out what others learned in April here, and join in!
Miss the March edition of What I Learned? You can find it here.