As often happens for me in times of transition, this month has involved countless learning opportunities—most of which will likely take weeks, months, or even years for me to fully gestate. I have learned so much through these early months of pregnancy, through the home-buying process, through sharing my experience with infertility, and through living within a season of waiting. While I sit with those deeper life lessons for a bit longer, here are a few of the more obvious things I’ve learned this month.
1. All shave cream is not created equal.
Luke began shaving his head a couple of months ago—not because he’s going bald (he actually has a great head of hair), but simply for a change. I’m surprised by how much I like it, but I’m even MORE surprised by how much shave cream that guy goes through. Somehow, he uses at least three times as much shave cream to cover the surface of his head as I use for BOTH of my entire legs and my underarms. A couple of weeks ago, we were out of shave cream yet again and my only scheduled errand for the day was to Sprouts. Not wanting to make an additional stop, I grabbed a bottle of the only shave cream Sprouts had available—some all-natural, organic brand that cost more than five times what I normally pay for a can of Skintimate. Well, it just goes to show that you don’t always get what you pay for because y’all, that shave cream was awful! It was pure liquid with no gel or foam, and half the bottle spilled out the first time I opened the cap. It smelled terrible and didn’t lather up at all. I would have been better off shaving with my hair conditioner (which I, in fact, did.) From now on, I’m buying our favorite shave cream in bulk.
2. What was God doing ten years ago to get me ready for today?
Annie Downs said some variation of this in a recent podcast, and it’s stuck with me. It’s been interesting to think of where I was ten years ago and how that has prepared me for the roles God has me in today. Similarly, this concept has me thinking about how today’s experiences could be molding me into who God wants me to be, and what He wants me to do, ten years from now.
3. Our oven is Jewish!
Our oven went out this past week. Not only did I learn how heavily I use my oven (it was tough to go a week without it while we waited for the repairman’s visit), but in trying to determine the problem, Luke discovered that our oven has a Sabbath function to be used on the Jewish Sabbath and Holidays. I’m not sure why turning on the oven on the Sabbath would be considered work, while placing food in the oven would not, but I do find this fascinating. Another (non-Sabbath-related) oven discovery I made this month was that I can preset a start time. This is incredibly useful and I’m disappointed in myself that I just discovered it now, after three years of living in this house and just weeks before we move!
4. Electrical outlets really can be dangerous.
I had a slight vacuum fiasco a couple of weeks ago that somehow led to an electrical fire in one of our outlets. Something shorted and there were sparks and small flames and smoke pouring from the outlet, resulting in a charred wall and a vacuum that was a goner. I’d always felt that the electrical outlet covers we installed when baby-proofing our house were overkill; now that I’ve seen how dangerous an outlet can be, I feel differently.
5. Forming a specific identity requires an investment of time, energy, money, and community involvement.
Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft spent a recent podcast episode discussing the value of investing in our identities. Their point was that we get out of things what we put into them, and when we invest in our identities, they become a more significant and fulfilling aspect of our lives. Their conversation revolved around identities of hobbies, but my mind immediately went to how I invest in my identity as a follower of Christ. Am I pouring all of my resources into serving God and growing as a member of the body of believers? If not, this could be a key factor in a faith slump—and one that is easily addressed.
6. Sharing big news makes it feel real.
I’ve known about my pregnancy for nearly three months now, but sharing our news on social media and the blog this month has made it feel so much more real. (That, and the fact that my belly is suddenly quite massive!) I’ve been so touched by the outpouring of love and enthusiasm everyone has shown, and it’s been nice to no longer feel like I have to keep my big news a secret.
7. Pregnant ladies are likely responsible for keeping Taco Bell in business.
I recently mentioned on social media how much I’m loving Taco Bell this pregnancy, and I couldn’t believe how many women chimed in that Taco Bell was their primary pregnancy craving as well! Nearly everyone who commented agreed that, like me, they almost never step foot in a Taco Bell when not pregnant, but that it was one of the few places they could eat while carrying a baby. I wonder why this is?! My current Taco Bell order is a spicy tostada, a side of black beans with tomatoes, and about two dozen packets of hot sauce. (I wish I was kidding about that last part, but if anything it’s an under-exaggeration! My favorite is the Fire sauce, but I like Mild, Hot, and Diablo as well!)
8. There are A LOT of twins in fiction.
It seems like nearly every book I pick up lately is about twins—either as the focal point of the story, or on the periphery. Case in point: a full six of the last seven books I read featured twins or triplets. I only picked up one of these books because of the twin connection, the rest were coincidence. I’m wondering now if twins have always been such a common trope, or if this is simply an example of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.
9. Buying a house is quite the ordeal.
As I mentioned in Monday’s post, we are in the process of closing on a new house this week. We’ve never purchased a house before and are learning why people say the process can be so stressful. This month has been a roller coaster of offers being made and rejected, appraisal prices changing, home inspection drama, and loan promises falling through. We are still hopeful that we will be homeowners by the end of this week, but this whole experience has involved a steep learning curve and a lot of anxiety and prayer.
What did you learn this month? Big or small, I’d love to hear about it! Share your lessons in the Comments!