10 Things I Learned in January

1.  Healing takes time. PB and his new knee are trying to get used to each other. I think they will become good friends, soon. I guess you can’t expect to make an 8″ incision, pull a joint apart and insert a piece of hardware without some pain and suffering.

2.  Lazarus had a lot to teach me. I didn’t have high hopes for a 5 week Bible study on “The Life and Death (and Life) of Lazarus”. It was simply something to fill in the weeks between Christmas and Lent. But wow. There was a gold mine in John 11 and 12.

3.  If you chase down the garbage truck and tell the driver you’re very sorry you forgot to take out your garbage bins, but your husband just had knee surgery and he usually takes out the garbage and besides that, your grandchildren were visiting and there is some very stinky garbage in your bins, the driver of the truck will have mercy on you and go back down your street to pick up your garbage.  (Thank you, whoever you are.)

4.  I still get excited when school is cancelled because of cold or snow. We don’t even have kids in school anymore, but it doesn’t matter. Seeing our school on the list of cancellations conjures up good memories of going into my teenagers’ rooms and whispering, “No school today.”

5.  “Downton Abbey” is pure delight. Maybe because it’s the last season so I’m soaking in every minute, but it seems extra good this year. I’m predicting happy endings for all.

6. Abraham Wright is my newest favorite old dead guy. He was a Puritan minister in the 1600s who said this: “I am mended by my sickness, enriched by my poverty, and strengthened by my weakness… What fools are we, then, to frown upon our afflictions. They are our best friends. They are not indeed for our pleasure, they are for our profit.”

7. The legalism of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time doesn’t look much different today. When rules are more important that relationships then love has been replaced with law. It’s tricky, but I must deal with people graciously even if I disagree with them.

8. I can’t read the Genesis story of Joseph without breaking out into song from the Broadway musical – “Go, go, go, Joseph, you’re doing fine; you and your dreamcoat ahead of your time.” What I didn’t know until this month’s re-reading of Joseph’s account, is that he sat in an Egyptian prison for 14 years after being falsely accused. Yet Joseph didn’t become bitter or hopeless. There was no documentary filmed on Joseph’s life and no petition was circulated on Facebook to release him from prison. But “the Lord was with Joseph” at every turn.

9. Recommending a good book is one of my greatest pleasures. I finished “Peace Like A River” by Leif Enger on New Year’s Day and turned right back to the first page and started reading it out loud to PB. It’s my new favorite novel – read it. Please. (Sorry, I can get bossy about books.)

10. Going through a painful time makes us more compassionate towards other people’s pain. PB will be able to minister well to those who go through knee replacement surgery and rehab. Our pain is never wasted.


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