What I Learned and Loved in March (and April’s Goals!)

What I Learned and Loved in March (and April's Goals) {praylivecreate.com}

I can get up early, if I really want to.  I’m not a big fan of getting up before the sun rises (spoiled, I know, but Heshan and I do burn the midnight oil when his dissertation season’s in full swing) but last month I got up way earlier than normal a total of three times, and I was pretty excited to make it happen at all. I move in baby steps, but eventually I get there.

I also learned that I can read books on a Nook, if I really want to. My friends gifted me with an amazing Nook, and I finally braved the digital book world to download Tim Keller’s Every Good Endeavor after my pastor recommended it.  And even though I miss my favorite underline, squiggle line, and double line technique, it’s so light!

OK, Capital One 360. Enough said. That’s not an affiliate link, but it is definitely to let you know that when The Nester said she and her husband paid off a ton of debt while using Capital One 360, Hesh and I checked it out. And so far it’s working. They allow you to open up to 25 high interest  and completely free savings accounts (no minimums, no monthly payments) and give each a nickname (like car fund or longterm savings or gift giving or whatever) to make saving up for multiple things or even managing everyday expenses easier. A couple months ago we opened several interconnected savings accounts (like a car fund for maintenance and repairs, longterm savings, emergency savings, and accounts for other dreams or things we’re saving up for) and a new checking account just for groceries, and it’s already making a huge difference. Heshan was super excited when he took the car in for maintenance and found we had almost enough already set aside in our car fund to cover it. It cost us almost nothing out of our usual spending money, which was an amazing feeling.

On a not so glamorous tip, I learned that sometimes we have to tell people what our boundaries are in order for them not to cross them. I always assume it goes without saying that you should treat others how you want to be treated, but for some people it really doesn’t. So we have to say it. And sometimes that’s all it takes to be able to accept an apology you didn’t want to accept.

I learned how to make graphics! Like this one, this one, and this one. I still have a lot to learn, but you have to start somewhere, so I’ll take it.

I’m also learning how to take photos. Like the one at the top of this post that I’ve been rocking on Bloglovin’ since the beginning of the month. I’ve always loved photography, and since Heshan has a serious passion for it (we’re talking staying up all hours of the night just to study technique), so I took this photo when I was practicing with our Nikon before we upgraded to a new Canon. We’re setting up “field practice” days for him to teach me even more, and I can’t wait.

Speaking of photography, I use Rise way more often than any other filter on Instagram. I don’t know why, it just happens.

And lastly, I’m smitten with The Adventure Project. They work to change the world by equipping entrepreneurs in third world countries to learn new skills and provide new services to their community. The founder of the organization spoke at my church, and when I visited their amazing office space at BeeSpace NYC I was pretty much head over heels for their mission. What does that mean? I don’t know. But I’m excited to see them grow and impact so many communities world wide.

The Adventure Project – Live for Adventure from The Adventure Project on Vimeo.

And now for the looking ahead part… 

APRIL’S GOALS

I’m setting a few simple goals for April to help me continue to follow Jesus where He’s leading this year. So far my goals for the month are:

Keep getting up earlier. Having two hours to myself before I start my day has been a good change for me, and I like the idea of keeping it up so I can ease into my day more peacefully.

Manage my time more intentionally. I want to try to be better about taking a hold of my day before it takes a hold of me. Right now I’m working on a few new organizational things that are helping me be more intentional with time while balancing everything that Heshan and I have going on, and I hope to share more of this soon.

Make sure I get 30 minutes of Bible study a day in before bed. I need it, and I’m better for it. Plus I just got this ginormous Bible with a Barnes & Noble gift card, and it’s changing the way I study Scripture. Amazing.

Keep working on a dream the Lord’s planted in my heart. Ok, that’s all I can say for now, but March proved to be braver than I expected and I’m looking at April to keep up the courage. There are things in the works. There is excitement. There will be other amazing people involved, and it’s all super exciting and new. So… how’s that for suspense? Details coming as we live it out together right here.

That’s it! Simple, right? What about you? What did you learn and love? 

Linking up with the amazing communities at Chatting at the Sky and The Tiny Twig!

Kim_sig

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14 comments

  1. Hi Kim…I’m visiting from Emily’s site. Wanted to say BRAVO on your graphics! Isn’t it fun? I am kinda hooked on making the graphics for a project of mine too. A couple months ago I learned how to add a Pin It button to mine and I thought yours were so pretty they’d probably make a hit on Pinterest. You have a lovely site. Nice to meet you… 🙂

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    1. Hi Lisa! So glad to meet you! A Pin It button is one of our next goals. 🙂 Can’t wait to make them happen. I’m looking forward to stopping by your blog and getting to know you more!

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  2. Kim! This…this is lovely. Thank you for sharing your heart and your words 🙂

    – It’s awesome that you mentioned boundaries…especially being upfront about them.
    – You used the word “smitten”…and I LOVE IT when people use the word “smitten”!
    – My husband and I get up early, and we love it…but it’s a habit that takes a while to solidify.
    – “I want to try to be better about taking a hold of my day before it takes a hold of me” << AMEN
    – Study Bibles = mind-blowing

    I really like your blog (gosh, that sounds like such a nerdy thing to say) and I look forward to reading more!

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    1. So I’m totally going to be a nerd back and say it right back at you. So glad you stumbled this way. 🙂

      Also… getting up early … TELL ME YOUR SECRETS! I love it, but our lives skew so badly toward being night owls right now. (We are way too old to admit that).

      XO.

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      1. Aww, thanks! It’s a good day when it’s acceptable to be a bit nerdy!

        As far as getting up early…I have no secrets! My husband and I walked into our marriage on complete opposites of the sleep schedule spectrum, and it quickly became an issue. I was a vehement night owl (like, staying up until 3am) and he was an early bird. Because of his job, we decided that we needed to be on the same sleep schedule.

        No lie, it took a good month or two. But here’s what helped…
        – having a definitive time frame for going to bed (for us, 9:30-10)
        – having a definitive time frame for getting up (5:30-6)
        – keeping electronics out of the bedroom, especially at night
        – not being involved in lots of evening activities
        – developing the art of kicking ourselves out of bed when the alarm goes off
        – having something positive to look forward to in the morning (time with the Lord, a great smoothie, yoga, etc.)

        It takes time and intention, but it’s well worth it!

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  3. Great gifts from March you shared here…..love the graphics..need to expand and learn some of this too. It is fun to work on things together isn’t it. I learned in March that when sickness comes to visit and you can’t stand firm against it, you sit or lay “firm” and speak your words and know this too shall pass …….learned that when God asks you to surrender to His plan, we can trust Him. Also learned turning 66 is fantastic! Beats the alternative 🙂

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  4. That’s awesome you are learning to make graphics. I too want to learn that. Oh and I hear you with the photography. I too love it. I’m really wanting to take my camera out now that it is spring. Can’t wait to see your photos!

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    1. Steph’s been a good Photoshop instructor. 😉 Hesh and I were supposed to go on a “field trip” tonight, but it looks like we’re being rained out. Can’t wait to see your photos, too!

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  5. I really love these “what I learned and loved” posts. I probably say that every time you post one, but it’s still true! It’s fun to see the nitty-gritty of what you’re doing and learning and figuring out in the everyday trenches of life. Thanks for letting us in on that.

    I’m totally with you on the way I read nonfiction books, with all the underlining and starring and margin notes. Thankfully, my Kindle Paperwhite is a touchscreen, and it lets me highlight passages and record notes and even share passages on social media if I want. Honestly, I haven’t done much of that yet because I’m totally with you–it’s hard to get out of the pen-on-page way of reading! But I’ve accumulated a lot of great books for free over the past couple months since I got my Kindle, so I really should start reading some of them.

    I’ve been thinking I need a new feed reader, so I might check into Bloglovin’, now that you’ve mentioned it. Is that what you use to keep track of blogs you read? Love that pic of you, by the way. Will be fun to see you develop as a photographer!

    And, I’m super duper excited for whatever is to come for you in April. God is good and He is clearly at work. So thankful for that and so thankful for you in my life!

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    1. Thanks, Courtney! I think free books would be enough to make me a Kindle reader, too. 😉 Steph turned me onto Bloglovin’ and I love it so far. It’s super easy to organize blogs you read into categories and keep up with everything. Not that I’m ever “caught up.” Love your continual encouragement, and so grateful for you! Consider this a big hug sent all the way from my corner of the world to you. ❤

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