12 things I learned in April

Here are 12 things I learned in April, in no particular order:

1. If you put Alexis Bledel in a movie with Zachary Levi (Rory and Chuck!), I’m going to watch it. And I’m probably going to like it even if it is cheesy and predictable.


2. Cutting flowers and branches from my yard and bringing them inside puts me in a good mood.

3. Thirty-six doesn’t feel any different than thirty-five. I know this seems obvious, but thirty-five felt way different than thirty-four. Thirty-four you are still early thirties and thirty-five definitely kicks you over to mid-thirties. But thirty-six still feels mid-thirties to me and I’m going to hold on to that.

4. Podcasting with Tsh helps me not to take myself too seriously.

5. Ollie’s sells Grace for the Good Girl for 4.99. I was unreasonably excited when I found a copy there. And then I thought . . .wait a minute. This is a discount store!  But for real, to have her arrive at the discount store among some of my favorite authors feels like an honor somehow.

6. After getting to know him on American Idol, I have decided Keith Urban is cool no matter what he does. (See Nicole Kidman. See his taste in T-shirts. See country music. See Australia.)

7. I finally realized this month that every time I type Chris it comes out Christ. It’s like the Holy Spirit likes it and he wants to put a T on it. I also type Amazong for Amazon and thigs for things. So Christ bought a lot of thigs on Amazong is basically my nightmare sentence.


8. Todd Smith and I graduated from the same tiny private high school in Southfield, Michigan. He was the class of ’91 and I was the class of ’95. John and I spent an entire afternoon with Todd and Angie last week in Franklin without putting these pieces together. We figured it out later and I realize again how small the world feels when things like that happen.

9. When you have to give a talk to a group of people ranging from 5 year old girls to 65 year old grandfathers (and all the ages in between) the way to make it relevant for all of them is to tell stories and to talk about Jesus.

10. Monday is a great day to have a birthday because then you spend the whole weekend celebrating and you still have Monday to look forward to.

11. Two words that might change my life: Stitch Fix. My box is supposed to come today and I can’t wait to see what’s inside. I might hate it all. Or it might all be too expensive. Or it might just be a one time thing for me. But it’s my birthday month so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m including my referral code in this link incase you haven’t signed up yet and want to – maybe I’ll earn enough to actually keep some of the clothes they send. I’ll keep you posted.

12. It is possible for me to be consistent with a newsletter. Tomorrow will mark the 5th one I’ve sent this month! In May, I’ll start doing it once a month, but this month has been a successful experiment for me to play with length, content, and questions. I’ve enjoyed interacting with you through the newsletter, so thanks to those of you who have responded. (And of course, you can sign up here if you would like to receive the last letter of April and exclusive monthly updates starting in May).

What have you learned in April?


  1. says

    I learned:

    1. poshmark is awesome! I sold my clothes on there and made 90.00! Stuff I never wear. you have to try it!!!

    2. it only takes a moment to make me feel like I am drowning….again. Life can change in an instance and I have to remember I do all things for Christ and I must be cruficified.

    3. I found Sarah Markley’s blog and liked it

  2. says

    I’m glad 36 feels no different than 35 (and happy birthday?)…because 32 feels different than 31…like I’m inching my way to the mid-thirties and it’ll be here, then 40, before I know it.


  3. says

    Random thoughts: I watched most of that movie (with Zachary Levi and Alexis Bledel), even though I usually don’t go for that kind of show…they just sucked me it (and my husband too, but he won’t admit it). And I feel like I should know you since you lived in Southfield, too…although I was a baby when I did. And I am only 2 months away from 36 so I’m clinging to your belief that it’s not too different. :-)

    Happy Monday! Loved your wrap up of the month!

  4. Joan Marie Shepherd says

    Happy Birthday, Emily! …thirties…good years …and since you have a young family, the next batch of birthdays will be special as they participate in building family celebration traditions…(here is a secret…all the years are good, some may feel different, beginning new seasons, closing out chapters… but they are all good) In some of those years, you may even forget how old you actually are and have to subtract your birth year from present year!! This easily occurs, since (hopefully) people don’t ask your age as a conversation starter, like one may with a toddler =) so it may actually fade into the background with the activities of life … Abundant Birthday Blessings to you, hoping the day was FULL of warm, wonderful and memorable moments with those you love and who love you!

  5. says

    Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t know you, but I’m so thankful for you and your words and your books. After 4 times and many tears later, GFTGG has forever changed me. Praise the God who sets his captives free!

  6. says

    I learned to leave the … out of my writing. :)

    And that (in)RL is awesome.

    And that the mix of bulbs I bought last fall for my spring flower beds is one I should buy again. LOVING my tulips.

    And how to write and release an e-book.

    the end. :)


  7. Kendra says

    In April, I learned:
    1. about your wonderful site!
    2. how amazing my little boy is (again!)
    3. that sometimes plants that are annuals drop seeds and show up again the next year (therefore acting like perennials) – a great surprise!
    4. that there is no such thing as planting “too many bulbs”
    5. how to grill – I see a summer of steaks and shrimp and chicken and oh my, I’m hungry now!

    I’m sure I learned more, but it’s lunch time. Thanks for inviting us to engage in this exercise!

  8. says

    From reading this post I learned we have some things in common:
    1. Your “things I learned” posts are super fun and some of my fav to read.
    2. I’m also 36, and it’s true: it’s not really different than 35. 37 on the other hand…yikes, I think I’ll feel that one.
    3. I grew up in Dearborn, MI, and now I’m living south of Flint. I wonder if we ever crossed paths.

  9. says

    And, I hope this makes you feel better: 50ish doesn’t feel that different than 35ish mentally. But the body has learned the meaning of resting in the joy of the moments.

  10. says

    Happy birthday today (I think!) Yeah, I did that whole thing last Nov. when I turned 60. 59 did not seem so bad, and 60 was OLD.
    Then I climbed Horseshoe Mt. in Colorado. Nay! I’m not old.

  11. says

    I have learned that we share the same birthday month. I’ve also learned that you have a fantastic personality. I can just sense it…

  12. Dee Posey says

    Happy Birthday, Emily!
    Ha! Todd was in my graduating class at SCS. Never realized your paths wouldn’t have crossed then, but what a blessing to have that friendship now! (You’re both blessed :) )
    Enjoy your May!

  13. says

    I wasted my 35th year being afraid I’d die when I was 36 like my aunt did (why do I have such unreasonable thoughts sometimes). When I turned 40 I felt like I had finally earned the right to say No and gave that to myself as a birthday present. Each year during my forties I gave myself “gifts”. I really embraced my forties. I even loved 49 ( I always like the odd number years the best), but then I turned 50 and I didn’t feel 50 until I was blindsided with pneumonia and almost died, then I felt old and like I was falling apart. It has taken two years, but now at 52 I’m starting to feel like my old self again (well, at least on some days ha!). Age is pretty much just a number, I still feel the same inside as I did when I was 16, only hopefully a little wiser. Every year on my birthday I tell myself I am only one day older than the day before. And, I always type and for an….love reading your posts.

  14. says

    Wait, what movie is this? I love Zachary Levi (my sister and I are currently re-watching all of the seasons of Chuck). :)

    In April, I learned that I write funny blog posts, that I am passionate about women being in leadership in the church, and that I love your blog!

  15. says

    I also gave myself a Stitch Fix for my birthday month (March) – I would have sent it all back (super expensive), but I already paid money to have it sent to me, so I figured I might as well keep one thing – it WAS for my birthday after all. 😉 Let us know how it goes!

  16. dianne says

    I have learned that I like you for sure, especially after seeing you at (in)RL this past weekend. You know how to take a common thing and make it funny. You know how to take a situation that feels serious but is not really serious but feels serious and put it in the right perspective, making it not so serious anymore. I have learned that I am so glad that I found your blog and I think it would be awesome to spend an afternoon with you drinking Starbucks and eating cinnamon buns. We’d laugh our heads off, and maybe a drop a few tears.

  17. says

    i learned that i like nicki minaji.. speaking of idol talk.
    that i can do 1 teaspoon of sugar in my coffee instead of 3 {okay, 4. no.. alright, it was usually closer to 5}.
    and also and most of all.. just because bad things happen doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. it could mean you’re doing something exactly RIGHT!

    fun post and you look pretty up there.

  18. says

    Why do you look so pretty and unwrinkled? It was ok when I thought you were younger than me…but for the next 2 months, we’re the same age. Stop it!

    And I always, always, always type barefly instead of barely. I usually just keep it barefly on my blog because I’m weird but if you ever see barely, just know that I fixed it. (Like I did twice in this comment.)

    Oh wait…what did I learn? I learned how to make Crack Broccoli. Have mercy on me and everyone. It is so good.

    • says

      Stop it with your Crack food. Seriously, I nearly died on your crack bark. Wasn’t that you?

      Also. Barely. (I just typed it to see what would happen).

      And thanks for the compliment on the photo, but really it’s just the filter I used. So you know.

  19. NCJill says

    Hi Emily, just used your code to try the clothes too. Cool idea! Kinda like Birchbox (which I love!!) with clothes. I did have to mark the “cheap” price point though! :) Thx for heads up. Please blog about your clothes you received too!

    • says

      Oh yay! I had so much fun with it. I will have to update you about my fix. I’ve never done Birchbox but now I will look that one up. (I marked mostly the “cheaps” too, of course).

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