Welcome to our monthly link up we call What We Learned! I’m a firm believer in the importance of looking back before we move forward. This end of the month ongoing  post series is where I share what I’ve learned this month and invite you to share your own list.

If this is your first What We Learned post, you’ll see my list ranges from the mildly ridiculous to the deeply thoughtful. There’s no wrong when it comes to learning, guys.

Just so you know I will be sharing a lot of links in this post, so go ahead roll your eyes at me and then save this to read with your afternoon tea so you can check out all of the things. Amen.

What We Learned in August

Here are 10 things I learned in August in no particular order:

1. The reason behind the letter arrangement on keyboards.

The keyboard letters are in the order they are because back when keyboards were typewriters, the typists would go so fast that the most common letters would get stuck together (anyone remember typing on a typewriter and having to pry two type hammers apart so you can keep typing?)

Why are the letters arranged that way on the keyboard?

To help that to happen less, Christopher Latham Sholes rearranged the keyboard so letters often-used were spaced widely apart. Now that our keyboards are computers and not typewriters, there’s no need for QWERTY, but you know, old dogs and new tricks don’t mix well.

2. Those typewriter arm things have a name:

They are called type hammers. See how seamlessly I used that word above? I bet you thought I was so knowing things.

3. Related, QWERTY is amazingly difficult to type.

I mean they are all right there in a row. Why is this so hard?! Seriously I had to make four attempts before I got it right.

4. One important question I’m learning to ask myself.

What I Learned in August

These monthly posts are a way for me to practice the spiritual discipline of remembering. As I engage in thoughtful reflection each day or week, I can highlight some of what I’ve learned each month.

This weekend, though, I’ve spent several pockets of time thumbing through my bullet journal to reflect over my this past year, including everything from my travel schedule, work projects, kid activities, books I’ve read and home keeping.

I’ve considered each actiivty event from two perspectives: Was this life-giving or life-draining?

At first it felt weird to do this at the end of August, but September is really the new January and I want to finish out the year engaging in life-giving activities as much as I can. I’ve learned a lot so far and will probably share that in a separate post.

5. They are making a sequel to Finding Nemo!

It’s called Finding Dory and will be about Dory’s quest to be reunited with her family. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. 

I still remember the first time I saw Finding Nemo. I went with my sister and her boys before John and I had kids. We had recently returned from Spain to attend John’s brother’s wedding. When we went to see the movie, I remember holding one of my nephews in my lap and wishing I was pregnant (we had been trying for a while at that point). As it turns out, I was pregnant with the twins but didn’t know it yet.

6. What Donald Trump would look like if he were an American flag cartoon.

donald trump

You guys. I cannot even talk about Donald Trump.

But I saw this illustration online for an article called The Fearful and the Frustrated written by Evan Osnos for The New Yorker. Then of course I had to go searching for an image of Donald Trump and place them side by side, as one does.

I won’t share my (very strong) opinions on Donald Trump in this space simply because I write to create space for your soul to breathe and talking about politics on the internet makes me want to hyperventilate.

But I have marveled at the genius that is Christoph Niemann (the artist who created this perfect caricature). Never have a few stripes and three stars been so spot on.

You nailed it, sir.

7. Periscope is harder than it looks.

If you don’t know yet, Periscope is a live-streaming app that lets you broadcast live from anywhere and people can watch in real time and then replay for 24 hours. People watching can tap the screen and give you hearts when they like what you say, reminiscent of heart stickers from my sticker book in 1987.

It’s little weird, kind of glitchy, and possibly revolutionary. Every time I get a notification that someone is live I can’t help but click and watch, at least for a second.

Each broadcast is called a scope and I’ve done 3 so far. If you download the free app, you can search for me @emilypfreeman and follow me that way.

I’m still not sure how I feel about these, but one thing I learned is when I watch them I always find myself wanting the person to get to the point already. But then when I do them myself, I realize how hard it is to get to the point.

For example, I tried to scope for 3 minutes and it turned out to be over 7. I think practice will help.

8. Instagram you guys.

emilypfreeman on instagram

In August I remembered again how much I just love Instagram. Please let’s don’t let Periscope overshadow our beloved Instagram. It’s the prettiest bench on the world wide web, conducive to soul-breathing (you can only see one photo at at time!) and community. I have way more engagement on Instagram than I do in the comment box. If you’re on, you can find me @emilypfreeman.

9. I really love doing podcasts.

When my last book released in 2013 (A Million Little Ways – which is, as of this moment, still only 1.99 in the ebook version), I think I did maybe two podcast interviews for promotion. A lot has changed in two years.

With the release of Simply Tuesday I’ve done a lot more and have really enjoyed them! Here is where I list them all and you can listen at your leisure:

The Influence Network Podcast

God Centered Mom Podcast

Sarah Bagley Podcast

The Simple Show with Tsh Oxenreider

That Sounds Fun with Annie Downs

Mud Stories with Jacque Watkins

The Hope*ologie Podcast with my Dad + The Nester

Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

Feathers from the Nest with Amy Bennett

The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins

10. In August, I learned there is room at the table.

I know this already.

But in August, I learned it again when my book, Simply Tuesday released the same day as Jen Hatmaker’s book, For the LoveYou guys, her book hit the New York Times bestseller list at #2 after being out for five seconds. That is AMAZING.

For the Love + Simply Tuesday

image via Jessica Wood

But here’s the thing you need to know: Her success does not take one thing away from me. The opposite, in fact. I don’t know who said it, (although I think JFK is given credit) but it’s true that a rising tide lifts all boats. 

I remembered again and again and again during the last two weeks how beautiful it is that we all have our place, we all have our gifting, and there is room at the table for you.

Here is where you can link up below. I will leave the link up open until Friday September 4th. I can’t wait to see what you’ve learned! PS. If you cannot believe it’s possibly September already because you have rushed your way through August, I hope you’ll sign up to receive this free video series I made for anyone who feels like their soul has been held hostage by hustle. Watch the first video here.