It’s the last weekday in April and that means it’s time for us to share what we learned this month. It’s a little practice we’ve been engaging in here for over two years, where we spend a little time reflecting on the last month before we move ahead into the next.

At the end of this post, you’re invited to link up to your own list of what you learned this month – be it silly, serious, sacred, or just plain useful.

What We Learned in April

Here are 5 things I learned in April in no particular order:

1. Growth may not always look familiar.

“We’re meant to grow, but not necessarily into something bigger. You have to be true to the self that’s growing within you.” My spiritual director, Marion, said that to me this month. It’s the gospel, really. But it’s difficult to accept sometimes.

2. The verdict is still out on Tieks.

I posted this photo on Instagram a few weeks back about the book I was reading and several of you wanted to talk about the shoes because of course you did.

the kitchen house

They are Tieks by Gavrieli and yes, I paid for them with my own money. I say that because they are not cheap. But after several weeks of research, review reading, and pondering, I decided to buy a pair.

I have several trips coming up that will require much walking and I thought “the most versatile designer flats in the world, made of the finest Italian leathers and designed to fold and fit in a purse, wearable all day, every day” would be a good investment.

Tieks by Gavrieli

It took a little over a week to break them in and now they are, in fact, very comfortable. But I can’t yet decide if they are “worth it” which is what everyone wants to know. Maybe that’s what I’ll learn in May.

3. You are endlessly kind.

Last week I sent out my monthly note from the bench and included some recent losses my family has experienced. I was surprised to receive well over 200 emails back from you, dear readers, offering your thoughts, prayers, personal stories, and encouragement.

I read every single word of every single email. You are such an important part of my life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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4. In April I finally realized who Rory Gilmore reminds me of.

The other day I’m watching Gilmore Girls, as one does, the one where Rory has an internship at the newspaper and she’s looking down all sheepishly when Logan asks her to skip work early and I’m all – ugh – WHO does she remind me of?!

rory gilmore

It’s been haunting me for months, actually as these things often do.

What other person does this person keep reminding me of? And I can’t fully relax until I figure it out.

And then it came to me.

In a flash of glorious enlightment I realized who it is.

daisy from downton

Now settle down. I know what you’re thinking.

How could she compare our beloved Rory to the kitchen maid?! But have you seen Daisy in regular person clothes?

daisy downton

And for those of you who need more convincing:

rory and daisy 1

I know it isn’t perfect. I know they do not look like twins. But they have a way about them that relates to the other.

This was the mystery my brain has been trying to work through in the background and April brought some relief. Thank you and Amen.

And finally, in April I learned this:

5. Listening to your life will help you make decisions.

When I felt overwhelmed, unsure, or stuck this month, I spent a little time in the presence of God with my ear pressed gently against the heartbeat of my own life. What I heard is helping me to plan the rest of my personal and professional year and it feels right.

Parker Palmer

Just for fun, here are my April lists from the past 2 years:

What I Learned in April 2015 

What I Learned in April 2014