Welcome to What We Learned, a regular practice we engage in together as we learn the value of looking back before moving forward. We’ve been doing this monthly round-up for over two years now and I still haven’t grown tired of it. No lesson is too small to share in this space, as you will quickly see when you read my list.

What We Learned in March 2016

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

1. Gathering with women who do similar but different work is life-giving.

Earlier this month I spent the weekend with four women I admire and we talked business, fears, hopes, finances, motherhood, scheduling, publishing, and more all while eating food and wearing yoga pants.

My sister wrote a bit about it here in An Introvert’s Guide to Having People Over. I left with a sense of belonging, of being understood, and a boost of creative energy. If you don’t have a mastermind group, I highly encourage you to create one!

2. There is a difference between being nice and being kind.

I wrote more about it in this post, but the book Love Kindness gave me the vocabulary I was missing to explain why I often feel frustration and discomfort when people call me nice.

What I Learned in March

3. Doodling helps me focus.

I’ve always known taking notes helps me pay attention during lectures or sermons, but just this month I’ve started to draw flowers and random designs. It’s come out of nowhere and they’re popping up all over my bullet journal. I’m not sure what I think of this new expression quite yet as there’s not quite a point to it. But perhaps that’s the point.

4. I might have a brown boot problem.

Brown Boots

Why do I have so many brown booties?! What is happening in my life?! I love shoes so much. I also have shoe shame with this whole redundant brown boot situation. After realizing it this month, I have been forced to admit that the braided brown boots (second from the left) are actually too small so I will finally part with them. This eases my shoe shame. A little.

5. My right foot is bigger than my left foot.

Speaking of shoes, after buying a pair of ballet flats it has been confirmed – the left shoe fits like a glove and the right shoe is slightly too tight. Does anyone else have this problem?

6. Stitch Fix has shoes now!
Stitch Fix Shoes

I didn’t mean for this to become a shoe post but let’s just go with it. Stitch Fix has shoes now! I haven’t reviewed shoes yet, but when I do I will put them on this page.

7. Peppermint oil is my new favorite thing!

I’m slowly venturing into the world of essential oils and have fallen for peppermint. I’ve used it when I have a headache and it actually helps. I don’t know what this surprises me so, but it does.

8.  I have been doing iPhoto wrong.

Y’all this month I had to get serious about my photo situation. My phone, laptop, and the cloud were not syncing up right and I couldn’t figure out why. Until I realized I have 25,789 photos on my computer. Not only that, I’ve been working out of the iPhoto library and completely ignoring that flower rainbow app altogether.

After many Google searches, articles, how-to guides, and lots of texts and emails with my assistant Traci, I think I finally have a work flow I can live with and I’m no longer using the iPhoto library but now work solely out of the Photos app. Woot. (Please don’t ask me to explain it because I really don’t have time for a panic attack right now.)

The Spiritual Discipline of Touring Your Own Hometown

9. One way to honor the place where you are is to tour it on purpose.

John and I spent a night downtown in our own hometown this month and I loved every minute of it. It’s a tangible way to celebrate where you call home no matter if you’ve lived here for a few weeks or for all your life.

10. Looking back is an important part of moving forward.

I enjoy this monthly practice we do together here on the blog. Even more important to me is the private practice of looking back, one I’m working to cultivate on a more daily basis. At the end of the day, questions like where did I see God today? have been a meaningful part of my spiritual formation.

Just for fun, here are my posts from this month in past two years:

What I Learned in March 2015

What I Learned in March 2014

Glad you’re here! If you like what you see, sign up here for my monthly notes from the bench, where I’ll share books I’m reading, favorite things, and encouragement for your soul you won’t find anywhere else. To add your own list of what you learned, link up in the form below.