April 2017 in Review

What I Focused on in April: 

  1. The A to Z Blogging Challenge
  2. Catching up with reading
  3. Editing – both with Echoes and When Life Hands You Lymes 

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Birthday Challenge Update 

  1. Buy 25 Books – 3
  2. Request 25 Books for Review – 10 {Completed now}
  3. Vlog 25 Times – 4
  4. Dance, Skip, or swing in the rain 25 times – 3
  5. Watch the sunrise or sunset 25 times – 1
  6. Eat paleo 25 weeks (not in a row) – 3
  7. Try 25 new recipes – 1
  8. Read to, or cook with, children 25 times – 4
  9. Color 25 pictures – 1
  10. Have less than 5 emails in my inbox Saturday night 25 weeks (not in a row) – 4
  11. Have a picnic in each season – 1
  12. Go to bed by 10:30 sixty times (not in a row) – 15 {Completed now}
  13. Blog by 9:30 a hundred times – 20
  14. Go to Wednesday night church 20 times – 2

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Nonfiction: 7

Fiction: 11

Reviews: 15

Audio Books: 0

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Traveling

1 Night Gone

New States or Countries: None

April Goals 

  1. Get to bed by 10:30 twelve times – YES (15 nights)
  2. Eat Paleo for 24 days – YES
  3. Go on 12 walks – YES (plus some)
  4. Do the A to Z Challenge (and post by 9:30 at least 20 times) – YES and YES
  5. Leave 200 comments on A to Z blog posts – YES
  6. Vlog 4 times – YES
  7. Read and review 4 books – YES (plus some)
  8. Finish the 19th draft of WLHYL by April 20th – NO
  9. Begin the 3rd draft of Echoes – YES
  10. Get ready and leave for Mexico – YES (currently writing this from Mexico)

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 What I’ve Been Learning

This month was a great one for learning. I ended up being sick a fair amount which meant I spent a lot of time resting, and during those resting sessions I caught up on some reading. During April I read seven nonfiction books, and most of them were full of great information.

I learned more about personalities, how the brain works, and ways to re-train my thinking and therefore my responses and reactions. It’s fascinating to me to read about why people respond to situations the way they do, and then to look back over my life and see how I’ve reacted in the past. It’s amazing how much easier it is to change the way you view life after you figure out why you view life the way you do.

In April I learned a lot about how to logically learn how to defend Christianity and the Bible. Forensic Faith, a book I’ll be posting a review for on May 17th, was a fascinating, helpful, and wonderful read. I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more books by the same author. What he said made so much sense. It’s great to be able to logically go through arguments skeptics have about the Bible, and show them the truth. The book also made me realize how much more I need to study this subject.

Strangely enough, two of the nonfiction books I read this month had to do with murder – one was about forgiveness and was written by the mother of a murdered daughter, and the second one (Forensic Faith) was by a homicide detective. Neither one of the books focused on the subject, but it was amazing for me to realize how huge of a difference it makes in someone’s life long-term, and how very important forgiveness is. I also learned more about the judicial system here in the USA, and it was rather enlightening.

Think Again was a book that I needed to read, and probably a book I’ll be re-reading again before too long. Through the book I learned practical ways of making sure that I keep my focus on God instead of allowing it to drift to myself. Introspection can be good, but only when it’s done in a balanced, biblical way. This is another book I highly recommend.

Mid-way through the month I went to a day-long conference where I learned a huge amount of great information. I took notes until my wrist decided it had had enough and compelled me to take a break. During the conference I learned about taking ownership, excelling in my job, focusing on the correct things, connecting with people, how success often times starts out looking like failure, and the list goes on.

Learning more about writing was a big thing from this month. I world built, studied plots, and worked on thinking through why I have certain characters do certain things. Some of what I thought made sense ended up being rather allusive or nonsensical when it really came down to it. This month reminded me once again how far I have to go with my writing.

Vlogging. Oh, joy. I’m trying to get into a good rhythm with this “new” venture of my life, and that means I need to study and research it more. “It” being filming and Youtube and all that in general. Lord willing I’ll be studying the craft of vlogging a lot more during the next few months cause I have a lot to learn. While vlogging I’ve also been working on learning how to talk slow enough for people to understand me, not wave my hands around in too distracting of a manner, sit up straight, and all those physical things. All of this needs to be accompanied by me keeping in mind what I’m trying to get across to the listener. It’s more of a challenge at this point than it should be. (But, a fun challenge.)

This month I’ve been continuing to learn and realize how important it is for me to take care of my health. After all, my body is the temple of Jesus, and I’m supposed to glorify Him with my body. It’s easy for me to loose track of taking care of myself when I feel well, and therefore I end up pushing and that’s not exactly helpful for revitalizing my health overall. Learning to stop and look at why I’m doing certain things, then figuring out if it’s really worth it and really needed in my life has been helpful.

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Goodness. This month was absolutely incredibly beautiful. It’s the first time in several years that I’ve been home for so much of April, and all throughout the month I kept thanking God for the blessing. I could literally see a difference in the level of green each day. It was nearly breathtaking. I also spent quite a few hours mowing grass, so that was nearly the definition of perfection. (Slight exaggeration, but only slight.) If you know me, you know that cutting grass is basically my favorite thing ever.

This month was a looonnnggggg month, but in a really good way. Despite being sick, I felt like so much was packed into the month that I can hardly categorize all of it. We had lots of company, obviously gobs of reading, great conversations, memory-making meals eaten out at the picnic table, windows open all the time, a pretty epic thunderstorm, and tons of happiness.

Completing my goal of the A to Z Challenge without doing any prep beforehand was a new experience for me. Generally for the challenge I schedule a lot of posts. This month I didn’t schedule a single post, except the last day of the challenge was a Sunday, so I scheduled that post. So, not only was I posting every day (and sometimes twice a day), but I was also working on posting by 9:30 twenty times. There were times when I was slightly overwhelmed, but overall it was fun and really helped me stay on track. I also commented on over 200 blog posts during the month, and answered all the comments on my blog (except for yesterday, which was Sunday). I got nearly 200 comments on my blog, which was really rewarding and tons of fun and THANK YOU to everyone who commented!

As I mentioned, I was sick during a lot of April. It wasn’t what I had planned for the month (obviously!), but thankfully God blessed me with some really encouraging conversations that helped me keep the month in perspective. Near the end of the month I received some important information about how I need to rest and take it easier for a bit to give my adrenals, thyroid, and immune system time to ramp back up. Because of that, I’m not sure if I’ll have any set-in-stone goals for May or if I’ll just work on chugging along at a slow pace while resting. That’s something I’m still praying about and thinking through. I’m really thankful for April though, and very much looking forward to May!

How was y’all’s April? I’d be delighted to hear!

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8 thoughts on “April 2017 in Review

  1. haileyhudson says:

    Sounds like such a great month! It’s been beautiful here too–we’ve had a ton of rain, which equals lots of green. The Lord has been speaking to me about freedom and grace throughout this month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Wow, that sounds like a great month for you, too. I’ve been thinking a lot about grace over the last few days, too. It’s wonderful when God shows us things. 🙂

      Like

  2. Bekah says:

    It sounds like a productive month for you, friend. I’m glad it was a good month, despite being sick. It’s truly amazing all of the things God teaches us, isn’t it? I really enjoyed the A-Z challenge theme you chose for this year and can’t wait for next April to see what you choose to blog about next. 🙂

    -Bekah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Thankfully it was a good month! Although, from time to time it did feel like I wasn’t getting anything done. And yes! God taught me so much this last month. I’m quite thankful indeed for all I learned. 🙂

      Like

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