13 Things I Learned in 2013

My author friend Natalia Sylvester first wrote the post, “13 Things I Learned in 2013,” and I loved it so much that I wrote a version of my own.

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  1. The most cherished moments in life are the unanticipated ones.
  2. Dirty dishes, if I do them today, will still pile up in the sink tomorrow, but I won’t always get to sit on the kitchen floor with my daughter and read the pop-up version of The Princess and the Pea.
  3. Motherhood is both a sacrifice and a reward—often at the same time!
  4. I can train myself to be a morning person. (Or at least pretend that I like it.)
  5. A long walk is a cure-all for the soul.
  6. Life is too short to live without coffee. (I’ve tried.)
  7. Tucking my daughter in at night is my favorite moment of my day.
  8. I cannot give in to envy, even if it stems from grief.
  9. Time begets healing, or at least softens the edges of pain.
  10. Mutual loss joins disparate people together.
  11. Date nights don’t have to be fancy. (Some of my favorite ones have consisted of eating Kroger sushi in the car as, in the backseat, our daughter noisily slurped from her Happy Toddler fruit squeeze-y.)
  12. I cannot let myself become so distracted by the hustle and bustle of life that I lose sight of what—and who—really matters.
  13. When I need God to show up, I find that He is already patiently waiting for me.

Now, what did you learn in 2013?


Visit Jolina at www.jolinapetersheim.com

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Jolina Petersheim, bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live on a solar-powered farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin with their young daughters. Visit with Jolina at www.jolinapetersheim.com.

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  1. says

    What beautiful lessons, Jolina! I especially love 4 & 8, and can very relate (ah…now I’m rhyming!).

    It makes me so happy that my post inspired you to write a list as well. Gratitude and reflection are so important. Thank you for sharing!

    Wishing you and your family a very happy 2014!

    • says

      Thank you for giving me this idea, Natalia; I agree that it’s so important to reflect on the moments that are helping us grow in character and as writers. Pray this year will bring you many beautiful moments surrounded by those you love! Can’t wait to read CHASING THE SUN!

  2. Lisa Wingatee says

    So true, Jolina! The thought about dirty dishes reminded me of this old poem which someone cross-stitched for me years ago. I had it hanging over the crib when the boys were title:

    Cleaning and scrubbing
    Can wait ’till tomorrow
    For babies grow up,
    We’ve learned, to our sorrow

    So quiet down, cobwebs
    Dust, go to sleep
    I’m rocking my baby,
    And babies don’t keep.

    Wishing you many cuddle moments in 2014 while you’re making a reader out of that sweet little girl!

    • says

      I absolutely LOVE this poem, Lisa; I first read it when Miss A was a newborn, and it helped put life into perspective. Plus, it’s an excuse not to dust! Wishing you much love and happiness in this coming year–and many priceless moments with your man-children! :)

  3. says

    I loved this list so much! I think I too shall have to share 13 things I learned. Your dates sound delightful, I always think its the going home together, locking the doors, turning out all the lights but one small warm lamp,that is the truly magical part of dates.

  4. Julie Cantrell says

    Wonderful! And that poem Lisa mentioned has hung in my mom’s house and mine…a needlepoint version made by my sweet mother.
    Happy New Year!

  5. Rachel says

    1. It is possible to move your 2nd born across the USA at the age of 19 to live permanently and not mourn loudly.
    2. The task which seems so daunting can be conquered whether or not one feels courageous or qualified.
    3. It is possible to be a loving parent to your parent in their last months.
    4. The gaping hole the death of your mother left in your life is not filled, but the edges feel less jagged over time.
    5. It’s okay to make choices others don’t understand or appreciate because you live your life. They don’t live your life.
    6. God is in the songs of birds, the warmth of the sun’s rays, and in the gallop of a horse.
    7. It’s okay to laugh through the tears.
    8. Prayer is key to raising teenagers.
    9. When your child sees a counselor, it’s not a reflection of poor parenting. It’s the sign of a strong soul becoming stronger.
    10. Apologizing to your children is highly important.
    11. Dreams do come true.
    12. When the dream comes true, it’s time to dream a new dream.
    13. It’s freeing to recognize and live within the confines of my humanity.

  6. Rachel Hauck says

    Thought provoking Jolina. Really has me thinking and assessing “What did I learn in 2013.”

    I did get my “word” for 2014, however. #lovewell


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