14 Things I Learned in February

by | Feb 28, 2014 | What I Learned

Over plates splattered with shredded cheese, traces of sour cream and shredded chicken I asked my son to remind me of some of the things he taught me at the dinner table this month. I forgot to keep track. He’s a walking Google, spilling out facts every night. I have prom, my daughter’s 18th birthday and college scholarships blocking out any hope of a memory bank. So, in celebration of it being the last Friday (and day) of the month I’m joining Emily Freeman, sharing my random list of things I remembered being an ah-ha moment. Be prepared to roll your eyeballs and then share what you learned in February in the comments.


1)      After two alarm clocks with math problems to turn them off and my voice from her door frame, we’ve finally discovered an alarm that works for my teenage daughter. You ready for it? Jimmy Fallon on the DVR. She is now waking up to watch the Tonight Show and fully showered before I get up. I guess NBC was right about changing things up for the next generation of viewers.

2)      It is a gift to start your day laughing instead of grumpy.

3)      My son hasn’t discovered the Jimmy Fallon magic yet, darn it.

4)      That saying, “Older than sliced bread,” doesn’t hold sway with Betty White. Sliced bread was introduced in 1928 by inventor Otto Frederick Rohwedder and Betty was born in 1922.

5)      Being spry at 92 years of age is all about mindset and attitude. Note: Betty White.

6)      This is what the luge, bobsled and skeleton would’ve looked like if the Olympics were hosted in New York City. I think it might work, don’t you? Not.


7)      Giving up books is a ridiculous discipline for Lent. No one does that, especially a writer.

8)      I’m ridiculous.

9)      You can live in a place that you refer to as that season of bone deep loneliness and then return to it and realize how deeply loved you were by people in the midst of it.

10)   Home isn’t a place but the people who surround you.

11)   When you go to the Allume conference and ask God to show you where to sit at dinner, He will make it a divine appointment. You’ll become a Skype mentor to someone he hand selected and be blessed by the friendship in the process. #onlyGod

12)   An ice storm can produce weapons of glass in branches falling from the sky through your roof. It can be an excuse to stay home from school and work at the beach. It can also be the landscape of providence.

13)   The weather can force you to change your travel planes a few days later, making it possible to attend a writer’s conference and meet your agent in person. Woot!

14)   When you can’t think of anything you learned this month, just start writing. You’ll be surprised about what actually comes out of your brain spout. Try it, I dare you.

Subscribe for Shelly’s stories and free resources here: https://shellymillerwriter.com/free-resources/


  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    I love the things you learn, Shelly. The biggest thing I learned is that God is faithful through the worst of trials (my brother’s unwanted divorce after thirty-two years of marriage, and in helping me to overcome tons of spiritual warfare as I launched a significant journaling intensive for women. God was sooo faithful, and hearts were indelibly changed. Praise Him!). I learned that I don’t mind snow as long as I don’t have to get out in it. Regarding some of what you learned, I would agree that it is a thrill for you to have met your agent (and I loved meeting him years ago); Allume was FILLED with divine appointments for me, too (and I’ll bet for everyone). How I loved sitting at your table and meeting you in person for the second time; and God renewed a friendship for me with a professional colleague I’ve known for years. I had NO idea she would be there! Allume lit my passion in ways I can’t even articulate. Are you going again this year? Yes, I do see the irony of your giving up books for Lent, but I woudln’t go quite as far as saying it’s ridiculous. Ha! But what an insightful observation–that God may be asking you to give up reading books so that you can write your own. When I did this last year, it was to come to Him and not to books first….or, in my case, to let them get between Him and me. I didn’t know if I would survive, but I did, and so will you. =] You will be so glad that you did this! As I have gotten older, I have loved observing the Church liturgical calendar, which my denomination did not do when I was a child and teen. Finally, I think Betty White is a fabulous actress, but on a personal level, I”m disappointed (especially somehow for someone of her age–when she could exude such wisdom to be as smutty as I have seen her be at times). Ah well…..nobody asked my opinion on that one, huh?! =] I love YOUR wisdom though! Happy Belated Valentine’s Day, Shelly. Hope to talk to you soon.

    • Shelly Miller

      Loved reading about what you learned this month Lynn. You’ve had a quite a month of overcoming obstacles and seeing God’s faithfulness at work. Thanks for your encouragement. Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing how God uses the season of Lent for my good, because it is always for that, isn’t it?

  2. Jillie

    Hi Shelly! What did I learn in February? I learned that receiving a set of 3 NEW cordless phones that I’ve needed for some time, is a sweet gift from my man on Valentine’s Day.
    I learned that the first Phys. Ed. classes began in Canada as a result of a Black school in Toronto in the 1800’s, who wished to teach young men agriculture, among more scholastic pursuits. The young men didn’t take to field work, (who can blame them?) so the school started Phys. Ed. classes instead! I thought that was interesting.
    I also learned that 40,000 Canadians enlisted to fight in the Civil War.
    I learned that my granddaughter’s first ‘temper tantrums’ are a positive sign of development. Who knew? Apparently, she’s ahead of her time. 🙂
    I learned that there’s a new apartment skyscraper, in New York, where the filthy rich, beautiful people pay $19M. for a place to hang their hat…while ‘others’ live in cardboard boxes on the street.
    I’ve also learned that February is a long, cold, lonely month up here in The Great White North. I have missed you, Shelly! I’m so glad to be back in the fold. Blessings to you!

    • Shelly Miller

      I love seeing you here Jillie (sorry I’m late to respond) and was excited to see you following again. I love that history lesson you shared on Phys Ed in Canada — so interesting. We had 70 degree weather today on our bikes and out on the porch reading, come down and visit. *wink*

      • Jillie

        It IS so GOOD to be back, Shelly. I have missed your beautiful face.

  3. Yuko @ northfield gate

    Hi Shelly! I really enjoyed reading your list. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at #1! I might have to try this one on my husband (he cannot get up in the morning). I have to remember #2, and I can’t agree with you more about Betty White (love her!). Here are the three things I learned from this post: 1) You’re an talented photographer, 2) You’re an amazing mom, 3) I’m coming back here to read more! Have a lovely weekend, Shelly. ox

    • Shelly Miller

      Ah Yuko, you are so sweet, thank you for your kind comment, what a gift. I saw that you didn’t think you were good at commenting and I think you just proved you are wrong. Lovely to see you here, truly.

  4. Lyli Dunbar

    I love this link up. # 10 gets a big AMEN from me. 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Of course it would Lyli. Hope you had a good Sabbath friend.

  5. Rachel Britz

    Wow, I don’t know why I am still amazed when God shows up in the simple, subtle, most unexpected ways. I’m thankful for your God breathed voice in my life. This month I’m learning the art of letting go. Surrender. Again.

    • Shelly Miller

      Me too, I echo all of what you said here Rachel — amazed by the simple ways he shows up, thankful for you, and I’m learning surrender daily. I’m not sure if we ever stop actually. Hope you had a good weekend.

  6. Rachael

    A few of these made me laugh-out-loud! Yes, NYC can do that and NO, giving up reading for a writer, not possible! Blessing to you and thanks for sharing! Love, Rachael @ inking the heart

    • Shelly Miller

      Glad to know I made you laugh, that is a gift Rachael, thanks for letting me know. We all need more laughter in our lives, don’t you think?

  7. Jennifer Camp

    Shelly, I love this! I have never attempted the “what I learned” posts . . .Yes, it would be me accepting a dare, for sure! I understand about Jimmy Fallon being the key to waking up in the morning. Love him! I pray you have the most beautiful weekend. And, does this mean you are reading like crazy every book you can find this weekend, before March 5? 😉 I love how you surrender, Shelly. You inspire me so much.

    • Lynn D. Morrissey

      Ha, Jennifer! I really smiled at envisioning Shelly doing her last-minute-mad-dash-reading marathon! I thought I would die last year, but I didn’t, and only reading God’s Word really drew me to Him more deeply. You are so cute.

    • Shelly Miller

      Yes, I read all day today. Ha! I am reading on Sundays through Lent but I’m actually looking forward to getting rid of other voices and letting the words of scripture inform my thoughts. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment so its good timing.

  8. Nancy Ruegg

    This month I’ve read Billy Graham’s book, Nearing Home. I was reintroduced to a Bible character, Barzillai, who sacrificed much and risked his life to help King David–at age 80 (2 Samuel 17:27-29; 19:31-39). Of course, Barzillai is not the only productive oldster in scripture. The lesson: We’re never too old to be used by God. I find that comforting and exhilarating at the same time!

    • Shelly Miller

      I think about that a lot lately since I’m hitting a milestone this year regarding age Nancy. I’ve never heard of Barzillai. New one to me.

  9. Bonita

    #14 is so true! This was my first time to participate in the link-up and I put it to the test.

    • Shelly Miller

      So glad you joined in on the fun Bonita. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Helen Archer

    I love your list! #14 was definitely me this month as well! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Glad to know I’m in good company Helen.

  11. staceythacker

    Jimmy Fallon Wake Up Calls that is pure awesome! Whatever works I say, and you don’t have to be the bad guy! Love it!

    • Shelly Miller

      Yep, whatever works for sure Stacey. It has been nice to start my day with laughter, he is so funny.

  12. Karrilee Aggett

    I finally got around to finishing my post… I LOVE these! Such a fun link up! I am still praying about what it is He is wanting me to give up – but I have to say, books? Ouch… I may have argued with Him a bit on that one!

Pin It on Pinterest