What I Learned Spring 2020

Spring is coming to a close and I want to encourage you to pause and reflect on this past season to prepare for the next season! (I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman, who hosts this wonderful blog series.)


Ever since having a maple latte at Caribou Coffee, I haven’t bought creamer.

I now shake heavy whipping cream and maple syrup in a jar (roughly one spoonful of maple syrup per 1/4 cup of cream) and my coffee is a delight every morning.


I’ve never had a skincare routine. I haven’t worn makeup in years. Thanks to Jamie B. Golden, I have a skincare routine in the morning and before bed and have seen a massive improvement. I haven’t settled on any must haves yet, so stayed tuned, but I am really digging rose toner. I have used both Thayer’s and Trader Joe’s.

I have also learned that for moisturizer and serum for me personally, less is more, otherwise I just get greasy, but if I don’t use any I get dry patches. Now that I’ve cleared up, I noticed that I get hormonal acne around my period and ovulation. For makeup, I’m just dabbling, but it’s kind of nice.


I have re-fallen in love with music. Before having kids, I was playing music when on my computer or when getting ready for the day.

After having a kids, I did not have to formally get ready in the morning for a job or school, and I was not studying at a laptop. I actually was hardly going on the computer at all, so I have been missing out on music until recently. But Spotify is now my companion during the day, playing sweet nothings in the background.


Daily prayer has made a tremendous difference in my life.

I have been doing Lectio Divina each morning and an Examen before bed for almost 40 days now since attending the School of Discipleship! I have learned that God truly has something to reveal to us each and every day, and I have seen purpose and clear direction in this practice.


My phone used to charge on my bedside table.

Now my Bible and journal are on my bedside table and my phone is charging on a bookshelf on the other side of the room. I used to get stuck scrolling on Facebook (and still often do), but this small change has made a big difference.


Another change I made was I don’t always have coffee when I pray. The coffee was actually not helping me but hindering me from prayer. When I was getting up in the morning and making coffee first, by the time I sat down with my coffee, the kids were already awake and wanting to eat breakfast.

But if I’m still in my room with my Bible sans coffee, the kids will crawl in and read a book and hang out with me. Once I walk into the kitchen, it’s all over.


Speaking of coffee, (the podcast was actually originally called Ryian’s Coffee Shop) I made a decision to not buy a coffee treat unless I work out three times. The idea is for me to workout three times a week and go to a coffee shop once a week as a reward. My therapist recommended a reward to encourage me to move my body to get those endorphins going.

The accountability has both helped me buy less coffee, and go on more walks!


I’ve been learning how to cook more? I have the Lazy Genius to thank. I have learned that making food doesn’t have to be hard. I make a few of the same basic meals, and double batch. I usually make some version of Change Your Life Chicken, or I just salt, season, and sear the chicken or pork and have steamed veggies on the side. Another side will be rice/quinoa, noodles, sweet potatoes, or tater tots. So each meal is some variation of that. What helps is I try to follow the idea of balancing a meal with Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat, which is both a book and a Netflix series. Again, I can thank the Lazy Genius for all cooking skills I have.


The kerygma. Who knew that so many of us could grow up Catholic or Christian and live our entire lives not knowing what this is! It is a huge key to ministry that is used by so many evangelists.

The kerygma is basically the message of the Gospel, that God loves you and has a plan for your life, that we are broken people, that Jesus died to save us from sin, that we can turn our lives around and believe in this good news, that when we are baptized we receive the Holy Spirit in a special way that empowers us to live out God’s plan, that we can live a new life through the body of the Church of Jesus, and that we can go forth proclaiming the Gospel and make disciples of all nations. BOOM.


I learned how much I care about the unborn. Throwback to Zelie in the womb:

I usually try not to get into big online discussions about tough topics, but I have been reading from many people that I know and love don’t believe that there is not a precious human life until close to birth. So I have been musing about that.


I love doing ministry and fostering community, especially for young people.

I have been praying about this a lot. Who knows what things will look like three months from now.

3 thoughts on “What I Learned Spring 2020

    1. It was actually a gift from years ago! I have quite a collection of journals and this was the next one in the pile!


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