What I Learned {February 2014}

What I Learned Feb 2014

At the end of every month, Emily Freeman shares what she’s learned, and she hosts a link-up on her blog where everyone can meet and share what they’ve learned too. So today, I’m joining Emily, to share what I learned in February. And I’m looking forward to hearing what you learned too!

1. My online friend, Natalie Snapp, was on a cruise with me. At the beginning of February, we had the joy of traveling on the Celebrity Silhouette to the Western Caribbean for seven days. We went with our children, and my parents, celebrating both our birthdays and anniversary while onboard.

While we were waiting to depart Ft. Lauderdale, the craziest thing happened! I checked Facebook on my phone, one last time, before being forced to turn it off for seven days to avoid astronomical fees. And when I did, I randomly saw a post from my She-Speaks friend, and fellow MOB Society writer, Natalie Snapp. She had just posted a picture of the door to her cruise-ship cabin, announcing how excited they were to be departing on the Celebrity Silhouette in a just few minutes.

As my jaw practically dropped to the floor, I showed my husband the picture to be certain I was getting this right. Natalie was on THIS ship. RIGHT now. I couldn’t believe it! I’m from California. She’s from Indiana. And to think we were on the SAME ship at the SAME time. It was just crazy! I texted her at the speed of lightning, and she replied. And what a gift it was to spend a week with Natalie and her husband Jason, relaxing and eating and chatting late into the night. What are the chances?? So. Fun.

Jacque Watkins and Natalie Snapp

2. “Shake the girls”, and random other breastfeeding facts. As most of you know, I have worked part-time as a labor and delivery nurse for the past 16 years. And as a nurses we do continuing education every year. Well, this month I attended 16 hours of mandatory breastfeeding education. And I’ll admit, I was pessimistic about even needing this class, and sixteen hours is a long time. Between my years of experience working, and over 5 years of my life personally breastfeeding, I found it hard to believe I’d learn anything new. But, boy, was I wrong! To my surprise, not only did we have THE best teacher EVER, but there were several new facts I learned:

Breastmilk is live medicine. It is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and full of antibodies. And while I knew all that, I learned it has been used around the world to help prevent infection and disease in third world countries–used for things like eye infections, minor cuts, and scrapes, and skin infections. And breastmilk helps children in those places literally survive the first five years of life.

Mastitis never occurs in the first two weeks of breastfeeding. Ever.

Breastfeeding does not cause physiologic jaundice in the first few weeks of life. And most often, feeding the baby more volume is the answer, even more so than light therapy, since the excessive bilirubin needs to bind to protein to be metabolized.

If a baby is in a sleep state with it’s mouth open in the first 28 days of life, it is an indication of dehydration.

“Shake the girls”. If you are pumping, Dr. Jane Morton, from Stanford, has found that if you bend at the waist and “shake the girls” before pumping, it increases the volume pumped by forty percent. And it can work even if you’re not pumping. So you breastfeeding ladies, get shakin!

3. There’s a difference between guilt and regret. Guilt is what you get when you know the decision at the time was incorrect, and regret is when we find out later. Healing happens when we realize the truth. Most of us do the best we can with the information we have at the time. And so, as we process guilt or regret it is helpful to make a decision. Do the best you can until you know better. And then, do better.

4. In the Everglades of Florida, birds can straddle blades of grass. I suppose this comes in handy as they’re hunting in the Everglades, and keeps them safe from impending doom, as alligators roam across the water. Who knew they were balancing, claw-holding ninjas?

Florida Everglades bird IMG_0882b Florida Everglades Alligator

5. If you enter a contest, you just might win. This deserves it’s own post, and perhaps I’ll work on that, but suffice it to say, I rarely win anything, and therefore I rarely enter anything. But Angie Smith’s new book, Chasing God, was SO good, and the prize for sharing her words was so incredible, I couldn’t help sharing. And can you believe it? I won. Me! That fact still overwhelms me, so much. Many, many thanks to B & H Publishing for a life-changing experience. What a gift it was to win an all-expense paid trip to the IF : Gathering in Austin, Texas. Life. Changing. {sigh}. Only God.

IMG_0988b IMG_1010b

6. Ice dancing twizzles delight my heart. I’ve always loved to watch ice skating, and always wished I could dance. So during this season of the Winter Olympics, I learned of the twizzles of ice dancing, and they took me to happy joyful places. So pretty.

8. Amidst my chaos, giving thanks continues to change me in the most marvelous ways. Our days are a matter of seeing. And being a noticer of all the good God gives continues to make a practical difference in my daily life.

7. Christy Nockels is lovely, and the song I learned from her moved me so. I’d never heard Christy before, but she has an incredible voice, worships with passion, and on a superficial sidenote, she has BEAUTIFUL hair. What a blessing it was to be led in worship by her, and the Austin Stone band, all weekend at the IF : Gathering in Austin. I’m still reveling in our time of worship there–a time to surrender our hands and our hearts to our God. To look to Him. To not be overwhelmed. And to remember He loves us, and He reigns forever all our days. Hallelujah indeed.

God I Look to You

by Brian & Jenn Johnson


Email and RSS subscribers, click HERE to see video. 

God I look to You
I won’t be overwhelmed

Give me vision to see things like You do

God I look to You

You’re where my help comes from

Give me wisdom,
You know just what to do

I will love You Lord my strength

I will love you Lord my shield

I will love You Lord my rock

Forever all my days,
I will love you God

Hallelujah our God reigns

Hallelujah our God reigns

Hallelujah our God reigns

Forever all my days, Hallelujah


What have you learned lately?


 *Linking with Ann, Laura, Emily, and Denise and their lovely communities.

  • http://lauraboggess.com/ Laura Boggess

    Well, you learned some lovely and fun things in February! I’ve always wanted to do this with Emily but I can’t seem to gather my thoughts together in a cohesive way. I wonder if writing it down like this helps solidify the learning? I’m betting it does. Just like writing down the gifts makes them more special. Happy March, Jacque!

  • Richelle Wright

    what a neat treat to meet a friend in such an unexpected place!

    what have i learned in february? been learning so much as i’ve studied through acts this month – appreciating not just paul but the surprising heroes i’ve discovered here and there throughout the book…

  • Kathy Schwanke

    This could be entitled “All the Good and Glorious Gifts of Jacque’s February” Wow!!! Such a full month of rich gifts. I’m so happy for you! And am glad I decided to catch IF in between the retreat I led. The worship was rich and I’m sure even more so WITH sisters!!!

    Love you.
    Please send sunshine. :)

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ Jacque Watkins

    You should do it Laura! It’s fun. I tend to just jot a note when something strikes me throughout the month and by the end, I have a full post of stuff. I’d love to come over and ready your list. And yes, just like gifts…on a search and a hunt to SEE what I’m learning. Sending love friend!

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ Jacque Watkins

    A treat indeed! Acts is so full. I enjoyed Acts so much when I read chronologically and they inserted Paul’s letters right there amidst his travels. It was so good. Thank you so much for stopping by!!

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ Jacque Watkins

    Thank you Kathy…so glad you loved the worship too. And I AM sending sunshine…just for you!! xoxo

  • Alia_Joy

    I was so planning on doing one of these posts but I always forget at the beginning of every month. What a fabulous February you’ve had. No wonder you’re not podcasting. You’ve been busy having fun. ;)

  • JViola79

    February was my first time joining in this linkup. I have always forgotten to keep a list :) I loved reading your post especially about your cruise. What a blessing to meet up with an online friend in this way. We are taking a cruise for our 35th anniversary in May & I am so excited. Thank you for sharing this song too. I love Christy Nockels. Have a great week!

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ Jacque Watkins

    Ooooh, I’d love to read a post like this from you :)) Yes, so busy, but so rich and full. SO thankful! Love you!

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ Jacque Watkins

    Yes, it WAS such a blessing :) So excited for you and your cruise. You’re going to have a wonderful time. And congratulations on 35 years of marriage…so inspiring and beautiful!!

  • http://www.leeanngtaylor.com LeeAnn Taylor

    I have loved meeting you through this linkup. The “shake the girls” comment had me falling out of my seat and wondering why I never got this advice sooner! I nursed both my daughter and my son for 17 months each, but it was a struggle at times to produce enough milk. Man, this one little tip could be a game changer for some ladies!

    I love anything put out by Bethel and am looking forward to checking out Christy Nockels with your suggestion. Seeing Bethel leading worship live in Charlotte was a highlight of my year last year!

    And wow! You won a trip to Austin for the IF: Gathering?! What an incredible thing to win. I’m sure that was a God-ordained thing if anything ever was. So neat.

    Can’t wait to read what you learned in March.

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ Jacque Watkins

    Yes! So fun to meet you too. Cheering you on for the podcast you’ll be starting. That is so awesome!!