To Live Is to Learn

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Learn – “To get knowledge of (a subject) or skill in (an art, trade, etc.) by study,          experience, instruction, etc.” ( Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition, New York, 1988)

Even before birth, while still in our mother’s womb, we learn to respond to sounds or other stimuli. After birth, we learn from the people around us and our environment.

As long as we’re alive and conscious of the world around us, we continue to learn.

We learn to recognize our parents or our caregiver. We smile. We learn to like and dislike certain foods. We learn to creep, to crawl. and to walk. We coo and babble, imitate sounds, and learn to talk. We communicate and interact with people and our world. We learn right from wrong.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Experience is the greatest teacher.” We learn by doing. I love to read books, not just for enjoyment, but for the information they contain. I appreciate help from another person, who can tell me and show me how to do something. When I learned to sew, my mother and my 4-H leaders were my instructors. They taught me the terms I needed to know, how to follow patterns and instructions, how to use a sewing machine, how to sew seams, make buttonholes, turn up hems.  I, in turn, taught my daughters.  Once I learned how, I learned even more by sewing on my own. Experience helped me improve my sewing skills.

Some learning experiences are not pleasant. Learning about pain and suffering through illness, loss of income, death of loved ones, and the untrustworthiness of people is not enjoyable. But the painful side of learning is necessary for survival in our world. Life is tough. It’s often unfair. God’s perfect creation was marred by sin and its curse when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the garden of Eden.

We learn in school by instruction, study, and experience. Good reading material and the example of other couples can help us to face the challenges of marriage. Because each person is different, and each couple relates differently, we learn from experience. And parenting. How many of us have wished for a manual that could tell us the how-to’s of parenting before we actually become parents?  We love our children, but we make mistakes. We sometimes fail our children.  Even the books on parenting and the advice of other parents don’t assure our success.

Writing is communication. I have enjoyed writing for many years. Through the years I have learned English grammar and how to put words together to form coherent sentences, paragraphs, and compositions.  I have taken courses and attended writers conferences to learn from the experts. I’m still learning the art of writing well.

My first published novel, Meadowsong, will be released on November 20, 2018. I’m now learning about editing, publishing, and promoting. How to interest the reader, how to sell my book. It might have been easier to learn all this earlier in life. Not that I’m old.

Since I became a follower of Jesus Christ at the age of eleven, I have learned much about faith and depending on God. I still have a lot to learn. Life doesn’t always bring us what we expect. There are many “bumps in the road,” many disappointments,  many sorrows. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that life will be perfect or that I’ll always do everything right. I’m God’s child, but I won’t reach sinless perfection until I reach heaven. God, however, is my dependable heavenly Father.

I’ll continue to learn as I live.

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