Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s in the bones” or that heard that you might feel something “deep in your bones”? Essentially, it means that when you learn or understand something so deeply that it becomes a part of you. “While bones frequently evoke images of death, they also may evoke resilient images of life, vitality, and regeneration”.
In my life, I’ve learned a few truths that I now hold in my bones. The first, is that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God formed my flesh and my bones amidst many trials that started in my mothers womb, and it’s a miracle I am alive. God loves me. It’s in my bones. As a mother, that reality was cemented more so during the pregnancy of each of my two children. I thought often about the tumultuous start I had in the womb and prayed over my children has God was knitting Eli and Boaz together in my own.
The second truth I hold in my bones is that I am continually needing to make space for the tension being a leader and being a follower. I believe I was born to lead. It’s in my bones. I come from a family of strong women who exhibited leadership in so many areas of their life, both inside and (mostly) outside the Church. As I look back over my journey, I see many areas where God has uniquely gifted me with leadership. But I’ve also been blessed to be a follower. I’ll be honest, being a follower doesn’t always come easy for me. Submission and followership aren’t words I regularly use in my vocabulary. But I’m practicing to continually submit my leadership to the Lord, and I have found that when I follow more closely, I lead more strongly.
This weeks reading helped me understand another truth. I am a learner. It’s in my bones. Rowntree reminded me that deep learning, the kind that settles in your bones, comes by way of developing our understandings of new learnings, and “to get plenty of practice in applying it to whatever situations or problems it is supposed to relate to.”
As I think about what I’m hoping to learn through writing my dissertation, I feel like I might be articulating things that I already know in my bones. I’ve moved beyond the surface learning of faith, vocation, and service, and I’m moving towards voicing my deep learnings. “Knowledge is not a commodity to be picked up ready-made, as if from a supermarket shelf. Instead, you need to be involved in the making of your knowledge.” Even as I’ve been working on my annotated bibliography, I’ve realized that the texts I’ve picked have been exactly as Rowntree mentioned. In essence, I’m being “bombarded with new ideas, new perspectives on ideas you already have, new connections between ideas, ideas that conflict with or transform your existing ideas – together with a whole new vocabulary with which to talk about them.”
Folks like Rowntree, Adler, and Bayard have helped me in this season of deep learning. But I know I’m right at the start and it’s all so new. I’m still holding in tension my leadership and my followership in this program. Daily I’m reminding myself that I can do this work because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Honestly, it’s hard to remember these truths at time. It’s all so new; it’s only just begun. But it’s going to be good. I can tell. I feel it in my bones.
*Completely unrelated to the content of this post, but these books kicked my butt in the citation department. I hope I did these right. This is why this post is late. I read nearly the entire Turabian Book to figure these out. This Turabian book will hopefully soon be in my bones too.
 Elaine Lux, “Narrative Bones: Amy Tan’s Bonesetter’s Daughter and Hugh Cook’s Homecoming Man” in The Gift of Story: Narrating Hope in a Postmoderd World, eds. Emily Griesinger and Mark Eaton (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2006), 119
 Psalm 139:14 (New Revised Standard Version)
 Derek Rowntree, “Studying and Learning,” in Learn How to Study: A Virtual Tour with Derek Rowntree (n.p.: printed by the author, 2016)
 Derek Rowntree, “The art of reading critically (1),” in Learn How to Study: A Virtual Tour with Derek Rowntree (n.p.: printed by the author, 2016)