Saturday, March 1, 2014

What I Learned in February

Happy Saturday, friends! I have really been enjoying these monthly posts where people share what they have learned the previous month. As I read some of them I decided that this would be a nice way to gather some thoughts and share them with you...a way for me to begin again to write.

1. Reading A Million Little Ways with other women is good for my soul.  Simply getting together with other women in a purposeful way is good for my soul. I have had several opportunities for deeper discussions with groups of women recently and again I am reminded that we are to walk this journey with Jesus with others.

2. Giving and thoughtful care for others really fills my cup. And I pray it really blesses the receivers. I have really begun building a habit of looking for ways to tangibly love others and for now it seems to be bringing meals and bits of creativity to others who are sick, sad, or in need of knowing that they are not alone. My life is full at home and I don't have hours to devote to service outside of it right now, but I CAN use my time at home to make extra food and  put together a bit of love for someone else.

3. Powersheets are rocking my world. I heard of these last fall and immediately rolled my eyes. Anytime I scoff and roll my eyes at something you can be sure that God will usually have me enter into it. :) Several friends began using them and when I saw the difference that this focused God-centered planning was doing in their dailiness, I decided to humble myself and give it a go. So far I am amazed at the simple clarity I am receiving about my life and the plans God may have for me.  I am feeling more focused and intentional and less reactive and aimless. Good stuff.

4. The library is the best place for planning and productivity for me.  Coffee shops are just too dang distracting. I listen into other people's conversations and people-watch and the music is always way too loud. The library gives me hours of relative silence which really helps me focus. Right now I come on Saturday mornings for several hours and for 45 minutes on Monday evenings when my oldest son is at Boy Scouts. I haven't made time for a formal planning time like this in a while, but reading this post got me motivated.

5. Spotify Premium is worth the 10 bucks a month. I can listen to any song or CD that I want to at anytime. I use it on my laptop but mainly I keep great music playing through the phone app. Best subscription EVER. I don't have money to buy new music so this allows me to listen to huge volumes of new music and artists that are new to me, and it sounds dramatic to say but IT'S BEEN LIFE-CHANGING.

6. Podcasts in the tub with a renewal soak really does renew me. It feels like an hour of chatting with adults without having to. Lol. Great for introverts and weary bodies.

7. Getting away with my family in February for an overnight is always worth making happen.  The last few years we have either gone to Great Wolf Lodge or to the beach in February and it is a nice sanity break. We have so much cabin fever and infighting and the break does us all a whole lot of good.

8. Coffee made in my thrifted ($1.50!) Chemex is almost like a bit of art in my morning. Simplicity and beauty and smooth coffee in the morning is the right way to begin my day.

9. Doodling is cheap therapy.  When I took Heather's Hibernate workshop, she taught us about meditative journaling. This practice has been very therapeutic and centering for me. It's opened up the world of art journaling  and is one of the few "crafts" that really focuses my mind and doesn't allow it to wander. I think that's why it feels so good to dailiness is marked by chronic distraction.

10. Aldi has Choceur chocolate bars that are the best evening treat ever. One individually wrapped chocolate wafer is a smooth and delicious treat.  I keep a bottomless stash in the top drawer of my bedside table.

11. Showing up in the mornings peaceful and planned makes everybody calmer.  Duh, right? I can get into bad habits post-holidays and somehow don't realize that I am not nearly as planned and peaceful as I think I am.  Guiding my children's mornings is essential...peacefully and lovingly and not as a drill sergeant.

12. Dates with my husband need to happen. We have a 15 year deficit in taking time and money for dates. We have been diligent this past year to find time and space and resources for this and it makes us so so so happy. Our life with six children begins early in the morning and ends late at night so there is no quiet for us in our own home. Making the time to steal away for a lunch or coffee is vital for us...especially since both of our #1 love languages is quality time.


emily freeman said...

I love this! That art doodling? So cool. I'm going to have to check that out.

And I'm glad to hear you're reading Million with others - what a gift that is.

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog for many years now and just want to say how nourishing I find your posts. Your openness, honesty, and incite towards life "fills my bucket" and inspire me. I know your posts are less frequent, but they are greatly cherished. Thanks for doing what you do, when you do it!