Out my Window: Blue skies, sun reflecting off the snow, deceptively inviting as the temperatures are in the low teens
Enjoying: A pot of succulents on my counter, my older son always talks about his love for them, so I was tempted. They make me happy. I am hopeful that I can keep them alive. My fresh flowers are still alive, I made a centerpiece on my counter that makes me happy on these dark, cold days with bright flowers, yummy lemon sugar cookie candle, a funny llama someone gave me, and a beautiful fair trade mug filled with Dove dark chocolate from another friend. My twinkle lights are still up and also bring happiness to my day. Enjoying these little added touches as I finish up the dark days of winter.
Listening to/Watching: I listened to the latest episode of Holy Post Podcast. Mostly home this week, so not much listening. Thankful that baseball is starting back up. We have been watching bits and pieces of that news. We watched Tomorrowland, it was good, slow at times, but clever and good message.
Reading: Still reading Saints: Becoming More than Christians by Addison Bevere, review coming next week. I am also reading the Book of Waking Up by Seth Gaines. It is very good. Very different in layout and format, but his writing and topic continues to pull me along and adds to the sacred echoes of addiction and freedom, that seem to be in all that I am reading, but in different terms or angles. I also have Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam on the side.
Pondering: Lent… it is coming soon and I usually have a specific book or study I go through, or something I choose to give up or to do. I have been looking at options and thinking about the things I am already involved in such as reading through the Bible and my small group will be studying 1 Peter. I still have the Bob Goff devotional at night. I am thinking I will not add a specific study, I’ll have my usual devotionals laying around to pick up here and there. I came to this after pondering this marvelous quote from Dorothy Sayer,
Lent is not intended to be an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. It is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges.
Put another way, Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy. Our self-sacrifices serve no purpose unless, by laying aside this or that desire, we are able to focus on our heart’s deepest longing: unity with Christ. In him—in his suffering and death, his resurrection and triumph—we find our truest joy.
I love that line, surprised by joy. In the midst of cleaning house mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, God wants to surprise me with joy. That resonates with what I have been learning about the gentleness of God. He woos us and leads up in his gentleness and humility. I feel like that is what this Lent is about for me. Not sure if I will write about here, or if it will be an Instagram thing, or just a quiet between me and him thing, but I am pondering what that looks like and looking forward to finding out.
Learning: It is the continued lesson of letting God order my time and days. This week went way different than I thought it would, and it was just what I needed. I subbed one day and served one day, but the rest of the week ended up free. I was able to catch up and rest which I was very thankful for it, even though I was ready to work all week. Now it’s Winter Break here, so I can hopefully finish up some of the house stuff that needs to be done.
Home Life: Keeping up, putting stuff away, this week was mostly bills and doing paperwork.
Fitness and Mental Health: Been moving in some way, either Pilates, schlogging, or a cardio video. I feel like I have broken through the fog that was slowing me down physically and mentally. Decision fatigue and jetlag are real things. This slow week of being able to catch up was helpful for my mental health, as well as physical.
Giving Thanks: For all the ways God provided for our trip. I was paying bills this week and was amazed again at how God had provided through generous people and an amazingly low price on tickets which I am finding out is rare. For the sun when it shines, for a warm home, for beauty of snow, for reminders of God’s provisions…