What February lacks in length, it has more than offset with depth — of SNOW and MUD! No sooner do we shovel our way through two feet of fluffy beauty, than the sun comes out and melts it all, turning the world into chocolate pudding! It’s almost as if God is telling us to slow down — to stay home and enjoy these days of crazy boys and middle-aged marriage. And so we have — with joy!
On My Desk
It’s been great to get the women’s Sunday School class started up again at my wonderful church home. We have been using Jen Wilkin’s study in I Peter, and it’s really keeping us on our toes with homework and a persistent (and important) reminder that we need to stay close to the text, reading repetitively and in context. What that boils down to is at least one trip through all five chapters of I Peter each week, lots of marking up the text in our search for repetitive words and big picture concepts, and regular use of the dictionary (or Siri) for deeper understanding of the words Peter chose for his letter to all of us “elect exiles.” I reviewed Jen’s book last spring and couldn’t wait to use it in real life with my friends who join me around the table each week. The study is every bit as challenging and helpful as I thought it would be.
Vacation Bible School veterans will not be surprised to hear that I’m sorting through curricula and staffing for this summer’s ministry to kids, and so I’m wondering . . . what’s everyone else doing for summer ministry in 2017?
Somehow I missed taking Economics in high school and college, so, in this third round of teaching a high school senior here at home, I’m switching gears, leaving our curriculum behind, and reading a book in tandem with my big, brown-eyed boy. Emily Whitten has been sharing one classic book per month on World Radio, and her suggestion of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics has been just what I needed to bring the theory and the charts and graphs and specialized vocabulary into real world application for my future welder (and for this present day domestic diva!). You can listen along here.
On the Blog
One of the lovely benefits of blogging has been all the new friendships I’ve made with other bloggers — and every once in a while, one of those friends writes a book, and I get to review it here at Living Our Days. When my friend Mary Geisen wrote Brave Faith, she dipped her brush into the lives of inspiring biblical characters and shared their stories alongside her own journey of moving outside her comfort zone and into the soul-enriching pilgrimage toward living brave.
Another blogging friend, Holly Barrett, invited me to join her on her weekly podcast, and the program aired on February 3. Click here to listen in to the fun conversation as we chatted about family, books, and living this following life in pursuit of wisdom. You can subscribe to her podcast here.
The dialogue at SheLoves Magazine is always lively and uplifting, and I was thankful to share a reflection on my mid-winter canning jars and the truth that the container is secondary to the contents. It’s good new that my emptiness is an invitation for God to pour His fullness into me—whatever my assignment for 2017. You can read more here, and be reminded of the Apostle Paul’s testimony that God met him faithfully in the midst of his own deep need.
The most-read post at Living Our Days for the month of February was my review of Humble Roots, by Hannah Anderson. Using metaphors as earthy as our clay-based bodies, Hannah cooperates with the Word of God to reveal that the quality of life we most desire will not come to us through power or reason or productivity or any number of quick fixes, but, rather, through roots that are sunk deeply into a theology of need and answering grace — and a humble acceptance of a life that is lived close to the ground.
And, unbelievably, for those of us who are reading C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, we have only two more weeks left in our discussion group! The book was already my favorite of Lewis’s fiction, and now I’m blessed by the great insights that have come from other readers through this group experience. As we begin Part II, Orual realizes, “I must unroll my book again.” We’ll be joining her in the process of sorting out the threads of her tangled memory.
Just for Joy
We did it!
The women’s fellowship at my church planned and executed a Family Valentine’s Celebration including a lovely dinner and a fun and wacky program. We started brainstorming waaaaay back in November, and it’s encouraging to see what a small group of women can accomplish together as we celebrate our ministry to women and work toward greater opportunities and initiative for ministry by women.
The beautiful and poetic words about snow in the image above come from Luci Shaw’s “Light Gathering, January” taken from her collection of poems What the Light Was Like.
Be sure to join me over at Leigh Kramer’s place where many of us gather at month’s end to share What We’re Into.
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I link-up with a number of blogging communities on a regular basis. They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week. I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.