Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Wrap-Up

Along with my belief that special people are born in January, it's also my belief it is one of the fastest moving months on the calendar. The days just fly by!

Maybe that is just how it is in my world ...

I started January focusing on my OneWord365 for 2017:

It's a journey of learning to do less. I've been wondering what I could give up in order to do less; I've already given up dusting, what else can I give up to free up my time?  Just kidding ... sort of ...

Seriously, what I've felt so far in this journey is to give up the mental clutter, as in the voices in my head chattering:

"I didn't get my to-do list done today ... What have I been doing with my life?"
"So? Don't be so hard on yourself, there is always tomorrow ... Let it go ..."

In other words, adjust my attitude on perfectionism and rigid standards. Less beating myself up ... more peace.

As long as I'm inching along and making progress, it's all copacetic. (I love using that word for "completely satisfactory.")  The race is not always one by the swift, you know. That pesky tortoise who won't give up is often the one crossing the finish line.

I keep a monthly journal of quotes, links and pictures that mean something to me. I thought of just pasting it into a post because it tells the story of what my brain has focused on last month. It would probably be a bit scary for you ...

Here's a sampling:

God continues to teach me that life is best lived at His pace
... Micah Maddox

When we open our hands and give food we are actually giving a piece of ourselves and Christ away.  That is a gift.  That is love on the move.

The way to make time hospitable is to become a hospital for time. You cannot extend compassion toward others if you neglect to extend compassion to yourself first.... Shelly Miller

I saw this on Facebook: 

"Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude."  ... Anne Frank

Ouch! So true, though .... my regrets seem to be some of my strongest emotions.

But then ... just a few days later, you can find this in my quote journal:

Do you ever dwell on past mistakes? In Isaiah 43:18 we’re reminded to not ponder on past things, “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.”God is reminding us to not spend a great deal of time looking back at past failures. Today is a new day! Rejoice in it!... Cindy Spivey, Grace and Beauty
It's all about balance. Take care of those regrets so you can press on.

My January Read:

This month, I only had time to focus on one book, but what a book!  The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz filled my reading time with much to ponder.  I've already mentioned her book often this month, and even referenced her book in my teaching at church.

Here is an excerpt from my notes I thought worth sharing:

Anne Graham Lotz shared how important confession of personal sin is in order to see results in our prayer lives.

She told of reading a pamphlet by Charles Finney, “Preparing the Heart for Revival.” He wrote that to experience revival, we must examine ourselves.  She then presented a list gleaned from his pamphlet of areas we might consider. You need to read the book for yourselves but just to give you an idea of items to consider:

  • Do I read the Word so halfheartedly that later I cannot tell you what I have read?
  • Am I more concerned with dressing up for church than preparing my heart for worship?
  • Do I hinder other by putting impossible expectations on them?

It takes courage to review this list and acknowledge our shortcomings, but when you are desperate to hear from God, you will do it.

I'm excited because one of my students shared that this message convicted him of a white lie he told six months ago and he had to go make it right.

January Blogging

January has not went as well for my blog as I had hoped. We've been having hostessing issues for The Loft so we are hoping for a grand reopening in February.

My most viewed post in January was my Letter to Younger Me which contained encouragement to believe God loves each one of us lavishly.

Second place went to the post, All I Need, which reminded us, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need."

Looking Ahead

I'm looking forward to what February has to offer. The hubs and I will celebrate 41 years of marriage. Our youngest will be having an ultrasound and we will find out the gender of our third grandchild. The to-do list is getting shorter and white space will be growing.  I'm hoping to get the camera out in February. (I realized I took no pictures in January!)

Whatever happens, you can be sure I will be sharing it here on the Journey!

How did your January go?


I'm sharing this post with the communities at Arabah Joy's Grace & Truth and Crystal Twaddell's #FreshMarketFriday. You can always find awesome posts in these communities!


Faith said...

I think you had a good month!! LOVE all those quotes but most especially the portion from Anne's book. EXCELLENT! We live in one of the areas where Finney went through on his in the capital region of NYS. My husband especially likes reading his works/messages.

Letting go is so free-ing, isn't it???!! I learned to do this several years ago...mainly of negative emotions that were triggered by certain "Christians" in our lives...once my husband and I switched churches and started meeting new, non toxic people, we learned to let go of those negative emotions and focus on the new things Christ had for us. Of course I'm all about letting go of some material things too :) I do it every spring. :)

I hope you are having a great start to February.

Linda Stoll said...

A third grandbaby!

Lovely, lovely ...


Leah Adams said...

What a great idea about keeping a journal of thoughts and quotes that touched you for the month. I am going to do that. There are always things that I think I would love to come back to, but never do. If I had them all in one place, it would make it easier to access them. Thanks for the idea!!

Michele Morin said...

You've had a great month, for sure! I always enjoy your re-cap pieces.

Anonymous said...

That quote by Anne Frank really strikes a chord.
January is a big birth month for us so I wholeheartedly agree with you on your thoughts about it!
I hope things get worked out for the Loft.
Have a great weekend and Happy Anniversary month to you!

Susanne said...

I liked this post. Your dusting comment made me laugh right out loud. The Anne Frank quote is powerful.

Ceil said...

Hi Jerralea! I love your sense of humor. I am not much of a duster myself, and it has nothing to do with trying to be less busy!
I also enjoyed the quote about being a hospital. I so agree with that. Taking care of ourselves is the first step to being able to help others.

Congratulations on the coming of your third grand, that's so exciting! My daughter is also pregnant, she's due at the end of April. I will keep your family in my prayers for a safe and healthy delivery.
My January was gone in a flash too. And February is such a short month...I'd better pay attention or this month will be a 'flash' too :)

Starla J. said...

Thank you for sharing this over at the Grace & Truth Link Up Party.

Lux G. said...

This is really nice. I also collect quotes which I often share on my blog's FB page.
Do less for more!