January Reflections

January is usually a welcome quiet spot after the busyness of the holidays. But this year it’s appointment month for me. Mostly follow-up appointments that just happened to get bunched up together. Today is, thankfully, the last one for now.

Early in the month we helped our son and daughter-in-law move into their first purchased home. It was structurally fine but needed numerous smaller fixes–painting, patching holes, cleaning multitudes of dog hair (even from the dishwasher!), turning a space leading to the attic into a pantry, etc. They’ve just about got the preliminaries done, and then they can take some of the bigger projects one at a time. It’s exciting to see what’s new every time we go over!

We owned the house they had been renting. At one time we thought about using it as rental property or maybe moving there if we ever needed to downsize. But in the end, we decided to sell it. Jim spent a number of evenings and weekends touch-up painting and fixing things, and we all went over for an evening of cleaning. We had a good offer after just a day and a half of it being on the market! We’re waiting on the appraisal and such to be worked out but hope to close in a couple of weeks. Jim will be thrilled not to have the responsibility of two properties any more.

For the first time since about last April, COVID numbers have gone a bit down this month in our city. I hope that trend continues and spreads worldwide. But the newspaper also reported cases of a new strain that is not deadlier but is more contagious. Our church is meeting in person, with people sitting in family groups six feet apart. But a few of us are still using Zoom, mainly those with physical issues. We can’t participate in the discussion times that way like we could when we were all on Zoom, and I miss that. But I am thankful for the option to watch in real time.


I don’t know if I just haven’t been paying close enough attention, or if he’s getting old enough not to say cute/funny things any more. I hope not the latter. One thing I smiled at privately: when he was packing up items from his room, he named them one by one. One was his “favorite rubber band.” 🙂


No cards this month! I can’t think of anything creative I have done in a while except hang my winter wreath out front.


We haven’t really been in movie-watching mode, either. There are a few series we follow, but not many are on now. We’ve enjoyed watching The Weakest Link. I’m still working through Lark Rise to Candleford while riding my exercise bike.


This month I finished (linked to my reviews):

I’m currently reading:

  • Nicholas Nickleby by Dickens. I’m on a quest to read the Dickens books that I haven’t yet.
  • Be Loyal (Matthew): Following the King of Kings by Warren Wiersbe
  • Write Better by Andrew Le Peau
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion by Annette Whipple
  • Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (Not Me) by Kate Motaung and Shannon Popkin
  • In Between (A Katie Parker Productions #1) by Jenny B. Jones. I don’t usually read YA, but I found this on a Kindle sale and it looked good.
  • Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell

That looks like a lot. But the Dickens one is an audiobook. I have been reading a chapter a week of Fear and Faith on Saturdays, which our church Bible reading plan schedules as a catch-up day if needed. I read the commentary, which amounts to half a chapter or a chapter at a time, with my morning Bible reading. I’ve been chipping away at the LIW and writing book for a long while–I don’t keep them where I usually read, so I forget about them.


Besides books reviews and almost weekly Friday Fave Fives and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:

We have a few events to look forward to In February. And every day of winter brings us closer to spring, more sunlight, growing things returning. (Winter is not my favorite.Can you tell?) But in general I’m not looking too far ahead. There’s much in Scripture about moving forward a day at a time, a step at a time, in faith and hope and obedience.

How was your January? What are you looking forward to in February?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Hearth and Soul, Senior Salon, InstaEncouragements)

9 thoughts on “January Reflections

  1. I enjoy your wrap-ups! You accomplish so much, even if you only considered all your writing and reading. Glad your appointments are over for a while; I like getting them behind me too. I too am eagerly watching for each sign of “progress” with the seasons — last night I noticed that it seems to be staying light just a tad longer in the evenings. Yay! In February I’m looking forward to increasing light outside 🙂

  2. Dog hair in the dishwasher, that had me imaging one of the dogs getting a bath in there. But I am sure that didn’t happen. Enjoyed your monthly recap, Barbara. Good news on the house being snatched up so quickly.

    • The dog hair was mainly in the hinges and around the door opening, but, still–I wonder of they rubbed up against it while it was on for the warmth. My d-i-l said it took several cleanings to get it all out. We were really happy about the quick house offer and pray everything goes through.

  3. How exciting for your kids to buy their first home! And aren’t you glad your rental house sold so quickly. That’s amazing.

    We’re still watching church online as well. It’s not the same. But it’s better than nothing, so I’m super grateful for the option! Several do meet in person, but even with social-distancing, occasionally there will be a covid outbreak among them, so we won’t go back for awhile yet.

    I’ve gotten way behind on my blog reading so I’ll look forward to catching up on several of your posts this morning.

  4. Barbara,
    We must be on the same schedule. January has been filled with routine doctor appointments and some I’ve let go due to COVID. I feel like my car – going in for a 60,000 mile check up lol. Guess I’m good to go for awhile. I finally completed the COMPEL book proposal bootcamp and turned in my proposal so I admit to being a bit of a bum and just enjoying a little down time. I’ve been longing to hunker down with a good book, and January is the perfect month.
    Bev xx

  5. Barbara, it does sound like a busy month. And I think Timothy’s comment about his rubber band is priceless. Lots of good books getting read. I’ve noted a couple to check out myself. Blessings to you!

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