I used to dislike January because all the excitement of Christmas was over, all the decorations and lights were taken down, the weather was cold, the skies were overcast. But in the last few years, I’ve appreciated January as a restful month after the busyness of December.
This January has not been as restful as usual. But keeping busy helps keep my mind off winter. One thing that encourages me the most is the knowledge that we’ve been getting a little more daylight every day since the winter equinox.
I shared on some Fridays Fave Five posts that we went with Jason, Mittu, and Timothy to a car show and then with Jesse to a Knoxville Symphony Orchestra performance of the music from Jurassic Park—while the movie played.
One not-as-fun outing was a visit to the dentist for a filling, only to discover that the damage to the tooth was more extensive than originally thought and will require more work. I had to take antibiotics for an infection in the tooth and still need to call the dentist back to discuss the next steps. As much as I don’t want to deal with this, it won’t go away until I do.
I’ve mentioned here and there that we’ve been visiting churches in search of a new church home. We loved the folks at our last church, but had a difference of opinion over a doctrinal distinction that we didn’t hold to. We still love them and wish them well, but just felt we were going a different direction.
It’s a little unsettling not to have a church home. Much of our conversation the last several months has been discussing and weighing the different places we’ve visited. One good thing, though, is finding small groups of believers here and there that love God.
I usually share the cards I’ve made each month, but there were none this time.
And I don’t have much worth mentioning in the watching/listening category except the new season of All Creatures Great and Small on PBS.
So, on to books and blog posts!
Since last time, I have finished (titles link to my reviews):
- Be Transformed (John 13-21): Christ’s Triumph Means Your Transformation by Warren Wiersbe
- Be Committed (Ruth and Esther): Doing God’s Will Whatever the Cost by Warren Wiersbe
- Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God by Tim Challies, written the first year after his 20-year-old son unexpectedly passed away.
- The Pilgrim’s Regress by C. S. Lewis (audiobook), in which he allegorizes his journey through various philosophies to theism and finally to Christianity.
- Christmas Every Day by Beth Moran (audiobook). A young woman fresh from a breakup and the loss of her job moves to the duplex in Sherwood Forest she inherited from the grandmother she had never met. After a series of comic disasters, she finds friends and new love.
- Hope for Christmas: A Small Town Christmas Romance Novella by Malissa Chapin. Merry has also lost her job and ends up back in the small Wisconsin town where her mother lives. Her mother’s new neighbor, time with her mother, a blizzard, and an unexpected visitor in need all help Merry face her issues.
I’m currently reading:
- Be Rich (Ephesians): Gaining the Things That Money Can’t Buy by Warren W. Wiersbe
- Writing for the Soul: Instruction and Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life by Jerry B. Jenkins
- All That’s Good by Hannah Anderson
- The Fence My Father Built by Linda S. Clare (audiobook). Not sure I’ll be able to recommend this as it seems to promote a syncretism between trusting “Jesus and all the angels” and one’s Native American ancestors. But I’ll see how it ends up.
- The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix
Besides the weekly Friday Fave Fives, Saturday Laudable Linkage, and book reviews, I’ve posted these since last time:
- Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled, drawing on Jesus’ counsel to His disciples just before He was arrested.
- “Everyday Hallelujahs. “But worship isn’t just for Sundays or public gatherings. We don’t acknowledge God on Sundays and then go back to our regular work without giving Him any more thought. We can worship Him in everything we do because He is with us and has given us all we have.”
- What Does God Want Us to Continue? We often start January with new goals. But some things we should continue from year to year.
- Be Your Own Unique Style of Grandparent. We probably don’t compare ourselves to other grandparents as we did with other parents. Still, it’s good to know there are any number of ways to grandparent. But our main desire is that “through our love, our lives, our testimony, and our words, we can have a great influence on them for God.”
- How Churches Can Help Visitors
I’ve finally made a dent in my hardest chapter! The problem is having more information than one chapter can contain and finding the best way to present it so the reader isn’t bogged down. I’m motivated because my turn to present to our critique group is coming up in March, and I’d really like to have made a good headway on this so I can get the group’s feedback.
Though January has been a pleasant month, I am happy for it to end. We look forward to Valentine’s Day, something we do up big with the family, and my daughter-in-law’s birthday next month. And as of this writing, we’re only 48 days away from spring!
Have a wonderful day! 🙂
Thank you! You, too!
I’m with you on loving the idea that there’s a little more light each day! YAY for the small wins like that 🙂 I also don’t like health issues hanging over my head — I hope that soon your tooth issue will be behind you. I am enjoying “All Creatures” on Sunday nights too. Comfort watching for sure!
I understand. I had a major dental job a few years back – a cracked root underneath a root canal – and know the pain and the upheaval. But you’re right – you’ve just got to get it done. Unfortunately!! 🙂
I marvel at your productivity, grace and wit, and I pray you will find a church home soon. I appreciate your work.
Thanks so much, Abigail.
Barbara, I so enjoyed this post. You are pretty amazing in all you can do in a month. The books read. I hope you are able to find a new church family soon. It’s an important decision. And good for you working on your writing. Do you write fiction or nonfiction? May the Lord anoint your words!
Thanks for your kind words, Jeanne. I write nonfiction.
Barbara, what an amazing month! Though maybe everything wasn’t as usual, there was much there to enjoy. I love your book list, and I always enjoy hearing about what you are watching. Actually, my husband and I are looking for a new church too, not my most pleasant activity! Best wishes on where God leads!
January has been a bit busy for me, too. And I sympathize with your church search. We had to do that about 5 years ago for basically the same reason. Praying you find the right church home.
(I’m very behind on blog reading so pardon this being so late.) I’m glad you’ve made good progress on another chapter of your book! I look forward to reading it. I’m certain your book will be so helpful when it is birthed into the world. Your hard work will be worth it!
Barbara, I can’t wait to read your book. Boy your January sure was busy. Did you get any spare time to rest and relax in February?
Thank you for sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends February Link up.