February. My favorite month of the year, I think. I know many hate it because of the weather, but important things happen in February. Valentine’s Day. My birthday. (smile) While some of my goals stalled this month because of a lot of extra treats and activities, I still found it to be a good month.
Building Spiritual Life
I’m still doing my hymn devotionals and Year of Graces which I mentioned last month. I also did a short word study on the word build in the KJV. I studied some of the building projects in Genesis such as the Ark and the Tower of Babel. I left the building theme a bit to study Jesus’ conflicts in the book of John, read the book of Ruth for a church assignment and began to study my favorite book, the book of Joshua. I’m in two book study groups right now of a spiritual bent which are challenging me to dig deeper into the Word as well.
Our February date was extra special since my husband took me away overnight to celebrate my birthday and Valentine’s Day. We visited one of the same little cabins where we spent our first weekend of marriage.
We didn’t venture out on most of our family nights this month. While we had some warm days, it felt like we were running so much with activities, we usually opted to stay in. One of them was our annual Valentine’s Day dinner where we all pitch in and cook a course.
We visited my husband at work for lunch one day, and the boys had fun touring his shop. I had a fun date with my daughter as well as two family birthday parties, including mine.
I’ve connected with a few friends from childhood more this year. I’ve been exchanging letters with one of them regularly and catching up with a few other via FaceBook and texting.
With all the treats this month, I don’t feel I made particular strides with health. I’m working on eating better and exercising in ways I enjoy. When I make more significant progress, I will share.
Building Soul and Spirit
I read 5 books this month besides the two I’m reading a chapter at a time for my study groups. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am only sharing 4 of them. The other was a good story, but I would not want to recommend it due to some of the language. That being said, I never wholeheartedly recommend a book other than the Bible. This is a simple record of the books I read.
Dear Mr. Knightley (Katherine Reay)
I found this to be a sweet book with some thought-provoking ideas. It is mostly a series of letters between a coming-of-age foster child and an unknown benefactor who pays for her college. I thought a series of letters would be so much like reading a diary and make the story boring. It did not, and I enjoyed the book.
The Practicing Mind (Thomas M. Sterner)
This was a short read with a main idea summarized on the cover as “Master any skill or challenge by learning to love the process.” A favorite quote from the book which refines this idea is: “Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. In fact, life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort of refining our motions.”
An Open Heart (Harry Kraus)
This wasn’t on my original reading list, but it was a free Kindle book by a Christian author so I downloaded and read it. The suspense and message were generally good as well as what I learned about mission work in Africa. I don’t have experience in dealing with the spiritual world like some missionaries do, so I can’t comment on the correctness of all of it with authority. However, the story held my attention, and I enjoyed it.
Nourished (Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph)
This was an encouraging book for women of all life stages written by a mother and daughter. It has a lot of practical application, which is important to me when I read a book. However, there were also some laugh out loud parts to make it fun.
We are experimenting with our own version of year round homeschooling/Sabbath schooling. We are planning on starting a week earlier and finishing a week later so we can enjoy our traditional Labor Day week vacation week, one week for Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas and spring break as well as take off a full week for each person’s birthday. That means we took off the whole week for my birthday except for a few tests and the “fun” schooling parts.
The Valentine piano recital was a lot of fun. All of the students did such a great job, and the ensemble went well. We all enjoyed playing on a 9 foot Steinway at the recital hall we were allowed to use. I only wish I had assigned myself to more duets with students so I could play it more!
Unexpected Building Blocks
On the downside, we had a large car repair bill this month and a few sniffles. However, we had a cavity-free dentist visit (yay!) and avoiding carageenan has given my sensitive child a month symptom free (double yay!).