January. A month of new beginnings. And the first month of my “building” project for 2016. While I won’t bore you with all the details of the month, I want to share some of my progress. My hope is it will encourage you to keep “building” in your life as well as serve as accountability for me.
Building Spiritual Life
I am studying books about building and re-building in the Bible. This month I read and studied Ezra, Nehemiah and Haggai. I’m enjoying using Then Sings My Soul as devotional reading and using these resources as well: 31 Day Scripture Writing on Prayer and Ann Voskamp’s A Year of Graces calendar.
We had some fun family nights this month including our first venture into ice skating. It surprised me that all of the kids enjoyed skating, even the little ones.
We had a fun family dinner with my parents and siblings and all our kids at a hibachi grill. I also got a rare night out with my mom. My husband and I had a fun date going to dinner and doing some errands and shopping, and I fit in two kids dates as well with my middle boys.
I’m learning to build my temple for the Lord instead of just worrying about appearance or strict rules. I am slowly easing into better exercise habits and working on better nutrition to keep my body healthy. I’ve slept better this month as well, but a little voice in my head still whispers that this is a sign of laziness rather than caring for health.
Building Soul and Spirit
I read 6 books this month, and I am reading through the complete works of Sherlock Holmes for fun. Some people think that makes me weird or geeky, but I’m living my life, not theirs. (smile) I always hesitate to recommend books, so this is just a record of what I read. I found helpful things in all of them, but several were from a non-Christian worldview so I found disagreement with some of the conclusions.
Changes That Heal (Henry Cloud)
Favorite Quote: “It is His very transcendence we worship…If you can know everything about Him, then He is no longer God: you are.”
The Carousel Painter (Judith Miller)
The only fiction book I read (besides my Sherlock Holmes). It was an endearing story somewhat different than what I usually enjoy. I found the stigma of being a single, working woman in 1890 to be quite similar to the stigma of a mother at home today.
How to Hug a Porcupine (Julie A. Ross)
I found this book to have a few good strategies for building relationships with middle schoolers, but many of the views were not based on Scripture.
Favorite Quote: “We must protect our children from extremes in our emotional temperature so that their newly forming identity can begin to take shape and so that we will not damage our relationship with them during this time.”
Womanly Dominion (Mark Chanski)
I scanned this book without reading every single word, but I found the chapter on Facing Your Fears to be very helpful and Scripture-based. I agreed with much of the information and thought it a good Biblical answer to the controversies over women’s roles.
I Dared to Call Him Father (Bilquis Sheikh)
This was probably my favorite read this month. It is a non-fiction account of how a Muslim woman found Jesus. The most important takeaway for me was how she learned to carefully guard Jesus’ Presence in her life.
The Body of Truth (Harriet Brown)
I found this to be the most disappointing read of the month. She gave a nod to caring for our health and body and loving it, but there wasn’t much of a practical takeaway. It was mostly a treatise on the science, history and culture of body image. I thought the book would get to a point that was never made.
We reached Day 100 of our homeschool. My sister brought over some decorated cookies with 100 on them to celebrate. We are officially caught up on some subjects we were behind on, so I’m hoping to have a more organized last part of the year.
My piano students and I are busily preparing for our Valentine recital in a few weeks. I haven’t done one of these in 8 years or so, and they are so fun. This is also the first time we will be trying an ensemble on two pianos. It should be interesting if nothing else! (smile)
Unexpected Building Blocks
We are investigating the possibility of a food sensitivity in one of our children. I think we’ve made some progress. Would anyone have experience with carageenan sensitivity? If so, I would love to hear about it.
Speaking of building, we are making progress on our basement. We have one wall up, the carpet down and one piece of furniture added to the room. Baby steps! (smile)
How was your January? Wishing you all a wonderful experience building February!