March

March brings hope that just maybe the cold winter is passing away and the newness of spring is on it’s way. It seems to mark the beginning of busyness in our home.

Here are the mini celebrations from March:

Meeting with a group of homeschooling moms for coffee and chatting, celebrating my dad’s birthday, our “Independence Day” anniversary – one year since Jeff lost his job and created his own, a visit with my husband’s family, a family hike in the woods, our first TravelTrage Trip of the season, revival services at our church with excellent singing by friends of ours and insightful messages from the evangelist, going out to dinner with my family. 

Now, for my habits progress:

HEALTH

Although I kept exercising each day, I did not enforce the 30 minutes. I tried to do more outdoors with the family instead of all indoors. I tried a few naturally sweetened things in place of my regular sugar-sweetened treats. However, I did not progress much except for maintaining health.

ARTICLES

I began March with the goal of writing every day for 100 days. I have a work in progress, I also wrote some Sunday School lessons for a publication and I journaled. I also began practicing a few new songs on the piano and am easing back into practicing my violin. I’m quite rusty after 25 years!

BOOKS

To reach my 100 books goal, I need to read about 8 books a month. I’ve posted my Reading List for you to follow along on my progress. I have read 18 so far, so I’m averaging 6 a month. I never wholeheartedly recommend any book but the Bible. However, I’ll tell you a little bit about the ones I read this month:

A Woman of Strength and Purpose by Cynthia Tobias
After reading her book on the strong-willed child last month, I thought it might be helpful to read this book on the strong-willed woman. I just may know one of those. Ahem. It reinforced some of what I read in her other book. I suppose the best takeaway was that it is okay to be a strong-willed woman as long as that is kept in the proper perspective. I did enjoy reading her stories of strong-willed women and how they interact with their strong-willed children.

The Secret of Your Naturally Skinny Friends by Monica Swanson
This book was recommended by a Christian blogger I follow. I found it very helpful in some ways. It mostly focuses on freedom from body and weight obsession and intuitive eating, although she doesn’t call it that. It sounds like a wonderful, freeing concept. I just wonder if it is practical for those like me who have a lot of weight to lose. I’m still reading her 31 Day Thought Diet Devotional in the back and pondering it. I did like how she shared her own diet over a few “real” days. Practical, applicable knowledge is my preference in a book.

Living By Design by Ray Strand
This was a helpful book by a Christian doctor and a Christian psychologist on the integration of the body, soul and spirit. I found it interesting theologically and practically. It had a lot of information on managing stress. I am still pondering these quotes:

Emotions were not designed to be our guide, but rather our gauges…When we train ourselves to use our minds, rather than emotions, we can make choices based on what the Word says is spiritually true – and every aspect of our soul and body benefit.

 

People and circumstances are not ours to control. That was never part of the design – yet we try to do it all the time.

 

Your whole body is intended to be a tool of worship, an instrument of service and a mouthpiece of love.

Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur
Few fiction books stick with me for a lifetime, but I read one years ago by this author that did. I decided to try some of his other books even though they were written in the late ’90s. I found this one thought-provoking and spirit-stirring even though I didn’t agree with all of his points in the story. The depths of evil and the heights of legalism were hard to read about but mostly accurately portrayed. Since my beliefs tend to be labeled “conservative” by many, I try to especially guard against the legalistic attitude that the main character portrayed. I don’t believe conservative beliefs equal legalism. I think legalism and liberalism are attitudes rather than actions. I will agree with the author to this extent: Any time our actions interfere with our love of Christ, the Church or people, they become in opposition to God and His Word. This goes for anyone whether they are championing a “conservative” or “liberal” cause.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell
I picked this book up at the library because I am homeschooling a high school student now. I am very terrified, to put it mildly. This book was more of a scan, since it has a lot of information. This would probably be a good reference book in which to invest. To be perfectly honest, it overwhelmed me a bit at this stage. I will probably revisit it during the summer while planning next year.

I have a lot of fun things planned for April. I hope to accomplish greater things in this next month and quarter. What about you? How is your year going?

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