February Follow Up

Monday, February 28, 2011

On February 1st, I said I was going to make February about relationships - all relationships. I've enjoyed thinking about that this month, especially as I trolled around the internet and discovered useful articles. I hope you've found something to inspire you on the Relationships page. I will leave it up for a few more days.

On February 1st I also said that I wasn't going to make this all about me; bore you with a list of what I've done (or haven't done) to improve my relationships. Still true. But, I do feel the need to reflect and be accountable. I hope you'll let me do that here.

With God
I started the devotional book, Jesus Calling on January 1st. In February, I started reading One Thousand Gifts along with the Bloom (In)courage book club. The confluence of these books - searching for God's Presence, and practicing thankfulness (eucharisteo) - is jaw dropping. It is not accidental, and I'm grateful for how God does that.

With Spouse
I'm overwhelmed with appreciation for Hubby right now. It started in the days leading up to his trip, when I anticipated his absence and what that would mean. It continued as we went over the necessary "in case I don't come back" paperwork, and he showed me what I needed to do to simply maintain his business during a one week absence. I think I do a lot, but when my half is gone and I have the opportunity to temporarily put on Mommy-and-Daddy shoes, I am humbled. And amazed, and grateful for him.

With Kids
One Thousand Gifts has woken me up to being present with my children. So many of the gifts that I am discovering and recording, center around them. I have to slow down to notice the gifts. Put down the phone, the computer, the remote, the dishes, the laundry, the grocery list, the pen and just be there. I mean yes, life goes on and we rush and I yell and they fuss, but it is better when I hunt for beauty and love in all situations, as Ann recommends. If you don't have the book, get it. It is helping all my relationships, but especially I feel more astonishing gratitude (eucharisteo!) about my children now - and I didn't think that was possible.

With Extended Family
Hubby and I booked a trip for the four of us to go see my brother, his wife, and their baby girl in Chicago, later this spring. Niece will be about 7 months old when we go, and it will be the first time my young boys have met her, flown on an airplane, or been to a really big city. It is going to be super fun. There has been talk of purchasing matching pjs for the kids, which has me nearly giddy.

With Friends
I'm so lucky in this department. Just when I start to feel sorry for myself, thinking I no longer get to hang out with girls anymore, I'm forced to reflect on this issue and I feel ridiculous. I get lots of friend time, through many venues. I've had friends visit, meet me out for dinner, join me for exercise, forgive me for failing to check my voice mail (thank you!), and continue to play weeks-long phone tag. I'm making new friends through preschool, playgroups, church, and even through blog-land. I feel blessed.

With Self
In January, I got serious about getting up early for my morning quiet time. I need that time, I treasure that time, and it is worth the jarring alarm clock buzz in the blackness. The promise of a good hour to myself with books, Bible, journal, blogs and coffee = priceless. Add to that regular exercise (missing from my life for at least 4 years) at Go Figure and my self is much, much happier.

With Others in Need
I'm pretty much going to piggy-back on Hubby here. I was feeling distressed about this, "What have I done?" until a thought appeared, "You let Hubby go to Honduras." To be sure, I didn't "let" him go; we don't work that way. I supported his decision to go, and tried to encourage him along the way. He would have done the same for me. So while he was the one digging holes, pouring cement, and learning Spanish under the hot (caliente!) Honduras sun, maybe it can be said that I helped build that house too. I'm certainly glad that he went, and that he is back.

What about you? Did you focus on relationships this month? Any particular one(s)? Have a funny story or great experience to share? Do tell.

P.S. I took all the photos this weekend, with my phone. Spring is coming . . .

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11 Responses to “February Follow Up”

  1. Thank you for this post.......it was the ecouragement I needed. I have read Ann Voscamp's book and just ordered Jesus Calling. I am on a journey-not sure where it will take me-
    THank you

  2. Well that may be one of the most awesome comments ever! Thank YOU for sharing. It is my honor to share here, and to know that it encourages you is just fantastic. We don't know where the journey leads, but it sounds like you are on the right path. Jesus Calling will help you see that God is with you, all the way. You'll be in my prayers.

  3. sooooo good, you are definitely 'doing' in the relationship department. I love this 'one thousand gifts' and I think that it has done this for me as well. Nice to have a relationship with you here in bloggie world (smile)

  4. I agree with you in thanking God that He brings things together..like studies etc. that just make so many things come together.
    My focus on relationships has been with myself and others in that I am practicing slowing down and not striving and feeling driven all of the time.

  5. This is truly uplifting and inspiring. It makes me want to work harder on relationships, especially the one with God. Thank you for sharing this check-up.

  6. I love this and of course, you can always reflect, especially with the SDG sisters. Without reflect, so much of what God wants to teach us, goes amiss.

    The 2 parts I loved best were the hunting for beauty and love in all situations and that you did help your husband build the house.

  7. I love the intentionality of what you wrote for each area and the balance of doing something in each important area.

    I am also being deeply changed by Jesus Calling, One Thousand Gifts and in my case, also, Made to Crave.

    Thanks for sharing.


  8. Is the Jesus Calling book by Sarah Young? I've seen it mentioned other places and it's calling my name.

    I love this post and think it would be a good idea for me to ponder these points monthly just to check up on myself. It's easy just to slide along without focusing on our relationships with others. Thank you for remminding me of this.

  9. Courtney,
    So glad you included things you learned during your month of writing about relationships. I just finished Ann V.'s book too. . .lots of application there for sure.

  10. It's hard to read Ann V's book and not look at the world a little differently isn't it? I certainly have. And those pictures ... made me smile thinking of spring! :)

  11. I loved this post! You're learning all sorts of great things. Great pictures, too!

    I just love Jesus Calling. Did you know there's a companion book for kids? Same devo each day, just written more for kids. Love it.

    I finally got Ann Voskamps book today. I was at Costco..can you say impulse buy? But everyone's reading it and loving it, so I had to see what it was about.

    I'm so glad spring is coming. So.glad.