February Round-Up

 

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I hadn’t even thought about the fact that we are almost at the end of February until I started seeing all the monthly round-up posts this week.  While I wasn’t planning to do my own, reading the other posts has inspired me, and I also remembered Heather Gerwing’s monthly “Share Four Somethings” link-up, which I’ve been meaning to take part in for about six months, so here are some highlights from my February!

Something Loved

I have been loving the fact that a little taste of Spring has come early this year.  I can’t remember the last time in February that it was possible to go outside without a coat, but for the last week or so there has been lots of sunshine and I’ve found it makes a big difference to my mood.

Just to highlight the contrast, here is a photo I took a year ago today:

snow
This was just after a trip to the supermarket, stocking up for a few days inside as the snow began to fall.

Here is a picture from today:

sunshine
Both of these are extremes for the time of year, but I know which one I’d rather have! 🙂

I’ve also been loving the Flourish Writer’s Conference.  Fellow writers/ bloggers, if you haven’t discovered this yet, I encourage you to check it out.

It’s an online conference covering many different aspects of writing and publishing.  There are 25 different topics and speakers so there will be something for everyone, whatever stage you’re at in your writing journey.  The best bit is that until 12th March you can access all the content absolutely free!

Click here to find out more and to register.

Something Said

Sometimes the wisest words come from children!

At a point where I was feeling particularly stressed this month (more about that below) I received an unexpected gift from a 4 year-old at church.

donut worry
It’s hard to see in the photo but written on two of the petals are the words “Donut worry,” and on the third is a picture of a donut!

It was a beautiful surprise, it made me smile and, most importantly, it was the message I needed to hear and it reassured me that God saw and cared about my anxieties.

I now have it in a vase as a tangible reminder.

Something Learned

This month I learned that I still have a lot of work to do on issues of control and anxiety.  Last weekend I was leading a camp for 60 children.  It’s a lot of fun but it’s also extremely stressful and the pressure of being responsible for so many people can be overwhelming at times.

I was grateful for this blog post from Lois, which highlighted the difference between being responsible and being in control, and helped me look at things in a new way.

“When I remember that I’m responsible but it’s God who is in control, I’m free to do what I need to do without agonizing over every little detail.”

Something Read
growing forward cover

This month, I’ve enjoyed reading “Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back” by Laurie Pawlik.  If you’re struggling to move forward after a time of setback, loss or trauma, this book provides valuable encouragement to help you find your way.

The author weaves together her own story with the experiences of eleven women from the Bible to point to hope that, even when we encounter circumstances that will change our lives forever, there is still a way to move forward into something new.

Here are a couple of my favourite quotes:

“It’s a myth that “time heals all wounds.”  Sure, injuries such as paper cuts and sprained ankles eventually heal, but time doesn’t magically heal deep wounds.”

 

“As difficult as it is, loss must be grieved before we can move on and flourish… Accepting loss involves honouring the past and choosing to move into the future.”

The book is empathetic and realistic.  It doesn’t provide simplistic solutions or advocate a one-size-fits-all approach, but it brings the stories of the women from the Bible in a way that is relatable, fresh, and applicable to life today.

For example, I had never considered what it must have been like for Eve to experience the loss of her son Abel at the hands of his brother, and to attempt to deal with this without the support of any female family members or women who had experienced similar losses.

Each chapter contains five “Blossom Tips” – practical exercises or steps to take towards healing and flourishing.

I think this book will be helpful to many in pointing them towards a way to blossom and flourish despite difficult or tragic circumstances.

You can find the book at Amazon on these links: UK, US.

more of god cover            becoming mrs lewis          remarkable hope cover

I’ve also enjoyed reading More Of God by Betsy De Cruz.  If you missed my review earlier this week, you can read it here and find out more about the book here.

I’m just getting into Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan, which tells recounts the improbable love story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis.  I’m enjoying it so far, and looking forward to taking part in the book club discussion about the book over at Linda’s blog.  Check it out here.

Finally, I’ve been enjoying Remarkable Hope by Shauna Letellier, which I’ll be sharing more about on the blog next week.

What about you?  I’d love to hear some of your February highlights.  Feel free to share in the comments.

I’m grateful to Bethany House and Netgalley for access to a complementary digital copy of Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back.  This is my honest review and I only share books here that I genuinely believe will be beneficial to my readers.

Amazon links are not affiliate links, but simply provided for your convenience.

Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up



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18 thoughts on “February Round-Up

  1. I love your 4 Somethings, Lesley. I’m so glad you’re getting a taste of spring. It’s still extremely cold here. 😦 How precious that God gave you encouragement in a sweet gift from a child! I was so grateful for Lois’ blog post, too. I have to remember that more often. Growing Forward sounds like a great book. I have placed it on my ever-growing Amazon wish list. 🙂 Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Trudy! I hope things warm up for you soon. It sounds like it’s been a particularly cold winter for parts of America this year. I hope you enjoy Growing Forward if you get to read it – there are just so many great books out there that it’s impossible to keep up! Love and blessings to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lesley, you’ve had quite a month! I love how God encouraged you when you needed it, and how He continues to show you He’s with you.

    Things I’ve learned this month . . . that fear doesn’t have to dictate my response to situations. But, if I allow it, it will move me in directions I’ll regret. I’m writing about that on my blog. I’ve learned that it’s good for children to face disappointment. The trick is, as the mom, how do I best encourage my guy who didn’t get something he’d hoped for. God is present in it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! I really appreciated the first part of your series on fear and I look forward to reading more. I’m glad you’re sharing what you’re learning. And yes, we all have to learn to face disappointment, but it is hard to watch when those who are close to us have to deal with it and to know how to encourage them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to find your “Four Somethings” here! I too, have been gaining insight from the Flourish Writers’ conference. I have much to learn! And aren’t gifts from a child’s heart the best? As a teacher, I received stones, withered dandelions, lint covered candy, crayon pictures and so much more! Each one a treasure and joy! I need the quote about control as well! Thanks for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cindy! I’m glad you’re finding the Flourish writing conference helpful too. And I agree, gifts from children are all so precious.

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  4. I love this format for a month-end post, Lesley … I may try it myself sometime soon. 🙂 Leading a camp for 60 kids sounds very stressful … I’m glad my post about responsibility and control helped a bit! Thanks for sharing the post, by the way … I’m still holding on to that truth every day, and it is still such a comfort. As for your spring weather, I’m choosing to be happy for you despite 0 degree temps and snow on the ground where I live in Kansas. 🙂 Hugs, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lois! It was pretty stressful but your post really encouraged me. I hope you get some spring weather soon. It’s definitely got a bit colder here this week – back to normal for the time of year. Hugs to you too!

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  5. Yay! So happy to have you link up! Great review of your month and I am so ready for Spring to arrive in MI! We still have snow on the ground!

    Liked by 1 person

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