January Monthly Musings
One-twelfth of the year is gone already. Wow. Time seems to speed faster and faster, doesn’t it? Just one reason why stopping and capturing the moments each month has become a valuable practice for me.
Each month I pause and look back at what I am discovering, learning, and exploring in life – I call these my monthly musings. Living this reflective practice helps me slow down and savor this precious gift of life we’ve been given and all the gifts to be discovered given by such a loving, gracious God. Capturing these special moments gives meaning, depth, and delight to life. Let’s wake up to the wonders in the ordinary all around us.
I record what I notice on the pages of my Monthly Musing Journal. You can use anything, scrapes of papers, a journal or a calendar. Copies of my Monthly Musing Journal are available on Amazon and are a convenient way to keep track of the little things in life we often miss. Or if you want to click the button at the end of this post to get a FREE copy of my one sheet Monthly Musing handout.
Monthly Musing Lesson Learned:
What is working? What no longer works? These two questions have lingered in my heart this month. Perhaps they arose from my year-end review and God may be inviting me deeper into my rituals, schedules and the “cling too tightly” to-do lists.
I am in a decluttering frenzy in my home and in my heart. Taking clothes and dust collecting knick-knacks to the donation store and journaling more about what I hear God saying to me – creating inner space for him to live within me.
Practicing mindfulness has been the technique at our Weight Watchers meeting this month. Of course, they mean paying attention as we eat but I expand it to the nourishment of my soul too. Savor the moments. Be attentive to God’s nudges. Listen more. Listen deeply. Observe what works and what doesn’t. Time to let go, declutter my heart.
Monthly Musing Good Reads and Book Finds:
The Hidden Life of Trees – by Peter Wohlleben. I loved this book. This best seller shares fascinating info about trees I never knew before and stirred up powerful wonder within me of God and his creative nature. Did you know trees talk to one another? In Africa for example when giraffes start to eat the leaves of the acacia tree – that tree gives off a warning gas signaling to neighboring trees about the crisis. Forewarned those trees then produce a toxin into the leaves that giraffes don’t like, thus protecting themselves. He also shares examples of trees caring for a sick or dying tree. I am in awe of God’s continuous lessons all around us, especially in nature. I borrowed this book from the library but think it is “shelf-worthy” so plan to purchase my own copy.
Three writer friends released wonderful books this month. I am not just saying this because they are friends but I did enjoy all of these:
Let God be God – Matthew Brough
Through the Eyes of Hope – Lacey Buchanan and Bethany Jett
Katharina and Martin Luther – Michelle DeRusha
Monthly Musing Wise Words to Remember:
Yesterday ended last night. Every day is a new beginning. Learn the skill of forgetting. And move on.
– Norman Vincent Peale
So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.
– Christopher Reeve
If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.
– Author Unknown
In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.
Terrific Tools and Tips or Innovative Ideas I Discovered:
With all my decluttering I finally ordered a lid organizer for all those container tops.
Guess I am in a rut with all this organizing but thought this looked useful too. Holds up to 6 skeins of yard and keeps them from tangling too.
Does a scale excite you? It does me when I think of how convenient this will be to take when I travel and will help me manage my “eat anything you want since you are on vacation mindset.” Ordered it and will let you know how I like it next month. ( I wish that was my weight too showing on the scale. LOL)
Monthly Musing Wisdom Story
Parker Palmer shared this poem this month that stayed with me, even more so reading the story behind its author. It’s called “Otherwise” by Jane Kenyon. Please take the time to read and ponder its wisdom.
Also, what stories do we tell ourselves? They can be categorized into two: redemption and contamination narratives. Interest insights in this article.
Upcoming Events that Excite Me:
- I’ve reserved my annual four-day silent retreat for the end of March. Looking forward to this time with God.
- We leave for Florida in a few weeks – yes out of cold dreary Ohio for some sunshine and fellowship with friends. We are spending a full week on the Gulf – even if the water is cold, just being on the beach is soul-soothing. And seeing family and friends will be life giving too.
- I am leading several upcoming retreats in February and in March and have been asked to help with others later in the year. God seems to be opening more speaking opportunities for me this year for which I am grateful.
- I will soon be publishing a new book: Voices, A Lenten Devotional. Watch for that announcement.
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If you want a copy of my cheat sheet I have made it into a free downloadable printable and you can just the button to get the free printable. I compiled these sheets plus additional information in a book, a two-year journal that is available on Amazon. I don’t want to lose the loose sheets of paper and think having it in a book form will make it more of a keepsake. Keep all YOUR musings in one place.
What did you learn in January? What are your monthly musings? Please share – I would love to hear about your journey and all your life lessons.