Things I Loved: January 2014

January was a full month for us. It was full of time with family and some good time with friends, but it was also a busy work month for both of us. Mostly, we spend the month trying to take the first steps needed to make our 2014 goals and plans and resolutions actually happen. That’s always the challenge, right? We have no shortage of big ideas. But, at any rate, here’s the best of January.

The Best Stuff I Read on the Internet: 

1. 5 Questions to Ask Before Posting To Social Media from RELEVANT

In this day and age, learning to use social media in ways that are both fun and helpful (to us AND our communities) is going to be a constant struggle. I imagine it’s something each of us will have to tweak and adjust continually. These five questions resonated with me.

2. Do the Work from The Hollywood Housewife

“I had to make sure that it wasn’t a way of beating myself up, a subconscious way of saying You Are Not Enough, Your Efforts Are Not Enough, This Is Not Enough.” <–Yes! My life is a constant back-and-forth between wanting to take action (rather than just dreaming) and feeling like enough.

3. It is for Freedom from The Naptime Diaries

I’ve shared here that “free” is my word for the year, so naturally I loved this post. I’ve been asking, “What did Christ set me free for?” a lot.

4. Failing Your Way Through the New Year from The Art of Simple

Yes and yes. One of the things I hope to be free from in 2014 is my fear of failure. When I was teaching, I constantly told my students that mistakes were good, helpful, and proof they were trying hard. I truly believe it, and yet it’s been one of the hardest things to actually live out in my own life. I want to set this example for Ian! He does not need to be afraid to fail.

5. 9 Intentional Ways to Challenge Consumerism in Your Life from Becoming Minimalist

Lots of good things to think about in this post. Becoming Minimalist is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs.

The Best Thing I Cooked

Creamy Orzo with Chicken Sausage from Table for Two. This was totally delicious. I omitted the mushrooms (because, ew). The instructions say you can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days, and it’s totally true. This was just as delicious for leftovers on days 3 and 4 as it was the night we cooked it.

The Best Book I Read

My New Year’s resolution was to write more, so to encourage that I picked up Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It’s challenged me (in the best way possible) to stop overthinking it and just pick up my pen and write. Goldberg includes both the practical and inspiration, and it’s a quick and easy read. (It’s also VERY overdue at the library. Oops.)

The Best Podcast I listened to:

I loved this episode of The Art of Simple podcast with Shauna Niequist. So much good stuff in there. Just this morning I had a friend come over to drink tea and chat, and I kept thing, “I have some good make-up free people in my life!”

The Best Thing that Happened

Ian was dedicated to the Lord at our church last weekend. We had family come into town to celebrate with us, and it made me remember how very, very grateful I am for our church family. I know some people struggle so long and hard to find a church where they feel comfortable to be themselves and pursue Jesus. How wonderful it was to stand on stage and know there were such good people praying for our son, and that they really meant every word.

What was the best stuff from your January?


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