Friday, January 31, 2020

Friday five (and a few reflections) for the last day of January

Wow!  January went by in a blur.  Although I didn't see any of this personally, I guess a lot of people online were thinking of this as the month that would never end.  It sure didn't feel that way to me!

Here's my Friday five for today:

1.  Getting together for breakfast with friends last week.  We met at this iconic place:
From summer 2010
Also from summer 2010
and it was so much fun.  [Note: My photos are old, from a previous visit in summer nearly a decade ago].  The outdoor view has changed; they have completely enlarged and updated their building and are now open in winter, which is how we could enjoy this January visit.  The pancakes were scrumptious and the fellowship with dear friends we'd not seen in months was very precious.

2.  Strength for some very busy days, as Mr. T and I try to pour a couple hours each day into the clean-out of my childhood home.  It's hard to juggle everything.  Below is an envelope from a digest-sized Valentine Ideals magazine found at the house.  Magazine and envelope recently sold in my shop.

3.  Great fellowship with our old friends Syd and Cyndy, as Syd filled our church's pulpit last Sunday.  We had them over for lunch, along with friends from church.  One of our aforementioned busy days was Saturday, when I got all of the food organized for Sunday's lunch and also cleaned the house in preparation.  Syd's messages were so encouraging for a new year!

4.  Answered prayer in some situations we've had on our minds for awhile.    We really need to take more careful note of answered prayers.  God is answering them every day!
Graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
5.  A simple lunch out together on a busy day.  We split a tuna melt and a chicken parm sandwich and shared an order of sweet potato fries.  We're enjoying a new place in our town and like to stop in there when we can.

And a few reflections for this month:

It's been a great month in many ways, but I'm a bit disappointed with how little I've accomplished.  The month didn't really go as I expected it would, and I know part of that had to do with my hubby's retirement (planned for mid-December) getting pushed off to mid-January instead.   Since then, he has also worked a week or so with our son-in-law, which feels like a vacation to him since a remodel in someone's home starts a lot later in the morning than a logging job!

We've done a bit of decluttering here, and he has jumped into housework as he said he would, scrubbing the tub and shower, changing sheets, helping out in the kitchen, vacuuming, and more.  We've also spent a good number of hours at my childhood home, taking loads to the dump, thrift store, and book drop.  But there is such a long way to go!

Last night I mentioned to Mr. T that I felt I had accomplished so little during the day.  As we talked through it, I realized I had actually accomplished quite a bit, but it just didn't feel that way.  I think now that part of my feeling of not accomplishing much has to do with not taking even small bits of time to do things I enjoy, like writing or crafting.

Into my discouragement this morning fell this blog post from Sally Clarkson: Exhausted Already this January?  Create Spaces of Rest.  Did I ever need this!  I am going to be doing what I can to create some small spaces of rest in the midst of extreme busyness.  Maybe this will be a blessing to someone else today also.
Graphic from Baptist Bible Hour
Today turned out to be a beautiful day, and my friend and I enjoyed a nice long walk this afternoon.  Temps in the 40s, brilliant sunshine, and no wind combined for beautiful walking weather -- and the benefits to my mental health were tremendous!  A lovely phone call from my sweet young friend Jennifer meant so much as well.

Hope you all have a nice weekend!


  1. I think your Friday five is an awesome read, the pancake restaurant sounds wonderful, we love pancakes around here.
    I agree, we really need to take time to realize how many and how often our prayers are answered.
    When my dh semi retired, it was such an adjustment for both of us, now that he just really hobby farms and has more time to spend with me, our adjustments have wained. ~wink~
    I so admire you and your DH for your gift of hospitality, Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Sue. You are always such an encourager!

      We enjoy extending hospitality even though our home has never been a showplace. I feel as if we both have the gift of hospitality to some extent. There haven't been as many opportunities for the past couple of months, however!

  2. Old slewfoot will lie about your days as he loves nothing better than to run Christians down. Don’t believe a word of it. Even I, quite ill much of the year, have managed to haul out over a dozen boxes to Goodwill. Like you, I am saying that more needs to be done.

    How wonderful that Mr. AMK has kept his promises. What a blessing to do things together. Well done, Kids! 😁

    1. Thanks so much for this wonderful bit of encouragement, Vee! You know, I really hadn't thought of it as old slewfoot lying about my days -- but you are absolutely right, of course! He is the father of lies, after all. Now why didn't I think of that!?

  3. I'm glad you were able to reflect and recognize that you've accomplished much in January, but even more than that, you've discovered something that will help you going forward.

    I have saved the link the Sally Clarkson's post. I don't feel exhausted (exactly), but she has loads of wisdom to share and I'm definitely planning on revisiting her site and this post in particular.

    1. Thanks, Becki! I just revisited Sally's post too. I needed it even more today than I did back in January!

  4. I read many comments about January seeming long but I am like you I didn't feel that way at all. I will have to say it was one of the more productive Januarys I have had in a while even with Mom being sick. I need to go and read the post mentioned because creating some space for rest is huge. A Sabbath is created in many ways. We all need some quiet time to rest our bodies physically but these days our minds need to rest as well.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement and thoughtful comments, Sandy. This is even more true than it was when you wrote it!

  5. I know we tend to feel guilty when we take some time to rest, but Jesus often went aside to find a place to rest from the crowds. The Psalmist often speaks of rest, and God created the Sabbath for our rest. So we shouldn't feel guilty. We need that time to recharge and restore our souls and minds and bodies for the next "event". We are much more productive when we do give ourselves space and time for meaningful moments of respite from the work. It sounds to me like you've actually accomplished quite a bit. And you've managed to have some good fellowship in the midst of it all. I'd call that a win-win!

  6. You are so right, Pamela! It's hard to see the big picture clearly when one is too close to it. Especially right now we need to, as you said, "recharge and restore our souls and minds and bodies for the next "event". Wise advice!


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