February Musings — 2017

What February lacks in length, it has more than offset with depth — of SNOW and MUD! No sooner do we shovel our way through two feet of fluffy beauty, than the sun comes out and melts it all, turning the world into chocolate pudding!  It’s almost as if God is telling us to slow down — to stay home and enjoy these days of crazy boys and middle-aged marriage.  And so we have — with joy!

On My Desk


It’s been great to get the women’s Sunday School class started up again at my wonderful church home.  We have been using Jen Wilkin’s study in I Peter, and it’s really keeping us on our toes with homework and a persistent (and important) reminder that we need to stay close to the text, reading repetitively and in context.  What that boils down to is at least one trip through all five chapters of I Peter each week, lots of marking up the text in our search for repetitive words and big picture concepts, and regular use of the dictionary (or Siri) for deeper understanding of the words Peter chose for his letter to all of us “elect exiles.”  I reviewed Jen’s book last spring and couldn’t wait to use it in real life with my friends who join me around the table each week.  The study is every bit as challenging and helpful as I thought it would be.

Vacation Bible School veterans will not be surprised to hear that I’m sorting through curricula and staffing for this summer’s ministry to kids, and so I’m wondering . . . what’s everyone else doing for summer ministry in 2017?


Somehow I missed taking Economics in high school and college, so, in this third round of teaching a high school senior here at home, I’m switching gears, leaving our curriculum behind, and reading a book in tandem with my big, brown-eyed boy.  Emily Whitten has been sharing one classic book per month on World Radio, and her suggestion of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics has been just what I needed to bring the theory and the charts and graphs and specialized vocabulary into real world application for my future welder (and for this present day domestic diva!).  You can listen along here.


On the Blog

One of the lovely benefits of blogging has been all the new friendships I’ve made with other bloggers — and every once in a while, one of those friends writes a book, and I get to review it here at Living Our Days.  When my friend Mary Geisen wrote Brave Faith, she dipped her brush into the lives of inspiring biblical characters and shared their stories alongside her own journey of moving outside her comfort zone and into the soul-enriching pilgrimage toward living brave.

Another blogging friend, Holly Barrett, invited me to join her on her weekly podcast, and the program aired on February 3.  Click here to listen in to the fun conversation as we chatted about family, books, and living this following life in pursuit of wisdom.  You can subscribe to her podcast here.

The dialogue at SheLoves Magazine is always lively and uplifting, and I was thankful to share a reflection on my mid-winter canning jars and the truth that the container is secondary to the contents.  It’s good new that my emptiness is an invitation for God to pour His fullness into me—whatever my assignment for 2017.  You can read more here, and be reminded of the Apostle Paul’s testimony that God met him faithfully in the midst of his own deep need.

The most-read post at Living Our Days for the month of February was my review of Humble Roots, by Hannah Anderson.  Using metaphors as earthy as our clay-based bodies, Hannah cooperates with the Word of God to reveal that the quality of life we most desire will not come to us through power or reason or productivity or any number of quick fixes, but, rather, through roots that are sunk deeply into a theology of need and answering grace — and a humble acceptance of a life that is lived close to the ground.

And, unbelievably, for those of us who are reading C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, we have only two more weeks left in our discussion group!  The book was already my favorite of Lewis’s fiction, and now I’m blessed by the great insights that have come from other readers through this group experience.  As we begin Part II, Orual realizes, “I must unroll my book again.”  We’ll be joining her in the process of sorting out the threads of her tangled memory.

Just for Joy

We did it!
The women’s fellowship at my church planned and executed a Family Valentine’s Celebration including a lovely dinner and a fun and wacky program.  We started brainstorming waaaaay back in November, and it’s encouraging to see what a small group of women can accomplish together as we celebrate our ministry to women and work toward greater opportunities and initiative for ministry by women.

captureThanks for meeting with me once again here at month’s end.  I am blessed by your generosity of spirit as you read, share your comments, and invite others from your circles into our conversation.

The beautiful and poetic words about snow in the image above come from Luci Shaw’s “Light Gathering, January” taken from her collection of poems What the Light Was Like.

Be sure to join me over at Leigh Kramer’s place where many of us gather at month’s end to share What We’re Into.

If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

I link-up with a number of blogging  communities on a regular basis.  They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week.  I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.

52 thoughts on “February Musings — 2017”

  1. Michele,
    I always love your musings. I really enjoyed your podcast with Holly. She makes it so easy and is such a delight. I’m sure you found that the time flew by. Amen! to some Basic Economics. I think every teenager should learn some basic economics that they will find in life because you need to know how to balance that checkbook when the bills come in the mail (or on the internet). I loved your review and the wisdom found in “Humble Roots”…truly a primer in living out our faith. All the things you’ve accomplished in such a short month…I’m impressed. I’d say February was a month well lived in your home 🙂
    Bev xx


  2. Dear Michele, What a beautiful and full month you had! Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us through so many things! As our weather has slipped back into winter with a fresh coating of the “white stuff” I am glad you shared those words and the image at the beginning. What a beautiful thought by Luci Shaw to look at these white flakes falling “like so much mercy.” I needed that lift today! –Blessings to you!


  3. I always love reading musings of a writer’s life as seeing into your life helps me to know you better. What a cute pic of you and the hubby. So delighted to be counted among your friends.
    Love and hugs,


  4. It sounds like you have had a great month. I love the photos of the snowmen and of the Valentine’s Celebration. I haven’t managed to listen to your podcast with Holly yet but I definitely intend to and should hopefully have time this week.


    1. So sweet of you to make the effort to listen to our chat. I smiled when I listened because it sounds sort of like a north meets south gathering. Holly does such a good job putting her guests at ease and asking the right questions to keep the conversation flowing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh! I’d love to hear Jen speak in person. If you haven’t already, you can whet your appetite at the Gospel Coalition’s website. I think they have a number of her talks available there.


  5. Oh, my, you are getting so much snow, and we are longing for it where we live! This has been a very mild winter, but we praise God that we did have one snowfall. I don’t feel ready for spring, but time marches on! We are so blessed in every season. So nice to stop and visit with you, sweet friend. 🙂


  6. What an extraordinary life you lead, Michele! I am convinced that your clock and calendar must operate at slightly different speeds that the rest of us. And your toolbox of ministries is inspiring. Thanks for giving us a peek into your busy for the Lord world!


  7. Michele- you’ve accomplished so much this past month! I always enjoy your reviews because you lead me to the right books:)
    The 1 Peter study looks great!
    Blessings to you!


    1. I sure needed to hear that, Julie, because don’t we come to the end of the month and just wonder . . . .where did my time go?
      Jen Wilkin’s study of I Peter is really a big help in tackling the truth of that little letter. It’s so full!
      And thanks for your eyes here today!


  8. I love that you share your monthly musings. They are always a treat. Thank you again for reviewing my book, Brave Faith. I am honored friend!

    I know you shared about Luci Shaw on Holly’s podcast. I’m thinking I need to get that book too. February is short but is my favorite month.


  9. I love your monthly updates, Michele! The peek into your life is always humbling and inspiring. I wish I could join your Bible Study– alas, that might be a long commute. I just finished Jen Wilkin’s None Like Him. Hoping to dive into 1 Peter someday too. Her work is excellent. Praying for you regularly and glad to call you friend : ) Happy March!


    1. I thought None Like Him was wonderful, and I actually used some of the content with our Sunday School opening. And I continue to meditate on the wonderful list of attributes she teaches from. Praying for you as well.


  10. Hi Michele,
    Thanks so much for linking up with The Blended Blog Loves Friday! I was so happy to find your blog! Love it, I am an avid reader as well. Will be following along!! Take care!


  11. Wow, I think you had a full February. I am going to take your lead and stay home today and enjoy what God has given me. Thank you for you blogging. I enjoy reading your posts.


  12. You are one of the busiest bloggers, Michele. I love how many places you pop up. And, lucky you for getting the go-ahead from God to just hang out at home for a bit. I need to get that word myself. (I say — as I sit here on a springlike day in NC – no snow, but plenty of mud (clay)). — Thanks for sharing all your fun, Michele. And, thanks for sharing with #ChasingCommunity. I appreciate you ((hug))


  13. You had some great books to review there! I am excited to listen to the podcast over at Holly’s. She makes me chuckle and I love her for it. I am possibly directing VBS this summer for the first time ever so pray for me. Mom and I (have been blessed) by being able to be teachers or she directs it, but I think the roles are being reversed this time. Fun stuff!


    1. Meg, I’m so happy to hear that you are taking on the mantle of VBS-diva! I’m praying for a new generation of leadership in our church — and for perseverance!
      Yes, Holly makes me smile, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Always a joy to see what you’re reading Michele. I love meeting blogging friends and having the opportunity to read books from people I know. It’s so fun.


  15. Michele – It looks like you Valentines party was fun! Love the photo booth picture! So great – and I love that you also enjoy 2 of my favorites.. Mary Geisen and Holly Barret – I have been a little busy this month, and behind on my podcasts, but hope to catch it soon. thanks for linking up to #TuneInThursday this week. I look forward to seeing you this next week too.


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