January is usually a hard month. Is it alright to say that? I feel like we all are under pressure to walk around trying so hard to be okay, to give the impression repetitive months of frigid and dark don't affect us. :) I've decided I'm too old for that anymore. January flies in dark and cold in upstate New York and things are more difficult to arrange with our sweet Levi & Benjamin combo which makes getting out out the house, even for a heart-pounding, blood stirring ski across the fields, very difficult. Sean has been under the weather for a few months with a Lyme flare-up and as this hymn flits across the Pandora app on my phone, I turn it up.
The coming of the new year came with our church's annual time of prayer and fasting and this time of reflection, contemplation and prayer is always a balm. I feel challenged by God to look for the hope and beauty He sends to us and to trust Him as we are in this season of the unknown as a family. I know His graces are all around me, quite silly actually, to need to be reminded to look for them but how thankful I am for His loving, gentle reminders.
1. The bedroom was a mess as I had pulled furniture from corners for a good deep cleaning, wall wipe down and floor scrubbing when this gift of afternoon sunshine fell across the wall. The little oil painting and embroidery on the wall are a mix of family heirlooms and second hand finds. My favorite one I paid a nickel for at a church sale.
2. The need to get out for a walk. It hit one icy Saturday so Levi and I bundled up with only my eye slitted between hat and cowl and him snug in his carrier underneath my coat. Nine degrees but the sun was turning the scraggly fields to silver and gold.
3. I'm thankful I can turn out a stack of pumpkin pancakes and have kids happy to call it dinner.
4. It may be all ice and snow outside but the living room mantle got dolled up with some sunshine.
5,6,7. More lovely ice-cold day walk photos from our country road.
8. Sean surprised me with a little indoor greenhouse for Christmas and we planted our homeschool Hope Garden with peas, beans, swiss chard and stevia and one lone black grape seed. I'm not sure what all will last with our limited daylight but I'll pick up a grow light next time we're at Lowes. Aiden put it together for me and we placed it up by a window in the homeschool room, which being above a woodstove, is easily the balmiest room in the house.
9. Sean handed me a latte just as I headed into the copper tub for a hot soak while the hurricane of children stuck indoors during a week where temps never rose above zero swirled around the house. He blesses me daily.
10. Amazon boxes turned into playhouse. And lots of donate bags. There is just something absolutely cheery about cleaning out and passing on.
11. I took advantage of knitpicks wonderful black Friday yarn sale and whipped up the Gallatin scarf. Reading this on my kindle. So good.