Hey February. Not super excited to see you. Truth be told, the only good thing about February is Super Bowl and March 1st.
Like the relative you hope won’t stay too long, the most depressing month of the year is here. January is the shiny, Type A, over-achiever, with all of its celebration, newness, and clean slate appeal. Then there’s February. Pretty much no one likes February unless you live in Florida.
Every year at this time, one of my favorite bloggers, Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy asks the question, “what is saving your life right now?” She shares her list and then invites her readers to share their list. I love this question. Although we have every reason to be dreary, this question shifts my thinking to, “let’s see where we can find some joy.”
Here’s my list of what’s saving me below -- I hope you will share yours, too.
1. Walking Dates.
Making plans to walk with friends outdoors has been lifegiving. No matter the weather, I walk weekly with my friend Pam. She has a heavy job of working in an ICU unit of a hospital right now. No matter what sort of week I’ve had, her week makes mine look like a Disney vacation. She reminds me never to take the gift of health for granted and I love being able to encourage her.
2. What’s App!
I know it’s cheesy to be in love with an app. But after my dad died this year, I longed for regular, ongoing connection with my family. We set up a What’s App group named after my dad. It included every family member, siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins. We share funny pictures of our dogs, what we are cooking, favorite memories, jokes, new baby photos, and recipes. It has been lifegiving to be reminded of loved ones through the regular fabric of our ordinary days.
3. Really Good Socks.
When my feet are happy, the rest of me has a better chance of being happy.
Thank you Duluth Trading for socks that actually make my feet stay warm. I know it’s sort of silly to talk about socks saving your life, but truly, their socks make my feet feel fabulous.
4. Neighbor Love.
Living out the greatest commandment in the Bible is probably one of the hardest things for me to actually do. This season, I have made a point to take Mark 12:31 seriously. When I get down on the world, caring for others changes my mind and as a result, me. I’m not doing great acts of service. I am doing simple things like calling, texting, and sharing leftovers. I’m asking others if they need anything while I’m at the store and how folks are doing. As a result, I’m getting to know my neighbors more and they are getting to know me. This week the grocery store had bouquets of flowers on sale. I secretly left them for neighbors that were having a hard time. Being able to do something kind in secret was more fun than I have had in a long time.
5. Going Deeper in Prayer.
Prayer is the secret sauce of faith. Before this year, I was a checkbox prayer. Read the Bible, check. Go to church, check. Pray, check. But this year, I have decided to slow down and listen more. I am intentionally working on making my faith less about the disciplines (which are wonderful too), more about my relationship with Christ. While the disciplines are good and important, listening for Christ is where the faith journey gets good.
What is saving your life right now? We all need to notice and spread a little joy – I’d love to know what’s saving your life too.