The Simple List for February 2017
This is your Simple List.
The Internet is overwhelming.
I've curated my favorites and sent them to your inbox to save you time and bless you with best of the Truth, Goodness, and Beauty available. I hope you enjoy. I hope you savor the articles and links. I hope you find something you wouldn't have otherwise seen and then share the best stuff with your friends.
5 Ways to Engage with News Media by Paul Conner - Conner gives five biblically based principles for us to keep in mind as we read and hear the news. I appreciate his scripture references, and especially identified with his point about our need for empathy.
Nothing frustrates me more these days than trying to discern fact from fiction, and blog readers may remember this post from last November, about Teddy Roosevelt's speech and our responsibility to use words rightly. My struggle is to be skeptical, not cynical, and to remain engaged at a level my soul can handle. Not too much, but not too little.
The Devil Deals in Gray but Jesus Walks in the Light by Lore Wilburt - "There is no gray in the garden and there is no gray in the desert. In both, He is present, faithful, enduring, and near."
Lore always beautifully expresses truth without shying from the ugly parts of life. I hope you read her regularly.
I'm enjoying this playlist from Spotify for all that Deep Focus work I'm trying to do. It's just music, no lyrics, and as I'm prepping this newsletter at the coffee shop, an arm's length away from a table of very boisterous "older ladies", I'm completely in my own world. That's a good playlist, right there.
Speaking of coffee: I've fallen back in love with my mocha pot recently. I have enough coffee gadgets and habits to start my own shop but lately I've limited myself to one good cup from the Nespresso and one double-shot breve from the mocha pot. And maybe an afternoon cup.
Because I believe in the goodness of homemaking and I also believe in the serious calling of keeping a home and mothering children, I've been working on revamping my professionalism in this area. I make my own schedule (for the most part) and this has been a constantly changing aspect of my life the last 19 years. That's why The Life-Changing Magic of Block Scheduling at Penelope Loves Lists is on my radar. I'm working through this series of posts and gleaning what is most useful to me. "When we move quickly from task to unrelated task, we lose tremendous efficiency. All that jumping back and forth means you have to constantly re-focus yourself. Studies have shown that each time we switch tasks, it takes us 23 minutes to get into the flow again. That’s a huge waste of time."
Tiny shoots are poking through all over, green harbingers of spring. I am looking forward to a day in the near future (when it's not snowing or raining) when I can get out there and scratch the earth, watch a new world come up, and clear away the dead winter.
Why Slow Starts are Best by Jody Lee Collins - this is what you need to read if you are failing to see the beauty of winter or slowness or barren beginnings. "It’s the resting and trusting and letting go that is the hardest. But who knows, when we show up every day by watering the soil of our souls in alone times with Jesus, when we give our hands to those ‘base things’ like washing dishes, unpacking suitcases, or tending our gardens, we may very likely turn around and find an explosion of green growth awaiting us."
Are You Suffocating Your Creativity? by Erik Raymond - "[...] if we allow ourselves to be diverted and distracted all of the time we will scarcely enjoy the deeply meaningful seasons of discovery that come from thoughtful reflection. Our minds are beautiful gifts. I’m afraid we aren’t enjoying them like we can."
A Different Kind of Wall by Andrew Peterson - "When I get tired, discouraged, forgetful of what on earth I’m doing out there in the yard, I look at the map and remember: there’s a world that is coming—a world I could never have imagined on my own, a world born out of a gardener’s mind."
In case you missed it::
Blog posts from the month of February
The Connectedness of Things
Take Charge of Your Environment
It's the end of February already! Amazing--how lacking 2 or 3 days can make a month feel so much shorter. May the Lord fill you with His truth, goodness and beauty as we inch toward spring. May you see new life poking through the dirt and be inspired to look at the world with His eyes.
I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. - If you are a writer looking for encouragement and accountability, join me at Hope*Writers. It's a wonderful, safe community to learn and grow in as we offer hope to one another and to our readers.
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