A monthly newsletter to support and inspire your Heartspoken life. February's theme is Love. [Reading time under 5 minutes]
February 9, 2019
What's going on at Riverwood
Our “polar vortex” brought sub-zero temps, but now we've got early spring fever with a crazy wave of warm, balmy weather.
On Monday, my husband excitedly called me to look out the window see a line of 12 wild turkeys casually strutting out of the woods, pecking at who-knows-what in the grass of our yard. Imagine our delight when suddenly another wave of turkeys followed them, and before too long, there were 32 birds stretched from one side of the yard to the other before they gradually disappeared into the opposite pine woods. I took this snapshot through the slats of the window blinds. What a thrill!
What's going on in your part of the world? Send me a photo and I'll post it to the Heartspoken Facebook page.
✧ NORTH—Faith: Wisdom from Holy Scripture
“You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness.” James 1:19-20
Listening is love in action, and it is strong medicine, especially in this time of political and cultural polarization! In your mind's eye, connect yourself with the Source of Love, then watch what happens when you touch others and the power starts to flow through you. That's a surge of current like no other!
✧ SOUTH—Connection: How to make love last
What better time than Valentine's Day to think about the most essential elements in a lasting relationship, marriage or otherwise? This article by Marc Chernoff called “How to Make Love Last: The Best Relationship Advice From 45 Years of Marriage” includes some gems which he gleaned from asking his parents for their relationship secrets. He elaborates on each in his article, but here is his excellent list. From my own 46 years of marriage, I think he's nailed it:
1. Stand strong on your own, first.
2. Maintain a solid foundation of mutual acceptance.
3. Be intentional and fully present when communicating.
4. Face disagreements openly and with positive language.
5. Let each other save face.
6. See, support, and accept personal growth in each other's lives.
7. Let love be a daily practice.
✧ EAST—Self-Awareness: Do you know when to quit?
As you have undoubtedly seen in the news, my beloved Commonwealth of Virginia is dealing with an embattled governor who must decide whether to resign in the face of bitter feedback over a decades-old embarrassing and racist indiscretion. We've all had to face situations that feel totally untenable yet the consequences of quitting seem overwhelming too. How do you know when to quit? This recent Daily Stoic email suggests one perspective espoused by Winston Churchill:
You may have…heard the first part of [Winston Churchill's] famous speech which he gave to the boys at the Harrow School, which he had attended as a child, “Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty.”
But did you know there was a second part to it? That Churchill wasn’t saying to hold out forever in every circumstance? This is the full quote:
“Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty. Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
So there you have the famous never-quitter explaining the conditions under which you should quit or give in: when you are honor bound or when it makes no sense to continue.
✧ WEST—Nature: Some good news, for a change
The Ozone Hole is Healing and May Be Completely Repaired Within Our Lifetime, Says UN Report by Ryan Morris
From Heartspoken's archives, I found this post called “Antidote For Despair” featuring the beautiful and hopeful poem by Wendell Berry called “The Peace of Wild Things.” Several winters ago, I reflected on the wonderful miracles you can discover when you pay close attention to the three square feet around you. Check it out HERE.
What I'm loving right now:
The Next Right Thing podcast
Emily Freeman is a Christian author, blogger, and podcaster whose voice is warm, clear, and refreshingly practical. She has tapped into the angst so many struggle with in our fast-paced culture and has felt called to help us eliminate the relentless rush by creating the sacred space we need to breathe. Here's what she says about her weekly podcast called “The Next Right Thing:”
“… to help clear the decision-making chaos, quiet the fear of choosing wrong, and find the courage to finally decide without regret or second-guessing. [Each episode offers] a thoughtful reflection, a little prayer, and a simple next right step for anyone struggling with decision fatigue.“
Episode 65 “Take Off Your Crown” resonated with me and was a gentle reminder that the struggle of trying to rule my personal kingdom can be absolutely exhausting. God invites us to take off our crowns and enjoy the blessings of His kingdom instead. “What if all you had to do was take off your crown in the presence of God and do one next right thing today with your friend Jesus?”
Happy Valentine's Day!
I've posted a delicious recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie that came out of my favorite Louisiana cookbook: Talk About Good. The red and white are perfect colors for a Valentine's Day dessert. Please share your favorite recipe on the Heartspoken Facebook page.
If you're in need of a last-minute Valentine's Day gift, check out these finds from Amazon. Conveniently arranged by category as well as by different types of recipients (Him, Her, Kids, Friends, Coworkers)
Did you miss any of these recent posts on my Heartspoken blog?
Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – a strangely beautiful, wildly imaginative, and profoundly moving book.
A Heartspoken Moment: Lean Into Pain – this is the first in a monthly series of short, heartspoken messages in text and video form. I hope you'll share these on your social media channels with the hashtag #HeartspokenLife.
Word of the Week – I'm posting these on Fridays (I may drop back to twice a month) for my Faithful Writers group, but many of you Heartspoken readers enjoy learning new words too. I include meaning, derivation, and usage.
NOTEWORTHY: Note Writing For A Cause – reach beyond the sympathy or bread-and-butter note to make a difference
The Faithful Writer's Toolkit for January 2019 – tips, inspiration, and resources for writers
My 19 for 2019 List – I'm hoping you'll hold me accountable for these.
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“While it is February one can taste the full joys of anticipation. Spring stands at the gate with her finger on the latch.” ~ Patience Strong.
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See you in March when our focus will be Becoming.
P.S. When you purchase through one of my Amazon affiliate links in this newsletter, you are supporting this blog. Thank you!
P.P.S. You can respond to any of these topics privately by replying to this email or publicly by following me and commenting on any of the social media platforms below. Use the tag #HeartspokenLife
P.P.P.S. You're invited to join one or both of my Facebook groups:
- Faithful Writers – for those of any faith tradition who feel called to use their gift of writing in service to God, even if only to enrich your own journey of faith.
- Revive the art of personal note writing! We explore and share all things related to personal handwritten notes and letters.
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