February is one of my favorite months. And not because it’s national potato lovers month, but you do you. It’s short, it’s usually a little dreary (well, in Texas it looks like freezing drizzle one day and spring the next – which makes me a tad cuckoo), but God brought two of my very favorite people into the world in the 2nd month of the year. Chuck on the 22nd and Allie on the 23rd.
Because only 1 day separates their birthdays, Chuck usually gets forgotten amidst the hoopla and histrionics that surround my youngest daughter’s extravaganza. But not this year! My man turned 50 and his brothers did not disappoint. With the help of my deceptive mind and secret suitcase packing skills, his bros rang our doorbell at 7am in grim reaper costumes and exclaimed, ‘You must come with us now.” They then swept him away to New York City for an all expense paid weekend of fast paced fun, sight-seeing and culinary adventures. He was utterly surprised and completely delighted to spend 3 days with no responsibilities in the company of his best life-long friends.
Not to be completely outdone, Allie hosted 14 of her closest 14 year old friends for a fancy dinner, movies and hang time in a pillow fort and a sleepover. This involved moving and rearranging the furniture in 3 rooms, fine china and crystal, and stringing Christmas lights from the ceiling. 14 year old girls are loud, but they are also sweet and fun to host. My girl is fortunate to have so many precious friends who wanted to help celebrate her.
To quote the old program Wild World of Sports, the month started with “the thrill of victory” and ended with “the agony of defeat”. Such is common with youth sports. My daughter’s select club volleyball team won the North Texas Region Nike Bid Tournament for their division and secured their regional tournament bid one weekend, and 2 weeks later looked like they had never played together before. Sigh. But there are still several tournaments left for them to (hopefully) get their groove back.
February Entertainment and Resources
I’ve been studying Priscilla Shirer’s Awaken: 90 Days with the God who Speaks with my new Life Group. As a writer, I luxuriate in her use of language and research of scripture. And I’m privileged to be participating in two book launch teams right now. Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters by Blythe McIntosh Daniel and Helen McIntosh drops April 9. This subject captured my attention because parenting a teenage daughter is only slightly less challenging than swimming the English Channel with one arm tied behind your back. I want her to survive to adulthood with some love still between us, and I haven’t got the slightest idea how to accomplish that. Wild Hope is my friend Meg Weyerbacher’s second small-town romance novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the first, but this one is even better! I have been training my brain with so much non-fiction lately that this sweet fictional story is breathing fresh air and restful calm into my soul. And I’m being thoroughly entertained! Wild Hope releases on March 7, but both books are in pre-orders now! Just click on the names of the books above for more info or to order. And don’t forget to check out the pre-sale for Perseverance: 30 Devotions for Faith that Moves Mountains. Read here for more details.
When I wasn’t reading, my best friend and I watched the TV show “Playing House” on Amazon together. And by “together” I mean I watched it in Texas and she watched it in Alabama and then we called or texted each other and laughed! It is a stupid kind of humor, that for some reason really appeals to me. It’s an escape from everything hard and serious, but I was particularly drawn to the central characters – two best friends deeply devoted to one another. I have all kinds of romantic notions about best friendship – including the dream of one day living with Patsy again. Since we both have husbands and children it’s not looking likely. We did both marry slightly older men, though. So maybe we can Golden Girl it some day (but honey, if you are reading this, I want you to live a long, long time).
I’ve also been imbibing in some self-help resources. I need all the help, from self or otherwise, I can get. I’m working through a free Blogging Made Simple course from Elite Blog Academy and watching videos from firstfriday.com/influence about the book Influence. I want to continually grow and improve my writing so I am ready for any mission God chooses to bring my way. I am also loving resources from axis.org. If you have a teen or love one, go immediately to their website. I’m currently watching a free Parenting Relationships Summit (interviews with experts in the field). I’m learning a lot that will help me preserve my daughter’s life in days to come. I also subscribe to their Culture Translator. In their own words, it is “weekly insight into how pop culture, technology and media are influencing your students while equipping you to start biblically based conversations. It’s so hard to keep on top of what are kids are exposed to since they have a computer in their hands at all times, but this has been so helpful for me.
Back to friends, the highlight of my month was probably time with a couple of particularly sweet ones.
You had quite the month, Lauren! Whew! Hosting a “dinner party” for 14 14-year olds – how brave. I have no daughters of granddaughters – all boys in both generations- but I can remember my dear mom and dad generously allowing many, many sleepovers when I was a teen.
We are both blessed with deep friendships with some amazing women. It is so good to have friends in our lives!
Yes, Laurie. I love my girlfriends.
Sounds like such a great month, Lauren! So many wonderful things to celebrate and be thankful for. My daughter also has a birthday in February, which is right around Valentine’s day, so she always has an entire week of parties and celebrations! Blessings to you and your family!
Thank you, Christin! Hope your girl had a great b-day too.
Rebecca Jones says
Joining you from Faith on Fire, sounds like you enjoyed your February, and it was potato month too.
Marva | SunSparkleShine says
What an exciting February you had, Lauren! I can’t wait to see what March holds for you. I’m happy that we have two Monday holidays in March — back to back so that will make for loads of fun.
Blessings to you!
Blessings to you, Marva. And we are in need of that spring break around here!
Mary Geisen says
We share a love of February. What a treat for your husband. I love how his brothers rallied around him. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your month.
Thank you for sharing on it with me, Mary.
Calleen Petersen says
I have to agree that time with girlfriends can really make a difference and lift my spirits.
A world of difference!
Lisa notes says
I need to read more of Priscilla Shirer. The books I have read were so encouraging. Thanks for sharing about this study.
Thanks for reading, Lisa!
Mother of 3 says
I can see why you like February so much! Sounds like it’s filled with lots of fun for your family.
Thanks for helping me celebrate it, Joanne!
WOW – you guys really know how to do birthdays!! Sounds like fun!
Big birthdays anyway!
What a wonderful month! Hosting all those 14 year old girls must have been fun and loud. And what an incredible trip for your husband! Thanks for linking up with Hello Monday! Tanya – The Other Side of the Road
Thanks for hosting, Tanya!
Wow! I loved this post so much, Lauren! It gave me such a great insight into what your life is like! What a fun month! JOY is my One-Word Do-Over this year… and I just wrote a post on how it’s been showing up for me so far this year!
That makes me so happy to hear that joy is showing up for you. Yay, God!
I do love a good book, sounds fab X #anythinggoes
Yes! All 3!
Michele Morin says
Lauren, love the family news, grateful for the book info, but especially love the energy in this post!
Thanks so much, Michele.
Sounds like you had a busy but blessed month. Blessed to be your neighbor over at Porch Stories today.
Blessed that you stopped by, Tara!
always love your stories, lauren and recommendations. we just did a sibling reunion in Feb and it was a royal blast. and dream big with Bob Goff was so much fun. hope you are enjoying blogging made simple . I learn something everytime! happy march!
Thank you for the encouragement, Sue. Happy March!
Angela Johnson says
Oh my goodness! I think we could be best friends. We have ALOT in common. I also have a 14 year old daughter, sigh, and know the difficulties of raising a godly teenager. Not to mention, I read in your bio, that you do yoga and I love yoga. Too bad I am all the way in Kentucky. I would love to hang out, lol.
Me too, Angela! At least we can be bloggy friends!
Felicia Stout says
I love that you keep learning and growing!
Me too, Felicia!
Heather Keet says
I love Playing House, so sad when it ended! Thanks for joining #GlobalBlogging, please remember to add our link badge or a link back when you join in on the linky.
Mackenzie Glanville says
the birthdays sound like a great success and fun! My daughter is 14 and yes friends can be loud, but like you I am so grateful she has amazing friendships. Sounds like a busy month, but some happy times to treasure! SO lovely having you link up #ABloggingGoodTime
Thanks for stopping by!
Anne Mackie Morelli says
Lauren, as I read your post I thought about how while your month was a busy time with your family and children, you still found time to focus on getting into God’s Word, do devotionals and live within the richness of community and friendships. Good for you! This are soul-sustaining activities that keep you focused on God as you go about your daily life!
Thank you for the encouragement, Anne!