I'm soaking in all this (admittedly quite warm) spring weather. And with it, we're refreshing our routines, our home, and our activities in a few different ways. Some of my favorite springy things:
Writing out lyrics to worship songs I want to commit to heart and memory, my latest knitting project, and updating our calendar for next month. I just can't resist a beautiful calendar.
Adding new-to-us meals to my meal-planning. I've been feeling in a bit of a rut with our meals the last few months, but I've revisited a few cooking books and found a few new favorites online. Our favorite this week? This crispy honey orange fried shrimp—oh my goodness, is it good.
Trips to the library for cookbooks (always) and anything else that catches my eye. I've been eager to read books the last few weeks. I love the convenience of technology, but there's something to be said about walking out of the library with an armload of books. Plus, when there's a return date, that "deadline" is a good motivator for me actually finish them.
Linen. I've been familiar with woven linen for a long time, but it wasn't until last fall that I discovered how wonderful knit linen is. I bought a linen knit tee from Madewell with some birthday money (Thank you, Grandma!) and I wear it nearly every week. The drape, the coolness of the fabric—it has all the makings of a favorite and versatile clothing item. Plus, it gets softer and softer every times I wear and wash it.
Martha Stewart video collections. They include topics from how to properly cut an onion, to fun cocktail recipes to how to clean and refurbish wooden cutting boards. I grew up watching her show, so it has a timeless appeal to me. Regardless of her um, interesting investment past, she has so much good information in her show/magazine/books. And I respect anyone who gets me excited to clean.
A new scent. I'm just about to run out of my current perfume, and I wanted to try something a little different. I'm consistently drawn to bright, citrusy scents. But lately, I enjoy the depth and staying power of amber undertones, so I wondered if there was something that accommodates both citrusy and amber notes. MCMC fragrances had just the thing. It's a family business that makes small-batch perfumes in Brooklyn and all the scents so dreamy.
Sparkling water + fresh lime juice. Super easy, refreshing, and it feels like such a "treat drink" minus the alcohol or added sugar (we had it alongside homemade pizza the other night and it satisfied my usual craving to have something fizzy with my pizza).
Intentional community + spiritual refreshment. My friend Molly and I met for lunch/coffee/knitting/Bible study this afternoon (and a "brownie swap": my new favorite thing). We talked about this question: When do you know the Holy Spirit is working in you? I notice that He's doing work in my heart when I (finally) become aware of my hardness of heart. Each year, springtime generally brings about a softening of my heart, and eyes that are more eager (and willing) to see God's beauty and the reality of His love for us. However, this wide-eyed, open-heart approach is easier to come by when I actively choose to praise. I love how Elyse M. Fitzpatrick puts it in Because He Loves Me:
Unless we're very intentional about meditating on these truths [that show God's love], they slip from our thoughts like misty dreams that evaporate in the morning light. That's why Luther said we must "take heed then, to embrace...the love and kindness of God...[and to] daily exercise [our] faith therein, entertain no doubt of God's love and kindness.
God certainly knew what he was doing when He made springtime: the renewal of everything around us spurs on the renewal of everything within us.