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Faithfulness in the little things.

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January Book List

January 13, 2024

Ana Woods is a former photographer turned stay-at-home mother and freelance writer. She lives in the country with her growing family and writes reflections on faith, homemaking, and motherhood (often by moonlight, after the babies are tucked in bed).

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It’s the dead of winter and, after a wonderful assortment of respiratory viruses, I’ve been clawing my way out of a winter funk. These early years of motherhood are glorious in so many ways. Chubby thigh rolls, wide-eyed wonder, and the constant refrain of “mama! mama!” are what dreams are made of.

But I refuse to romanticize the whole thing. Some of it is drudgery.

Budding immune systems = so. much. sickness.

Tack on a nursing, bed-sharing baby and I’m stinkin’ tired.

This Fall I was pushing a stroller next to a mama about a decade (and five children) ahead of me and she said, “I’m not looking forward to sick season. But every year it’s how the Lord teaches me patience. We make our plans but then someone inevitably gets sick and I’ve had to learn to just keep my peace and carry on.”

I’ve been thinking about her wisdom weekly.

Still, there is always good to be found- this winter I’ve rediscovered (or at least, reprioritized) my love for books. With three littles underfoot I’m tempted to cast reading aside as something frivolous that I can pick back up when the children are grown. The meals won’t cook themselves and all…

But I’m discovering that motherhood doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice everything I love for the sake of my children. Reading good books, typing out a blog post, trying new recipes, going on a run, and even taking on more writing clients…these things help me face the chaos with a deeper well to draw from.

The way I see it, it’s my duty to make sure I’m fanning the flames within myself- not despite my children, but for them. I have an inkling that when I am inspired they reap the fruits just as much as me.

WHAT I READ THIS MONTH:

Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen

The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Most of these books were read as I nursed Henry back to sleep- if I reread them down the road, I’m certain they’ll evoke memories of our hushed bedroom and his sweet suckling sounds.

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Faithfulness in the little things

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