What I’m reading in 2017

It’s become my habit to keep a list of what I’ve read, and I’m continuing that this year. My main reading goal this year is to read 45 books, mostly from my own shelves. I’ll add to this post as I go.

January:

  1.  Cometh the Hour (Book Six of the Clifton Chronicles) – Jeffrey Archer
  2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – Marie Kondo  (a few thoughts on this one here and here)
  3. 30 Days — Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: A Couple of Simple Steps Every Day to Create the Life You Want – Marc Reklau
  4. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth

February:

  1. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast – Laura Vanderkam
  2. The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ – Andrew Klavan
  3. Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food – Melissa Hartwig

March:

  1. Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything – Anonymous
  2. Rules of Civility – Amor Towles
  3. Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously

April:

  1. Emotional Intelligence 2.0Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves
  2. The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things – Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

May:

  1. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and BetrayalNick Bilton

June:

  1. American WifeCurtis Sittenfield 
  2. My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
  3. Boy’s Life – Robert R. McCammon
  4. Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will – Kevin DeYoung
  5. Island of the World – Michael D. O’Brien (my second time through this one and it’s still my favorite novel)

** Disclaimer: Whenever you click on a link to books around here and then make a purchase at Amazon, you’re helping me — a few pennies at a time —  feed my book habit. Many thanks!

“All life isn’t hearts and flowers…”

boys-lifeFrom Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon:

“All life isn’t hearts and flowers.” Dad put down his paper. “I wish it was, God knows I do. But life is just as much pain and mess as it is joy and order. Probably a lot more mess than order, too. I guess when you make yourself realize that, you” — he smiled faintly, with his sad eyes, and looked at me — “start growin’ up.”

“Foolishness, on the other hand, is turning from God and listening only to yourself.”

just-do-somethingI’ve been reading through Proverbs lately (tweeting a verse here and there), and I’ve been thinking a lot about the contrast between a wise person and a fool. I’m also currently reading Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will, and I highly recommend it. He’s making a case that while we’re inundated with information, wisdom is something entirely different. And we’re called by God to seek wisdom, not “some hidden will of direction. He expects us to trust Him and be wise.” DeYoung goes on:

Wisdom is understanding the fear of the Lord and finding the knowledge of God. Wisdom, in Proverbs, is always moral. The fool, the opposite of the wise person, is not a moron or an oaf. The fool is the person who does not live life God’s way. Wisdom is knowing God and doing as he commands. Foolishness, on the other hand, is turning from God and listening only to yourself.

Here are just a few characteristics of a wise man, as described in Proverbs:

~ fears the Lord
~ makes his parents glad
~ diligent
~ walks in integrity
~ listens to advice
~ loves discipline
~ guards his mouth
~ hangs out with other wise people
~ exercises self control

Contrast those with characteristics of a fool:

~ brings sorrow to his parents
~ lazy
~ runs his mouth
~ despises wisdom and instruction
~ refuses to listen to others
~ hangs out with other fools
~ reckless and careless
~ is easily angered

It’s pretty easy to look at those lists and immediately think of people we know – either in person or from television or Twitter. But the trick is finding ourselves there and seeking God’s help to grow in the characteristics of a wise person.

I realize I’m not on to anything new here, but it’s been on my mind and in my reading, and it’s worth pondering. All day long, I’m making little choices to be wise or to be foolish, and I really want to be wise. I’m thankful that God’s doesn’t hide that wisdom from us. He tells us to seek Him and His wisdom, and His word is the place to find it.

For the LORD gives wisdom;
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. ~ Proverbs 2:6

bullet journal

Last year I happened upon bullet journals, and the organization nerd in me loved the idea. I promptly purchased a new Moleskine and set about creating one of my own. I used the advice here and other tips I found on pinterest, but I just didn’t love it. Therefore, I didn’t keep it handy, and I eventually abandoned it altogether. I’d kept it very simple, but it wasn’t visually appealing to me, and I didn’t like the size of the journal or the way it felt.

leuchtturmI kept seeing bullet journals referenced and recommended, though, and the idea still appealed to me. With a birthday gift card to Amazon (thanks Will & Anna!), I ordered a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, and I scoured the internet for potential layout ideas. I got out my Sharpie pens and Prismacolor pencils and set to work.

So far, so good. I’ve kept it out and open on my desk at work, and it’s always close by at other times. I’ve been careful to update it in the evenings. I find that I’m checking off more to-dos , and I’m dumping stuff out of my brain and onto pages in the journal. Ahhhhh. That feels so much better than keeping stuff in my head.

bujo1

The size – especially the width – of the pages in the Leuchtturm is just more user friendly in my opinion, and I love the dotted pages. I also added color to my layouts, and therefore I’m more drawn to keeping the book open. I’ve added pages for lists I want to keep – quotes, Christmas gifts, books I want to read, books I’m reading, etc. I’ve got weekly layouts through December so far, and there are plenty of pages left.

bujo2

It’s not super fancy – and if you google you’ll find bullet journals that are works of art! – but it works for me so far.

Anyone else out there keeping a bullet journal?

 

wip

Hi, my name is Anne, and I have KADD (knitting attention deficit disorder). I have multiple projects in progress, and that never stops me from casting on another — and another. However, I’ve found that it’s handy to have a variety of challenges on hand. I always need an easy Netflix-and-knit project, something repetitive that I can knock out on a roadtrip, something more challenging that I can conquer, and something that I need to set aside and think on for a bit. And any of these are subject to being ripped out at any time.

knitting bag

Currently in my knitting bag are these works-in-progress (wip):

Baby bibs and washcloths in cotton. I’ve found that knitting with cotton yard is hard on my hands (there is no “give” in it), so I only work on these in short spurts.

bibs.jpg

My first grown-up sweater (I’m seriously contemplating frogging this one and using the yarn for something else). I love the yarn, but I just don’t love the project. I’m trying to decide if that’s reason to move on or not.

cardigan

Reyna Shawl in dreamy Anzula Squishy:

squishy reyna

My second Strathmore scarf with Quince and Co Sparrow.  I made one for my mom and decided I wanted one just like it. This second one has been all kinds of trouble, though, and I put it aside weeks ago.

strathmore-scarf

And even with all of that going on, I have serious urges to cast on a dress for Kenna and a little black shawl for me. And I’ve already got Christmas gift ideas percolating.

Are you a knitter? If so, do you have KADD, or do you knit one project at a time?

Off to surf ravelry,

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“What’s that song?”

boys-lifeFrom Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon:

“What’s that, Davy?” I said. “What’s that song?”

…Round…round…get around…wha wha wha – oooooh….

“What’s that song?” I asked him, close to panic that I might never know.

“Haven’t you heard that yet? All the high-school guys are singing’ it.”

…Gettin’ bugged drivin’ up and down the same ol’ strip…I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip…

“What’s the name of it?” I demanded, standing at the center of ecstasy.

“It’s on the radio all the time. It’s called –”

…Right then the high-school kids in the lot started singing along with the music, some of them rocking their cars back and forth, and I stood with a peanut butter milk shake in my hand and the sun on my face and the clean chlorine smell of the swimming pool coming to me from across the street.

“ — by the Beach Boys,” Davy Ray finished.

“What?”

“The Beach Boys. That’s who’s singin’ it.”

“Man!” I said. “That sounds … that sounds …”

What would describe it? What word in the English language would speak of youth and hope and freedom and desire, of sweet wanderlust and burning blood? What word describes the brotherhood of buddies, and the feeling that as long as the music plays, you are part of that tough, rambling breed who will inherit the earth?

“Cool,” Davy Ray supplied.

It would have to do.

.. Yeah the bad guys know us and they leave us alone … I get arounnnnddddd …

I was amazed. I was transported. Those soaring voices lifted me off the hot pavement, and I flew with them to a land unknown. I had never been to the beach before. I’d never seen the ocean, except for pictures in magazines and on TV and movies. The Beach Boys. Those harmonies thrilled my soul, and for a moment I wore a letter jacket and owned a red hotrod and had beautiful blondes begging for my attention and I got around.

monday miscellany

A few links that have made me think:

~ You cannot raise snowflakes in Jesus’ name:

Today’s parents often go to ludicrous lengths attempting to remove all risk from their children’s lives and protect them from any negative assessment. There are very real consequences in the child’s life when parents raise their children in this self-referential environment. Children are taught that they have a right not to hear anything they do not agree with, and when they do, they should take it personally. This mollycoddling of our children does not prepare them for life.

~ Now I understand why my mom wouldn’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. Many years ago before I married and began keeping my own house, my mom advised me to always tidy up before bed. That became my habit, and to this day I see the value in it.

~ Anxiety: My Thorn in My Flesh

~ Opposite words

~ Speaking of words, the most complicated word in English

Happy Monday, y’all!

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amazing love! how can it be?

On Memorial Day weekend, we attended the baptism of sweet Kenna. I was moved to tears – so many tears! – of gratitude that she has believing parents who are part of a joyful, loving church family. She will always hear about Jesus and the gospel. One of the hymns we sang that morning was a favorite of mine, and Kenna couldn’t help dancing to it, either.

I grew up with the original version by Charles Wesley, but I love the Indelible Grace arrangement. So much joy!

Amazing Love

1. And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me who caused His pain!
For me who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be That
Thou, my God, should die for me?

Chorus: Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

2. He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

3. Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

4. No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own

 

let’s just pretend…

… that the blogging break didn’t happen, shall we? Here I am again, determined to get back into the blogging habit. I’ve gotten back into my bullet journal habit this past week, and I’m feeling more organized and inspired, so maybe I can post more regularly.

The past couple of months have been filled with the usual busyness, lots of family birthdays, and two trips up to Chattanooga to visit my peeps. My sweet granddaughter continues to grow and change, and I don’t like to go very long without getting my hands on her.

mypeeps

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump these days, but I feel like I’m beginning to climb out of it. (I’ll be updating my 2017 reading list momentarily.)

I’ve finished a few knitting projects recently, and I need to update my knitting page with those. I still have a bag full of works-in-progress, and I suspect it will ever be thus.

I just realized that Paul and I closed on our house a year ago today, and I’m over-the-top grateful that this summer — the first in SEVEN years — I don’t have to move.

I mentioned my return to using a bullet journal. I share more about that later, but I think I finally figured out a system that works for me. And one of the things I’ve added is a place to jot down my ideas for blogging, so maybe that will help me dust off the cobwebs around here and bring this place back to life.

Happy Saturday to you!

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