“…we aren’t home yet.”

womans-wisdomFrom A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything by Lydia Brownback:

No matter the specifics of our desires or how we express them, all our longings are indicative of the fact that we aren’t home yet. We are unfinished women living in an unfinished world, and because of that, we aren’t going to find full satisfaction until we get home, until we are perfected in Christ and living with him in heaven. Until then, we are going to remain women who want.

 

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“God doesn’t tell us the future for this simple, yet profound reason…”

just-do-somethingFrom Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something:

Wisdom is the difference between knowing a world-class biologist who can write your papers for you and studying under a world-class biologist so that you can write the kind of papers he would write. Too many of us want God to be the world-class scholar who will write our papers and live our lives for us, when God wants us to sit at His feet and read His Word so that we can live a life in the image of His Son. God doesn’t tell us the future for this simple, yet profound reason: We become what we behold. God wants us to behold Him in His glory so that we can be transformed into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). If God figures everything out for us, we wouldn’t need to focus on Him and learn to delight in His glory. God says, “I’m not giving you a crystal ball. I’m giving you My Word. Meditate on it; see Me in it; and become like Me.”

holiday

Well, this is unusual: a holiday (day off!) mid-week instead of on a Monday.

This is not unusual: I did not set my alarm but was awake at 4:22 and couldn’t get back to sleep. Stupid shoulder.

stack-of-books

Oh, well. I grabbed my laptop, Bible, bullet journal, and books and settled into my favorite chair in the living room. A quiet house (and a clean house!), a cup of coffee. Not bad. Perfection, actually.

No plans for the day ahead other than some rest and relaxation.

Happy Independence Day to you!

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june reading

living-room-shelvesJune was a month of poor sleep and neck and shoulder pain, but that meant I had a good reading month. (How’s that for half full?!)  I finished six books last month, and there were some really good ones in that mix.

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)
  6. The Magnolia Story – Chip & Joanna Gaines

As I mention often here, Island of the World is my favorite novel, and my second time through reconfirmed that. I nearly started it over again as soon as I turned the last page.

Boy’s Life was not what I expected and not a genre that I typically read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a good summer read.

Just Do Something is a small yet powerful book packed with wisdom.

Like most folks these days, I’m a fan of Fixer Upper and Chip & Joanna, so I’m not surprised that I enjoyed their book. It would be the perfect book for a plane trip, but I read it at bedtime and lunch.

American Wife was just meh to me. And although I’ve heard many good things about My Name Is Lucy Barton, I really can’t see what all the fuss is about.

This month I plan to read some books related to Proverbs as I study that book, and I want to read some fiction from my shelves.

What are you reading these days?

“It is curious what a short memory we have for our own mistakes…”

friendshipFrom The Friendship Factor – How to Get Closer to the People You Care For by Alan Loy McGinnis:

What did St. Paul mean in his great hymn to love when he wrote, “love does not keep a record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5 TEV)? I think he meant that to love we must be able to believe that people’s characters do alter, that the leopard can change its spots, that conversions do occur, that people do repent, and that at times they do change. To put it another way, he was urging that when we are in relationships of long standing we must live in the present, forgetting some of the slights we’ve endured in the past. For sooner or later, in any friendship, someone will be wronged. In a weak moment, the beloved will severely criticize or embarrass, or temporarily walk away. If we allow ourselves to dwell on those misdeeds, the relationship is doomed. Keeping close books on how many wrongs have been done us makes us accusatory. It is curious what a short memory we have for our own mistakes, and what a long one we have for the mistakes of others.

just read this book

just-do-somethingI’m late to the party on this one, I know, because Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something was published in 2009. It’s been on my shelf for ages, and I finally got to it earlier this month. It’s a short book – a quick read – but it’s meaty, y’all. The full title is great — Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will OR How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc. 

This book is packed with wisdom. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard professing Christians talk about waiting – and waiting and waiting – for a sign before doing something. When you hear a Christian talk about finding his soul mate? Hand him this book. Worried about not being in “the center of God’s will”? Read this book. Afraid you have missed the path God laid out for you before the foundations of the earth? Yep, get this book.

It’s solid teaching that truly takes so much pressure off a believer. God doesn’t expect you to figure out His hidden will before you make decisions and act. Whew!

If you haven’t figured out by now, I highly recommend this one. And it would make a terrific graduation gift.

 

random thoughts

~ Yeah, I know it’s not cool for real book lovers to like e-books, but since when have I been cool? I love reading a book on my iPad after the lights are out. And I can pull that same book up on my phone when I’m stuck somewhere. I can highlight passages and make notes and easily access all of that in one place on my laptop. It’s a great time to be alive, if you ask me.

~ I’ve long lamented slow drivers in the left lane, but I’m growing more and more annoyed with drivers who aren’t looking ahead and making lane changes accordingly. Why race up behind a slow driver and then cut in front of someone when you can move over a little earlier and keep traffic flowing smoothly?

~ I’m oh so pleasantly surprised when the barista spells my name Anne-with-an-e without even asking. And when people do ask, I’m even more impressed. Yes, it’s with an e, thank you very much.

~ I have a problem with my shoulder that has affected my entire right arm, so I haven’t been able to knit in over a week. This is seriously cramping my style. I’m seeing someone about it today, and I’m hoping for relief.

~ More and more these days, I’m enjoying silence. Reading in a quiet house? Bliss.

~ If you use the last of the toilet paper, please replace. Thanks ever so much.*

~ If you’re not reading the G-file every week, you should be.

~ I recently finished Boy’s Life, and, boy, was it good! Not my usual genre, but the writing is stellar.

~ Random photos:

gas-pump

hydrangea4

me-and-kenna

 

~ It’s been a really long, hard week with very little sleep. If you’re a good sleeper, say a prayer of thanksgiving to God today.

*If I were in academia, I would obtain a grant to conduct extensive research into the psychopathic personality that uses the last of the toilet paper without replacing the roll.

Happy Saturday folks!

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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)
  6. The Magnolia Story – Chip & Joanna Gaines

July:

  1. You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott
  2. A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
  3. Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel – Rachel Khong
  4. Since We Fell – Dennis Lehane
  5. A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything – Lydia Brownback
  6. Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism – Richard Winter
  7. Commentaries on Proverbs – Matthew Henry

August:

  1. The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance  – Ben Sasse
  2. Moral Defense (Samantha Brinkman Book 2) – Marcia Clark
  3. Dot Journaling – A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together – Rachel Wilkerson Miller
  4. The Judgment of Richard Richter – Igor Štiks

September:

  1. I Am Watching You – Teresa Driscoll
  2. To Dance With the White Dog – Terry Kay
  3. Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng
  4. The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
  5. Into the Water – Paula Hawkins
  6. Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life – Gretchen Rubin

October:

  1. Leaving Berlin – Joseph Kanon
  2. John – R.C. Sproul
  3. The Touch – Randall Wallace
  4. Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

November:
I didn’t finish a single book this month! 😦

December:

  1. The Girl With Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story – Hyeonseo Lee
  2. Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts – Douglas Bond
  3. Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis

** 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.”