“We have allowed our love stories to end way too early.”

courseofloveA few lines from The Course of Love by Alain de Botton:

Our understanding of love has been hijacked and beguiled by its first distractingly moving moments. We have allowed our love stories to end way too early. We seem to know far too much about how love starts, and recklessly little about how it might continue.


…and she is curious because she knows, better than most, that there is no one more likely to destroy us than the person we marry.


He would find it so much easier to give blood to an injured child in Badakhshan or to carry water to a family in Kandahar than to lean across and say sorry to his wife.


Kirsten wants a blow-by-blow account because that’s how she copes with anxiety: she hangs on to and arranges the facts. She doesn’t want to let on directly quite how worried she is. Her style is to be reserved and focus on the administrative side. Rabin wants to scream or break something.

monday miscellany

A collection from around the internet:

Dying to self in the age of self-love

For those who fail every day:

We are so easily consumed by our circumstances and our failures. We need to be persuaded that what makes the difference is God-centeredness—a deep conviction that God is in the midst of our day-to-day living, a trust not in the quality of our situation, but in the character of our Creator.

5 truths for sleepless nights

Why Christians love books

It’s not just grammar; it’s clear thinking.

Happy Monday!

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shutting it down

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, and I’ve decided it’s time to close down the blog. I simply don’t have the time to do a decent job of updating it, and it’s become just another thing I feel guilty about not doing well.

I started blogging many years ago — it seems like a lifetime ago — and it was an online journal of sorts. I took it down when my life took a drastic turn, and I blogged privately for a time. Eventually I started blogging here.  It’s been a fun run, and I’ve “met” some great folks. Composing blog posts when I’m driving or in the shower will probably remain a habit for a long time.

This domain expires next month, so I’m not sure if it will all go *poof* when I don’t renew.  I’m still posting photos on Instagram, so if you’re interested, you can follow me there.

So aloha and bye y’all!

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“Change occurs among other people…”

habitFrom The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg:

When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real. For most people who overhaul their lives, there are no seminal moments or life-altering disasters. There are simply communities–sometimes of just one other person–who make change believable…

“Change occurs among other people,” one of the psychologists involved in the study, Todd Heatherton, told me. “It seems real when we can see it in other people’s eyes.”

…Belief is easier when it occurs within a community.

3 Link Thursday

In lieu of Monday Miscellany, here are three links that have made me think — on a Thursday:

~ From one of my new favorites, Modern Mrs. Darcy: Is that novel worth your time?

~ The great enemy of self control is feeling:

Your life should be built on fact. Theological fact first. The way the world actually is, second, meaning natural revelation. I would put math third. All such facts are just the way a foundation ought to be—hard, cold, rigid concrete. It doesn’t wobble. If you anchor your feelings to such facts, the end result is that your feelings will be disciplined by them, and you will finally be able to enjoy your feelings. Feelings are like children—when they are wild and undisciplined they are no fun at all. Little hellions is what they are. Nothing worse than chaotic feelings with runny noses.

~ George Orwell, call your office.

monday miscellany

Links that have caught my eye recently:

~ Why Venezuela putting its food supply under military control is so chilling.

~ Speaking of socialism, is Obama a socialist or a fascist? Thomas Sowell:

It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

~ TWA 800: The great untold story of our time

Well, I had more links, but WordPress ate them. This will have to do for now.

Happy Monday!

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2016 Reading Challenge

As I’ve mentioned, I plan to work through Challies 2016 Reading Challenge. I’ll update my list here as I complete each category

bestillA book about Christian living:  Be Still, My Soul (25 Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Problem of Pain). I started this one last year and finished it on New Year’s Day.

I recommend this collection of essays from noted theologians like J.I. Packer, Joni Eareckson Tada, Martin Luther, and John Piper. My favorite essay was from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

fierceA biography: Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More, Poet, Abolitionist, Reformer by Karen Swallows Prior

This is a fascinating read that I will be thinking about long after today. I hope to share more soon.

energyA self-improvement book: The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon

We’re going through this book at work. It’s a quick read, so I finished it in just a few days.

 

A classic novel: Lord of the Flies by William Golding flies

How in the world did I miss this book all these years? It was a page-turner, and I loved its depths. I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait!

domoreA book about productivity: Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies

This was another good read. I’m planning to set aside some time this coming weekend to set up the system he recommends. I appreciated how he reminds the reader why we should strive to be productive.

 

wowA book about theology: Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin

This is a really good resource for women who want to know God’s Word better. It is both practical and encouraging, and I’ll be referring to it again, I’m sure.

happinessA book about joy or happiness: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I didn’t love this one. Part of the problem may have been the format; I listened to the book on my commute via Audible, and I don’t think it’s a book that works that way. The author read it, and I found her voice distracting. Also, she would periodically read excerpts from emails or blog comments, and I had trouble distinguishing when she was referring to herself or reading something someone else wrote. I suspect I would have taken more away from the book if I’d actually read it. There are a few ideas that have stuck with me, however. One was an idea she repeated: being heavy is easy, but being light-hearted is hard. It takes effort.  Also, she talked about the idea of enthusiasm as a form of social courage. I’ve thought about that one a good bit, too. If you’re looking for a book on happiness, I think Happiness Is a Serious Problem by Dennis Prager is a better choice.

bonhoefferA book that won a ECPA Christian Book award: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas   I’ve owned this one on Kindle for a long time, and countless people have recommended it to me but for some reason I’ve only just now gotten to it. It’s very good. I really appreciate good biographies as a way to learn more history, and although I’d heard and read a bit about Bonhoeffer through the years, I’d never known the full story in the context of Nazi Germany. I wish I’d been able to read this before I visited Berlin a few years ago. Anyway, if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it.

feed

A book with a one-word title: Feed by M.T. Anderson  Yuck. I really, really didn’t like this book, but I have this compulsion to see a book all the way through, hoping that surely it gets better. It didn’t.

gossipgospelA book with the word “gospel” in the title or subtitle: Gossip and the Gospel: Understanding the Harmful Effects of Gossip in the Church – Timothy Williams   I was disappointed in this one. There’s some good stuff here – some painful conviction and some guidance on handling gossip, slander, etc. But there are also verses out of context and some condemnation that lacks the Gospel.

santini

A memoir:  The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son by Pat Conroy   I’ve wanted to read this one for a while now, but it moved up in the queue upon the author’s recent passing. Pat Conroy was a master of the English language, and as a southerner I especially appreciate his love of the south. Even though he made peace with his father, his story is still a very sad one. “In families, there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”

guiltA mystery or detective novel: The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly   I enjoy Connelly’s stories, but this one wasn’t my favorite. It got better about 3/4 of the way in, but just wasn’t a stand out.

severeA book you own but have never read:  A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken  This one has been on my shelf for years, and many folks have recommended it. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations after all of the rave reviews.

signatureofA book by a female author: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert   I really cannot recommend this one at all. I really enjoyed the first part, but then it took a strange, slow, ultimately boring turn. I didn’t like any of the characters, either. Very disappointing.

cellistA novel set in a country that is not your own: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway  This one is good. I visited Sarajevo a few years ago, so I could picture the scenes as I read. I’ve put more of his books on my to-read list.

bloodA book with an ugly cover: Blood Defense (Samantha Brinkmann Book 1) by Marcia Clark  This one was free on Kindle recently, so I gave it a try. It was a decent thriller, and I read the whole thing hearing Maria Clark’s voice the whole time.

 

 

A book someone tells you “changed my life”:

A commentary on a book of the Bible:

A book your pastor recommends:

A book more than 100 years old:

A book for children:

A book published in 2016:

A book about a current issue:

A book written by a Puritan:

A book recommended by a family member:

A book by or about a missionary:

A novel that won the Pulitzer Prize:

A book written by an Anglican:

A book with at least 400 pages:

A book by C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien:

A book that has a fruit of the Spirit in the title:

A book with a great cover:

A book on the current New York Times list of best sellers:

A book about church history:

A graphic novel:

A book of poetry:

A book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with:

A book written by an author with initials in his/her name:

A book about worldview:

A play by William Shakespeare:

A humorous book:

A book based on a true story:

A book written by Jane Austen:

A book by or about Martin Luther:

A book with 100 pages or fewer:

A book about money or finance:

A book about music:

A book whose title comes from a Bible verse:

A book you have started but never finished:

A book by David McCullough:

A book about abortion:

A book targeted at the other gender:

A book by a speaker at a conference you have attended:

A book written by someone of a different ethnicity:

 

**Full disclosure: When you click on any of the book links here at georgianne and then make a purchase, Amazon tosses a few pennies my way. Thanks for supporting my book habit!

miscellany: knitting edition

greyred~ The health benefits of knitting:

Using your hands meaningfully triggers healthy engagement and activity in about 60 percent of your brain, said Alton Barron. The rhythmic, mathematical nature of knitting and crocheting keep the mind absorbed in a healthy way, providing an escape from stressful thoughts but allowing for internal reflection, said Carrie Barron.


While television can engage people from the outside, the mind requires stimulation from within in order to “free associate” or think imaginatively, she said. The psychiatrist suspects the return to knitting is a response to the rise in technology, much like the arts and craft movement followed the industrial revolution.

~ Knitting makes humans warmer & happier.

~ The secret to becoming a great knitter.

~ Avoiding ears when casting on and off.

~ A ravel of knitting words:

The word that started it all, the verb knit has been used in English since about 1000 AD. It derived from the Old English word cnyttan, which means “to tie in a knot,” which was its first meaning. By the 1300s, the verb referred to tying string or thread into a net, and in 1530, we have our first use of knit to refer to the creation of an object by weaving together a series of interlocking loops using two needles (“I knyt bonettes or hosen.”)

From the verb, we get the noun knit showing up in the late 1500s. It initially referred to a knit stitch, one of the two foundation stitches that make up all knitting (as in, “work in knit for two rows”), then came to be used for knitted fabric (“knit stretches more than lawn“) and items made by knitting (“hand-wash delicate knits“).

~ Fuzzy Goat is simply the best local yarn shop. If you’re ever in Thomasville, Georgia, it’s definitely worth stopping by. Tell Cadence I sent you. 🙂

~Happy knitting, y’all!

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my sleeping blog

So, I’ve been away so long that my own husband has said he’s giving up on my blog. Sorry about that. It’s just been an extended busy season that has unfortunately collided with a season of insomnia. I’ve been dealing with a bout of shingles and a sinus infection on top of that, and I spent a week away at trust school for work, too. All that to say, I think about blogging here often, but I haven’t been able to actually charge my laptop, sit down uninterrupted with all synapses firing, and actually type anything. So here’s my frail attempt:

Life is crazy but good. I have so many reasons to be thankful to God. I admit, however, that I struggle to understand why I have such trouble sleeping. I’ve tried so many different things: melatonin only gives me crazy dreams but not good sleep, Benadryl or Tylenol PM gets me about 4 hours, but then I’m wide awake, and magnesium doesn’t do anything. Even heavy duty prescription sleeping pills aren’t reliable for me, and I don’t want to be dependent on those. I’ve tried the sleep hygiene suggestions you can find online, but my problem isn’t getting to sleep; I fall asleep pretty easily. It’s the staying asleep that’s the problem. If I wake up, my brain kicks on, and I can’t figure out how to turn it off and get back to sleep. It’s really hard to get by on 4 or 6 hours of sleep, and lately I’ve had nights with 2 to 3 hours.

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What’s so frustrating about being awake in the middle of the night is that everything is worse at two in the morning. I’ll pray and then worry, and then I realize that and pray again. I give my anxieties to God, snatch them back, give them to Him, and snatch them back. Tug-of-war in the wee hours is exhausting, y’all.

Well, enough of that. I know some of you can relate, and some of you sleep like rocks and have no idea what I’m talking about. Insomnia comes and goes for me, so maybe it will be going soon. And maybe my blog will wake up.

Goodnight friends,

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“…the God who made lilies also made rocks.”

[a repost from December 2014]

whatdidyouexpectFrom Paul Tripp’s What Did You Expect?:

Remember, the God who made lilies also made rocks. As creator, God has invested his world with difference; all things are not the same. He has made people widely different from one another. All this reflects his glory. And as sovereign, he chooses to bring different people into intimate relationship with one another for his honor and their good. Unity is not the result of sameness. Rather, unity results when love intersects with difference.

It is self-love that hates difference. It is self-love that makes you impatient. It is self-love that makes you want your own way. It is self-love that convinces you that your way is the right way. It is self-love that makes winning more attractive than unity. Love celebrates who God has made the other person to be. Love celebrates the process of working together to become one. Love celebrates the grace of change that operates in the middle of the difficulty of difference. Love prizes unity and is willing to make sacrifices to achieve it. Love turns difference into an opportunity to experience a deeper and fuller unity. Love isn’t impatient, and it does not walk away. Love perseveres. Love stays active until what God has planned becomes your actual experience. Love listens, works, and waits. Unity happens when love intersects with difference.