“This is an active, not a passive, pursuit.”

vanishing-american-adultFrom The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance by Ben Sasse:

Unless you are dead or in the process of withering away in front of your screen the way so many millions of us do, there’s an imperative in your soul to unpack life and its endless mysteries. This is an active, not a passive, pursuit. For people who are alive, really alive, their brains are in motion. On the wall in the primary schooling area in our home hangs this apt observation by Ellen Parr: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”…Curiosity is the mental mortar for building strength and resilience.

Or, as my grandmother said, if you’re bored, you’re boring.

july reading


It was another poor sleeping month which means it was a good reading month. 🙂


  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

My favorite this month (and will very likely make my top five for the year) was A Gentleman in Moscow. The other fiction books this month were just meh.

What are you reading & recommending these days?


monday miscellany

From here and there:

~ The opioid crisis is creating a labor crisis

~ When knitting was a patriotic duty

~ cool gauge rings

~ The enemies and friends of the humanities:

Yes, the influence of Marcuse, Derrida, and Foucault has been disastrous. In the hands of American followers, their ideas have, indeed, undermined the Western tradition and the Great Books. If tradition is, respectively, an ideological construct, a mystification, or an exclusionary institution, the disciples reasoned, then why respect it?

What these exceptions prove is this: You can critique, dismantle, and subvert the canon, but you still have to learn it.

~ Why some men don’t work

~ Six things you can do to grow your marriage

~ Grilled chicken and lemon orzo salad

Happy Monday y’all!



“…win the first battle of the day by knowing where the true battlefield is.”

[a repost from September 2013]

quietplaceFrom The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

…by the time you get up in the morning, an unseen battle has already been raging for hours in the heavenlies. Within the mystery of God’s sovereignty, He has given the forces of hell the temporary right to contend with Him and His own. And you as His child start each day in the crossfire of this cosmic duel.

On the face of things, it may only seem like a lack of desire to spend time alone with the Lord in prayer and His Word. It may feel like the press of the day’s upcoming schedule, disturbing your thoughts before your feet hit the floor. It may sound like the typical morning review of ongoing issues with your marriage, your children, your job, your general life situation.

What it may not seem like is what it actually is: the presence, activity, and involvement of Satan’s forces, drawing you away from God, wrestling you back down into fear, doubt, discouragement, and sinful reactions.

So stand to your feet. Recognize the real enemy. Invite your victorious Lord into this challenge. And win the first battle of the day by knowing where the true battlefield is. Consciously take your place within the ranks of the One before whom even hell’s most defiant warriors must ultimately concede defeat.


What would change in your approach if you remembered that the real enemy is not the people, things, and circumstances in your life?

last weekend

I can’t believe that my granddaughter is one! This year has zoomed by, and we celebrated K’s big day in Chattanooga:




Her other grandmother is a seamstress extraordinaire, and she made K a Moana outfit to go with the theme of the party. K chilled in the hammock.


Will took this one.


Her mama stripped her down so she could enjoy her cake. It was soooo hot!

It’s been a big year for all of those who love Baby K. She’s a delight in every way, and I miss her big!

“…we are not yet what we shall be…”

perfecting-ourselvesFrom Martin Luther, as quoted in Perfecting Ourselves to Death by Richard Winter:

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise; we are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished, but it is going on; this is not the end, but it is the road.


podcastsI’ve mentioned some of these before, but there are a few new ones in my rotation:

Up and Vanished – A sad, crazy story that happened just up the road in Ocilla, Georgia. It’s still developing, too.

Sworn – This one started out with a bang, but it does not seem to have any kind of regular release schedule.

What Should I Read Next – Every week Anne (Modern Mrs. Darcy) interviews someone and picks three books for them. My to-be-read list grows ever longer.

From the Front Porch – A podcast from a nearby independent bookstore. And the to-be-read list grows even more.

The West Wing Weekly – The hosts are going through the series one episode at a time, interviewing key players. I’m revisiting the show on Netflix, too.

GLoP culture – This one comes out every couple of weeks, and I laugh out loud every time. If you see me laughing in my car, this is why. Don’t judge.

Very Pink Knits – I learn something new with every episode.

What Have You – Two sisters in Idaho sit in a car and chat about whatever — crafts, remodeling, cooking, living out the Gospel, raising children, and a thousand more random topics. They talk over each other a lot, but I still come away encouraged with every listen.

Commentary Magazine – Current events.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin – I’ve just added this one recently and have only listened to a couple of episodes, but it has already made me think.

You Must Remember This – I’m not sure how I found this one, but I landed on episodes about Charles Manson and his connection to the Beach Boys. Some interesting, dark stuff.

When do I listen? In the car, while cleaning, when I’m getting ready in the morning, whenever I’m on a treadmill…

Have any suggestions for me?

monday miscellany

From ’round the sphere:

~ Angered at and angry with:

It’s when I’m sinned against in anger that I am most likely to sin in anger.It’s when I’m angered at that I tend to get angry with. And it’s right then that a soft answer might just turn away wrath. It might just turn it away from that other person and it would certainly turn it away from me.

It’s easy enough to provide a soft answer to a soft question. It takes little wisdom and little godliness to do that. But it’s a great challenge to provide a soft answer to a harsh question. It’s a greater challenge still to answer gently when rebuked savagely. It takes unusual wisdom and godliness to resist the temptation to snap, to retaliate, to answer in kind.

~ 7 signs you’re way too busy

~ a podcast playlist – A couple of these are already in my rotation, but there are some new-to-me ones to try.

~ When did Solomon write Proverbs 5-7 (the warnings against adultery):

Yet I am increasingly convinced that Solomon was actually younger or middle aged when he wrote Proverbs 5-7. Given Solomon demise later in life this is absolutely shocking and serves as fitting warning to us. What all of this means is that Solomon—much like many of us—thought he was an exception to the rules. He knew full well that he was holding fire to his chest, but he thought he wouldn’t have gotten burned.

~ If you’re a knitter, you might find this handy: Watch youtube in slow motion

I often go to the internet when I need to know how to do a particular knit stitch, and it’s frustrating when the tutorial moves so quickly that you can’t see each motion that makes up the stitch. I lamented this to Paul, and he quickly found a solution. I just enter the url of the video I’m watching here, and voila! It slows things down enough for me to catch on.

~ Picnic in a glass 

Happy Monday y’all!