monday miscellany

From around the web:

~ Interest span vs. attention span

There’s nothing wrong with our attention spans, he said (and I’m paraphrasing here). We are perfectly able to pay attention to what we want to—do you think you can binge a Netflix series in a weekend if you can’t pay attention?

It’s not our attention span that causes us to zone out when we’re bored; it’s our interest span. We don’t lose focus when we care about what we’re watching, or reading, or listening to. And, interestingly, the thing that’s most likely to hook us, to get us to care, is empathy.

~ The heart of middle school meanness

~ It feels like America is descending into chaos.

~ I don’t want a celebration of life; I want a burial service.

~ The ten themes of Proverbs

~ Trump Administration to Teachers: You must use a transgender student’s “preferred pronouns”:

What this means is that students and teachers who refuse to use “preferred pronouns” can be investigated for violating a transgender students civil rights. For example, if a transgender girl (i.e., a boy who identifies as female) wants to be referred to as “she” the student would be in violating of a federal law for referring to him as “he.” Similarly, a student who was non-gender conforming may prefer to use pronouns such as “ze” or “they” and it would be considered a violation to refer to them as “he” (if they are biological male) or “she” (if they are a biological female).  (There are also other transgender pronouns such as zie, sie, ey, ve, tey, and e.)

~ I love one pan suppers, and this one looks good: Italian Chicken Sheet Pan Supper

Happy Monday y’all!

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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

** 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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