Monday, July 18, 2011

What I'm Reading

So, I'm one of those people that has a stack of books on her nightstand and beside her nightstand at all times.  It's hard for me to wait to finish one book before I start another.  I contradict myself, I know.  I am a perfectionist who has a hard time with unfinished tasks, but for some reason, books are a different monster.

I love them.  I can't get enough of them.

It's like chocolate.  If I've got in front of me a piece of Ghiradelli dark chocolate with caramel, M&M's, Dove dark chocolate and a Baby Ruth... I'm gonna have to have a bite of each one in order to be satisfied.  There's no choosing just one.

Books are the same for me.  There are so many wonderful choices, I just can't choose.  I have to dip into several at a time.  Occasionally, one will be so good that I am compelled to SOAK and finish it on its own. But that's rare these days.

Don't get me wrong.  I finish my books.  Most of the time.  It's not often that I put a book down never to pick it back up again.

That's where my perfectionism kicks in.  Leaving a book unfinished wears away at my soul.

For instance, right now I'm about two-thirds of the way through this...

It's killing me.

I'm a Dickens fan.  And it's killing me.  Let's just say it was appropriately titled.  I've put it aside for now.  I WILL get back to it.  But I may watch the PBS mini-series for inspiration before picking it back up.

I'm also reading this...

Again, about two-thirds of the way through it and it's truly wonderful.  But it's also brutally enlightening about the plight of the African people (a story about the Lost Boys of Sudan) and I can only take it in spurts.  When I read it, I feel compelled to DO something and yet, quite honestly, I'm not sure what to do.  So I put it aside, think, mull and pray.  Then I pick it back up a bit later with the hope that I will find a way to participate in bringing hope to the African people.  

And yes, I know that my pocketbook is a very good resource - and I use it.  But I want to do more.

My book club is reading this right now...

I'm loving it.  I'm only a few chapters in, but I find it fascinating.  I love books that immerse me in another time and place - one that's completely foreign to me.  I love learning about the experiences of other people groups around the world.  It challenges me and reminds me of all I have to be thankful for here in America.  This book is set in China in the 1960's and 70's during the "re-education" of the intellectual population by Chairman Mao.  Young boys (teens) are sent into the mountains, away from home and any chance of an education, in order to suppress this particular demographic.  Crazy.  I find myself thinking of what I was doing when this was happening in China.  

I find myself thinking of what kinds of things are going on in remote areas of the world while I go about my very comfortable existence - and it make me want to pray.  It makes me want to ACT.  And it makes me grateful.

Another book I'm reading is...

I'm reading this with two of my BFF's.  It's pretty challenging stuff.  Trying to replace chocolate with God.  That's not easy, my friends.  At least not for me.

And this one...

Three Moms and a Podcast is currently in the middle of a discipline series and this book was mentioned several times by several moms in our discussion thread... so I picked it up.  Wow.  I wish I'd read this when Morgan was born.  I am being challenged to be a better parent.  I am learning to pull back and give my kids space to make mistakes (FAIL) and learn from them.  It's a good read.

Finally, I'm pretty much reading whatever good material on back surgery I can find.  Right now, I'm devouring this one...

Love the way this surgeon puts chronic back pain (and all the possible medical approaches to it) into layman's terms so I can make the best decision possible for me and my family.  It's the best one I've read so far.

I've got a couple more on my summer reading list and I'm hoping I can get to all of them.  I do have four children.  I am preparing to homeschool Jackson and Charlie (5th and 6th grade... no small challenge) this year.  One of those four is a busy toddler, the other a busy teenager.  And let's face it, they're all busy.

We'll see.  But here they are in case you're interested...

Yes, I'm an overachiever.  But surely that doesn't surprise you.  It's what makes me ME.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


My daughter.

My oldest.

My Morgan.

She turned 14 last week.

This girl is a bright light.  She is wise beyond her years.

She brings me joy.

She comes down the stairs in the morning ready to share a cup of coffee with me and ALWAYS asks me if I slept well the night before.

She dances with her baby brother.

She sings.  All the time.

She's the perfect mix of girly and tomboy.  This grown-up tomboy is so grateful for that.

She deeply cares about people.

She is beautiful.  Inside and out.

Happy Birthday, Morgan.  I love you very much.

Monday, July 11, 2011


We just returned a couple of days ago from a week long visit to Colorado.  Can I just say I LOVE this place?  It's funny because we didn't really do that much this time around - not really practical to camp, white water raft, climb mountains, etc... when you have a toddler along for the ride.  But, there's just something about BEING there that's good for my soul.

Maybe it has to do with the beauty that's all around me when I'm there.

Or that when the sun goes down, you pretty much need a sweatshirt or a fire nearby in order to stay warm... even if the temps have been in the 90's during the day.  LOVE that.

Or that this is the place where Mark and I met and fell in love.

Or that this lovely lady lives here... friends for 22 years.  So thankful.

Or that my "baby" brother and his family call this place home and I love them very much.

But I think mainly it's because being here reminds me of how small I am... and how big God is.

And I feel more thankful.  More peaceful.  
More connected with the One who made me and understands me.

Thank You, God, for making Colorado.