Friday, January 8, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Seek Him FIRST


First:

Seeking Him first. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I need to do is sit down in whatever quiet space is available with a cup of tea, and open His Word. Fill my mind with Him and His thoughts FIRST. First, before Facebook, before getting immersed into social media, or the cares of my day- my husband, my children, my work, my Netflix list. First.

The Bible tells us that if we will seek Him first, then "all these things shall be added to us." God wants to add to us, but we must FIRST seek Him.

I don't know about anyone else, but I know that when I put Him first, it pays off. I'm still learning various ways to put Him first, I know it goes beyond reading the Bible first thing in the morning. It's in thinking His thoughts first in any given situation. It's in obeying Him FIRST before I question. It's in sharing Him with my children and others before I share anything else with them. Seek. Him. First.

Stop.

This post is a part of Five Minute Friday where writers set their timer for five minutes and WRITE. Click over to see more submissions!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Books We Read in 2015


I began the year intending to read more. I joined the reading challenge at Modern Mrs. Darcy, so I started off with much enthusiasm and inspiration from the group Pinterest board. Twelve books seemed totally doable!

I've learned something about myself this year: perhaps I'm not quite the voracious reader I thought I was! I love books. I love reading. I think it's important as all get out. But I apparently lack focus. Call it being an INFP, call it being a mom with (now) four young children (my fourth was born late this spring!), call it being a homeschooling mom. At any rate, I fell short of my twelve book goal, but ultimately, I'm sure I read more books than I would have if I didn't participate in the challenge at all!

Here are the books that my eyeballs scanned in 2015! (I will include some of the homeschooling books we read aloud as well!)

Books I Read

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan- A hilarious (yet extremely accurate) look at parenthood. I laughed out loud many times.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (A book in a genre you don't typically read)- A story of a young woman who unintentionally adopts a little girl. They end up making a happy life for themselves in the Arizona desert.
Supernatural Childbirth by Terry Mize (A book you've been meaning to read)- Such a powerful look at what the Word of God says about pregnancy and birth. Definitely a must-read for any woman who desires to have children.
Family: The Ties that Bind...and Gag by Erma Bombeck (A book your mom loves)- My mom loved Erma Bombeck, and I actually had a copy of this book that my mom owned. A funny and reflective look at family life from the "empty nest" season. (Yet still relatable for those of us with young children at home).
Scream-Free Parenting by Hal Runkel- Definitely needed (and still could probably stand to re-read) this book about controlling our responses to our children.


Abandoned Books (AKA "good intentions").

I'm including these because I did invest a significant amount of time in these titles, and plan to get back to them at some point! 

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (a part of the Read Great Books Challenge with Hollywood Housewife- apparently I like reading challenges!)- Tom Joad gets out of jail, and heads out on the road with his family from the Dust Bowl to greener pastures, and then...(my sister actually bought me a copy for my birthday after she heard I couldn't finish it before it was due back at the library.)
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson- An amusing and informative look at life on the Appalachian Trail. Is it ironic that I put this down midway through and have vowed to get back to it...sometime? Ha.
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (a book "everyone" has read but you)- I really wanted to get sucked into this book so that I could understand the love and devotion of the fans of this series. I may pick it back up another time, but did I mention that I am notorious for falling asleep during these movies (and once in the theater!)? Someday, Bilbo.


Currently Reading

Discipline the Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot- Probably one of the most life-changing and encouraging books I've read in a while (I have abandoned this not once, but twice, but SO need this message). I love Elliot's no-nonsense style and so far the attitudes she has confronted in me have helped me so much in my day to day life.
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt- Children and the books to read to them. Two of my favorite things to talk about!
The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer- A book for grown-ups about getting the education you never had. I love this idea, and the books recommended in it. It's about training your mind, and filling in the gaps you may have from your own school years.
The Making of Home by Judith Flanders- A really interesting look at how the modern home came to be.

Children's Books

These are just some of the bigger books I've read aloud with my older children this year for school. I'm working on developing the habit of consistently reading to my two younger ones (ages 3.5 and almost 8 months). I've read many books to my younger two, but only started keeping track of them recently.

Charlotte's Web by EB White- A classic story of the redemptive friendship between a spider and a pig.
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary- The quirky and lovable Ramona Quimby and the tales of her adventures at home and school.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes- A short chapter book about a quiet, unpopular girl and how she surprises her classmates.
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder- Life on the prairie with Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura and Baby Carrie.
The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz- A family moves west, as told from the perspective of a young girl. (A must-read if your family likes the Little House on the Prairie books, though it is chronologically before Laura's time).
The Children's Book of Heroes by William J. Bennett- A book of short stories and poems about the people we call heroes.
Mad About Madeline: the Complete Tales by Ludwig Bemelmans- Madeline and all of her adventures.



I'd love to hear what you've read this year! Leave a comment!

Affiliate links included. Thank you for supporting this blog!

Linking up:
katemotaung.com 
Hearts for Home  
I Choose Joy