I love a good page-turner while my feet are tucked into the sand and the sun shines bright, the big ol' dorky-looking straw hat shielding my face from the rays that beat down. This year's early fall days have whispered late summer breezes and some lovely random opportunities to do so ... right until this week.
But that party's over.
The hat's been relegated to the far end of the closet shelf and I've reluctantly moved myself to an indoor locale, complete with comfy old sofa, a worn quilt tucked in close, and a mug of tea perched nearby.
Here's what I've been reading ...
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
~ Marie Kondo
I could very well be one of the last people to read this oh-so-motivating little treasure which was Amazon's 2014 bestseller in Crafts, Home and Garden. So good! I loved the idea of gathering ALL of one category at a time to sort through with the emphasis on claiming what we want to keep, not get rid of. I like that subtle distinction.
The concept of starting with clothes, then moving through books, papers, miscellaneous stuff, and then mementos is an order that makes sense, saving the hardest-to-get-rid-of possessions 'til the end. By then, we're on such a roll that it truly is easier to toss stuff than it was back at the beginning.
And I fully embrace that 'a dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective.' Ain't that the truth? I've seen this pan out in my own life and in the lives of women I talk with.
All that said, I'm not at all interested in talking to my pocketbook, saying a verbal farewell to my possessions, or setting up a shrine on a bookshelf. Skip all that and get to the good parts.
~ Brene Brown
I've finally decided that I'm not going to get any more of Brene's books from the library, because 3 weeks is never long enough to sit and savor her wisdom. I'll just have to cave in and splurge to buy them for my own shelves. Her latest work is all about getting brave and picking ourselves up when life hands us some sort of failure or disaster.
And who hasn't had to make a series of decisions to do the hard work of resiliency, that courageous rising from the ashes yet one more time? It sure beats staying curled up in the fetal position.
The counselor and the writer in me loves Brene's unique melding of social scientist researcher and storyteller. I so resonate with that process of reckoning with our emotions, getting curious about what we're feeling, and 'rumbling' with our stories til we get to the place of healing. For that's what good counseling's all about.
Her research on worth, courage, vulnerability, shame, and fear are thought-provoking, for sure. Fair warning ... you can only read just a bit at a time 'cause her discoveries are so rich and deep. And be sure to integrate what you're reading with the biblical truths you yourself own.
Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
~ Ben Carson
I'm not reading this book because Ben is running for President. I'm reading it because he was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. And that's where my oldest granddaughter successfully had a brain tumor removed five years ago. She's been reading one of Ben's books and I thought I'd do the same.
And what a story he has lived out. Solid motivation for young adults to glean from ... and us older ones, too.
One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces
~ Ann Voskamp
I'm on my 3rd reading of Ann's little book. It's that good. Like when she pens, 'holy joy lies in the habit of murmuring thanks to God for the smallest of graces.'
And she explores the startling beauty of these everyday gifts. And has prompted me to do the same ... looking for those tiny unexpected joys, the blessings that could so easily slip through the cracks of life's crazed busyness ... or the darkest shadows of loss and grief.
Ann's original 1000 Gifts book changed my life upside down, propelling me into a gratitude focused mindset that slowly but surely impacted the dailyness of my life. If you loved the book, the devotional will take you back to that place where gratitude abounds, even in the midst of the ugliest or saddest of circumstances.
Whatcha reading these days? How 'bout your book club or small group?
I'd love for you to join the conversation! Your insight matters. Jump right on in ... and then return again in a few days to catch up on what others have added to the discussion. It's always a good one ...
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* sharing books with Anne . Kelly . Holley . Lyli