📚 Revisiting old friends on my shelves + ramping up my devotional life + the little library update

The best reading season is upon us, friends!  

Autumn was specially designed for feathering our nests and cultivating appreciation for TBR stacks, hefty mugs of Earl Gray decaf, big fluffy throws, and absorbing storylines.  (Right now, I'm immersed in a 700+ page novel, much to my delight.)  This month has found me choosing three literary companions to re-visit ... and ramping up my devotional reading with two new-to-me practices.

Speaking of feathering our nests, here's a last minute unexpected update on my Little Log Cabin Road Library.  

Read on 🠞 

You might remember how excited I was at the debut of the Little Log Cabin Road Library this past spring.  My husband surprised me with this gorgeous anniversary gift and it has been a wonderful addition to my life.  Weekly, I'm on the hunt for like-new books by authors I'm happy to share.  I've gotten to know neighbors, dog-walkers, stroller-pushers, and people biking through.  Book lovers and woodcrafters alike have enjoyed its charms.

This morning I opened the door to do a bit of tidying.  And low and behold, fresh wood shavings had settled in on top of my carefully curated reading materials.  I didn't have to look far to find that some enterprising winged creature decided that my little handcrafted library would serve him well as a grand potential home.

I am not a happy camper.

And no, my feathered friend whoever you are.  This is a little library.  It is NOT a big birdhouse.  


Michelle 'The Book Devotions' Watson recently put this eye-catching question to her readers: "Would you rather start a book journal, plan your winter TBR, or rediscover hidden gems on your bookshelf?"  

This was a no brainer for me because ...  
1.  I already keep a book journal.

2.  I'm in denial about winter's coming arrival.

3.  Just the thought of reconnecting with a few old friends languishing on my shelves made my heart beat a bit faster.

I can't wait to see which option Michelle's readers picked, but meanwhile I've chosen to revisit these three books:
John Grisham's The Firm.  I'm a big Grisham fan and eagerly await a fresh blockbuster title each October.  Written way back in 2010, I was already planning on grabbing this for a re-read before his follow-up novel, The Exchange: After the Firm comes out on October 17th.  

BONUS - this recent interview, The Enduring Charm of John Grisham

Lori Gottlieb's Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, & Our Lives Revealed.  The counselor in me gravitated toward this book and it resonated on so many levels.  This was one of my favorite reads in 2019 but I'll tell you right off the top that I've rated it R for profanity and sexual situations.  No, it is not a faith-based book, and no, it is not for the faint of heart.  But I think it's an important read for those of us who value empathy, listening well, respecting where people truly are coming from, and discerning what's going on behind pain-filled words.

BONUS - you can grab the Kindle edition right now for the ridiculous price of $1.79 

For years, I read every new book pastor Chuck Swindoll wrote.  I looked through the dozen or so titles lined up on one of my shelves and reached for the classic Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.  Written in 1980, I'm not at all surprised that he tackles the same stuff that we're dealing with 43 years later ... stress, loneliness, fear, anger.  Because some things never change.

BONUS - Swindoll's website is packed with all kinds of top shelf resources 

And speaking of faith building ...

I've always struggled with keeping my devotional life faithfully up and running.  And I know I'm not alone.

Viewing quiet time with God as a discipline is something I've never been comfortable with.  I want to view this as a kind of sacred invitation, not a daily chore to check off my daily to-do list.  And I want to be excited about it.  If I'm not careful, these high expectations lead to lame excuses to do everything else ... jump online or throw in a load of laundry or quickly get caught up in the busyness of the day.

I admire the faithful who've created a lovely morning routine in a quiet space, Bible and devotional books, journal, prayer list, and pens at hand.  But this has somehow never worked for me.  My times and places and what I use continue to vary, a restlessness for God somehow propelling me to stay unsettled and searching, not easily satisfied.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm yearning for Jesus Himself, for heaven, neither fully attainable until I actually meet Him face to face.  

This month I made my way through the book of Galatians and into Ephesians, reading out loud as I wrote verse after verse in a journal.  I've discovered that both speaking and writing have made God's Word come alive, becoming more understandable and meaningful. 

I feel richer for this discovery, more at peace as I leisurely hunker down into this focused practice of joyfully speaking and writing His Word.  I feel His pleasure.  And isn't that what the devotional life is all about.  Our affection, our devotion, poured out on the feet of Jesus.


I do love First15 in the morning, too.  Scripture, a devotional, focused meditation on God's Word, and beautiful worship music.  I highly recommend.

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