April, May, June Habits

Time got away from me and life got in the way of regular posts. I’m not sure if anyone really reads all the little things that make up our lives. However, this helps me journal it out and remember the blessings of the last month. Or months, in this case!

Here are the mini celebrations from April, May and June:

Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday, coloring eggs and Easter baskets, Easter Egg hunt with glow-in-the-dark eggs, a princess birthday party for my two nieces, attending homeschool convention with my daughter and parents, the “Week of Jessica” aka our birthday week celebration for our daughter, Mother Daughter banquet, Talent Show and Choir Program at our Homeschool Co-op, the last Concert for Kids with our local symphony for my younger boys who will be too old next year, Tea Room with the ladies in my family, visits with my husband’s family, good news from a friend’s doctor appointment, our Spring Piano Recital, week long vacation in Sevierville, Tennessee, my father-in-law’s wedding, our 18th anniversary, a baby shower and Vacation Bible School. 

Now, for my habits progress:

HEALTH

My view of health is gradually shifting to see that it’s more than just food and exercise. Yes, those are part of good health, but my habits have been more geared to NOT obsessing about either one of them. I’m finding that listening to my body’s natural signals helps me feel better and lose weight easier. I’m still working all of this out, but I’ll let you know how it goes. I might write a whole post on this after a little more experimenting.

ARTICLES

I wrote several more Sunday School lessons for publication as well as a devotional article for our denominational newsletter. Most of my musical arts over the last months went into playing for a wedding and preparing my students for their own recital pieces.

BOOKS

I have updated my reading list. I removed a few books I decided not to read and added some I’ve already read and others I hope to read. I’m not sure if I’ll reach my 100 books goal, but I did do more reading in the last 3 months. Here are the summaries:

French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mirielle Guiliano
This was a re-read for me. I love Mirielle’s personal experience of the food culture of her native country, France, and that of America when she came to visit. While wine is still not a personal option for me, I want to adopt more of the French food culture and learn to enjoy food rather than fear it. So many practical tips on how to restore the joy of food without gaining weight and perhaps even losing some.

Jordan’s Crossing by Randall Arthur
I found this to be a good, not perfect, balance to the book I read in March, Wisdom Hunter. While that one was a warning against legalism, this book showed the consequences of shifting to a liberal point of view. Both were dramatic and extreme, but the stories were interesting and thought-provoking. I didn’t agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but I found myself challenged to avoid either extreme.

The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley
This was a helpful book for women from all circumstances. I can no longer find the exact quote, but I liked this one:

Should women work? Absolutely women should work. The only question is the location.

We often get so hung up on shooting at the “other side” that we fail to remember we all have an important job to do. For some that is in the marketplace, for others it is in the home and for others it is both. This was a call to rejoice in the mission God has given to each one of us and to appreciate it as unique to us.

One Last Thing by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue
This book wasn’t at all what I expected. After reading the cover at the library, I picked it up thinking it might be a good Christian novel for my daughter. It was deep, thought-provoking, life-changing and gut-wrenching to me. It is a novel, but it shows the drastic and often hidden causes and consequences of a pornography addiction. In one book, I felt the horror of the industry, the shame of the addicted, the desperate loneliness of the victims and the grace available to all. It was not an easy book to read, and I decided not to burden my daughter with it at this stage. However, it is an important message every couple should consider before marriage.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown
While highly recommended in the business world, I found this book lacking in practical application. That was probably the point: to make us discover what is essential in our own lives using the principles shared. I always find my life is a bit more complicated than that. It is difficult to distill it down to a few essentials when I have so many things I consider priority. This was a helpful book, but probably not for me at this stage.

From Dust to Ashes by Tricia Goyer
I’ve never considered myself a big fan of historical fiction. However, when I heard Tricia talk about this book at the homeschool convention, I decided to try it out. I learned things about World War II that I never saw before. It really brought to life more of the emotions and complicated issues involved in the war. I was amazed at such good writing from a first novel. She is an inspiration, and I plan to read more of her novels this year.

Preparing Transcripts by Lee Binz
This is a necessary book since my oldest just finished her first year of high school. I found this book helpful without being too overwhelming. I am implementing a few of the suggestions already and hope to create a passable transcript by the time she graduates.

Questions Jesus Asks by Israel Wayne
This is one of the best devotional books I’ve read this year. I usually have one going along with my Bible reading, and this one really stretched me spiritually and mentally. It summarized some key doctrines into short, readable chapters simply by reviewing some of the questions Jesus asked while on Earth. I would highly recommend it as a starting point for clarity on basic issues of Christianity.

Giving It All Away by David Green
I definitely want to read David Green’s other book on how he began his successful business, Hobby Lobby. This book alluded to the story but went on to show how to run a successful, million-dollar, Christian company. It explores the Green family’s principles for giving and how they contribute to changing the world for Christ through business. The Greens are truly a family who use wealth as a tool and do not worship it. God uses them mightily to spread His Gospel.

Night Song by Tricia Goyer
Yes, another excellent historical fiction novel set in World War II. I never thought of the consequences to musicians, so this was an interesting book for me. Tears came to my eyes more than once as I contemplated the suffering of the precious Jewish people at the hands of a fallen man and his ideologies. I plan to keep going with Tricia’s books.

Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs Myers with Peter B. Myers
I find Myers-Briggs personality testing to be intriguing. That is probably one of the traits of an INTJ, which I seem to be. If you are a female INTJ, I would love to hear from you. It seems we are few! This book was a little academic in parts, but I found the descriptions of the types informative and learned more about relationships between myself and my immediate family through our type differences. Definitely a geek read, but I liked it. 🙂

Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview by Israel Wayne
This was one of my devotional reads. I found it extremely helpful spiritual resource for parenting and homeschooling. It took me a while to digest it, but I would recommend it to Christian homeschooling parents. It is excellent to remind us of our purpose in homeschooling and gives some practical help as well.

Blink by Ted Dekker
This is an old book I read before, but I picked it up again to check it out for my son who is into adventure stories. The themes included Muslim marriage customs so I decided against passing it on to him. However, I was again swept into an action-packed story and saddened by the abuse of Muslim women. The science fiction aspect brought home the point of God’s transcendence which never ceases to amaze and stretch my tiny brain.

Summer is well under way, and it is exactly midnight so I suppose we are entering the month of July as I close this post. I hope you have a wonderful July! I hope to accomplish much for God and for my family and others this month.

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