Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reading Challenge Recap

Have you ever tried a reading challenge?  I have seen them before but was never really interested; I don't usually have a problem finding books I like, and I was in a book club, now sadly defunct, that kept me reading books I wouldn't normally gravitate to.  Perhaps because the book club was in decline, I thought it might be worth a try this year when I saw this list back in January.

Modern Mrs Darcy, one of my favourite book recommending sites, posted this challenge, and since I could think of books for half the categories right off the top of my head, I jumped in.

Here are the categories and what I read for them (I managed them all but two):

A book published this year - (If I did read one from this year, I didn't notice...)
A book you can finish in a day -  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A book you've been meaning to read - Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
A book you you should have read in school - The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
A book chosen for you by your spouse, sibling, child, or BFF - (does Mom count?) - The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
A book published before you were born - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
A book that was banned at some point - 1984 by George Orwell
A book you previously abandoned - Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A book you own but have never read - Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
A book that intimidates you - (I was going to read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, since it's already on my bookshelf, but never got to it...)
A book you've already read at least once - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Mongomery

Since I wrote about books last, this is what I've read:
Blood Sport by Dick Francis
Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - I'm making myself take a break and read a couple other books in between, but I've got book four out of the library and ready to devour.
A Hidden Life by Adele Geras - rated only a 3.5 - the main character was decent hearted, but every imaginable disfunction happening in her family around her left a sour taste.
Diary of Anne Frank - an important read.  Glad to be able to cross this off the must read list.
1984 - Glad to cross this one off as well.  I feel smarter having read the must reads...  Crazy story.

Now back to another Silva, George, and Gabaldon as reads for the holidays I know I will enjoy.

Happy reading!  Let me know what I should add to my list for 2017!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Advent - Thy Kingdom Come

I've been thinking about Advent lately. 

This season that we are in leading up to Christmas focuses on the anticipation of Christ's coming, both to his second coming and to the celebration of His first arrival, as a baby at Christmas time.  We light candles of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, and then the Christ candle on Christmas Eve. 

It's these four words that have been playing over in my mind.

Hope.  Peace.  Joy.  Love.

These are all things I long for and strive for in my life.  Not just during Advent, but every day.  They resonate with me because I need them.  I need to practice them.  I need to learn how to better treat others, coming from a place where these are real in my life.

And that makes me think of this:

Wouldn't the world be so much better if we all lived with these Advent themes as realities in our lives?  It would be like His Kingdom coming.  A glimpse into Heaven here and now. 

So we hope for God's best and trust and have faith.  We look for joy and find it and hold onto it.  We crave and create peace in our homes and in our relationships.  And we love.  We treat others as more important than ourselves.  Give of ourselves.  Care.  Be kind. 

And pray for His Kingdom to come.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

God Loves to Celebrate

Happy 10th Anniversary to Us!!

Our Anniversary was on a Friday a couple of weeks ago, and we celebrated by dinner out at the Keg.  On the Wednesday just before, on 'date night' while Nolan was at Awana, we went ring shopping for a band to match my wedding band.  We hit the mall and didn't find one at the first jewelry store where we got the initial band; too bad, since they were going out of business and everything was on sale.  Right across the aisle was another jewelry store, but they didn't have anything similar enough either.  I guess this is why you can have three of them in one mall - the third one was the charm (and was, actually, called Charm).  They had a very similar band for a decent price, AND, while I was trying it on, I noticed that the mall system was playing the song we walked down the aisle to at our wedding. 

It's like God was saying, "I like you guys!  Anniversaries are to be celebrated, and I'm celebrating with you.  Good job!"

So awesome.