Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Recent reads 3/4/15.

I always enjoy making/finding the time to read books. I currently have a long list of books I would like to read, which makes it exciting to go to the library and see which ones they have! I do have a Kindle and enjoy using that from time to time, but there's just something different about having a real book in your hand. Also, the main reason is that the library is free and I have to pay to download books.

Here are two books I have read recently:

Notes From A Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider. The author is also the founder of http://theartofsimple.net/, which is a "community blog dedicated to the art and science of simple living." I have not read that blog, but would like to check it out!

This was a very interesting read! Her family has lived in several different places in the US, and has also lived for several years in Turkey. She talks a lot about how different it was to live in Turkey and how people move and act more slowly there, which she wishes the US would do more of, such as cooking more, enjoying slow meals, not being so busy, spending extended time with people relationship building, etc. 

She broke the book down into sections and talked about food, work, education, travel, and entertainment. It was a really good read, filled with engaging stories, thought-provoking ideas, and practical and real tips. 

My favorite part was at the very end of the book. She was talking about examples of people living a slower, richer life and how that can impact others in surprising ways. She gave several examples, such as helping a friend in financial need by donating, supporting a non-profit, serving in different parts of the world, supporting local farmers, etc. The last sentence of her examples brought tears to my eyes:

"Or it could even mean simply cultivating a home life so that one of your children grows up to do something utterly remarkable and selfless because she is keenly aware of how blessed she really is."

Given my current state of recently becoming a stay at home mom, that really touched me. I may not be "out in the world" like some people are, and I am not serving hungry children in Africa, but that doesn't mean that my current calling is not worthwhile and meaningful also. Wherever God has placed you, that is your season right now and God has unmistakeable opportunities waiting for you there to serve and grow. 

I absolutely love that sentence in thinking about my relationship with Norah right now. I would definitely recommend this book.


Another read was Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk, who is the Family Life pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. This was a good read, but not remarkable. Many of his points I have learned through my education background and teaching experience, so I felt like I didn't really learn anything new, but it was a good reminder. I like how he connected spiritual aspects to many of the teaching aspects I already knew. 

He talked a lot about love/freedom and punishment/fear and how love drives away fear. His main points were about taking away the fear of punishment, so we could focus on loving and making a heart connection. Not that discipline is not needed, because it is, but discipline should focus on helping your child see and solve the problem in a loving way that points them toward Christ. He talked a lot about how everyone needs and desires freedom, and how to help your children make choices that allow for them to have freedom, but to still be guided by you. 

It was a good read. I feel like other people may get more out of it than I did, since I feel like freedom/choices is something I learned about in college in my education classes and had a ton of practice with in my three years teaching preschool. I am definitely not perfect at it, though, so it was still a good reminder.

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