Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I'm reading

So this week I finished up the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker.  She dealt with 7 challenges over the course of 7 months in order to increase her awareness of certain areas.  The 7 areas were Food, Clothes, Possessions, Media, Waste, Spending and Stress.  Over all, the concept of the book was great - it put the concept of "fasting" into a modern day feel.  For example, during month one she only hate 7 foods.  She "fasted" from everything else and learned to appreciate tastes, flavors and her own health.  It also brought her closer to God as she cried out for strength to get through the day.  When I started the book I think I mentioned I had a different concept of what the book would be like and was a little turned off but I kept reading and changed my thinking.  Instead of thinking what she was doing was dumb crazy, I started thinking of things that I could do in my own life. No, I'm not only going to eat 7 foods or wear 7 pieces of clothing but I can limit myself on something I love and make sure our closets are housing only clothes we wear. Over all, the reason I picked this book to start off the year is because I wanted to focus on my theme, "Simplify" and this book made me do just that.  I do plan on working on my own "7" project and will post my goals for that project soon.  Would I recommend this book?  Yes, to someone who was looking to challenge and/or simplify their life.

Women Living Well
I'm continuing on with the Study of the book "Women Living Well".  This week the study started on the chapters about Marriage.  Chapter 6, entitled, "The Time-Warp Wife" talks about the simple fact that the husband is the leader of the home and the wife needs to be  helper, respecter, and allow our husband to lead.  Courtney really focused how figuring out how to help our husbands - even little things like getting him something to drink after a long day at work.  We can do this by knowing our husbands, not comparing our husbands to others, and don't wait for him to be deserving of that help.  Chapter 7 dealt with Marriage in the age of Media.  Obviously we all have much more media in our homes then we did even 10 years ago.  TV's, DVR's, Computers, Laptops, Phones, Ipads - you name it and there are distractions.  It's easy to both sit and type away at the computer but it is important to make time for each other.  I know that Darryl and I try to have conversation every night HA!  

Power of a Positive Mom
 I set a goal last week to get a few chapters read in this book this week and I am happy to say I accomplished it :-) In one of the chapters I read, the author focused on the power of Encouragement.  How often do we only say negative things to our kids like, "Pick up your toys", "Stop hitting the chair", "Don't jump on the bed".  Sure, we need to correct and lead them in right directions but what about stopping to give them accolades.  After reading that chapter I have challenged myself to watch for those things.  Just yesterday Nate was walking on his "Monster Feet" so I took the time to tell him how great he was at balancing and how when he first got them he couldn't walk at all and now he takes at least 5 steps.  His smile was huge and then he said, "Mom, count my steps!".  He was so excited that I noticed.  The next chapter I read dealt with expectations.  It was really a chapter on setting goals for your kids.  Not that we should dictate what are kids chose to become but, rather, to watch their interests and what they are good at to direct them towards things so they can achieve good things.  For example, Josh loves to take photos and he does a pretty good job.  I'm watching that talent and, in another year or so plan to get him some help.  What a great tool to have in his "tool belt".  Nate can't wait for soccer . .. and swimming.  Little things to help them go in a direction to succeed.  It is so important to know your kids - their personalities and what makes them tick!

The List
I just started this book yesterday and haven't gotten far but the concept is breaking free from those lists we tend to make about our perfect lives.  I'm not 100% sold on this book yet for where I am at in life but I'll give it a couple of chapters and see if my mind changes.

Organize Now!  Think and Live Clutter Free
This is a book I picked up back in November and slowly started it.  It is a "week-by-week action plan for a happier, healthier life".  The concept is that there is a small section to read each week with an assignment to accomplish.  I had decided to start slow and then really pick it up in January so I could finish it by year end but, well, we already know I ran about three weeks behind in January!  Anyway, Weeks 1-17 are all about organizing your mind beginning with Organizing your Priorities.  This I did back in December - I made a list of the 10 most important priorities in my life and went from there.  Then came organizing a vision board.  This is where I'm at right now.  It's supposed to be something to keep in front of you to keep focused on what you want and yes, it is something that changes.  For example, one of the visions I have is to be able to camp often with the family and to accomplish that we need a camper.  I have a vision of what I want, we have some money put away for it and now we are waiting.  Once we get that camper, I can take that item down.  I finally moved a bulletin board to my desk area and want to print off some quotes and photos to put on my vision board for where I'm at right now.  My goal is to finish up my first "vision board" this week so I can move on to the next area :-)  (If I really get moving on the concept of this book, I will probably move this to its own blog post!)

Hands Free Mama
I just started this book as well.  I saw it in the bookstore last week and it hits on one of my goals which is to "unplug" more this year.  (As I sit at the table writing this post and my boys are watching cartoons HA).  I did not realize that it is also a book written as a year long project with the idea that you read a chapter a month and then focus on that item for the whole month.  I understand that building habits are so important so we'll see how it goes.  I think, depending on the chapter and my level of  . . conviction . . I may or may not read more that one chapter a month.

Wow, I've done some reading this past week!  I have been trying to take 30 minutes out first thing in the morning, after the kids are fed and happily watching cartoons to find a quiet place (a hard thing to do with 4 kids in the house) and read.  This allows me to get several chapters read from the above books.  Plus, in the afternoon, when two kids are napping, I enjoy getting to read as well.