Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why I Love the Library

I missed last week and almost missed this week, but I have had a post in my head for a few days. So I had to get it out.

Photo Credit: Texas State Library and Archives Commission 

Last Saturday I went to the library with my daughter. She loves to play with the blocks and the computers. There are a couple book shelves she visits, but a whole lot more that she avoids. She doesn't know the books on them, so she just doesn't even look at them. I can't blame her. The children's shelves can be a bit overwhelming with the number of books on those shelves. How do you even look at all the titles? How do you know what to search for?

Well, I decided to remedy the situation. I sat down at a shelf and picked several off of one shelf to look at. I was so pleased to see the range of people represented in the few books I chose. I pick up a book from my local library and my daughter can learn about people very different from her. The library is her portal to multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-socioeconomic learning. She has enjoyed the books so far and we have read them multiple times. She is learning about her world even if that world is far away from her. The library teaches us about people and learning about people will make us more tolerant and loving. The library makes us better people!

These are the books we got:
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

The Last Stop on Market Street

A Castle on Viola Street

Mama's Nightingale

And just for fun:
Panda Pants

Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Way

Recently I have heard this song referred to in two different sermons by two different pastors. Both sermons mentioned this song as a kind of anthem to selfish materialism. I can see why that comparison is made, but I don't think of the song that way. To me when I hear the line, "I did it my way." It is an anthem for rebellion against the societal norm that pushes us away from God. "I stood tall." I stood against the things telling me to bow the world's system. When my way is God's way, then the words become synonymous. I know that isn't what Sinatra meant, but when someone puts their work out in the world the consumers are going to interpret it personally. There is a whole literary theory about it, reader response theory. And yes there is more to Reader Response Theory than just this simple interpretation, but the sentiment fits.

Mentally I recognize that I look at thing differently than the average person. However, in the everyday walking around, I often forget this. So hearing these 2 pastors whom I respect refer to this song in the opposite of my thinking made me realize that I look at things very differently. I genuinely look at the "secular" music, books, art, etc. and interpret it through a filter of my Christianity. I believe the talent that these people are given is from God and they unconsciously bring him into their work from time to time. I believe God is there to be found in these things even if he isn't "supposed" to be there. Not everything, not every piece, but sometimes.

I thought you might enjoy my observation for today.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

No time!

Last week I wrote about the books that were recommended to me. I put two on hold immediately at the library. One came in, but I wasn't finished with the book I was reading yet. So I have been trying so hard to finish that book. I started skipping paragraphs and skimming pages. I had like 250 pages to read and only a few hours in which to read them. I don't normally do that, but I have one coming and I checked out two already! A 300 ish page book and a 400+ page book. Argh!

What have I gotten myself into?

I stayed up late last night and finished the book. It was good, but I don't think I missed much by "speed-reading". Then I read a few pages of the 400+ page book. One step closer to under control.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Things Saving My Life Now

For the past couple years, Modern Mrs. Darcy has been writing a post around this time of winter about what is saving her life. I think about these things often because life is hard and it is so easy to focus on the bad things and the things that are draining your energy. So I take time to stop and think about the things that are giving me energy and hope and brightness, these are things that are saving my life.

1. Sleep- I haven't gotten enough of it a couple days this week, but in general I have been focused on getting to bed on time and getting up on time. Going through the days feeling rested makes a big difference.

2. Leggings - In the last few months a colleague started selling LuLaRoe, so I bought a couple pairs of leggings. Then a couple more and a couple skirts. I now have clothes that are comfy, pretty, and make me feel good. Feeling good in my clothes is a big deal.

3. National Park Pictures - Most people are complaining about their Facebook feed being full of politics or yelling or something. I don't have that problem. Most everyone is hidden on my Facebook page. For the most part, I see my mom, my husband, Disney movies, and National Parks. And the National Parks post SOOOO many gorgeous photos!! Seeing the beautiful landscape that our nation has been blessed with is saving me.

4. My One Word -  Every year I pick One Word for the year. This year my word is abide. I have set the lock screen and background on my phone with reminders. So even looking at my phone for some reason is a reminder of who I am working to become. This week has been CRAZY busy! 3 long meetings, and 2 parent nights. I haven't had as much quiet reflection as I would like, but I know the work I have done in previous weeks has helped. Deep inside I'm not agitated and flustered. I'm at peace.
Image result for busy is a choice stress is a choice joy is a choice  Image result for abide in my love wallpaper

Overall this year I am so much better off than last year. I am not so desperately clinging to these things that are saving my life. I am holding them looser because I am holding on to the peace of Christ.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Book Recommendations for Me!!

I listen to lots of podcasts and two of them are about books.  One of them, Professional Book Nerds, asked to the listeners to write in with what they were reading. So I went right over to my email and sent my list.  I honestly didn't expect anything to come off it.  They probably get hundreds of emails, so mine won't be picked. I even forgot I emailed them.

Today after a long(and productive) meeting, I downloaded new eposodes. Professional Book Nerds came on and I remembered I had emailed them as they were introducing the episode. I still didn't expect to hear my name. The second recommendation name comes up and it is ANDREA. Then Jill said she appreciated that the reads were organized into Physical book, Ebook, and Audiobook. It really was me! I paused it, rewound it and made Drew listen to it before I even heard what they had to say. My crazy organizing habit came in handy this time.

So these are the books I was reading at the time....

Physical book:
Sweet Breath of Memory I blogged about this last week.

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)  Holmes and Watson were real and had descendants being chased by a maniac.

Audio book
The Swan Thieves I LOVED The Historian, so I picked this one up. The deep exploration of living with a person spiraling into depression was well done, but not for me. I enjoyed the mystery part in the end though.

These are my recommendations....

Splintered by A. G. Howard
Splintered (Splintered, #1) A descendant of Alice's discovers it is up to her to fix Wonderland.

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen
Scarlet (Scarlet, #1) Robin Hood has a new fighter by his side, but Nottingham is not cleaned up so easily.

The Shadow Lands by Elizabeth Kostova
The Shadow Land The setting is Eastern Europe again, so I'm excited for this one.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone  I read The Woman in White several years ago and enjoyed it, but never got around to this one. It looks like I've been missing something.

What am I going to pick up next? Probably The Moonstone or Splintered. I'll let you know how it goes.