Friday, May 29, 2015

May Reading

Looking at what I read this month, it was a good month...except that I didn't read anything from my "to read" list.  *Sigh*  I've got to get on top of that!  Here is what I did read:
  • Edge of Eternity by Randy Alcorn.  I've read several books by this author, and this one is my least favorite.  Basically, it's an allegory about the Christian life being a journey on a road, like Pilgrim's Progress.  Alcorn put a lot of good truth in this novel, but the story itself leaves a lot to be desired.  Coincidentally, Alcorn put an interesting post about this book on his blog recently about how some people love it and others, well, not so much.
  • A Lifelong Love:  What if Marriage is about More Than Just Staying Together? by Gary Thomas.  I highly recommend this excellent book from Thomas about marriage and making it work the God designed it.
  • Then Sings My Soul Book 2:  150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories by Robert J. Morgan.  I really enjoy reading a little history about my favorite hymns and their authors.  
  • In the Company of Others by Jan Karon.  Father Tim makes a trip to Ireland and does his usual work of helping out the people he meets, knowing that He's serving God as he does it.
  • I'm Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley.  Eleven year old Flavia is at it again, solving a murder mystery that happened this time in her own house.  This series is such fun!  But not for children.  I especially enjoy the juxtaposition of her adult insights with her childish fantasies; e.g. she notices that someone else put on the murdered woman's makeup before the police detectives, but she also believes in Father Christmas and wants to catch him.
  • Draven's Light by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.  The newest book in the Goldstone Wood series, this tale is just as good as the previous ones, and maybe a little more straight forward and easier to read.  It seemed shorter as I was able to read it in just a few days.  Of course, Stengl's writing makes me not want to put her books down, so that may have been it, too.  ;)
What have you read lately?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thankful Thursday: A Visit to Georgia

Last week, we took a trip to Georgia to see my family.  It was wonderful to spend time with my parents, my sister, both of my brothers, and their families.  On the way, we met a good friend and were able to spend some time with her which was really nice, too.  And I was even able to visit with other good friends while at my parents' house.  All in all, it was a great trip.  Here are a few things for which I'm thankful this week:

  • a sweet husband who made the trip possible
  • traveling mercies:  we didn't have any trouble other than traffic which is such a blessing.
  • our children ride well in the car...even for two days straight
  • catching up with family, especially my niece who heads off to college next year
  • incredible fellowship with friends; we didn't just stick to easy topics
  • quick visits with John's mother (going and coming!)
  • seeing John's brother briefly
  • having John with us for such a long time:  he had Monday off for Memorial Day and took Tuesday off for Sarah Beth's birthday
  • a nine year old!
  • getting back into our routine:  I think we were all glad to get back to "normal" yesterday after all of the fun and excitement of the past (almost) two weeks
For what are you thankful this week?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Ninth Birthday, Sarah Beth!

Today is Sarah Beth's ninth birthday, and we are excited to celebrate it with her.

This girl loves to swing...

and to read.  (I really like this picture of her!)

Whenever she has the chance, Sarah Beth is figuring things out:  how they fit together and what happens next.

She also enjoys cross-stitching.

Sarah Beth is growing into a lovely young lady, and we look forward to seeing what God has in store for her!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Quote: Benevolence and our Spouses

If I were to ask you why you love your husband, what would you say?  Gary Thomas tackles this question in his book A Lifelong Love:  What if Marriage is about More Than Just Staying Together?, and here's what he says:
If you love your spouse because she is kind, you love kindness, not your spouse.  If you love your spouse because he is thoughtful, you love thoughtfulness, not your spouse.  True love is found in absolute benevolence, which is a state of the heart that is bent toward loving someone's highest good, regardless of the person's actions or character.  It is a disposition to do what is best for the other, out of the inner compulsion from the Holy Spirit, to serve this person's best interests.... 
You'll remember the verse that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8).  He didn't love us because we were obedient or kind or thoughtful; He loved us with an absolute benevolence that will sound like a tautology:  He loved us because He loves us.  There is no explanation for this love.... 
As married people, we are invited to adopt an attitude of absolute benevolence toward our spouses--always wanting what is best for them....  Love is always set on the beloved's welfare--so all our actions should be motivated for their good.  All our actions.  Every one.  (p.255-257)
Reading this changed my thoughts on how and why I should love John.  I need to love him because I love him, not for what he does or doesn't do.  And it's intimidating to think that every single thing that I do should be motivated by doing him good.  Wow!  That's a high standard.  I know that I can only come close by God's grace, and I certainly won't be able to achieve it this side of Heaven.

So, why do you love your husband?  :)  After reading this, are you rethinking that like I am?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thankful Thursday: A Nice, Quiet Week at Home

Pony rides at the party. 

As the title of this post says, we've had a nice, quiet week at home.  As I was planning my week, I realized that we had nothing outside the house to do this week.  It was great!  (Of course, I don't want every week to be this quiet, but it sure was nice for a change.)

The cannon was loud!  We were glad for ear protection.

Here are a few other things for which I'm thankful:
  • one of our local homeschool groups put together something on Texas Military History, and we had a great time learning about weapons used during the War Between the States (aka the War of Northern Aggression)
  • the company for which John works threw a wonderful party on Saturday.  Since it was geared toward children, our kids had a fabulous time!
  • nice weather that isn't too hot...yet
  • the mosquitoes that were bad last week have gone away for the time being
  • my immune system which is working a little too hard these days; my allergies are acting up
For what are you thankful this week?