Job transitions, graduations, holidays, birthdays, milestones, major purchases, moving, family changes, birth, death, relational change, sports seasons, injuries, travels, medical challenges, church rifts, neighbor conflict, mechanical failure, homeowner disasters, storms, etc., etc.
We probably never face all of those in a short time period, but sometimes many will pile up fairly quickly. Some are good; some are awful. All are life. All cannot separate us from God's love.
I think I can say that I have just ended a season like this. For more than two months life has raced by, quickly transporting me from one activity to the next, another commitment, another question, another obligation, another change.
Now, this week, a chance to breathe. Nothing pressing, except catching up, and spring cleaning that never got done.
I have started reading more. Lots. I forgot how much I loved it. Even on busy days I could pull up Hoopla for a few minutes here and there and catch a few bits of books. I have used audio books, too. I have spent hours upon hours driving on some days, and audio books were my companion for many of those drives. Books. Kept me sane, and challenged me mentally as my physical self was on the go.
Books keep me mentally alert, thinking, growing. I never want to quit that. And, with how busy I was, they somehow gave me a break even in the midst of the crazy. Reminded me that the whirlwind around me wasn't going to last forever, and it wasn't all there was either.
So, here's my list for the past few months:
Gospel Reset by Ken Ham
- Seriously challenged my thinking about how the gospel should be presented in this day and age. A must read for anyone that desires to share their faith meaningfully.
- Pressing me to think about how my life lives out the gospel. Did the gospel impact me one day 40 years ago, or is it a daily reality that shapes my thinking and relational interactions?
Evangelism for the Rest of Us by Mike Bechtle
- As an introvert I really appreciated this gentler look at evangelism. I'm not going to be the street preacher, or the bold confrontationalist. But, God still calls me to share my faith, so what does that look like embedded in the personality He gifted me with? Love the practical tips and deep encouragement that I needed to hear.
Dealing with the Elephant in the Room by Mike Bechtle
- marriage relationships can never be ignored. They must be constantly nurtured, and this book nudged me that way. Probably one I need to reread now and then.
Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes
- A long book, glad I had it on audio book, or I might've stopped reading. But, I'm so glad I continued. Such a powerful story of standing up to evil. We have it too easy in America today and the story of Hitler and the final solution is one we should not let this generation forget.
Urchin of the Riding Stars by M.I. McAllister
- Really fun read. A random grab off the library shelf and we loved it! Eli said it reminded him of Narnia. I can see the correlation, but I found it a bit different. A little bloodier, the author was definitely not afraid of killing off characters, but with a meaningful storyline as well. It kept us all enchanted and eager to come up with extra errands to run so we could keep listening. :)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (loved, loved this!)
- What can I say? I had no knowledge of the story other than recognizing the title as a classic. It was everything I love in a good fiction book - drama, fear, rags to riches, and a sweet, love story that kept me coming back for more. The only downside, I had the hardest time putting it down and it is a rather long book.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- This one was ok. I read it before Jane Eyre and glad I did or I might have been disappointed with it. It really has a similar story line, but not nearly as involved. Probably won't read it again, but it was an enjoyable read.
And, now I'm in the middle of:
- In the Presence of my Enemies by Gracia Burnham,
- The Picture of Dorian Gray,
- Red Rock Mysteries (audio book with the kids)
- Red by Ted Dekker (not sure what I think about this one so far).