Category Archives: Books

To see or not to see…

I just saw the movie The Shack and it has really impacted me… I’m really going to try not to have any spoilers. I’m not going to argue with you about how I feel about this movie so please don’t try to argue with me. There are people I admire on Facebook that have already stated that The Shack is not biblically correct and that you shouldn’t go to see it and that it is not scripture , etc. I respect your feelings on that.

I read the book The Shack years ago. Now if you know me at all you know I read many books-sometimes as many as four in a week. And I will tell you right now – I read books for entertainment. I read them to learn as well but for me-well learning is entertaining! I’ll read them, know if I loved it or had certain feelings about the book but don’t ask me about the details. I read the Chronicles of Narnia over twenty times, all seven volumes but there is still a lot I can’t tell you except that I loved every minute. But there is something I do remember about the book The Shack-I hated it. I don’t know why right now but I do remember I was angry. I think it’s because it did not give me a resolution that I wanted.

I do remember as I was reading it I was wondering when something was going to happen that would make me like this book because at the time there was a lot of hoopla about it. Everybody was saying it was life-changing you should read it. So I kept reading. I kept waiting for something miraculous to happen and for me it didn’t. I do remember though that there were a couple sentences that blew my mind and stopped me in my tracks. I don’t remember what they were-I probably wrote them in my journal or something.  I do remember thinking that even though I was angry about the book and I didn’t like a lot of it-those few sentences were worth everything

When I started to see the previews it was weird but that little bit of anger started kicking back up again…I hated that book -I can’t believe they made a movie out of it! But as I watched the previews I admit I was drawn to it and a couple people I trusted and cared about and are similar to me in some ways had gone to see the movie and they liked it.  I decided to give it a chance.

So how did I feel about it? I loved this movie. I didn’t like it a lot, I didn’t think it was pretty decent,  I LOVED this movie. And for those people that think I shouldn’t have even gone to see it because of my beliefs-I am a big moviegoer and I don’t go depending on what my belief system is. I go to be entertained or to learn something. I am a thinker-no matter what movie I go to, it is going to make me think and there will be a lesson.

Anything that is discussing my God and belief systems-I’m interested. I enjoy learning about how other people think and feel. I will tell you that I love this movie because it touched me in many ways. I’m a believer yet something in this movie touched me and really helped open up things that maybe were closed off. My God is an awesome God and I have total belief that there are going to be people that will go to this movie that are not believers that may be touched in some way.

Please don’t write me notes about how I shouldn’t have gone or how I’m being silly thinking that it could touch people.  I don’t know everything, but some things I know for sure.

GOD can take any thing you think is “bad” and make it work for good if He chooses.

GOD reaches people in different ways-some of which others may not understand.

GOD appears to people differently because people are different.

GOD is much more powerful than any movie.

If you feel it is in conflict with your Christian beliefs to see The Shack-I hope you will reconsider.  Certainly you know that with your strong faith, a movie is not going to compromise your beliefs. Ask God to give you insight on what you could learn from the movie.  I loved the movie so much-I’ve decided to read the book again.


As humans we are in different places emotionally day by day.  I may have totally different feelings about the book if I read it now.

I was so filled with emotion as I left the movie-I just had to get these words down.  I sat in my car using dragon dictation until I got everything out that was running in my brain.  None of it seems really profound-but…that’s ok.  If you saw The Shack…I would LOVE to hear what you thought about it.  I would love to get some discussion going.

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Just Do It-Vision Boards, Habits and Making a Plan..

The phrase “Just Do It” is famous.  It is supposed to inspire us to get over all obstacles and get it done.  Easy words to say-not so easy to put into practice.

I am a person of many interests and activities (those that know me will agree). To some, I have a lot of adventures and get a lot done.  I do, but for me I am consistently frustrated with doing the things that I should do.  Not the should dos like housework-the should dos that I WANT to do and are good for me but I am not consistent.

At the beginning of the year I took a great Vision Board Class at Decide Differently I had to choose one word for the year.  I chose Deliberate.  I chose that word because I wanted to be deliberate on how I chose to spend my time/money/resources.  I did not want time to get away from me-wasted in front of the television or rescuing pets on Facebook. I wanted to be mindful of financial resources-using the library first instead of just buying the book. Tithe on a regular basis (God has blessed me with so much), and to think about my resources.  If I have things I do not need/use-give them to someone who does need them or can use them.

VisionBoard

I realized at vision board class that things will not get done unless there is a plan to get it done. Thank you Shakti Sutriasa for such a great class. At the bottom of my board I have dream it-plan it-do it. That made sense to me.  I can say I want to walk weekly-but what’s the plan? I also realized that if I wanted to make more time for something, I had to take time from something else.  So I made a more-less chart. It made so much sense. This list has helped me to see my time as something I CAN manipulate to some degree.  Below are some things I struggled with and the plan I used to resolve it.

more-less

Writing: I love writing but was not getting it done. My excuse-my journal was too big and I never had it with me. So I switched to a Moleskin.  Now it is with me all the time.   I use it to write the plan for the day (rather than on scraps of paper) and as a diary. I saw a video called The Bullet Journal. While I have not adapted everything, some parts have been very useful to me-like the index. I now carry my journal everywhere and a lot is getting written-all because of a plan. The moleskin for Jan/Feb of this year has more than my whole journal last year. After I filled the moleskin I bought s set of three pretty little notebooks and am using them now. Thanks Mychele for telling me about the Bullet Journal Video!

moleskin    index  notebook


Supplements: I love my doTERRA supplements.  When I take them, I have more energy, my body systems are more efficient and I eat less (Slim & Sassy). I KNOW this, yet days would go by when I was not taking them.  I would put them in a little carrier to take on my days out (to take at lunch) and then I would not do it. A couple days in I would wonder why I was dragging, all clogged up, and eating junk food.  My husband is  amazing taking them-morning, lunch, dinner, bedtime. My friend Sandie Bowen finally told me her trick.  She never packs them to take out for the day-she puts them in a bowl on the counter.  Then they are there every time she walks by.  If she doesn’t see it and act-her husband reminds her.  This has helped a lot-a pretty bowl by my coffee maker. Thanks to Sandie & Marty for helping me get a plan in place.

Art/Creativity: I was not getting anything artistic/creative done.  It made me sad-especially since I had a room filled with paint, beads, paper, and cloth. I would see my friend Mychele (who has two young children) getting all artsy and I wanted to be there! This is very much who I am and not to do it is like slow death. Every day I would intend too.  Then I would start reading email, catch up on Facebook, start some wash, do some business and before I knew it-time to make dinner. This went on for months.  Then after talking to my friend Mychele (I was talking out loud-she was listening) I came up with a motto-Mornings are Mine. I was always going to do those other things…so put my things first.  This simple thing was LIFE CHANGING! I found when I spent the morning writing, sewing, painting etc..that when it came time for the other things-I was a JOYFUL person.  Not only joyful but I seemed to be in super speed. I was not dragging through-I was efficient and I was getting things done for myself and for the family/business. I told Marty and as always, he was okay with my choice.  I didn’t realize how much until we both visited Sandie.  I said to her, “I don’t think Marty gets the ‘mornings are mine’ concept but it really has changed everything for me! Marty’s response, “Oh no honey, I get it.  I WANT you to do your art first”. Thankful for a supportive husband and artsy sister Mychele. Mychele inspires me by posting what she is up hopefully I do the same for her!

Walking: They say the simplest exercise is walking.  When I retired, Marty wanted me to make a goal for myself to walk three miles a day.  My friends though he was mean.  I knew he was caring-he knew I loved being outside, he knew I wanted to be healthy, he knew I wanted to stretch myself.  A month into retirement, I was still not walking.  Then I met my neighbor Cindy. I told her I recently retired and asked her if she was the one I saw walking all the time.  I told her I need a plan to get walking.  Her response, “I walk three miles a day.  Want to walk with me?. Just one of God’s little blessings.  Having someone to be accountable to really helps. So thankful for Cindy and what she has brought to my life.

Time Slipping: Did you ever go on the computer-intending to spend 15 minutes there and suddenly an hour hour passed? No…never! A timer is my new best friend. I will set the timer to spend so much time in an area and then move to the next.  I also think backwards.  If I have to leave the house at one, then I shower at noon, pack the to go bag 11:30, stop what I am doing at 11…etc.  This really helped.  I would often work on something till the last minute and then rush out of the house without the things I needed. Sound too regimented? You make think so-until you have that day when you cry out of joy for feeling successful!

Television: Yes I like television and I have favorite shows.  I do tape them, have not seen a commercial in forever.  Also I use television as my down time.  I have the computer set to go off at ten. Then I try and make myself sit on the couch.  I put on some serenity oil to calm me down and move towards sleep.  One thing I love though is where my desk/television are.  My desk is behind the couch where my husband sits to watch television.  I have a direct view.  Why is this important? I can sit at my desk, answer emails, write notes, or complete a project and watch a show at the same time.  I know, we are supposed to live in the moment but I am not willing to give up television completely nor am I willing to spend hours watching it while doing nothing. My next project is to set up a little writing box near my seat on the couch-so I can easily write notes during my TV time.  Real notes..instead of email. It’s a plan.

Out and About-It is amazing how a trip to the library can eat hours of my day and cost me money.  I have to get dressed etc, to go there.  More than likely I will stop somewhere else. Then I’ll get hungry and grab lunch. Next-go home and put everything away. By then-I am shot and find it difficult to be productive.  I now stack my days.  I choose days to not leave the house.  On the days I do leave, I pack several appointments/errands into the day. WOW-this was a game changer.  Sure I ‘m exhausted when I get home-but I would have been anyway.  This Wednesday I’ll make Thirty-One deliveries, meet two friends at different times at Barnes & Noble.  Thursday I will go to a class, see a friend and her new baby, meet another friend at dinner. In between I will pick up dog food and do other errands!.  This plan works and has given me more time!

Resources: Besides your friends and family, there are books and other resources that can help you.  I already mentioned The Bullet Journal.  I must now mention Gretchen Rubin. She is one of my favorite authors.  I have preordered every book she has written.  I own every book she has written in hardcopy and on audible (so I can listen again and again).  After I started writing this months ago, I received my preordered book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I ordered it not knowing much about it.  Come to find out-it’s about habits.  I LOVE this book and truly need to blog a review about it. This book reinforced thoughts I was already having.  It also gives a lot of great ideas on developing and or/breaking habits.  As I write this, I think I will plug it in again for a listen while I work in the kitchen. To me, a lot of what we struggle for to “Just do it” has to do with either making or breaking a habit.  I think you will find this book a great resource.

I could go on and on.  I do want to note a recurring theme.  I did not develop all these plans on my own.  It started with the vision board, then different people/things (Sandie, Marty, Mychele, Cindy, Bullet Journal, Gretchen Rubin) that really helped me. Being vulnerable about what you struggle with will often get you the support you need. The funny thing is-if you tell me your struggles…I can probably come up with a plan for you.  If I tell you mine, you can probably help me.  Don’t be afraid to reach out.

I will still struggle at times and get off course.  I know one thing though, using Gretchen Rubin’s Words….I am Better Than Before!

Your turn:

What struggles have you solved with a plan? Please share-it may help someone else.


What do you still struggle with? Someone may be able to help you!

God Bless you all in your endeavors.  I would love to help if I can! Feeling powerful makes me want to help others feel the same way.

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Books: What to read in 2010

Originally posted on Blogger 1/24/10

My friend Mychele posted a note on FB telling the books she wanted to read this year. She also encouraged me to do the same. This is a daunting task because I have so many books I want to read the compilation of the list will be time consuming BUT…it will be fun. I did buy a Bible that you read through in a year. I am very excited about the format and hope to accomplish that this year. I could not resist posting favorites below. Anything with an asterisk (*) was either read in my book club or is on the list to be read in book club. I use the library consistently and listen to audio books in the car constantly. I also often will choose to put a book on the kindle or ipod/blackberry (through audible.com) rather than own it in paper. It just depends. Of course I wish all my reader friends would post their favorites/to read list. I must stop now…although I could go on for hours but then I would not have time to read!

Fiction

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane Katherine Howe

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The girl with the dragon Tattoo Steig Larsson

Death by Darjeeling Laura Childs (I want to read all her books-includes tearoom recipes)

Mistletoe Man by Susan Wittig Albert (want to read all hers-herbal mysteries)

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

The Queen of the Big Time Adriana Trigiani

Drop City T.C. Boyle

The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland *

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton * (book club pick for Feb)

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (Pulitzer Prize)

Memoir/Non-Fiction
Together Alone by Susan Wittig Albert –first few pages told me this would be great

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan (Oprah pick)

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (then make sure you read Glass Castle)*

Julie& Julia by Julie Powell

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte (a book about a man taken over by his wife’s pets)

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn promotes empowering women

A year in the World Frances Mayes

Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon (recommended by a friend)

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan (see her videos on YouTube)

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale

This I Believe II by Jay Allison, Dan Gediman

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman, Susan Denaker

Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson and David Oliver

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (just got audio from library)

Take Joy by Jane Yolen ( a favorite author-a book for writers)-just bought this

Sisters and Anthology edited by Jan Freeman (just bought this)

Journalution by Sandy Grason (I totally believe in journaling and believe it saved my life)

Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer

(just bought the 4 books above this week at B&N as it was educator week)

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry : Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn


Books on My Kindle

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

Old Friend Far Away by Natalie Goldberg

Miracle and Other Christmas Stories Connie Willis

Kushiel’s Dart Jacqueline Carey (someday I will actually finish this book)

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

A Dog Named Christmas

Books on my Blackberry
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

Books on My IPod

Always Looking Up : The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox

Writing down the Bones : Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

Books I loved –

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver this book has changed my life in so many ways-audio is awesome too-I own the book and the audio.

Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (the audio has her husband’s music)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Very Valentine by AdrianiTrigiani (have read almost all of hers and bought her cookbook)

The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman (picked it up-did not put it down till I was done)

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

An Unthymely Death and Other Gardening Mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert(recipes, crafts, herbal lore)

Grace (Eventually) : Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Red Leather Diary : Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel

Without Reservations :the travels of an independent woman Alice Steinbach

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (thank you Robin Leigh) I own the book and I have the audio on my ipod and have listened to it too many times to count.

The Red Leather Diary by

The Tender Bar by Moehringer

On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts, Sheila

Left to Tell Immaculee Ilibagiza

Susan Wittig Albert Books: herbs, mystery, and just plain fun

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (and any sequels/related books)

Harry Potter Series

Twilight Series

Flat Belly Diet

Books by Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods)

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt You MUST read it-I did the audio-amazing stuff

Anything by Isabelle Allende

Anything by Jodi Picoult

Anything by Phillipa Gregory

Anything by SARK

Happy Reading!

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