Thursday, February 27, 2014

30 Before 30 Update: Jan/Feb 2014 Edition

Wow. It's been a whirlwind couple of months. I decided to take a little time off around the holidays, then one thing turned into another and I realize it's been quite a while since I did any blogging. I was just telling my friend Beka, how do other mom bloggers find the time to post regularly? I apparently haven't found the groove yet.

This doesn't mean I've just been lazing around the house in my jammies, though. I've got several things to share, some DIY projects, a couple of recipes...

I was asked to fill in for the regular pianist at church in February. I was a little nervous at first, but it went well and I felt pretty confident after I got into it. It was nice to be involved and feel like I was contributing to the service!

(hee hee hee, my toes are in the corner there)
In the meantime, check out my quilt!  I started quilting the layers together in January and my frame broke after about 1 square, so I'm waiting for my replacement frame to come in the mail so I can continue on that. The end is in sight!  A major project to check off my 30 Before 30 list!

In other creative news, I'm almost caught up with Ry Guy's baby book (this super cute CM album) and I healthified another recipe from my file as part of the Great Recipe File Makeover. Molasses cookie recipe coming your way this week.

I've kept up with my reading.  Since Christmas, I've read the following books:

Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge.  This book was a total eye-opener for me. As a Christian, I believe mankind was created by God, in God's image ("in His likeness").  What I didn't really think about before now was that men are created to reflect certain aspects of God (His "wild, warrior side"- strength, power), while women were created to reflect other aspects of God (like beauty, tenderness), so that together we reflect God's attributes, the sum of His character. Eldredge delves into this idea in depth. I learned so much about true masculinity and it gave me new insight on raising a my son to be truly masculine, as well as a deeper understanding of and appreciation for my husband.  The book is geared toward men, but with the understanding that many women will read it also.

Recommendation: recommend for men of all ages, and women with men in their life, especially if you're married, engaged, or raising boys.

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge.
I read this book after Wild at Heart (above).  This one was a little harder to get through, as some of the book is a repeat of Wild at Heart. I found myself wondering at times, "Can we get to the point already?" That being said, the book had a lot of passages that really made me think. I reexamined my past and realized that I'd been taking the question of my worth to imperfect mankind instead of cultivating a deeper relationship with God and allowing Him to show me that as His child, I'm beautiful, valuable, and was created with unique gifts to offer.

A couple things you should know about these books... if you're looking for a conservative, in depth Bible study, look elsewhere. They reference movies and music lyrics about as often as they reference Scripture.  However, their main ideas are sound and based on Biblical principles. If you're looking for books that will make you think and give you a different perspective on your worth as a child of God and relationships, then by all means, I recommend you read them with discernment, asking God to reveal His truth to you.  I felt that reading both of these books was time well spent.

Good, Clean Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery by Traci Tyne Hilton. This was a cute book, and was a lot of fun to read. The main character, Jane, was very relate-able and I loved her personality. What would you do if you cleaned houses for a living and found your employer dead in the house? Hmmm.... foul play? Or accident? I literally zipped though this book in 2 days. It was light and fun and I enjoyed it.

Definitely recommend. This would be a good one for young women (high school and college aged) especially.

Christmas Quilt by Thomas Davis. It took me a little bit to get into this one, but once I did, I liked it. It's a heartfelt story about family, forgiveness and home. Even though it's called "Christmas Quilt", only a small portion of the book is about Christmas at all.  The story centers around a 12 year old boy growing up in rural Georgia, helping his widowed father care for his dying Grandmother.

I loved the descriptions of rural life, especially the descriptions of the country church they attend and the revival services. It brought back a lot of memories for me!

Some reviewers of the book (online) mentioned they found the book  hard to read because it's mostly written in a Southern, country style dialect. I found it easy to read, because I actually know people who talk like that, so I just "read it with an accent" and found it really true to life.

The story has a great ending. I confess, I did get tearful. By the end of the story, you're so attached to the characters, you're sorry to see them go!

I highly recommend this novel; it's a great story!


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