How to Get Your Kids to Read... and 3 Amazing Books I Read This Month.

I'm wrapping up this month of July with a full heart.

Our schedule was FULL.

As a family, we juggled between lots of activities, lots of late nights, and lots of tired faces in the morning.  However, I was pleased to see that in the midst of camp, soccer, 4-H, county fair, swimming lessons, and playdates, WE managed to take some time to read some awesome books.

I'm Addicted to Books

I have a problem.
And I'm willing to admit my weakness.

7 Favorite Books I Read in 2017... And A Few Honorable Mentions.

I made a goal at the beginning of 2017 to return to reading.  But not just reading, I made a goal to fall in love with books AGAIN.

Since finishing graduate school in 2007, I gave my brain permission to rest and reset.  But what I didn't realize is that by not picking up a good book consistently through the years, I was decreasing my ability to critically think about important issues, be expose to rich stories, experiences, and different cultures.  I was starting to inundate myself with noise... voices on the screen, social media, podcasts, and neglecting my forgotten passion for the written word.  The touch of crisp or crinkled pages.  The very act of holding a book.  A collection of stories.  A door and window to someone's world.  

So, this past year was good, as I awakened my love for books.  

And I read some INCREDIBLE books!

A Quick Read... and Recommendation.

Are you wondering what I've been reading lately?  

I need to confess that I've been going through a LOT of good books.  Some amazing books, actually.  And I really want to share some of the best ones I've had the time to read this past year.  

In the meantime, I've been meaning to make you a quick recommendation.  

A Prayer: An Invitation

Holy Spirit...
You are welcome here.
I'm ready to receive everything you have for me today.
I RECEIVE everything you have for me today.
The good you have for me.
May I see it.
Experience it.
Take time for it.
May I hear it.
Sense it.
And may I recognize that it is from You.
Guide my lips, eyes, mind.
Be my peace.
Holy Spirit... come and stay a while!

Letting The Words Flow... Inhaling & Exhaling

I recently heard that if you're a writer, a poet, a baker, a runner, or anything that requires consistent action and practice, you're also meant to do those things regardless of your audience.  Do it quietly.  Do it without accolade.  And more importantly, do it for yourself.  For the simple act of exercising your gift.

Learning To Listen and Praying with Eyes Wide Open

It's been a good Summer... and I have been unapologetically taking time "off" social media and writing for the sake of staying present with my family.  As the kids get older, I'm realizing their independence can easily turn into my excuse for independent parenting... meaning... I can let them play outside without close supervision, they can feed themselves and play with each other (rather than have Mama over here "entertaining" them).  Right?  So, as I set out to live a life of being present, in the moment, with my kids, I realized I had less and less time to listen to the Lord in the quietness of my days.  Seriously, though... Quiet?  What is quiet?