Indulging My Hobby

I love to read! Because I have a chronic illness that keeps me down most of the time I have plenty of time to indulge in my hobby. As you know I have set a goal for myself to read 30 books in 2011. I’m doing really well with that goal right now. I have a tab above titled On My Nightstand that lists the books I’ve read, recommend and still want to read. I would love any book suggestions you might have as well.

So, while thinking through my Top Ten Tuesday list I thought I would share titles (with links) for my favorite books that were either very entertaining, taught me something about myself or challenged my spirit.

1. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

2. Get Out Of That Pit by Beth Moore

3. So Long Insecurity by Beth Boore

4. Breaking Free by Beth Moore

5. Renewal on the Run by Jill Briscoe

6. The Pact by Jodi Picoult

7. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

8. Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah

9. God Came Near by Max Lucado

10. His Imprint, My Expression by Kay Arthur

As I go to link this up to Amanda’s blog for Top Ten Tuesday I would love for you to share some of your titles that you can highly recommend enough. If you have a top ten list of anything come on over to Amanda’s place and share it too.

I’m Going On A Learning Excursion In My Mind

I am really into reading right now. How long has it been since you’ve just sat down for a bit with a good book and gotten lost in another life or another time? My favorite place to read is sitting at my patio table with a cold drink, my dog at my feet, my feet propped up in a chair and the feel of a book in my lap as I lose myself in the storyline. What are you reading right now that you are liking?

I set a goal for myself for 2011. I have decided to read 30 books for pleasure. I am now on book #10 and it is the end of April. I think I’m doing pretty well. My girlfriend, Jeanie, gave me a book for my birthday by Francine Rivers called A Mother’s Hope. I don’t usually read books containing any truly historical nature. This one begins around the turn of the 20th century and I admit I’m truly enjoying this one. I’ve never read any of Francine Rivers. But if Jeanie gave it to me then I am gonna use it. It is about the generational curses that pass from generation to generation. A young girl leaves the abusive home of her father to follow her own dreams and change her life. However, as she marries and has a family of her own she finds herself being just what she hated most in her father.

I find myself identifying quite a bit with Marta, the girl in the book. I think we can learn a lot by the mistakes of the adults in our family as we are growing up. We don’t have to use the excuse “that’s just the way I am”. We can break the cycle of those learned behaviors and in turn NOT pass down those inappropriate traits. A few years ago I did Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study and learned so much about myself that it was petrifying. But I feel like I truly broke some of those generational curses so that my children have a new history to write.

That’s what I’m enjoying most about Marta in this Francine Rivers book. It’s a reminder that you can’t just ignore the mistakes of the past. You have to correct them so that your children can have a better future and learn to make better choices in their future for their children.

What are you reading right now that you are learning from? I’m taking suggestions. I still have 20 books to go for the year. Check out my On My Nightstand tab to see my recommendations. I have much to learn and it’s a great adventure.

Is It Over Already?

So much to blog about…..so little memory to remember any of it……But it’s Friday so I will start with my 3 in 30 update. Since it is the final update for the month it is time for some closing comments for the month and think about a plan for March. I really can’t believe this month is over already.

By way of reminder, my February goals were –

1.) Do a load of laundry a day in order to stay on top of the laundry monster.

2.) Spend time each day with the Lord. My plan for this month was to accomplish that by reading the book So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore.

3.) Read for pleasure by completing one book and be well on my way through a second book.

I wasn’t a shining success in every area but I’m actually ok with that. Most of the time, sadly, I am satisfied with being mediocre. The reason for that is a month’s worth of personal counseling sessions and numerous blog posts. Thankfully, for you and for me, that’s now what this is about. Therefore I can just glance over it by admitting I am satisfied with being mediocre. Therefore, in my mind I am satisfied with my mediocre success.

If you have been keeping up with my 3 in 30 updates then you know that I have a love/hate relationship with the laundry. I love to hate it! I have been sick for the past week. Some days I have managed my one load of laundry a day. Other days I only managed to ADD TO the dirty clothes pile instead of exerting the energy to take a load to the washing machine each day. I’m really better at adding to the dirty clothes instead of the clean clothes. Overall though I am fairly satisfied with the end results of my laundry goal set for February.

As for the reading goal meant to improve my relationship with the Lord, while I have been reading it, I have yet to have made it to one of the Bible Study sessions. My health just hasn’t allowed it yet. I have been keeping up with the reading in the hopes that the NEXT study will be the one that I am able to make it. However, I have not read in it every day. That seems to have averaged about 3 days a week. I DO realize there are four other days in a week, I just have managed to grab ahold of that particular book when I have been in the mood to read each time. I will continue working on this goal because I really do want to get to the study on Wednesday mornings. I don’t want to be the new girl AND the one that’s behind and has nothing to add to the conversation.

The one goal I can say I have successfully completed is my personal reading goal. I completed the book On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah. And I have read about half of the book Amazing Grace by Danielle Steel. I found the Danielle Steel book to be slow and a bit boring so I abandoned it and started the book Barefoot by Elin Hildebrand. Not sure if I will make it through that one. I’m only on page 20 so far. While I was at Target today I picked up a new book by Randy Susan Meyers titled The Murderer’s Daughters. Now I want to lay aside the Barefoot book and read the new book. Haven’t decided yet what I will do.

So that brings me to the March goals. I was thinking about not participating this month. However, I have found that setting personal goals for myself is actually a good motivator. So, I have chosen the following as my 3 goals for March:

1.) At least one load of laundry a day. This one really needs to be a must and probably will be each month until it is a habit for me.

2.) Check Grade Speed each week to keep up with my kids’ grades. Grade Speed is the online service that the school uses for the teacher’s to keep parents informed. I haven’t been very good at  checking it. I have found that when I do check it the kids grades are better.

3.) Make it to every soccer game and/or at least one practice per week. Since MIchael has been driving I have not been going to practices anymore. Lauren asked me to try to come again because she really likes it when I do come. That meant the world to me. And because the season officially begins in March I will be at at least two games each week. I want to get to all of those AND one practice each week – probably a Monday. My health kept me from a large number of Lauren’s games for her season. I am determined NOT to allow that to happen this time for Michael’s season.

So, there you have it – an update and my new goals! Let the fun begin!

I Surrender To The Mighty Tormenter

Has it really been 3 weeks since I started the 3 in 30 challenge? Really? That’s hard to believe. I am doing fairly well with my goals. A couple of them stall occasionally but I give them a jolt of adrenaline and they pick right back up again.

The laundry continues to be a thorn in my flesh! It kind of reminds me of what Paul said in II Corinthians. I was gonna find it in a different translation but the King James Version makes it sound so much more evil and sinister so I’m gonna stick with that!

2nd Corinthians 12:7

  • “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure”.

See, laundry is a message of satan sent to torment me! I knew it! I just knew it!!! I think we should just throw away all our dirty clothes and buy new ones every week instead of washing, drying and putting these away.  I never have any luck convincing Ron of this and I have a feeling I’m not convincing anyone else of it either. DADGUM IT!

I have read a lot in my book I’m reading for Bible study – So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore. I haven’t made it to the actual Bible study yet but I am keeping up with them in the reading anyway. This is the second time I have read this book and I’m telling you what – I’m not sure I learned ANYTHING the first time through. It is so challenging. Each paragraph proves to me just how insecure I am and why. Noone can lay it on the line like Beth, that’s for sure. I am forming an entry in my mind about Insecurity. It’s just so hard to face and admit. It’s like scratching the scab off a wound and looking inside. (Wasn’t that a lovely analogy? You’re welcome!)

My personal reading is going very well. I feel so much smarter when I read for pleasure. Sometimes I have to reread the same thing 800 times but at least I’m taking some time just for me. And I am enjoying it. I have already met that goal for the month. I have completed On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah and am now halfway through Amazing Grace by Danielle Steel.  Very happy about that.

I’m thinking about just forgetting the laundry and only doing my reading goals. I think that could work! I may have just talked myself into letting the laundry piles win and take over the house. They are gonna do that anyway. Why fight it! Sometimes you just have to know when to give in. That settles it – I’m giving in and boycotting laundry!

I am holding on to this Confucious quote this week! I’m working on it. This Confucious guy – I bet he had piles of laundry laying around too.

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”
~Confucius

This Could Work For Me

This week’s 3 in 30 update is much better then last week’s was. Last week I was struggling with the reading but dong well with the laundry. The only question I have this week is “Is it possible to do all 3 goals in the SAME DADGUM DAY?” Seriously? Well, I said this week was better so I will try not to complain.

The beginning of the year I had set a goal for myself to read 30 books in 2011. At that point I was not in the mood to read and was really worried. That’s why I renewed the goal for February for 3 in 30. So, my goal for February was to complete a book and be well into a second by the end of the month. It just so happens that I completed a book this week – On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah. Very good, by the way. I have now begun Amazing Grace by Danielle Steel. And I am well under way into it. So, basically, I have already completed one of my goals. But I’m not gonna stop. My new goal is to complete this second book by the end of the month. YAY!!

I have been working some on my devotions as well. Not as much as I would like. So that is the goal I am focusing on at this point. There’s just something about spending quiet time with the Lord every day that is so difficult to schedule in. Satan just doesn’t like it and sabotages us all along the way. The goal is to not allow myself to be sabotaged.

Now the laundry – oh the laundry……..

See what I have to work with? See little Faith on the left? Perspective on the pile....SIGH

I have missed a couple of days this week of doing my load a day. But the kids have worked on theirs this week so that has slowed me down some. They usually do theirs on Sundays but they’ve had a couple of snow days this week (which I am O-V-E-R, by the way!!) so they have used them to work on their rooms and clothes. So, it’s thrown my schedule off a bit. YES, I do have a schedule. It is a loose schedule but it is a schedule. So there!! Anyway, back to the daily load this week.

I feel much better about my report this week. I think I’m settling in a bit….I’ve already started thinking about next months goals. This could work for me!

3 in 30 – Are We Done Yet?

Well, the first of the week I made a decision to participate in a challenge for the month of February called 3 in 30. I’m not sure what thing came into my head and possessed me to make me think that I could complete this project. However I am making the attempt. It’s not been too bad actually. I’m enjoying knowing that at the end of the week I am gonna have to check in and be held accountable for my goals. So, each Friday we are to check in and write an entry about how we have done for the week. Ta-Da…..you have arrived at my first check in point. Where are the cheers and the bottle of water?

My first goal was to do at least one load of laundry a day. Wow – that doesn’t sound so hard, does it? Actually I have done really well with that one. And I must admit that it’s very nice to walk into the bedroom and not see a huge pile of laundry in the corner. And it’s even nicer not to walk up the steps and see a humongous pile of towels greeting me outside our bedroom doors. I am even managing to get them put away. That is a major accomplishment! Thank you 3 in 30!!!

As for the other two goals I have set – Bible Study each day and personal reading each day – those haven’t gone quite as well. However, I have to say that I have been carrying these books all around the house with me every day. I’m thinking the knowledge will just seep into my brain. I am reading/studying Beth Moore’s latest book So Long, Insecurity – you’ve been a bad friend to us. I have read it before. However, I have located a local church (via Twitter) that is doing a women’s Bible study based on the book. So, I am rereading it for that Bible study on Wednesday mornings. For my personal reading pleasure I am reading On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah. I actually have both of these books listed under my blog tab above titled “On My Nightstand”. I was making very good progress in that one until I decided I was setting it as a goal. Now it’s like a brick wall. I hate that!

So, you see I am working on the goals. I have other personal goals I set for myself last month that I’m not doing so well on. But I am a work in progress. Life is one day – one minute – one hour – at a time. It can’t all come together at once. That would just be too easy. And who wants to take the easy road when the hard one is right beside of it. *rolling eyes*

Now I’m off to link up to the 3 in 30 entry on Ashley’s blog. I’m hoping I’m not the only one dragging my feet. It makes it kind of hard to walk when your feet are dragging along behind you. But that is where mine are at the moment. A little help please?!

3 in 30 – Or 28 Days To Blow It

This is my first month participating in the 3 in 30 challenge.  It’s very simple actually.  It’s pretty much what it sounds like. You choose 3 goals you want to reach by the end of a month. I’m thinking getting out of bed 30 days in a row really isn’t a realistic goal. So, that one is out. And 30 days without watching TV is DEFINITELY OUT! Let’s see….30 days of not getting angry…HAHA – not gonna happen. So, I’m having to really dig for this one.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Here’s what I have come up with at this point. I think these are very doable…..well, pretty much doable….ok, I MIGHT be able to do them………..ALRIGHT ALRIGHT I’M GONNA TRY!!!!!!!!!!!

First of all the laundry has been a thorn in my flesh for months now. I think if I can someway, somehow just manage to do at least one load of laundry a day then I won’t get to the point that moving out of the house because there is no room for any of us to live among the piles of dirty clothes and towels. I will come up with a way to hold myself accountable to you all around here each day or at the end of each week. I have to give that one some more thought. But that is definitely gonna be my first goal for the month of February.

Secondly, I want to set a goal to read my Bible and/or work on a Bible study every day. I may not actually do a study every day.  Most Bible studies are written these days with 5 days of homework each week. So, every day I want to keep up with reading/writing/studying the Bible in some manner. I have allowed that to slip. I’m not sure why it is so hard to keep up with. Well, that’s no really true. I know that the devil doesn’t like it when we keep ourselves in the Word so he makes it so that we are easily distracted away from it. The further he can get us from spending time with the Lord the further he can keep us from our relationship with Him. This month I plan to stick it to him. Like the children’s church song says that I learned all those years ago “if the devil doesn’t like it he can sit on a tack”. So, I’m setting up a trail of tacks between him and my heart.

Thirdly, I want to increase my personal reading time. I have set a goal to read 30 books in 2011. In order to reach that goal I’m thinking I’m actually gonna have to crack a book. So, by the end of February I would like to have completed one book and be well into my second one. Last fall I read till my eyes nearly fell out. But since I set this goal for the year I can’t get interested in reading. How annoying is that?!?!

So, there you have it! My 3 goals for the month of February. Now every few days I need you all to bug the snot outta me asking me about how I’m doing with them. Well, bug me until I smack you – which I most likely will want to do. I will try to refrain since that would most likely involve traveling a lot.

Why don’t you join me and we can work on goals together? Click the 3 in 30 link in my left sidebar and learn more about the challenge. Goals are good! At least that’s what I’ve been told. I’ll let you know for sure on February 28th.