Thursday, February 6, 2014

january book report

2014-01-30 16.21.51
I didn't set a goal on the number of books I wanted to read this month, but considering the number of books I checked out from the library, I knew I needed to get on it. In years past, I've set the goal of 2 books. And I usually fail, horribly. Like, by May I've only read 1 1/2 books. But this year I'm determined to stay on this whole reading thing. I feel like I fell behind in life last year all for lack of reading. Reading is so important.

In January I read 3 books and I'll talk about each one briefly. The Complete Book of Home Management, Journaling as a Spiritual Practice, and Every Good Endeavor.

The Complete Book of Home Management
This one was fun. I picked it up at a thrift shop several years ago and it has been on my bookshelf ever since. I think I attempted to read it a couple years ago and just didn't get into it. However, because of it being the beginning of the new year and because of some goals I'm working toward, all of a sudden it was relevant. It was written in the 80's so some of it is a little dated (like her decorating tips and her recommending using a cordless phone if you have one). But the general concepts, which are mostly Biblical, are totally relevant to any homemaker today.

I definitely recommend this book to any newlywed or to anyone who is in the beginning stages of getting their home organized. For me, home management has been serious business for several years and so a lot of what she writes about, I could totally have written. But I did glean some great ideas here and there and it was definitely worth the time I took to mostly skim the pages.

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice
This one was interesting. It's a book I just happened across at the library and since one of my goals this year is to journal more, especially journal through scripture, I picked it up. While I wasn't a huge fan of the author and I probably wouldn't recommend this book in general, there were some good take-aways. Some good basic tips on journaling and journaling prompts that I plan to use.

My favorite point that she made was that when we journal, we need to be free to write the worst junk in the world and to write without regard. I often feel like I'm wasting my time or paper when I journal randomly. I'm not sure exactly what I'm trying to say or it just doesn't sound right. But I think in that, if we are at that point but continue to write and push through, we can end up with some pretty good stuff. I also love that she talked about how journaling is a form of worship. And she's totally right. And that needs to be my perspective of journaling moving forward.

Every Good Endeavor
This is a Timothy Keller book. And he never disappoints. It was so good. And so encouraging. And so thought-provoking. I literally took 10 pages (full-sized notebook paper), front and back of notes. I think I could write 18 different blog posts about all that I learned and realized from it. But I won't. Instead I will just tell you to read it. If you are a small business owner, an employee, a stay at home mom, a work at home mom, an employer, a Christian, a person,

I do want to share just a couple of my favorite parts. The ones that really made me nod in agreement and rush to tell my husband about what I'd just read. He begins the book by talking about how the beginning of the Bible, the beginning of all creation is: God worked. He is a craftsman and we are made in His image as craftsmen to continue what He began. Only instead of making creation, we are cultivating our culture. We have an intrinsic need and desire to be productive. And through our work we discover our distinct abilities and gifts. But we have to get to work!

Oh man, he hammers home the point that all kinds of work has dignity and that work is essential to human dignity. In other words, no one is too good to work a $7.25/hour job. The work needs to be done by someone! And all of the work we do, as a collective, serves to subdue and cultivate our culture. "No everyday work lacks the dignity of being patterned after God's own work." Just wow. That encourages me as a mom, as a wife, as a person.

Ah! There's so much. But lastly, he talks in depth about working for the Lord, not for man. Making beautiful things of enduring value, doing our work better, deeper, fairer, more skillful and in a more ennobling way than it's being done now. He says: Our goal in work should be to increase the human race's capacity to cultivate the created world. 

Basically, I was super encouraged by this book and I encourage everyone to read it. Because it's a life-changer.

Okay, so there's January's book list. Done.

What did you read in January?

What's on the list for February? Craft, Inc., Hands Free Mama, and Grace Based Parenting.


  1. In January, I read 'A Million Little Ways,' and 'Abortion:The Ultimate Exploitation of Women.' Both were just awesome! 'A Million Little Ways' seems to have the same premise as 'Every Good Endeavor,' in that God is the Artist, He made us. We are His image bearer, His poiema, and we have a job to do. That job is to make art. Whatever our work is, whether that's a stay-at-home mom, teacher, software engineer, that is your art and we are to glorify God through it.

    'Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women' was great too! It's free for your kindle or nook. And who doesn't love free? This book really went into the history of how the abortion movement started. And goes into great detail about how men started it, how they exploit women with it, and then ways they can end it.

  2. Grace Based Parenting is on my to-read list for next month! ;)

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog last week!

    I've been wanting to read a Timothy Keller book - I hear such great things - so I think I may have to try your recommendation. I read a bunch but I have a tendency to read fiction and I would love to read more non-fiction/parenting/Christian books.

  4. I'm reading Grace Based Parenting this month...its blowing me up!