If you remember from the beginning on the month, one of my 2 goals for the year was to read one fiction and one-nonfiction book per month. A goal to do something I like? Yes! I often don't take time to do this thing that I a) love to do and b) can help improve me as a person. Each month I'll share with you what I've read, just in case you find a book or two that may be of interest to you.
Non-fiction: Grace-based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. This was a book I had looked at several times at the bookstore and finally broke down and bought it. So glad I did. I'll let you in on a little secret. I never thought I would be a parent. Never really had a desire to be one. Then I meet this guy and we get married and well, you know the rest. So two kids later I'm sitting in a job in which I have virtually no training and am completely at a loss at times. So I need to spend some of my non-fiction time learning how to be better at my post important job right now.
Kimmel's book focused on the three main needs our children have: a secure love, a strong hope, and a significant purpose. He also goes on to share with us how we can make our homes focused on grace. Homes not based on legalism or on being permissive, but on seeking God's guidance on how to keep that balance of discipline and grace. It is definitely a re-read for me (I didn't take notes, just read).
Fiction: Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. Not a book I would normally pick up. I've read (and enjoy) Dekker's other books, which tend to be dark mysteries. But this book was a mix of The Book of Eli (movie), Twilight (there are no vampires, but there are people being changed by blood), and The Legend of the Seeker (a tv show Andrew likes). Without giving too much away, after a major world war where almost is all is destroyed, scientists find the place in the human genome where all emotion is controlled. Through a scientifically-designed airborne virus, the human race is stripped of all human emotion except fear. Imagine it: a world with no love, no sadness, no joy, no appreciation of beauty. But there remains an order of "keepers" that have protected a vile of blood to help restore the human race. And 480 years after the world has been cleansed of all emotion, the time has come...
Bonus book: Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. Most of you are aware I've been in a process of trying to be at a healthier weight. I finally decided to read this book at the right time. I find that many books that mix wellness and faith are, well, quite cheesy (although I feel both topics are strongly intertwined). So I was reluctant to read the book. I also, in the past, thought that if I just read the book God would just make me thinner (and I knew that was false thinking). But the book was refreshing. Lysa outlined her own struggles and journey to a healthier weight. And more than that, a dependence on God to help her deal with her own demons in the pantry. Like Lysa, food has often been my comforter, deliverer, and idol. Food isn't the bad guy, we need it for nutrition and God even encourages us to celebrate with food (think of all the OT feasts), but for me food was about way more than being nourished or even the occasional celebration. It consumed my mind and time. Had I read this book before beginning to really and consistently eat healthy I probably wouldn't have had the same "aha" moments. My book and Bible have a lot more highlighting and my journal has pages and pages of my reflections. I've been toying with the idea of blogging some of my journey through the month of February. Not as in "I had an egg for breakfast" type blogging, but the deeper stuff like why, even 64 pounds lighter than my highest weight, I still don't think the scale defines me (never has, never will), but it has influenced my internal dialog.
And as for my other goal...had date afternoon with Andrew earlier in the month. Two painless goals? Yeah, life is awesome.