Monday, December 7, 2009

Season of Change

Here it is December already and I haven't posted anything since October. Not good! However, I have a pretty good excuse (I think). I've been packing, moving and unpacking again. It is amazing what a two-bedroom apartment can hold.

My brothers gave me a hard time about my ten boxes of books but hey I think it's in our family's DNA so they had better watch out!

At the end of October I moved back to my hometown after a ten-year sojourn in Minnesota. My youngest sister and I are trying out living together. So far it has been a positive experience- I hope she would agree! She borrows my books and I borrow her clothes. :) But there has not been much time leftover for reading. I"ll try to do better in the coming weeks.

The one book I have had time to read is "Fannie Farmer's Cookbook" as I search for new recipes for Swiss chard and also winter squash. It seems my mother planted a lot of it and it grew really well so she is giving it away.

Next week I hope to read "A Christmas Carol" again. Then it's time to read Luke chapter 2 for the Nativity story with Isaiah chapter 53 added as a epilogue.

If you have any other suggestions for Swiss chard, squash or a good holiday read let me know!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


What does mercy look like?
Is it forgiving when there hasn't been an apology?
Is it with-holding your first impression until you know more about a person?
Is it taking your own life to save another's?
Is it granting yourself mercy in spite of past mistakes?

The Shape of Mercy: A novel by Susan Meissner gives a reader a lot to think about. I was convicted many times about how I view/judge people too quickly while reading it.

But it also made me think about mercy and all the different ways that we give it/or withhold it.

The author grips you from the first chapter and doesn't let go until the end... And the end will surprise you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Summer, Where didst Thou Go?

Here it is mid-September and I haven't been very good about updating you on what I've been reading. I finally got another bookshelf so only a few books are left on my floor.

What "light" reading did you get done this summer?

I read Helen Keller's autobiography The Story of My Life in August. Her life is truly an amazing one and it inspired me to greater perseverance when faced with obstacles in life. She worked her whole life perfecting her writing, speech, and reaching out to those around her. How can I do any less?

Another inspiring novel is My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay. Her first book is very well written, in fact I had to remind myself that it wasn't a true story! The research and background for it is based on stories from humanitarian relief workers and missionaries. I look forward to her future books.

Do you have any recommendations?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Reading

Where has this summer gone?

Here is a quick list of what I've been reading!
  • Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
  • Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  • A Thousand Shall Fall by Brodie & Brock Thoene
  • Say To this Mountain by Brodie & Brock Thoene
  • The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
Pretty light reading other than the Piper book.

I'm trying to slowly read my way through all of Dickens' stuff. So far I've read A Christmas Carol, The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist. I think Oliver Twist is still my favorite so far.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Crickets and a Heart Transplant

When Crickets Cry by Charles Marten is an amazing book. I stayed up until 4:00 one weekend reading it.

Annie needs a heart transplant but her Aunt CeCe doesn't have the money to pay for it. Charlie lives life to the fullest in spite of his circumstances and his neighbor Reece isn't living at all except through his flashbacks. All these characters become woven together at a lemonade stand in a small town down South.

If I tell you any more it will ruin the twists and turns in the plot. There is some technical medical paragraphs to wade through but it's worth it!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I found two stores on-line that sell my mom's favorite bookcases. They are fairly sturdy, easily moved and come all in one piece. The shelves are on hinges and fold up flat when not in use.

After comparing prices & shipping I happily ordered two since they were on sale. Anticipation mounted as the day of their arrival neared. Wednesday -the boxes arrived in pretty rough shape. I moved them into the living room and carefully opened the box and slid the shelf out.

Ohhhhhhhh. A groan slipped out. The wood had split where the hinges were - making it totally useless. "Maybe I can fix it" crossed my mind but then I thought "why should I settle for a repair job when I paid for a new one."
Perhaps the second one is alright. But it was in worse shape. It looked like someone had taken a sledge hammer to the support bars.

Oh the disappointment!! I was upset with the delivery service and then with myself for ordering on-line instead of just driving to a store to pick them up.

Luckily, I did have a trip to a bigger town planned so I didn't have to deal with the hassle of shipping them back. To the store they went and the company refunded my money since the bookcases weren't in stock like I had hoped.

Now I'm back to stacking my books on the floor. Don't thing I'll try ordering furniture over the Internet again. But it was such a good deal...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ghosts in This House

Death of The Dream: Classic Minnesota Farmhouses by William Gabler is both interesting and sad. He chronicles the demise of farmhouses in black and white photographs. I found myself wondering what memories linger between their walls.

How many generations sat in the kitchen? Did they lose a son in World War II? What nationality were the original owners? Who were the last people to live in the house?

Abandoned barns standing all alone have the same effect on me. I'm watching history disappear before my eyes. I just don't understand why Americans are so quick to get rid of the old. In Europe barns, houses and historic places go back hundreds and hundreds of years and we are so quick to tear ours down.

Why is that?

(picture of my sister and cousin in front of our farmhouse)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Challenge to My Understanding

In my Bible study we're going over John Piper's book "Don't Waste Your Life". It has proven to be quite challenging. I know the book is written in English but sometimes I have to read a sentence over and over before I even grasp what he is saying.

Has anyone else read this book? What was your opinion? So far I'm on Chapter 3. Does it get clearer as you go along?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Heavenly Man

For book club we just finished reading "The Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun.

It has an amazing message of hope and joy in times of persecution. For some of those in attendance the persecution was the overall theme but I found myself excited at how God sustains a Christian during overwhelming circumstances.

There is hope in the midst of trials!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Redeeming Love

I just finished Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. There is a lot of food for thought in this story of a farmer and his new bride (loosely based on the book of Hosea in the Bible).

Reading this book brought me to tears, laughter, and even some frustration at the main character's lack of trust in her husband. But after reading it I have realized that I am no different in my response to my Heavenly Father. He has given everything and I have nothing left to give.

What are your thoughts?

(This book is not for younger readers)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Have you ever read something and then a few days later something related to that topic pops up?

I finished " Up From Slavery" by Booker T. Washington only to end up watching the movie "Amazing Grace" a few days later. Both deal with slavery, both are about ordinary men attempting great things, and both men put their faith into action.

Their lives inspire me to make a difference in the world. Who inspires you?