Friday, December 31, 2010

Thoughts for a New Year

If God has called you to be really like Jesus, He will draw you to a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot do it; and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their success, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him, that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity, because He wants you to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small.

He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit of it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He may let others get the credit for the work which you have done, and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over. So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do as He pleases with His own.

He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with you. But if you absolutely sell yourself to be His...slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and bestow upon you many blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.

Settle it forever, then, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others.

Now when you are so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of Heaven.


(attributed to G. D. Watson)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's okay to get messy

This is Connor:



Connor has recently taken his first bites of cereal. Yesterday morning, after about three bites, this is what he looked like:



Do I get mad at him for making a mess? Of course not.

Do I expect him to already know to eat? Nope.

Is my patience running out because we're a couple weeks into this cereal thing and he still gets so messy? No.

It's New Year's Resolution time, as Camy drew our attention to yesterday. I don't know about you, but I always have a long list of things I'm hoping to improve on in the coming year. And I know there are a couple things God would like me to work on. Wow, is it going slow.

But as I've been working with Connor on the whole cereal thing, it occurred to me that God probably doesn't mind the learning process either. He knows these traits and disciplines feel foreign to me, and He gets that it takes time. And it won't bother Him when I mess up along the way.

You know what would frustrate me with Connor? Is if he didn't even try to eat. If he just locked his mouth shut and refused. Because he needs to learn to eat. From his perspective, I'm sure it feels unnecessary. He's gone his entire life without doing this stuff, why start with this goopy stuff now? But of course I know that if he doesn't, bad things will happen.

Thankfully, Connor's trusting me on this and has learned to enjoy his food. Just like if we keep plugging away at the things God's trying to teach us, we'll find enjoyment there as well. In the meantime, it's okay to get messy.

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com and www.GoTeenWriters.com.

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Years’ Resolutions

Camy here, and yes, I’m already thinking about New Year’s Resolutions!

I have to admit I love making resolutions even though I don’t always keep them. There’s something about a fresh new year with new intentions and hopes.

My resolutions aren’t anything unusual:

1) Keep up with my running
2) Control my eating and lose 20 pounds this year
3) Be more efficient and improve my time management

How about you? What do you hope to do during 2011?


Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is her humorous contemporary romance novel, Single Sashimi, and her romantic suspense, Formula for Danger. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders dogs, knitting and spinning wool, running, Asiana, and other frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for giveways!

Click here to find out how you can join my Street Team—it’s free and there’s lots of chances to win prizes!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A simpler Christmas


Over on one of my yahoogroups populated by plain folks who use the Internet, there’s a big discussion on the commercialism of Christmas. One I kinda have to agree with, especially when I drive past the mall and the traffic to get in is so congested you can only imagine what the stores are like. I’m not a big fan of cramming Christmas shopping into an already busy season. So, I started thinking of ways to stay out of those crowds and slow down a bit.
  • Buy gifts throughout the year, as you see them. Summer is big on neighborhood craft fairs and art shows, so you could pick up a pretty blown-glass candle holder for your mom, or an fun little print for your best friend made by a local artist.
  • In the late summer and early fall, can fruit and make jam. Then, at Christmas, tie a pretty bow around the jar, or put a collection of canning in a basket and give it to the whole family to enjoy.
  • Make gifts as you have time throughout the year. Know what’s really in right now? Aprons. Yep, thanks to TV shows like Mad Men and movies set in the 50s and 60s, those fun retro aprons are back. They’re straightforward to sew, and guess what … the fabric stores are full of cute retro fabrics to match the era.
  • Reuse and recycle. Another way to use your creativity is to look at old things with an eye to making them new. Do you have a jewelneck T-shirt that you don’t wear anymore? Get some chiffon, a couple of sparkly buttons, and some ribbon and dress up the neckline. Check out tops in online stores like Nordstrom to get design ideas and make your own. Or how about that sweatshirt with the stain down the front? Cut off the binding at hem and sleeve, cut it down the front, and bind all the raw edges with strips of velvet. Then embellish the front with ribbon roses. Voila–the advantages of looking new with the comfort of feeling old.
  • Decorate with things from the yard. This year, our Christmas tree is a recycled one from a local event at the community center. And the garlands on the mantel? They’re branches from the trees outside. We have bay trees everywhere in this neighborhood–I joke that they flourish like the wicked instead of the other way around :)
  • If you make your garlands from bay leaves, they’ll dry over the season–and hey, you can strip the branches in January and put the leaves in an airtight jar to use in cooking throughout the year.
What kinds of things do you do to simplify things during the holidays? Sometimes just the gift of your time can make someone happy--so think about freeing up a couple of hours to give that gift.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Tradition!

While reading a friend’s blog post about her many Christmas traditions, I began to wish that my family had more. Sure, we have certain things that we do year after year but they didn’t seem as exciting as some that I’d heard and read about. Then God stopped me in my tracks as I watched my youngest son take a Hershey’s Kiss out of the Advent Calendar and name something that he was thankful to God for. Why did I constantly compare myself to others and decide that I fell short? What about the things we DID do?

We actually have many fun traditions that “it would not be Christmas without.” Here is our list:

• Putting a creative twist on the Advent Calendar (Last year I slipped a verse or Christmas quote into each slot along with a treat and Nathan had to read it before he got the candy. This year he is thanking God for something before eating a Hershey’s Kiss.)
• Each of our sons gets a special ornament so they’ll have a collection to take with them when they move out.
• Putting the nice Christmas China in the cupboard at least a week before Christmas so we can use it several times instead of just on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning
• Making Russian Tea Cakes (We aren’t Russian, we just like the cookies.)
• Watching A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and The Polar Express
• Setting aside an evening to wrap gifts while watching Little Women
• Pasta for dinner on Christmas Eve
• Attending our church’s Christmas Eve service
• Leaving a cookie for Santa even though both sons know who really eats it as soon as they go to bed
• Reading the verses and quotes taken from the Advent Calendar, before opening gifts on Christmas morning (This we started last year and I saved the verses.)

I often wonder what my kids will pass on to their own Children. What will they think up on their own?

What are some of your traditions? How do they make celebrating Christ’s birth even more meaningful?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh How I Love This



There are two spots in this video that make me tear up. One is when the little boy smiles. The other one a quick scene--easy to be overlooked.

Just curious. What parts touch your heart as you watch this?
Love,
Julie

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Lost Art of Gift-Wapping


I had two friends over last night, and they helped me wrap some presents. I realized as we worked that wrapping presents is one of the activities in our society that has been relegated to quick-and-easy-is-best. Kind of like instant pudding and cake mix in a box, wrapping a present has evolved into buying a pretty bag. We drop the gift into a cushion of tissue paper, arrange colorful tissue paper on top and we're done.

I remember going over to my friend's house before Christmas and their huge dining room table was devoted to preparing gifts for giving. We cut the paper from a roll, making sure not to waste any of the lovely paper. We folded the ends over the box just so. It was more complicated than hospital corners on bedsheets. There was a pile of ribbons, bows, and decorations, new and some save from year to year. Our family has a box that circulates. The box is over fifty years old and has been taped at the corners innumerable times.

My aunt had her wrapping center in a guest room. My bedroom was the center of our gift-wrapping and I usually got the privilege of wrapping most of the gifts.

Why am I going on and on about wrapping gifts? Because it occurred to me that God wrapped His Gift to us with tremendous care. Images of a heavenly host in a star-studded sky springs to mind. A star so bright that it led wise men from afar to the town of Bethlehem. The manger, the donkey, the shepherds, all bring a special touch to the wrappings of Christmas. Each has become a symbol, saying more than what the object means when standing alone. The donkey reminds us of care given to the mother of Christ even as she endured an arduous journey. The manger tells us that Jesus is for all people, not just the rich or ruling class. The shepherds emphasize that anyone can come to worship the King.

When I give a gift, it really doesn't matter if it is wrapped with crisp corners or hidden under a sheet of tissue. What matters is my heart as I prepare an offering of friendship and love.

My advice for the season? Enjoy the gifts you give as much as the gifts you get. Enjoy the process of wrapping. Enjoy the gift that God has given you, filling your heart with joy and hope.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Losing Dignity



I have this thing about baby talk. And it's this: I hate it.

By baby talk I mean that high voice people tend to morph to when they talk to babies. I hate how they add "ie" to everything. Horsie. Doggie. Blankie. And I hate when they use a "W" sound when it should be an "R," Like all babies are training to be Elmer Fudd.

With McKenna, my first, my husband and I vowed NO BABY TALK. We did pretty well. I'm certainly guilty of utilizing the high voice on occasion, but I've never said to her, "Look at the horsie." And McKenna seemed kinda baby talk neutral. She would smile at me regardless of what voice I used, so it was a pretty easy choice.

And then, 5 months ago, Connor came along. Connor is a tougher nut to crack. Or at least for me. I figured out pretty quickly that the higher my voice goes, the bigger his smile gets. The stupider I sound, the happier he is.

So what do I do? I choose to sound stupid. Because I care more about seeing Connor smile than I do about sounding dignified.



And it reminded me of King David.

In 2 Samuel chapter six, it says, "Now King David was told, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing."

Then later it says, "Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets."

When his wife, Michal, saw him behaving like this, the Bible records that she "despised him in her heart." And she later confronted him, saying, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

And then David responds, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

David had perspective.

He cared more about how he was viewed in God's eyes than the rest of the world. He even cared more about God's opinion than his wife's. Because of that, he allowed himself to be without dignity.

I love Connor, and making him smile is worth every ounce of dignity I lose. How much more so should I embrace that sentiment with regards to the Lord?

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com and www.GoTeenWriters.com.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Gift of Music and Freedom



Do you ever have a hard time finding the perfect gift for your friends or family members? It can be a challenge, especially when the people I love don't really need anything. I always want to give something they will enjoy and keep enjoying, but I also want my gifts to make Jesus smile. It's His birthday, after all.

This year I found the perfect gift for everyone on my Christmas list! The gift of music and freedom. JUBILEE is an indie folk rock band based in Seattle, and they're also a registered non-profit organization. 50% of all their sales goes toward the work of International Justice Mission, fighting modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

JUBILEE's new album, To See You Well , releases in January (it's amazing!), and right now they're offering a special opportunity to pre-order for Christmas.

"But wait," you say. "January comes after Christmas." You are very observant. And so is JUBILEE. If you pre-order To See You Well before December 15, you'll receive a card with original album artwork and other goodies in time to give them (or keep them!) for Christmas. The CD will follow as soon as it is released. Click HERE to watch a brief video explaining how you can give the gift of music and freedom. The Christmas special offer ends December 15, so order yours today.

I'm pretty sure you and Jesus will both smile.

Love, Jeanne

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christmas Wish List!

When I was in high school I had two friends from church who told me they got everything on their Christmas list. EVERYTHING. What did a "cool" Christmas list look like in 1986? I don't remember their whole list, but here are a few things I remember:

  • a waterbed (they were cool back then)
  • new Jordache jeans (all the rage)
  • a VCR (yes, the old tape kind)
  • the soundtrack for Pretty in Pink (on cassette)

I remember being jealous when the day after Christmas these two girls confirmed their parents had fulfilled their wishes. I also felt a little sad for them. I mean what's the fun of opening Christmas presents if you already know what's inside?

I also laugh at the things we thought were cool back then. Fads come and go, which makes me think of my own Christmas wish list.

This year I have a few things on my wish list that I'd like. They include some WWII non-fiction books and a few fun bath items, because soaking and reading is one of my favorite past times. My own list isn't as large as it used to be, mostly because I've been practicing being more thankful--even before Thanksgiving.

During the Christmas season it's easy to be more focused on what we want, rather than what we have. And while it's okay to be eager to see what gifts await you under the tree, our greatest gifts aren't wrapped with bows.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17).

What to feel really thankful? Take a moment to think about what would happen if God took these "gifts from above" away. Frightening isn't it?

Considering this gives me a whole new outlook. It also makes me more eager to create a new type of list.

One of the things I've been doing lately is thinking of 10 things I'm thankful for as soon as I wake up in the morning. It's amazing what this does for the outlook of my day.

My thankfulness list doesn't include my bed, jeans, dvd, or iPod, although it could. Mostly I've been thanking God for my health, for money to pay the bills, for good friends, for a husband and children who love me, and for my salvation. These are things that mean the most--true gifts from God.

What's on your list? I'd love to hear. There will always be little things we'd like to have, but remember to take time to thank God for the large gifts in your life you don't want to live without.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Just Enough to Not Trust


Last week a friend took me on a tour of Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California, as research for a writing project. We had a great tour guide. Susie spent over an hour and a half with us, showing us all over the grounds, introducing us to dogs and adorable puppies (guide dogs in training), and telling about the genetics, science, and careful selection that goes into training and choosing dogs that will be most capable of leading the blind and visually impaired.

When I told her that I was visually impaired, Susie took immediate interest. Of course she asked if I’d ever gone through guide dog training or considered using one. I explained that, while I was born legally blind, I had been trained to adapt to the sighted community. After we talked for awhile, Susie made an interesting comment.

“You might be seen as someone who has just enough vision to not trust a guide dog.” I also learned too many adaptation skills to let a dog lead, no questions asked.
I have a feeling that Susie is right. I can’t remember I time when I wasn’t encouraged to rely on my ability to compensate for limited sight—to find a way to “do it myself” instead of expecting others to hold my hand. The good part is that I memorize quickly, listen closely, and don’t need to see something to find it or get a job done. On the other hand I hesitate to ask for help with anything vision related. If a guide dog tried to stop me from crossing a street and my ears didn’t detect a problem, I might just keep walking and get mowed over by one of those new quiet cars.

Later I thought about other areas where I have just enough confidence in my own ability to be a threat to myself. Take God, for example. There are times when I must admit that I have just enough vision to not trust Him. I know what I’m doing. I know the plan. I’ve mapped out my route. “I can do it myself.” How often have I gotten frustrated with Him for holding me back and ran on ahead, only to be knocked down, or carry out a plan without consulting Him at all?

Maybe it’s better to be blind sometimes. When you are blind you know you need help. So I took note of Susie’s comment and applied it to my walk with God. I don’t want to be a child who has too much vision to trust—too much confidence to admit my need for Him.

In what areas do you have just enough “vision” to not trust? How have you learned to rely on Him as if you were a blind girl with her guide dog?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Messy Closet, Messy Heart




Some things I'm not too picky about. My closet, as you can see. My drawers. My pantry. So, I got to thinking. I'm so used to these areas of clutter, I don't even notice them anymore. I scrounge through my stuff until I find what I need and go on about my business.

Just for fun, I had a friend who's good at organizing take a peek into my pantry. "What do you think? How bad is it?" She's a good friend, so I wasn't too embarrassed.

"Hmmm."

"Tell the truth."

"Well, you could start by putting like things together. You know, canned goods and whatnot."

Then I started thinking. Is my heart cluttered? Are there messy areas inside me that I've been ignoring for years? Things I've overlooked? Habits I should do away with? Thoughts that weigh me down? Have I gotten so used to being the way I am, that I've not noticed the junk?

I'd like to say nope, that I was spotless on the inside. But I wasn't.

I actually made a list. I've struggled with these same areas for years. I'm working hard at changing. Even if it means I have to clean up my thoughts daily.

1. Fear.
2. Perfectionism (you wouldn't think so with the looks of my closet).
3. Choosing to please people rather than God.
4. Not trusting God--thinking I know best.

I'm working on my cleaning my closet, drawers, and pantry--and my heart. Thank you for reading. Can anybody relate?

Love,
Julie

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Reading Diary

What would your reading diary look like?
Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. I think we are better, more diverse readers than they give us credit for.
Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Select all and get rid of my bolds, italics, and asterisks. Then mark your own list as follows.
• Bold those books you've read in their entirety. ...• Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt. Put and asterisk (*) by the ones you've seen as movies, or seen part of as a movie or TV program

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen *
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien *
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte *
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling *
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee *
6 The Bible *
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte *
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens *
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott *
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy *
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare *
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier *
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien *
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot *
21 Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell *
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald *
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams *
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck *
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll *
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame *
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens *
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis *
34 Emma -Jane Austen *
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen *
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis *
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne *
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery *
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy *

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding *
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen *
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens *
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck *
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas *
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville *
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens *
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett *
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce *
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray *
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens *
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro *
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White *
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle *
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery *
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams *
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas *
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare *
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl *
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo *

How'd you do? I did better than I thought I would. Also, I was a little embarrassed that I've never made it all the way through the Bible. Why don't you start a reading diary? I wish I had as a budding reader. It may reveal to you something about your personality and your strengths. Put in the title of the book and author and the date you read the book. You may want to comment on why you chose the book. Did someone recommend it? Did you have to read it for school? Did you get it from the library, a friend, or did you buy it? What did you think of the book? Did you learn anything about yourself as you read? Would you recommend it to others? Would you read it again? Is it a keeper or does it go into a donation box? Have some fun learning about your reading habits. And praise God for the alphabet. I can't imagine a world without books.

Girls, God, and the Good Life

 
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