Sunday, July 5, 2015

What I've read/learned lately

What I Learned
I have been laying here in the dark as Eli is falling asleep, trying to think what, if anything, I could say I have learned lately. These last couple on months have felt like a frustrating, exhausting grind as the heat has rolled in and I've seen less and less of my husband. As my belly has grown bigger and my back and hips ache. As summer limps along and the mental and emotional exhaustion of having all of the kids home all day every day with no real routine has begun to wear me down down. 

I don't know why some days I can sit quietly in the kitchen and read a book and other days I can barely get through a chapter without being interrupted twenty-dozen times. 

I don't know why some days we float along, getting along with each other really well while other days I wish we could all just spend the day in our own beds.

I don't know why some days I diffuse sibling strife and other days I just explode.

I am learning a new side of what it means to be brave. As the new year rolled in and I said my word for the year was Brave (along with a bunch of othe related words) I felt so excited about what amazing things God would do in my life as I took one step of obedience after the other deeper and deeper. And then the tide went out, and I felt myself knee-deep in thick mud and each step forward was slow and as unglamorous and unremarkable as could be. I have had months and months of waiting to see what is next, dying to my expectations. Slogging through. Hopeful. Letting go of fear, hanging onto hope, leaning hard into love. 

My friend said something the other day that I thought was really profound - so I want to make sure I write it down here - she said that we tend to think of being brave as something that is essentially self-centered, but true bravery is others-centered. That struck me as something that I will be thinking about for awhile. It reminds me of what I wrote about love being about the basin & towel. I think these truths are related.

One thing I am learning is the power of saying "I'm praying for you." Praying for others is something that I have considered to be essential to my spiritual identity. I believe God made me to be an intercessor but it is so incredibly easy to get bogged down in my own mess so that I forget to pray for anyone not in full-on-crisis. I grew up with the motto of "the left hand should not know what the right hand is doing" or in other words when you are doing good don't publicize it - but there is so much power in a simple text or Facebook message to say "I just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you." I sent more of those texts these last couple of weeks and it has had a snowball effect. As I'm praying more - more friends are asking me to pray for them and letting me know how God is answering prayers, even for simple things like a baby sleeping better. It is something I want to do more of. 

What I Read
I have been trying to Instagram the books I've read lately. Here are some highlights.

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithrphotog) on
A photo posted by faith raider (@faithrphotog) on

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithrphotog) on

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithrphotog) on

You can see I was on kind of a Sarah Addison Allen kick. Such happy, light reading. "Landline" by Rainbow Rowell was also a lot of fun to read. I think this would be such a fun book club pick. Like the issue of gender - if the main characters roles had been reversed there would basically be no plot, because how many countless stay at home moms sacrifice for their family, but make it a stay at home Dad and suddenly you have a plot. I loved that part. "Longbourn" was pretty fun, I consider myself a fan of Jane Austen - though I prefer the movies and TV mini-series (and sometimes the books) to the fiction spin-offs. This was really hard for me to get into but the Librarian gushed about it so I tried to stick with it, and I am glad that I did. It wasn't my favorite book ever but it was pretty good. "Ship of Brides" was about the same for me. It was hard for me to get into and I didn't love it but it was pretty good. I finished "Cold Tangerines" and I loved it. I'm reading the next book, Bittersweet on the kindle app on my phone when I go to me OB appointments and it has been really good. I'm glad I read them in this order though, since she shares so much of her personal story. Not pictured: I also read Rob Bell's "ZimZum of Marriage" and it was terrific. I read it in basically one sitting and I was really encouraged to have a better attitude about my marriage and to be more careful about what I am bringing to my marriage. A lot of what he and his wife wrote was stuff I've learned along the way but didn't know how to express. I have a nice stack of requests waiting for me at the Library. I'll try to post about what I'm reading again next month... Any suggestions for what to read next?

What I Watched 
Lately I haven't watched many movies. I'm currently re-watching "Suits" on Amazon Prime. We're watching MasterChef and I occasionally get a chance to catch up on SoYouThinkYouCanDance which I will probably start watching more regularly once auditions are over.

Tonight we watched Home - the new animated movie from Dreamworks. We all enjoyed it so much, especially my teenager (and pre-teen) Josiah got a little bit sad toward the end. Daniel even stayed awake through the whole thing, and in my book that is saying something. 

1 comment:

  1. God has been speaking to me about praying for others, too. :-)


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