I began a New Year's Resolution in January - probably like most of you. I also thought, like most of you, I'll do this for a while - forget about it - and it'll be over.
Not so this year.
The Resolution: Read a book a month.
I'm a terrible reader. I can find ANYTHING else to do besides read. Clean, Facebook, Clean, Cook, Clean... clean... I really like to clean. So, this challenge was two-fold. To finally start reading some of these awesome books my friends tell me about and to help my OCDness about cleaning.
No worries. I'm still fitting in all that cleaning.
But, I've made myself sit down during Hayes' nap time and read - for at least 10-30 minutes a day.
It has been so refreshing. So, I thought I'd share my journey with you. At least the books I've read and maybe a sentence or two about how the Lord spoke to me in that particular season/book.
January - Ten Thousand Gifts - Ann Voskamp
I HIGHLY recommend this book. If you have not read it, go ahead - leave this blog - go read it and then come back. Amazing amazing amazing concept. So thankful for it and am still not over it.
February - Praying Circles Around Your Children - Mark Batterson
Such a neat book. Took me like 2 hours to read it so I had a nice break in February. But, Seth and I got to think about some specific truths we wanted to pray for Hayes in... and then put those into action.
March- The Church Planting Wife - Christine Hoover
Well, I thought I was reading this book because Katie Reno recommended it and I needed a book. But, little did I know, God was using it to prepare me for our next chapter in life. So, when we were called and asked if we would pray about planting a church with Reno…I knew exactly what we were being asked to do… which helped me be excited but understand all the ups/downs that come along with the journey. And to trust God, because He is faithful, to see us through.
April - Fresh Air - Chris Hodges
Very Refreshing. Can't remember a lot of it but I liked it. : ) Encouraging.
May - Real Marriage - Mark Driscol
Good if you have been married a few years. I think it'd be discouraging to read otherwise.
June- Lineage of Grace - Francine Rivers
I really loved this book till the end. Its fiction but it gave some neat perspective to the Word and the faithful women in lineage of Jesus.
July - A Little Satly to Cut the Sweet - Sophie Hudson. Cute. Fun. Short. Sweet. Southern. A break from the heavier reading for just a good ole summer book.
The Shack - W. Paul Young. I wish I had been warned about the beginning and the extremely tragic events that occur… but after that…. and when I look back on it, I really enjoyed the read. I liked it. I would say it was an interesting new way to think about my relationship with Jesus and at the same time, not take it too literal and just enjoy the read.
August - Tangible Kingdom - Hugh Halter. A life changing way to think about the way you do ministry. Really opened my eyes to those around me and to serve others and love others.
September: Praise Habit - David Crowder
Just a good book to stop and ponder how awesome God is... needing something very different. It was neat to read a Psalm and then read his perspective on it and his funny stories.
October: The Chronicles of Narnia - The Silver Chair and The Last Battle C.S. Lewis
The Silver Chair - it was not my favorite of the books but there is always one part the Lord uses in it to show me something about me, Him - life - in a new way. So, in that manner, I did like it a lot.
The Last Battle - I read this so fast. I was excited. Then mad. And in the end, overjoyed. Amazed. Awakened to truths that had not thought on before. Loved this book and thrilled that I finally finished the series.
November: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels - Ree Drummond The Pioneer Woman
I adore Ree. My goodness. She is too fun. And her love story - wow. I hope it was as wonderful in real life as she writes about it. This book made me laugh and I could not put it down!
December: The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp. Ending the year how I started it. Katie Reno sent me this daily devotional that is about Advent and just preparing your heart for the Christmas season. Ann Voskamp is talented beyond explanation. You need to read her books! It's elegant, eye-opening, and simply beautiful.
Thankfully, The Lord impressed on my heart to read through His word every year. I've used a few different plans over the years, but for about the last 3 years I have used the One Year Chronological NLT Bible. For me, reading the Word in the order it happened has helped me understand the Bible more and really grow in my walk with the Lord. It just makes sense to me!
Also, I read Jesus Calling every year… I should probably find a new devotional but the Lord still uses this one every day in my life and I love it!
So, overall - that's 16 books and more than I ever thought I could read in a year. Granted, some were short and really fast reads, but each book was good for me in the season I needed it.
My friends keep asking if I'll do this again this year. (Big sigh). I don't know. I don't have my heart set on it like I did this time last year. I have new job that I'm blessed to have and enjoy very much, so nap time will be probably be all taken up with work instead of reading! Maybe I'll try and do a 6 books… give myself 2 months per book… we'll see. I'm just amazed I was able to keep this resolution and sit here at the end of 2013 and know I completed a huge goal. Whew. Glad it's over and it's journey I'm very thankful for.
So, Happy New Year's… Here's to completing resolutions and to not even making them!