Friday, February 27, 2015

Casual Fridays

So I've been sick. Like, congested, eyes watering, pressure-to-the-exploding-point, splitting headache, nose like a faucet, keeping Puffs in business, hacking up a lung, razor blades every time I swallow, feel like I've had an intense ab workout from all the coughing, sick. Not fun. I'm super-thankful for a caring hubby who has been nursing me back to health. Literally. He's a nurse, y'all. So what have I been doing? Binge-watching Full House, naturally.

Can I just talk about how much I love this show? Every episode makes me laugh AND cry. That's good TV. We own the complete series on DVD. It's in the cutest little box. Here's a picture:
I mean, really, how cute is that?! 

And now, it's time for a segment I just made up entitled: "A Few of My Favorite Things"
*cue The Sound of Music soundtrack*

Puffs Ultra Soft & Strong or Puffs Plus Lotion: I am convinced that these are THE best tissues on the market. I will never go back. I first purchased them right after I got married and wondered where they had been all my life. Seriously, do your nose a favor and never use anything else again. "A nose in need deserves Puffs indeed." It's true. And I literally have gone through 4 boxes this week. Not kidding.

Halls Breezers: No other cough drop can compare. It's like sucking on a piece of your favorite candy AND it actually soothes your throat. Winning.

Cups with Straws: Anyone who knows me knows you will not find me without a cup with a straw somewhere close by. Sick or not. I drink so much more water this way. So actually, my compulsion to buy any cute cup I see that has a straw sticking out of it is just me being health-conscious. (Tell my husband.)

ChapStick Total Hydration 3in1 Lip Care (Sweet Peach): Hello, my name is Hannah, and I'm a ChapStick-aholic. The struggle is real, y'all. I carry ChapStick with me everywhere. I keep it in the car, by the bed, in both bathrooms, the kitchen: it's all over my house. Even when I was walking around picking up a few tubes to take a picture (no, this is not all the ChapStick I own, quit judging me), I got upset because I couldn't find my Gingerbread scented ChapStick. And then I went on a frantic search for it. If anyone sees a lonely Gingerbread ChapStick lying around, please call me. If it wasn't for the fact that it was one my husband got me for Christmas, I might not be upset. Anyway, back to the point. My hubby also got me this 3in1 ChapStick (I'm telling you, he gets me), and it is to die for. My lips feel like silk when I use it. It is my new all-time favorite and the only kind I will be buying from now on. 

And last, Olay Ultra Moisture with Shea Butter Body Wash:  Oh. My. Goodness. I just started using this stuff this week, and I am in love. I have already noticed a difference in my skin, and it smells heavenly. Like, the freshest, cleanest, most wonderful scent ever. I need to go find out if they make a corresponding body lotion and buy it ASAP.

What are some of your favorite things? What is your sick-time go-to food, product, TV show, movie? And, this might be gross, but would you rather be ear/nose/throat sick or nausea/vomiting/diarrhea sick? Because even though I have been miserable all week, I would rather take another month of this than one hour of vomiting. I even said to Cody during a headache I thought I was going to die from, "I'm just so glad I'm not puking." I. Hate. To. Throw. Up. Thankfully, I'm on the mend and just about back to normal.

Happy weekend! I sincerely hope you are healthy and well. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Marriage. I'm not an expert. I've been married a grand total of 2 years, 9 months, and 6 blessed days. But let's talk about it anyway. When it is done God's way, it's a beautiful thing. I thank God that Cody is my husband, and I pray that our marriage glorifies God all our days together. But do we as Christians exalt it maybe a little too high? Is it the ultimate prize, the heaven of life? Is that marital relationship even more important to us than our relationship with God Almighty? Sometimes I think we jump in too quickly. Consider this quote from Vanity Fair: 
"There were but nine days past since Amelia had left that little cottage and home--and yet how far off the time seemed since she had bidden it farewell.  What a gulf lay between her and that past life.  She could look back to it from her present standing-place, and contemplate, almost as another being, the young unmarried girl absorbed in her love, having no eyes but for one special object, receiving parental affection if not ungratefully, at least indifferently, and as if it were her due--her whole heart and thoughts bent on the accomplishment of one desire.  The review of those days, so lately gone yet so far away, touched her with shame; and the aspect of the kind parents filled her with tender remorse.  Was the prize gained--the heaven of life--and the winner still doubtful and unsatisfied? As his hero and heroine pass the matrimonial barrier, the novelist generally drops the curtain, as if the drama were over then: the doubts and struggles of life ended: as if, once landed in the marriage country, all were green and pleasant there: and wife and husband had nothing but to link each other's arms together, and wander gently downwards towards old age in happy and perfect fruition.  But our little Amelia was just on the bank of her new country, and was already looking anxiously back towards the sad friendly figures waving farewell to her across the stream, from the other distant shore."
 This paragraph comes out of chapter 26 ("Between London and Chatham") and, in my copy, is found on pages 250 and 251.

Thackeray gets it. We paint a pretty picture. We read books and watch movies and sigh contentedly over the perfect love stories and the happily ever afters. We're sucked in by the highs and lows before the marriage and cheer the couple on through the hard times, right down the church aisle and then, bam!, end scene. What about the highs and lows after the wedding? This makes me want to talk about two things.

1-Be very, very, VERY careful about who you marry. I can not possibly emphasize this enough. Do you really know the person you are so head-over-heels about? Have you gone to any trusted third party for counsel and a different perspective? A perspective that's not blurred by planning the perfect wedding and "OMG, our kids will be so cute"? And if you did, did you listen? Really listen? Did you spend any time building a relationship with this person before you started to date and let your hormones run wild? Were you friends? Have you observed any of his (or her) non-romantic relationships to see how he (or she) treats people? Do your homework, people. Don't jump into a marriage with a stranger. Take the time to get to know each other. And not in a physical context. In Vanity Fair, our sweet Amelia knew George her entire life, but always through the context that she would one day marry him. Her biggest problem was that she didn't know his character. He was perfect in her eyes, and she didn't make the effort to understand who he really was. This idea that they were made for each other and would one day undoubtedly marry was fostered by their parents from the time they were small. Which brings me to my second point:

2-This one is for the parents. Have you taught your children the truth about marriage? Have you raised them with the understanding that no matter how in love with someone they may be, they will face conflict? I'm talking about your little children. Not your engaged daughter who already thinks Mr. Right can do no wrong. Not your 24 year old son who just wants to get down that aisle and on to the honeymoon to enjoy all that guilt-free sex. They won't hear you at that point. They don't want to hear you at that point. This is a conversation that needs to start when your kids are young and continue during all their high school crushes and serious adult relationships. They need to know that all these wonderful marriages they see sitting in the pews at church are hard-fought and hard-won. That they didn't just "wander gently downwards towards old age in happy and perfect fruition." The other disadvantage Amelia faced was that her parents were not truthful with her about marriage, nor did they teach her what to expect from marriage. They only encouraged her in her blind devotion to George, and urged her toward the marriage rather than throw any caution in her way.

I'm so thankful that Cody and I got to know each other as people for 16 years....16 YEARS.....before we ever considered a romantic relationship. I'm even more thankful that I have two wonderful parents who laid an honest foundation for me and taught me realistic expectations for marriage. These past 2 years, 9 months and 6 days truly have been wonderful, and I wouldn't trade Cody or my marriage for anything. I don't look wistfully back across that gulf to days gone by. But this time has not been without its struggles, and I'm thankful for the parents who taught me how to face those struggles with the determination to find God's solution every time.

Let me conclude this post with some of the words from the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony which is typically read at the beginning of a wedding ceremony (emphasis is my own):
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If any man can show just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace."
Oh that we would enter into marriage in the fear of God.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Be Kind For Real

Alright, now that we've laid some groundwork in this little section of cyberspace, let's get into what I'm currently reading.    

Vanity Fair, y'all.  It's the most satirical thing I've ever read.  Today, I want to discuss the following quote:
"Praise everybody, I say to such: never be squeamish, but speak out your compliment both pointblank in a man's face, and behind his back, when you know there is a reasonable chance of his hearing it again. Never lose a chance of saying a kind word. As Collingwood never saw a vacant place in his estate but he took an acorn out of his pocket and popped it in; so deal with your compliments through life. An acorn costs nothing; but it may sprout into a prodigious bit of timber."
This particular quote comes out of chapter 19 ("Miss Crawley at Nurse"), and, in my copy of Vanity Fair, is on page 180.

Upon a cursory reading, one might think, "That's right.  We should never miss an opportunity to be kind.  That's good."  But let's dig in a little deeper, shall we?  

"Never lose a chance of saying a kind word." If we rip this out of its context, I would agree with it 100%.  I'd needlepoint it on a pillow and pin it on pinterest (if I had an account...or knew how to needlepoint stuff). But let's look at these two phrases: "...when you know there is a reasonable chance of his hearing it again..." and " may sprout into a prodigious bit of timber." The author's implication then is to never miss an opportunity to be kind if in doing so, we gain something.  

Is this true kindness? While gaining something, whether a friendship or a favor, may be a natural byproduct of authentic kindness, being kind only to benefit from the act is not real kindness.  

Paul said, "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32 NASB) Jesus Himself said, "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28 NASB)  In fact, He goes on to say, "If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same." (Luke 6:33) 

If I really want to be kind the way Jesus said to, I will be kind unconditionally.  Never mind the "prodigious bit of timber" I may or may not get in the process.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Casual Fridays

This is amazing. My favorite part is when it spells out "READ". 

Also, my church's annual missions conference starts tonight! If you are in Polk County or even anywhere remotely near central Florida, come on out! We will meet tonight at 7:00, tomorrow morning at 8:00 (breakfast!), and Sunday at 9:30 AM (till about noon) and 6:00 PM (followed by dinner!). 

Faith Baptist Church
2140 Crystal Beach Road
Winter Haven, FL 33880
(863) 293-0689

And just for fun: hashtag throwback Friday...or whatever you kids are calling it these days.

My two little brothers and me back when we were unbearably cute.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentines for A Book-Lover

So for Valentines Day, my honey took me to Books-A-Million and let me pick out a couple new books. He gets me. And after he found this awesome book/DVD/timeline for me of all the presidents of the United States right up to Barak Obama (I'm a lover of history, don't judge), I happened upon this book called Little Humans by Brandon Stanton.

Before we go any further, can I just reminisce a moment? I miss Book Traders. If you are reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about, well, first of all, I'm glad you're reading my blog. Book Traders was a local used book store that I went to all during my growing-up years. Probably almost half of the books I own I found browsing through the shelves at Book Traders. My hubby and I have spent many an afternoon searching for and discovering literary treasures there. And now it's gone. Sometimes when I go into some of these huge chain bookstores with their FroYo shops and their aisles of glossy new titles and games and puzzles and movies, I get a little overwhelmed and at times even frustrated trying to find a book. *sigh* C'est la vie...

Back to my sweet new books.

First, this book on our nation's presidents. Love, love, loving it. There is a short biographical section on each president which includes a timeline of his presidency that highlights the major events that happened during his term(s). There is also a small section on every single first lady.  Included with the book is a 65-minute DVD about the presidents, a decorative copy of the Declaration of Independence, and a long timeline beginning with George Washington and ending with Barak Obama that notes major world events.  It's awesome. If we ever homeschool, it's going on the wall. Heck, if we never homeschool, it's going on the wall. I love all of it.  And it came in this sweet box.  I mean, shut the front door!  I hope you will all still be friends with me now that you know how I geek out over the small things.

And next, Little Humans. It's my new favorite book, y'all. Written by the creator of the popular blog Humans of New York, it's a children's book featuring stunning photos of real live children.  It's the most adorable thing I've seen in a while, and I was nearly in tears in the bookstore when I got to the end of the book.  It. Is. The. Sweetest. Thing.  Do yourself a favor and go buy a copy right now.  I don't care if you don't have kids, this would make a great coffee table book, and besides, C.S. Lewis said once, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." Before I go off on a tangent about reading children's books, I'll end this post.

What is your favorite kid book?  What was your favorite subject in school? Any other history nerds out there reading this? 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Let's Bust a Recap

Ok, so if you read my 2015 Book List, you may recall my statement that the first book I ended up reading this year was not on the list.  (Is anyone dying to know what book I read first yet?  Am I doing this whole suspense thing right?)  Today, let me just catch you up on what I've read since January 1st and do a little summarizing. 

The first book I read this year was *drumroll, please*......... Persuasion by Jane Austen! This was not a first-time read for me.  Jane Austen is quite possibly my favorite authoress of all time, and I've read all 7 of her complete novels.  You can bet your butt that you will be able to find at least one of Austen's novels on all my book lists for years to come.  (Unless I'm re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series that year.  I mean, if there was such a thing as death by too much literary goodness in a year, I don't want to push it.)  So why, after putting Sense & Sensibility on this year's list, did I pick up Persuasion and read it like I hadn't even made any reading goals for myself?  Well, the answer is simple really.  I got the movie.  And anyone with even a kernel of sense in her head knows that the book is always better.  This is a rule that I have yet to find any exceptions to.  And the truth is, I haven't read Persuasion in 4 or 5 years.  It's fantastic, but it's not my go-to Austen.  So I wanted the written word to be fresh in my mind before I watched the film.  I finished reading it January 12th. 

Let's summarize: our heroine in Persuasion is quiet, unselfish Anne Elliot, the middle of 3 daughters born to Sir Walter Elliot.  Her mother died when she was 14, and she, unlike her ridiculous and vain father and sisters, drew close to and was greatly influenced by her mother's close friend Lady Russell. About the time she was 19 years old, Anne met and fell irrevocably in love with Captain Frederick Wentworth, but being persuaded (get it?) by Lady Russell and her family (mainly Lady Russell), she chose prudently rather than passionately and regretted her decision for years to come. Our story opens 8 years after all this transpired and through a series of events, she and Captain Wentworth are thrown back into each other's company for the first time since she rejected his proposal.  **Spoiler Alert: they end up together, duh.**

Persuasion is a study in the merits and the defects of a resolute will.  Should Anne have tossed all advice and logic to the wind and run off with Wentworth?  Or was she wise to have heeded the advice of her elder? If you are a first-time Austen reader, I would not recommend beginning with Persuasion.  (Sorry, Jon!)  Although I love Jane Austen unconditionally and all her books suck me in every time, I would not want Persuasion to be my introduction to this hero of the literary world.  Anne's timidity and faint-heartedness can be a bit annoying and the wrap-up is somewhat hurried.  (Probably due to the fact that Persuasion was written in a race against Jane Austen's failing health in the last year of her life.)  If you are looking to ease yourself gently into the wonderful world of Austen, I would recommend Sense & Sensibility if you want a really well-developed, masterful novel, or Emma or Northanger Abbey if you want something shorter and hilarious.  (I guess you could start with Pride & would just be so cliché of you.  I mean, there's a reason everyone loves it, but really?)  

As far as the movie is concerned, it was a pretty good adaptation of Persuasion.  I took issue with a few liberties they took at the end, but overall, it wasn't bad. (P.S.  I got the 1995 version starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds.) 

Now, I realize this post is starting to get a bit lengthy, but let me give you a super-quick recap of the second publication I read this year: William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. It is one of my life goals to read all of Shakespeare's plays before I die.  To date, the only plays I have read in their entirety are Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar.  Both of which were required reading in high school.  (Let's not bring up how many years ago that was.) Much Ado About Nothing is a play centered around 4 principal characters: Claudio (a young lord of Florence), Benedick (a sworn bachelor), Hero (the virgin daughter of Leonato), and Beatrice (Hero's cousin who is disdainful of men and marriage).  The play was short and funny, full of intrigue, match-making, and teasing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It took me a few days to read it because, let's get real, we don't talk like Shakespeare anymore, and, although the language is beautiful, it can be a little tough to wade through.  I would highly recommend this to anyone desirous of diving into the world of Shakespeare but unsure of where to begin. It was fun. I finished reading it January 16th.

What do you think?  Have you read Persuasion or Much Ado About Nothing?  Any other Austen die-hards out there?  Shakespeare fans, is there a better play to start with? Blow up my comment section.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Casual Fridays

I've decided that Fridays will be dedicated to posting about whatever tickles my fancy.  No rhyme or reason to it.  You might get snippets from my week, a quote I love, a song I've been jamming to, other blog posts I found interesting....anything.  So if that's not for you, skip it and we'll get back to discussing books on Monday.

First of all, this:

Feel free to listen to it as you peruse the rest of this post.  You're welcome.

Got to take a much-needed coffee break with THIS GIRL in the middle of a day of driving to Tallahassee and back. Love her!

And while you're looking at this photo, check that sweet necklace I'm rocking.  It's from a company I love called Trades of Hope.  Check them out.  Read their mission statement.  Do some shopping.  Seriously.

I saw this on a church sign in Tallahassee:
 "True happiness is knowing that God is good." 
Right?!  Can I get an "Amen!"?  Thanks. 

Um, this may be the sweetest video I've ever seen in my life.  Happy Valentine's Weekend to you.

Link Love

-Dear Justice Kennedy (uh-oh, it just got political in here, y'all)

-The Reality of a 50 Shades Relationship (This is probably the best and most practical thing I've read in regards to the whole 50 Shades drama going on.)

-What Your Wife Wants You To Know About V-Day (Late entry, but YES!  It's true.)

That's it for this week.  If you're reading this, I hope you have a sickeningly sweet Valentine's Day! ;)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


What? That thought-provoking, possibly controversial title didn't immediately draw you in? Not too interested in an ancient, complicated law book?  I know, I know: Leviticus has a pretty bad rep for being one of the most boring books....well...ever.  Some would even claim that the only exciting things that happen in Leviticus are Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu being struck dead by God for offering strange incense to Him (chapter 10) or the stoning of a half-Egyptian half-Israelite man because he blasphemed the name of God (chapter 24).  I realize that a lot of the book of Leviticus is very difficult for the average reader to understand, and, truth be told, I don't fully understand many of the laws myself.  It's hard to wrap your mind around laws and customs that you've never personally observed or obeyed.  I mean, why should I care about the ceremonial cleansing of leprosy when I've never had or even known someone who's had leprosy?  

Yes, I just finished reading through the book of Leviticus.  And the fact that Almighty God inspired and included this book in His holy, life-giving Word means it is important for us to read and essential to our understanding of the gospel.  And honestly, every time I read Leviticus, I'm completely overwhelmed and humbled by it.  

"Why does it humble you, Hannah?  What's so overwhelming about these snooze-inducing laws?" I'm so glad you asked.  Jesus Christ, the God-man, lived His entire life perfectly and completely fulfilling the Law.  Perfectly.  Completely.  Read it again.  

He lived His entire life perfectly and completely fulfilling the Law.  

If there was no book of Leviticus, that sentence wouldn't mean much to me.  I wouldn't understand why that was such an accomplishment.  It wouldn't register that fulfilling the law is something I could never do, something NO ONE can do.  Only one person ever did it.

Listen, if I picked one thing out of Leviticus to concentrate on doing and fulfilling perfectly my whole life, I would fail miserably.  I would fail every day.  I would fail in the first 10 minutes.  This is not an exaggeration.  Can we be justified by the law?  No!  By knowing the law, I know I'm a sinner.  Read Romans 3.  Actually, while you're at it, read all of Romans.  And then the rest of the New Testament. 

Because of the book of Leviticus, the gospel is so much deeper.  So much sweeter.  When you're reading the Old Testament and thinking how impossible it is, remember: Jesus did it.  

I got a little preachy today. Maybe this wasn't what you were expecting, but hey, it's my blog, right? And it's all about what I'm reading and how that reading is impacting me. (There's that narcissism I was talking about.) But guess what, if I could only read one thing as long as I lived, I'd pick God's Word every time.  So if you're gonna "follow" this blog, you might as well know right now that I wasn't just being trite when I quoted 1 Corinthians 10:31 in the first post.  

So talk back to me now. I know I only scratched the surface with this post. Have you ever read Leviticus?  Did you find it interesting, boring, overwhelming?  Let's talk.

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Book List

So a while back I started following a blog called Carrots for Michaelmas after reading a post about how to marry your Gilbert Blythe.  (Hey, Haley!)  It is now one of those blogs I obsessively follow, and I just know that the blog author and I will instantly be kindred spirits in real life if we ever meet because of our shared love over all things Anne Shirley.  *sigh*  If you ever read this, Haley, let's be BFFs.  

Anyway, what's the point of this riveting story, you ask?  Let me tell you.  On her blog, Haley posts her reading goals at the beginning of the year, and then at the end of the year, she posts a list of the books she actually read. This is something I've always thought about doing, but I've never actually taken the time to do.  And each year, I read a lot, but I don't necessarily do it with purpose.  And I don't necessarily pick up any of those books that are on my mental LIFE LIST OF BOOKS I WANT TO READ BEFORE I DIE.  (Yes, it's a real thing that deserves to be all-capped and in bold, okay?)  

Now, even though I am a firm proponent of re-reading books that I love until they are literally falling apart in my hands, I also want to actually read the books that are on that bold, all-capped list before I do, in fact, die.  So I decided this would be the year.  I went into our little home library, surveyed our collection, sat down and made my list.  I got out my super-cute, brand new journal that my sister-in-love gave me for Christmas (thanks, Lynds!), and actually wrote it down.  I tried to keep my expectations realistic and also create a diverse, well-rounded selection.  I included several books that I'd like to re-read this year, instead of trying to read ALL THE THINGS at once.  After all, Oscar Wilde said, "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." And another very wise man advised, "It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between."  (C.S. Lewis)

So without further ado, here is my 2015 Book List:

Power Through Prayer : E.M. Bounds
Passion & Purity : Elisabeth Elliot
A Woman After God's Own Heart : Elizabeth George
The Weight of Glory : C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity : C.S. Lewis
When God Writes Your Life Story : Eric & Leslie Ludy
Just Let Me Preach : Nathan O. Osborne III  (holla'!  y'all.  you need to read this book.  yesterday.)*
This Momentary Marriage : John Piper
Secrets of the Blessed Man : Paul Tassell**
Great Expectations : Charles Dickens
Sense & Sensibility : Jane Austen
Much Ado About Nothing : William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew : William Shakespeare
Macbeth : William Shakespeare
The Pilgrim's Progress : John Bunyan
Little Women : Louisa May Alcott
Little Men : Louisa May Alcott
The Quiet Little Woman : Louisa May Alcott
Vanity Fair : William Makepeace Thackeray
The Scarlet Letter : Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn : Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men : John Steinbeck
The Red Badge of Courage : Stephen Crane
In Their Own Voices: Simon & Roorda
The Primal Wound : Nancy Verrier
Adopted for Life : Russell Moore
Stepping Heavenward : Elizabeth Prentiss
The Scribe: Francine Rivers
Theodore Roosevelt : H.W. Brands
Andrew Jackson : H.W. Brands

There you have it.  When I finish a book, I write the date I completed it next to it on the list.  If I read something that's not even on the list, I add it and date it.  (And *gasp* the first book I ended up reading this year WASN'T. ON. THE. LIST.  I'm off to a great start.  You'll hear more about that later.)  The goal for this blog is to reflect on and open a discussion about what I'm currently reading.  I hope you'll join in, especially if you have read the book or want to read it along with me.  Happy trails, y'all!

*Just Let Me Preach is a biography of the life of Paul Tassell, my grandfather, written by my own father.  I'm not biased about it at all.
**Secrets of the Blessed Man was one of the many great books written by my grandfather.  Seriously, no partiality here. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Read the Best Books First & Old Original Thoughts

Well, I've taken the plunge.  I created a blog.  I have yet to decide if this is for real or if I'll be deleting the whole thing before this week is through.  (And for anyone wondering, there are less than 24 hours left in this week.)  I guess we'll find out.

You see, I'm of the opinion that the internet has become an excuse to be a narcissistic jerk.  Yes, the whole internet.  I'm real broad-minded that way.  I'm not on any social media.  I don't tweet, update my status, pin things, or instagram.  I try to keep my relationships live and 3D instead of only interacting with humans across screens.   So I'm a little conflicted about this whole blog idea.

Here's the thing: I don't think everyone on the internet is a narcissistic jerk.  I follow a lot of great blogs and really enjoy them.  I check them almost obsessively, partly due to the above-mentioned fact of not being on any social media whatsoever.  And the other day, after I got on my man's facebook to post a comment in a group I helped to start a few years back, he said to me, "Babe, you should just write a blog." 

Ok, let's back up a little bit.  I'm an avid reader.  I think one of the best things you can do in this life is to read, read, and then read a little bit more.  Scratch that: a LOT more.  And I like to surround myself with other people who also enjoy reading and talking about what they're reading.  One night when I was sitting around with said people, we started to talk about how we should purpose to read more classical literature and keep each other accountable in the process.  We proceeded to make a list of like...a million great books.  (All right, maybe it wasn't a million, but I'm a huge fan of hyperbole.  I mean, what is life if you never exaggerate a little, amiright?)  Anyway, The Official Book Club was born.  And it was great.  For a few months.  Then it kinda died off.  And despite valiant efforts to revive it on different occasions, the truth is: we've all got busy, beautiful lives that don't revolve around posting about what we're currently reading or having in-depth discussions on authors and their literary genius.  

So before this first post turns into a book in and of itself, let me state my goal for this little nook of the internet: to be intentional about what I read and to share about my literary adventures.

Henry David Thoreau said, "Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."  And from that sweet little nugget, you get the title of my blog.  I don't want to come to the end of life saying, "Oh, I wish I had read ________."  I want to read it.  Now.

Also, if you've made it this far, you may recall me stating somewhere earlier in this post how full of narcissism the internet is.  Abraham Lincoln said, "Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all."  You're not going to find any new or life-changing thoughts here.  My goal is not to blow your mind with some brilliant, philosophical notion.  Solomon said, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV)

Everything being taken into account, I'd love to discuss what I'm reading, what you're reading, what we all should be reading, and I'd like to glorify God in the process.  So if you can't say something nice, take your negativity elsewhere.  If reading's not your thing, you probably haven't made it this far anyway.  But if you're in the middle of the most mind-blowing book and you've just got to share it with someone before you explode, let's be best friends.  

Peace out for now.

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
  -1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)