Tim's parents spend their fall/winter/spring in Florida and their summers in Delaware. Their Delaware house is just under 2 hours away, so Harrison and I spent every other week there this summer. A major benefit to this arrangement was the new grandparents wanted all the time they can get with him so I had plenty of time to read. A major disadvantage was no internet access which meant I wasn't emailing, keeping up with my list serves and I wasn't blogging (equals even more reading.) So here are some of my favorites from the summer...
Home-Making by J.R. Miller (originally published in 1882)
It is probably one of the best books I have ever read. Despite the title, it is not just for housewives, it speaks intimately to each of the various roles within a home. To the husband, the wife, the parents, the children, brothers and sisters. Encouraging each member of the family to work together to make their home blessed retreat. Practical and poetic, it simultaneously presses my nose to the grindstone and sends my heart soaring with joy.
I have so many favorite quotes from this book, but here are a few:
- The true wife clings and leans, but she also helps and inspires. Her husband feels the mighty inspiration of her love in all his life. Toils are easier, burdens are lighter, battles are less fierce, because of the face that waits in the quiet of the home, because of the heart that beats in loving sympathy whatever the experience, because of the voice that speaks its words of cheer and encouragement when the day's work is done. No wife know how much she can do to make her husband honored among men, and his life a power and a success, by her loyal faithfulness, by the active inspiration of her own sweet life.
- I know not how any father can honestly meet these questions, as he looks upon his innocent helpless child, given to him to shelter, to keep, to guide, and not fall upon his knees and give himself to God. Rather would I see my own little ones laid away in the grave to-morrow and miss from my life henceforth all their love, and go with empty arms and sobbing heart through this world to life's close, than to attempt to train them, teach them and lead them on without the help of God.
There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Faye Greene
Everyone needs to read this book! Everyone! It opens your eyes and breaks your heart. I couldn't put it down. It has been called "our contemporary Schindler's List" We simply can't close our eyes any longer to suffering in Africa. We need to pray, we need to act. There are horrors occurring in our world, in our lifetime. If you name Jesus as your Lord, you don't have the option of ignoring the orphans (see James 1:27). This shouldn't just be the hip new crusade of the rich and famous, the church needs to rise up. Go on a missions trip, sponsor a child, purchase (red) products, everyone can do something.
The Shaping of the Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliott
I hadn't picked up any Elisabeth Elliott books since high school when she was my hero. But when I found this book I was really interested. It's such a good book, but not at all what I expecting. Very inspiring. Something very cool that I learned: Elisabeth's mother attended a Reformed Episcopal Church growing up and then she married a Presbyterian. I am a Reformed Episcopalian, with a bit of a Presbyterian leaning. (But shhh, don't tell Josh)
Miserly Moms: Living on one income in a two income economy
Loved this book, so many hints for cutting financial corners and dispells a lot of preconceived notions (eg. you have to eat crappy, nutritionless food to save a lot of money on groceries) The author fed a family of 4 on $40 per week, with plenty of protein and fresh produce. That alone would revolutionize my budget. I have been applying some of the techniques and I was able to do five dinners for 4 four of us for about $15. Three bucks a dinner ain't so bad, and we still had plenty of leftovers for lunches.
You On A Diet: Waist Management
Good solid information, one of the best diet books I have read, but all the "humor" and cultural references get a little tired. The thrust of the message is focus more on the size of your waist than the number on the scale. Belly fat, not a big bum, brings on the weight related health issues. Unfortunate news for me and my body type, but helpful to keep me focused as the number on the scale drops much more quickly than the tape measure around my waist.
I read a bunch more, but these were the most noteworthy. I will probably still be calling a few of them favorites 10 years from now.
I am currently in the midst of Reaching For The Invisible God by Phillip Yancey. It is another awesome one, so I'll post about it when I finish.