One of the weirdest things about blogging, in my opinion, is that's it's hard to do without feeling incredibly self-promoting. There are many blogs I follow and feel super challenged and encouraged by, but each time I pick up my proverbial pen to write a new entry of my own, I feel... well... off. There is this tension of wanting to share the light-hearted happenings of my family and yet also to write encouraging, uplifting, Christ-exalting things. The later of these two, I feel utterly inadequate to recommend myself for. I don't write as one with authority or claiming any expertise, nor do I have any special gift towards communicating things divine.
If you want any of those things, please go visit the blogs of these incredible ladies.
All I know is I love Christ. He graciously saved me when I was dead in my sins and fought against Him with every fiber of my being. He's captivated my heart with the profound love He displayed on the cross. He makes life fresh and new and full of hope and longing. He gives me joy in raising four crazy, wonderful little children. He sustains me living far far away on a tiny island far from family and familiarity. He fills my heart with ooshy gooshy love for the man I was blessed to marry.
So, that being said, sometimes I may just post pictures of my family and silly anecdotes. Other times I may try to wax poetic and pen the profound, but feel free to view them as just the mere musings of a nobody. For that I am, and that I'm content to be. A nobody saved and loved by somebody.
That being said :-) Here are a few light-hearted things I've been wanting to share.
If you're looking for any good books to buy someone for Christmas, here are three of my current favorites:
"1000 gifts" by Ann Voskamp. This book is hard to put down. It reads like a novel though it is really a very meaty spiritual book looking at the practice of giving thanks in all circumstances. It has truly been life-changing for me to put into practice the art of being thankful even in the minute. You can find the book here.
"Give them Grace: Dazzling your kids with the Love of Jesus" by Elyse Fitzpatrick. This is one of the best gospel-centered parenting books I've ever read. It is very practical (it's co-authored by Elyse's daughter) and full of examples. What I appreciate about it is how it takes the gut-wrenching meanness you can sometimes feel when disciplining and parenting and replaces it with a true compassion and gospel-centered hope for your kids. You can find it here.
"Voices from the Past" edited by Richard Rushing. I've never been a big fan of devotionals. I've always thought my time was better spent reading the Bible itself instead of other's thoughts on the Bible. However, this treasure of a book has won me over. It's a compilation of Puritan writings, given one page per day. They are short but incredibly profound. Not one day has passed where that day's reading hasn't deeply impacted me. If you're a fan of "The Valley of Vision," you'll LOVE this book. (but you should still read the Bible too.) You can find it here.
As I was reading another blog about buying Christmas presents for kids, I was impacted by something she said. She said the best gifts are those that inspire exploration and not adoration. For an example of what she means and links to some great toys, go here.
Finally, just this morning, I came across some new music I just love. His name is Josh Garrels. The best part is, you can download his newest CD for FREE... right here. If you're not sure you want to download it, here are youtube videos of two of my favorite songs: "Rise" and "Farther Along."