February is over, and we’re already well into spring over here in my neck of the woods.
Books I Read:
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Going into this, I expected more of a horror/thriller vibe. Instead, it was more of a magical fantasy world novel, which isn’t usually my thing. This one at least kept me interested to the end, but still left me wondering what I’d just read. If you’re into fantasy, you’ll probably enjoy it more, but for me it was just okay. 3/5 stars
Healing Is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn
Subtitled “10 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life and 10 Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them,” this book is a must-read for anyone in need of emotional healing. I gleaned so much wisdom from this book and was encouraged by the inspirational, grace-filled tone. 4/5 stars
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
I didn’t expect to like this one. It’s not normally something I’d even pick off the shelf, but after hearing Anne Bogel talk about it on her podcast, I took the plunge and checked out the audiobook from my library. Although I didn’t agree with everything Dear Sugar had to say, I loved the raw honesty and authentic compassion she shared with her readers. This book was a nice surprise. 4/5 stars
The Crooked House by Christobel Kent
Meh. An unoriginal and not-so-thrilling thriller. Plus, I wasn’t convinced by the characters. The story was okay, but for a much better novel with a similar plot line, read Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places instead.
The Rapture Exposed by Barbara Rossing
Since I’m studying the book of Revelation in BSF this year, and since much of it has left me confused and unsettled, I’ve been looking for some commentaries that present different perspectives and theologies. This one left me feeling more hopeful. It delves into the whole concept of “rapture theology” and how the Left Behind series has influenced so much of our modern-day evangelical thinking. A good read, if this is your sort of thing. 4/5 stars
Mini Habits by Stephen Guise
I’m hooked! What a fantastic (and completely original) take on habits and how to get stuff done. This is a plan I can actually do, and feel successful from day one. You already know what a geek I am when it comes to the study of habits. . . but this book will convince even the most cynical readers. I loved it! 5/5 stars
How Failure Saved My Soul by Heather Caliri
History Will Judge Today’s Christians According to These 4 Questions by Stephen Mattson
The Arrogance of Evangelical Evangelism by John Pavlovitz
My own most-read post:
What I Watched:
We started 11/22/63 on Hulu, based on the novel by Stephen King and starring James Franco. We’ve only seen two episodes, but so far it’s good. It’s not much like the book, though, so I’m watching with a cynical eye.
We took the kids to see Kung Fu Panda 3. It was fun for a family movie night, but I still can’t get over how it was the teenager’s idea.
What I Cooked:
This Beef Daube Provençal (which I think is a fancy way of saying “Beef Stew”) is phenomenal. I’ve been making it for years and it is the yummiest, most “make-you-want-to-put-your-pajamas-on-now” kind of meal I can imagine. I make it in the crockpot and serve it over cooked egg noodles with a crusty bread. Then I curl up like a cat and fall asleep.
What I Learned:
1. Sugar is not my friend.
I mean, let’s get real for a moment. I’m not giving up sugar for the rest of my life. But after finishing my second Whole 30 in January, and then overindulging a little (ahem) once I was free to eat sugar, and then waking up the next morning with what felt like an awful hangover, I’ve learned my lesson. A little every now and then is fine. A big bowl of ice cream before bed wreaks havoc with my body.
2. Mini habits work!
Sorry for the constant gushing over my most recent obsession. But I’m telling you, this concept is life-altering. I’ve taken on the mini-habits of stretching for one minute per day, drinking my Plexus every morning, and singing one song a day. The idea is to start with the tiniest of habits, doing something so easy it’s stupid (kind of like my 27-things idea), except you dumb it down to just one thing. It’s so easy you can’t not do it.
3. Plexus gives me energy, even if it doesn’t make me lose weight.
I have an on again/off again relationship with Plexus. When I remember to drink it, I have so much energy during the day and I think it improves my overall mood. I’m also completely sold on their BioCleanse and ProBio5 which have improved my digestive health tenfold. I have a couple of other products in my stash, but I keep forgetting to use them regularly, so I can’t really report on those.
From what I can tell, though, the “pink drink” doesn’t really curb my appetite and it hasn’t led to much if any weight loss (I gave up weighing myself during Lent, ha!). But there’s no mistaking the energy boost.
Just so y’all know, I couldn’t sell water to a man in the desert, so I’ll never try to sell you on Plexus or any other products for that matter. But if you want to find out more, you’re more than welcome to check it out here.
4. It’s actually possible to drive a vehicle until the wheels fall off.
Okay, so the wheels didn’t actually fall off.
Y’all, I have a 2005 Honda Odyssey that’s made two trips to Colorado, two trips to Florida, numerous trips to south Texas, and about one million trips to and from various schools over the last nine years. As of last Friday it had 209,000 miles on it.
It’s completely gross on the inside (thanks, kids!), the paint is chipping off, the undercarriage is all mangled so it sounds like you’re dragging a dead body under there, and the front bumper is literally hanging off. It leaks oil and power steering fluid, and the cooling/heating system is bipolar in that it can actually shoot hot air out of one vent while blowing cool out the other.
And it has a tire that apparently has a nail in it. Again.
I’ve joked for years that since it’s paid for, I was gonna drive it till the wheels fell off. Well, they’re hanging on by a thread. And I need a new car. And a ditch somewhere to park this one in.
5. I’m happier when I don’t spend much time on Facebook
‘Nuff said, right?!?
6. Happiness is a pair of size 12 jeans.
I can’t believe I just told you that.
I went back and forth for years between 6 and 8. But my body is changing as I age. I eat healthy, but I can’t live on carrot sticks alone. And 12 is just a number. Most of my clothes now are size 10, but I found a pair of jeans I liked and the 10 was too small. So I went with the 12. They look and feel good on. And for the first time in my life, I think I’m okay with it. Maybe.
Now I’ll go bury my head under the covers.
I think that’s it for me. What about you? What have you been into and up to this past month? Anything new you’ve learned that you’d be willing to share?
Disclosure: Affiliate links included in this post.