Saturday, February 15, 2014

What's On My Nightstand?

Confession time: the title of this blog is deceptive. The truth is that my nightstand is currently covered in clean, folded towels that somehow landed there when I got thrown off course on my way to put them in the bathroom closet... six days ago. It also has baby Tylenol. And a pair of fuzzy socks. And a half empty water bottle (or is it half full?). And my phone charger. And a picture of our wedding day, covered in a 1/4 inch of dust. And a fork. Not sure what the fork is for.

My books are actually all over the house. One on the end table next to my couch, for reading while I'm feeding the baby her bottle. Two of them are sitting on a shelf in the bathroom, next to the bubble bath and the Jake and the Neverland Pirate figurines. One is on my phone. The same one that's on my phone is also waiting for pickup at the library (I just can't get use to the whole new-fangled reading-on-an-electronic-device thing. Give me the musty smell and leafy pages of a library book any day.)

But... if I were the type of person who kept a perfectly tidy and well dusted nightstand with plenty of room for reading materials, these would be the books I would place there for the month of February:

1. The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life by Tory Johnson.
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Tory is a TV personality who was basically told to lose weight or lose her job. So she lost the weight and kept it off. This is her story.

2. The Anxiety Cure by Dr. Archibald Hart
I'm leading a church connect group on anxiety and depression, and I cannot tell you how nervous I am. (And the irony that my anxiety connect group is giving me anxiety is not lost on me, fo sho.) It's the first time since My Great Depression that I have reached out to others, face to face, to share my story and ask them to share theirs. For obvious reasons, I won't be relaying details here in the blogosphere, but suffice it to say, I'm super excited to study this book together and gain a few more Tools for the Toolbox.

3. Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Yet another church connect group the Hubs and I are leading. This is a book I read about once a year, and it's definitely one I recommend to all parents, regardless of your kiddos' ages. The premise is that we are to parent our children the way God the Father parents us, His children - seasoned with lots and lots of grace. This book opened my eyes to what grace really is, and I was surprised to find that grace includes (but isn't limited to) discipline, guidance, and boundaries. Such a great read, and I'm excited about sharing it with other families in our church.

4. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
This is a novel that was recommended to me by a friend. I'll give you fair warning: it is not a family-friendly book. I would venture to say, based on what I've read so far, it's probably more a PG-13 book. Having said that, Roberts is an amazing and inspirational writer. I find myself highlighting lines in the book just because of how beautiful they are and because I think "Shoot, I wish I had written that." Ya know? Anyways. I'm still in the middle of the book, but if you're interested in reading it, check back with me in a week or so, and I'll fill you in on the deets.

So that's it for February. I'm lining up the March books now (going for 3 nonfiction and 1 fiction.) If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears. Post them below in the comments.

Note: Please do not post sappy Christian romance novels. I admire their authors, but I'm not a fan of their style and probably will not be reading any this year.

Peace out and hustle on, my friends!


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The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood