Archives for January 2011

Reading: It’s Always in Season!

Winter has arrived full force, and some things just aren’t in season. Swimming, gardening, shorts, and flip-flops will all have to wait for another day — a warmer day. But reading? Reading is always in season.

Since winter has a way of inspiring us all to curl up with a good book, I thought it might be fun to once again talk about what we’re currently reading and to share what we’d like to read in the coming months. I’ll go first :)

I’m about to finish A Sweetness to the Soul by Jane Kirkpatrick, a book I won last year in a promotion by WaterBrook Multnomah. It’s categorized as a Western so I might not have chosen it on my own, but I’ve enjoyed the read nonetheless. Not too surprising given the fact that it won the prestigious Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Western Novel of 1995.

My reading list for the coming year is growing quite lengthy since I’ve been downloading free books right and left to my new Kindle :) Don’t worry, though, I’ll still be reading plenty of regular print books, too. I’m not about to give those up.

In fact, I just bought Susan Meissner’s White Picket Fences last week when I ran across a copy for $3. Couldn’t pass that up. It was cheaper than I can get it on my Kindle right now, plus I still love the feel of a regular book. I’m anxious to read another by Susan since I enjoyed The Shape of Mercy so much. I just might have to dive into White Picket Fences next — if I can hold off the urge to start reading on my Kindle :)

I’ve downloaded several classics, all the way from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, and I’ve also found several books from the past few years temporarily available for free download. My problem now will be deciding what to read next!

So now it’s your turn. What are you currently reading? What do you hope to read this year? By the way, I’ve downloaded three versions of the Bible to my Kindle as well. Let’s pray God’s Word is always on our reading lists helping us to “…be prepared in season and out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2)

Aren’t you thankful that reading — and the Word of God — are always in season? I know I am.

*Flickr photo by Zitona

**The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early February. Sign up is free and to the right!

New Year, New Tricks

You know the old saying about old dogs and new tricks, right? Well, the new year has found this old… fashioned gal :) needing to learn a new trick or two.

Not only did my husband get me a Kindle for Christmas, but we bought our first-ever brand new car over the holidays (photos below for your viewing pleasure :)). It was time for an update, and we decided to splurge on brand new in honor of our 35th wedding anniversary last month.

Getting new things is always fun, but in today’s world a new purchase many times means some sort of new technology to master as well. And for us old… fashioned folks :), that can mean quite the learning curve along with a measure of frustration. So even though I’m technologically challenged, I’m determined to do my best to learn the new tricks needed to stay at least half-way current with today’s world — and our recent purchases :)

I’ve already learned how to download books (the free ones!) to my Kindle and now I need to learn the ins and outs of navigating all its features so I can make the most of it. I’m also busy getting acquainted with our new car but still need to figure out how to input phone numbers for its hands-free Bluetooth technology. Oh my, Calgon, take me away! :)

Did any new gadgets come your way this Christmas that have you needing to learn some new tricks? Or do you have a goal this year of acquiring a new skill? If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or frustrated at the prospect of it all, remember to call on our Heavenly Father for help. Remember, He specializes in new things!

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

*Flickr photo above by Mike Licht,, Creative Commons License; our photos below of our 2011 Nissan Altima.

Putting Christmas Away


If you’re like me, this past weekend found you putting Christmas away. Since I love having our tree up as well as our other Christmas decorations, it’s a chore I delay until New Year’s Day. I soak up every moment of the beauty until the calendar tells me it’s time to say goodbye to Christmas for another year.

I’ve discovered something, though. Even though we may have to pack away the lights and garland and precious ornaments, we don’t have to put Christmas away completely. We can hang on to the spirit of the season all year long.

We can continue to reach out to those less fortunate, continue to wish strangers well, and continue to cherish our family and friends and shower our love on them. In our personal worship, we can hold on to the wonder of our Savior’s birth, to the enormity of His love for us.

Last year I held on to the chorus of “O Come All Ye Faithful” and made it part of my worship time all year long as I changed the words to “I come and I adore you”. I’ll probably do the same this year because Christmas is not the only time to come and adore the Savior, is it?

What will you do to keep from putting Christmas away entirely? Join me, won’t you, and hang on to the spirit of the season throughout the year. God’s love can make every season bright!

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. ” 1 John 1:4-5 KJV

*Flickr photo by Singh, Creative Commons License

A New Year’s Blessing

As we begin a new year together, may I pray these blessings from the Word of God over you? I so appreciate each of you and want the very best for you this year. So from me to you —

“‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.'” Numbers 6:24-26

“May the LORD answer you when you are in distress…May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:1a, 4

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

“May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will…” Hebrews 13:20a, 21a

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way…” 2 Thessalonians 3:16a

Amen and amen. Have a wonderful 2011!

*Flickr photo by LadyDragonflyCC – Tinsel Time!!!, Creative Commons License