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I could talk books all day long! Well, sometimes I could talk all day long on a lot of subjects. But this is definitely a favorite topic.

I haven’t read a book outside of the bible in ions. But I listen ALL. THE. TIME. I am in awe of the opportunities we have to access information and entertainment. It’s the ultimate juggle. Listening while I do housework, yardwork, putting on my makeup, making my bed, weeding the vinyl in my JoniTDesigns, working on a Juggle Source project, riding my bike, or taking a walk.

I sometimes use Audible, but mostly I use Overdrive through the library system. It’s a great way to preserve money. It does mean that sometimes I’m listening to two books at the same time, because if I don’t finish it within the 21 days it’s loaned to me, I have to request it again, and while I’m waiting, I’m on to another book.

Most of My All Time Favorites are books I have purchased and stay in my very small library.

Right now I’m listening to On Writing, by Stephen King, and Moneyland by Oliver Bullough.

My interests are all over the place, but mostly I gravitate toward non-fiction.

These are the books I’ve documented or remembered. They’re not in any particular order. I often forget to document them; I’m sure I’ve missed some.

I didn’t indicate the topics or why I like the books, so I’m happy to tell you if you want to ask. I love love love discussing books! Ironically, I’m not in a book club, largely because of time, but equally, because I have so many I want to read, and I don’t want to be limited to a book I’m required to read by the book club.

So, Happy Sunday, and Happy Reading, or Listening!

PS: Darn… I forgot to add the other book that MADE ME A READER!

“Don’t Stop the Carnival” by Herman Wouk.

An Historical Day

Day 7 Mug Hug

Yes, like you, I love plaid. And yes, this is photographed in my bathroom. I’m starting my day differently and almost forgot that I have committed to posting every day until Christmas!

Major things have happened in the last 24 hours. And a lot is happening in the next 7 days, so the closer we get to Christmas, these posts will feel more like a luxury that might not get embraced as the distraction of Christmas and the requirements of work call my name. These books (Bird by Bird, The Memoir Project, and The War of Art) speak specifically to overcoming the obstacles that contribute to us putting off our creativity. This twelve day commitment I publicly made is keeping me accountable to do exactly what expert authors tell us to do: JUST WRITE!

Which leads me to think about what vs how. Whether it’s how we plan our day, a conversation with a friend, or a bigger one, such as starting a business, selling a house, or impeaching a president. As a Christian, we expect certain behaviors that reflect God’s word. Christians will often seek spiritual guidance to make a decision. Some are ordinary decisions without a lot of consequence, some are gigantic, with monumental impact. Almost all behaviors and decisions affect other people.

I hope that we all consider how we affect other people, as well as the degree of our responsibility to them. As Christians, God is our guide, by reading his word, and in prayer. In that way, we will see that it’s not always what we decide to do, but how we do it.

If these 4 things can be our rule, and not our exception, we will all be better for it. We will have a better grasp on the HOWS of our lives that I believe liberate us.

  1. Obey God’s word: We are to be good people. We are to be servants. We are to walk in love. Each of these passages tells us how to do something, not necessarily what to do. We aren’t responsible for other peoples’ success or failure, but we are responsible to ourselves, and if you love God, we are responsible to him.
  2. Pray: Ask God for what you want, and then listen. Let him speak to your heart as you are quiet, and see his glory in creation. Reflect on his word as you push back the noise of the world. When we are listening to God, we are more apt to behave according to his will, and overcome selfish ambition.
  3. Seek counsel: This can be tricky. With all the varied opinions with different levels of influence, it can become confusing. But counsel is God’s will for us. We are designed to be relational (although, some more than others!). But that’s why we don’t leave it there. We filter advice through God’s word. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors, they succeed.” God’s word has rarely omitted a problem for me, but it has always provided me with direction that has given me peace, even when I dreaded the challenge that I faced. In this way, I think of Jesus when he asked God to take the cup. He is our greatest example of obedience.
  4. Trust: Know that God is with us, even when the decision is scary and unconventional. In my current situation, I am fully aware that I could have made a mistake, but I kind of think, “so what!?” I have made many more. We all do our best in the moment, and we ask God to be with us in those moments. We know that there is no mistake that is so horrible, it can’t be redeemed. The story of David is a great example of trust and God’s intervention. David doesn’t ask God every step of the way of how he should act. I think of when he acted like a madman to avoid being killed by King Achish. I imagine it was just good instinct. I also think about the seemingly irony of when David saves the people of Keilah from the Philistines. In spite of him doing so, he is positioned to be caught and killed by Saul. David asks the Lord, “Will they give me up to Saul? The Lord answers, “Yes, they will.” God had sent David into Keilah to save them! David asks God again, “Lord, will the people of Keilah surrender me over to Saul?” And the Lord answers, “They will.” David was obedient throughout his volatile relationship with Saul. You have to read the whole story to know the outcome (1 Samuel), but let me just say, there’s no lack of drama, and it’s my “go to” when I need assurance that God can indeed redeem any situation.

Well, this is a much longer mug hug than I’d anticipated. So much for the luxury I didn’t think I was going to embrace!

Thank you, Jesus for this Mug Hug, and your word that is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

 

Hello! Misunderstood is on temporary hold. In a moment of bravery, I submitted Misunderstood to the NY Times. A couple of summers ago I read a great book by Marion Roach Smith called The Memoir Project. I subscribe to her site and receive her emails. In her latest email, she encourages writers to consider submitting essays to the NY Times. She featured an article called VISION QUEST by an author named Evan Cooper, which was impressive and engaging.

I decided to follow Marion’s suggestion and go for it.

I submitted Misunderstood on 10/8/19. The NY Times requires all articles to be exclusive to them. That means, their articles cannot appear anywhere else. If I haven’t heard back from them by Monday, 10/14, I’ll post Misunderstood on my blog.

Typically I wish for more subscribers, but in this moment when I know my subscribers will see this announcement, I’m wishing this were only visible to those who stumble on to my blog site. I guess that means two things. You’re the first to know when I fail, and the first to know when I succeed.

As always, thank you for reading!

Joni