Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Giveaway: Love and Respect

I'm really excited to participate in my first giveaway! Leap Day is a fantastic excuse to give something away and to enter into drawings. I want to pass along on a copy of one of my favorite books.

This is the gift version of the book Love and Respect by Dr. Eggerichs. It's the best relationship book I've ever read. Hopefully you'll enjoy it as well!

If you'd like a chance to win this book, just leave me a comment by midnight (MST) tonight. Make sure to leave a way to contact you. I will draw and announce a winner on Friday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's on My Nighstand

What's On Your Nightstand

I read a lot of books this month. After a month of nothing but nonfiction and then another month of only reading the Bible, I had so much fun raiding my local libraries. I knew I couldn't complete everything I picked out, but I was impressed by how much I did finish! All links are to my full reviews on Goodreads.

Bible - This month I continued reading the Bible first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to sleep. It's such a blessing!
  • Psalms 14-150
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah 1-14

Children's literature

Christian Fiction

Christian Nonfiction
  • Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics by Alisa Harris - 4 stars. A great read, one that I have kept for a reread.

  • Wrong About Japan: A Father's Journey with His Son by Peter Carey - 3 stars. Some funny moments but overall I didn't really learn anything new about Japanese culture.

Secular Fiction
  • A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison - 4 stars. A fantastic book, deals with a very tragic topic - human trafficking. This book will probably be one of my top reads for 2012.
  • Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini - 3 stars. Much better than her last novel!

The only specific book I intend to read next is Pilgrim's Progress, March's choice for the Reading to Know bookclub.

Instead of a nightstand this month, I have a spare bedroom floor. I sorted through all of the books that we had packed in boxes and started making piles. Some books are definitely going with us. Some will be donated to the library. The biggest pile of all is books I have not yet read and need to decide if we will pay to ship them to Seattle. My upcoming book selections will be coming from that pile.

My "nightstand"

Happy March reading!

Friday, February 24, 2012

D9P quilting progress

I am finally making some progress on my Double 9 Patch quilt! My quilting sessions aren't as long as I would like but at least I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This quilting is mostly stitch in the ditch with straight lines connecting the 9 patch blocks. Well, the lines are semi-straight. I definitely need more practice!


In moving news, we bought a kitty harness today to start leash training both cats. Here is Bruno, looking a bit unhappy with his new accessory. The photo makes the harness look way too small for him, but it's not. He's just sitting really weird.

Harnessed kitty

I'm so glad it's almost Sabbath! It's great to have a weekly break with God.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moving preparations

Every day I'm trying to do something to prepare for our move. We plan on eliminating enough of our belongings that we can pack everything in the car, plus ship a couple of boxes of books, and make the drive. We don't own any nice furniture and it would be more expensive to rent a U-haul than it would be to replace the things we own.

Today I sold half of our board game collection. We may whittle down our collection further, but I'm not sure we can without getting rid of games we love and play! Also, we threw out our extra mattress. When my dad bought us our futon, we took the one remaining mattress from our old bed and stored it in our spare bedroom. Whenever we had overnight guests, mostly my brother and his wife, they would sleep on the extra mattress. It's not a full bed, but it's the best we had. Now that my brother lives across the country, we don't expect any overnight guests before moving. With the mattress gone, the spare bedroom looks a lot bigger!

Tomorrow I think I will start scanning some of my files. I've been wanting to convert to a paperless system for several years but haven't made the effort to scan old tax files and other important records. My file box won't fit in the car so it's a great time to become paperless!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

This week's memory text & an announcement

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday

Psalm 37:3-6.

This week's selection for the memory text perfectly describes what has been going on with hubby and I. We have been praying and hoping for the past several years that we would be able to move out of Arizona to the Pacific Northwest. Last week, we finally received the blessing to go.

It's a very long story, but hubby will be keeping his current job and we will soon be working remotely from Seattle. We have been longing to move for several years and we finally get the opportunity! We are both very excited and can't wait to begin the moving process.

We should know soon when we will be moving. We still have to pay off one credit card and then save money for moving expenses. We also need to have an inspection done on our car to make sure it's able to survive a long road trip. Once the car inspection is done, we should be able to put together a budget and determine when we can move. We are hoping for mid-June!

Trust in the Lord. Commit your way to Him. He promises to give us the desires of our heart! It may not always be when we want. Sometimes our desires will change to match His. But God always provides. I am so grateful that we finally get to move and experience the desires of our heart!

Seattle, here we come!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bible Alone 30 day challenge - recap

It seems it was just Christmas and now it's February first. January was a long month but, at the same time, it flew by! It feels like I just started my Bible only challenge but it's already over. When I posted last week, I mentioned that I was hoping to read through the end of Nehemiah. Once again, I underestimated myself!

During the 31 days of January, I read:

Judges 12-21
1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles
Psalm 1-13

I could have read more. I found myself mainly reading first thing in the morning and again right before bedtime. Occasionally I would sit down in the middle of the day and read a few chapters or read a bit while waiting for a pot of water to boil. I didn't read the Bible for as many hours as I would normally spend reading other books, but spent more time each day in the Bible than I usually do. It's a matter of balance, I think.

To be very frank, I learned a lot about myself during this challenge. Reading the Bible is not exciting to me, though I do enjoy it. When I read other books for the first time, I find myself excited to sit down and see what happens next. I've read the Bible completely through at least three times and have read a few of the books (Psalms, Proverbs, Genesis, the Gospels) numerous times over my life. I was born into a Christian family and thus have heard many of the Bible stories many times. For the most part, I know what's going to happen next. The familiarity strips away some of the eagerness of reading.

On the other hand, each time I read through the Bible, I learn new things. I become aware of holes in my Biblical education, of biases that are taught in children's classes or facts that are left out. For instance, do you know how Esther came to be queen? She pleased the king, and it wasn't simply because of how she looked! How PG-13! Just last week I finally caught on to the fact that the Jews (in the book of Esther) were saved not because they weren't hunted by non-Jews. No, they were hunted but because of Esther pleading with the king were allowed to defend themselves and killed thousands and thousands of people in one day! That was not taught in my Primary School class.

Now that I'm older and taking the time to search, I love tracing themes throughout the Bible and seeing how the Old Testament and New Testament are tied together. You can't reject the Old Testament by saying we're no longer bound by it or to it. There's so much in the Old Testament that is still relevant, that is still crucial to our understanding of God. So much of what is taught in the New Testament is also taught in the Old! Unless we take the time to read both, we don't see the complete picture.

Overall, I came away from this challenge with a greater appreciation of the Bible. I've found that I can spend 30 minutes reading the Old Testament stories and not get bored. While it's not exciting per se, it's interesting and important and relevant. I really enjoy spending time with God first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to bed. I'm looking forward to spending more time in God's Word.