I often choose books based solely on what I need or want to learn at the time.
It’s why reading for the simple pleasure of it is a goal this year. Maybe Nancy Mitford says it best, “As far as I’m concerned, all reading is for pleasure.”
Today, I’m sharing both types of reads and I hope you’ll share your favorite(s) in the comment section.
(Note: This post contains affiliate links which simply means I may earn a small commission but it’s at no extra cost to you. Thank you!)
Garden Maker…Growing a Life of Beauty and Wonder with Flowers by Christie Purifoy
Beauty draws me in like a blazing fire does on bitterly cold nights. And Garden Maker is currently lit on my bookshelf. It is marked by beauty both visually and spiritually. Christie snapped all the shots for the book which is impressive as she doesn’t consider herself a professional photographer. But it’s her words I love even more. I’ve been a fan of hers since her first release, Roots and Sky. I also own her second book, Place Maker, and both are game-changers. In Garden Maker, her lyrical magic continues, but this time, she also gives practical advice on starting and tending a flower garden. I grew up gardening so I’m reading it more to be inspired by God’s truths displayed on every page in every possible way.
A favorite quote from Garden Maker: “Welcome to the garden. Welcome to this holy work. I understand if you are afraid. The thorns are knife-sharp, and the weeds are always waging their quiet wars. But here is the promise that has been made to each one of us: “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:5). Every garden is singing a song for the One who made us, and we are invited to sing along.”
When Strivings Cease…Replacing the Gospel of Self-Improvement with the Gospel of Life-Transforming Grace, by Ruth Chou Simons
You know the saying about how you don’t know how much you need something until you have it? Enter When Strivings Cease. I’m halfway through the book and for good reason. With chapters like “Bent and Broken: Striving to Please” and “The Lunchroom: Striving to Belong”, it’s no wonder the pace has slowed to a savor, much like a fine cup of tea. I thought I knew a lot about the subject of grace but God’s Word and When Strivings Cease reveal I still have a lot to learn…and that’s okay.
A favorite quote from When Strivings Cease: “When we believe an earthly father is available, knowable, inviting and good, we go running to him. We don’t hesitate to pursue a father who welcomes us with open arms, who looks up from his work and really listens, who shows concern when we cry, who holds us when we ache, who’s patient with our petty complaints, and silly stories. In the same way, we go running to God when we believe him to be that kind of Father. But we shy away and guard ourselves more when an earthly father doesn’t pursue us or seems silent. When he is bad at listening or isn’t available. We hide. We stay away. We pretend. What we believe about our Father determines how we come to him—or if we come at all.”
The Lazy Genius Way…Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done
I’m all about getting stuff done because productivity is my love language — but blind spots exist and it’s why I bought The Lazy Genius Way. I want so badly to be “normal” when it comes to housekeeping. But normal I am not. I never have been. Don’t get me wrong, I love cleanliness and order like anyone else but I don’t see multiple stacks of books, scattered
papers lists, specks of dust, or baseboards in need of a fresh coat of paint. To see these kinds of things, and to feel the weight of how I “should” stop what I’m doing to pick up, paint, or do whatever else it is that normal people do, paralyzes me. Kendra teaches her readers how to name what matters to them, and to release the pressure of the rest. Talk about freeing! (By the way, on her podcast last week she spoke on how productivity shouldn’t be the definer of a good day. I almost had to pull over to catch my breath.) I’ve already pre-ordered her latest book, The Lazy Genius Kitchen: Have What You Need, Use What You Have, and Enjoy it Like Never Before. She has fun free stuff on her site for those who pre-order.
A favorite quote from The Lazy Genius Way: “Decide once, on purpose, about everything, from the items in your closet to what’s on your calendar. A single, intentional decision relieves your brain of effort, freeing you to think about what matters to you instead of living in a cycle of choosing this and that over and over again.” Boom!
What’s one book you’re currently reading? What do you like most about it? Share below and you’ll be entered into the Starbucks giveaway for a hot cup of something to enjoy while you read.
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