Blog Slacking - And What I HAVE Been Doing Instead

Besides the usual holiday merry-making and busy-ness, I have not been blogging as much as I'd like because I have been spending our afternoon rest-times (my normal blogging time)....


My true love.

I have loved to read ever since I learned how to do it.  From early elementary school, I have adored reading...adored libraries...adored book stores.  Love all of it.

For about 11.5 years now my reading habits have changed.  Significantly.

Before Elisabeth came home I began reading books on adoption.  And parenting.  And then books on baby gear (how to select the right stuff)...and nutrition.  

And then I segued into books on homeschooling.  And more on nutrition.  And then healing through nutrition.  And then homesteading.

And this reading for knowledge, plus actually putting it to use (namely actually parenting/homeschooling/homesteading)...leaves little time for reading for pleasure.

So while I have read a few books for pleasure here and there over the past 11.5 years, many more are the ones I have checked out of the library, only to return unread.  (Most of the reading I have done for pleasure in the past few years has been either at the beach...or during the hours (and hours!) I spent breastfeeding Gabriel (I read Count of Monte Cristo...no lie).

But for Christmas, three of my besties knew exactly what I needed (even when I didn't).

(Right here we're going to start pretending like all the following pictures are not sideways.  I know how to fix it, but it would take several minutes, several minutes that I don't have...because rest-time is almost over)

First, Cathy gave me the latest Mitford book, by Jan Karon:  

Come Rain or Come Shine, by Jan Karon

Not long into our friendship, Cathy and I discovered our mutual love for Father Tim...and Cynthia...and Dooley...and all things Mitford.  I found this series years and years ago....back when Jas and I lived in Colorado.  I remember plowing through several of the books during a vacation that Jas and I took before moving to The Deep South...and certainly before children.  I instantly fell in love with the precious small town of Mitford, and wanted to live there.  Upon discovering our mutual affection for Mitford, Cathy and I joked that we both do now live in "Mitford"!

It took me less than a week to read this latest installment, and I was so excited and yet so sad to come to the final page.

And then in a beautiful gift basket of a myriad of wonderful things, Vicki had tucked this book:

Nobody's Cuter than You, by Melanie Shankle

It looked like a neat book, with the subtitle "A memoir about the beauty of friendship."  I thought it would be a collection of essays perhaps.  But - OH - it is so much more!  I totally resonated with Melanie's thoughts on friendship and how the Lord intends it to look, and how He uses it to bless us and make us better.  And it didn't hurt that Melanie is two years older than me, and I got EVERY SINGLE ONE of her references: from Jordache, to The Limited, to Guess, to all the song lyrics.  This book had me laughing and crying, often at the same time.  It took me less than five days to read.  

 And then yesterday, for my birthday, Amy brought me this book:

Bread & Wine, by Shauna Niequist

Amy told me that this book just screamed my name to her, and she wrote inside the cover about my "gift of hospitality."  I take that as a huge compliment!  This book is "a collection of essays about family, friendships , and the meals that bring us together.  It's about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us, and about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two."  


We love having people over to eat.  This is how you (start to) get to really know people.  When Jas and I first moved down here to The Deep South, we had people over.  Many people.  When we moved to a new church 4.5 years ago, we had people over to eat.  Many people.  We are still meeting new people and having them over.  This is how true, deep friendship starts.  For me anyway.  

When Jas and I had people over to eat in Colorado - in our pre-children days - we would fix fancy(ish) things, appetizers, desserts and all.  Our menus look very different now, but I realized pretty quick 10 years ago that if we were still going to have people over (and I very much wanted to!) that it would just have to look different now.  Nothing is fancy now.  But the food isn't really the point after all...now is it?

I planned to only read the introduction at first, and I've already found these (and more!) quotes that resonate with me:  

"...the most sacred moments, the ones in which I feel God's presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place at the table.  The particular alchemy of celebration and food, of connecting people and serving what i've made with my own hands, comes together as more than the sum of their parts." (pg. 13)

"It's not, actually, strictly, about food for me.  It's about what happens when we come together, slow down, open our homes, look into one another's faces, listen to one another's stories. " (pg. 13)

"...but I do want you to love what you eat, and to share food with people you love, and to gather people together, for frozen pizza or filet mignon, because I think the gathering is of great significance."  (pg. 17)

After reading the introduction, I couldn't help but peek at a few recipes that caught my eye in the index.  And before I knew it - ANARCHY!  I began to read the stories that came with the recipes, and - before I knew it - I was breaking my cardinal rule:  Reading OUT OF ORDER!  

What is the world coming to?

When I texted Amy and told her the problems her book was creating in me, she responded "You are getting CRAZY now that you're 43!"

As long as I'm only getting crazy over books, I guess that isn't such a bad thing.  

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