Another week is almost in the books.
This past week, I didn’t read as much as I’d have liked BECAUSE NLCS PLAYOFFS. Go, Cubs, go.
Jared and I are nervously awaiting tonight’s Game 6. You can read my husband’s thoughts on the playoffs here – he is a lifelong Cubs fan and knows his stuff. (I just married into it, having grown up in what was essentially a sports-free home. I’m still figuring all this stuff out.)
Also, last night Jared finally got a chance to watch the Blackhawks (hockey season has been under way for, like, a couple weeks now).
As we were watching the last period of that disappointing game (who the heck are the Columbia Blue Jackets, and how did we lose to them?!), Jared put together the fire pit we won last week at my company’s employee appreciation party. I broke down the GIGANTIC box it came in and managed not to stab myself with the box-cutter.
And then we dragged our new “toy” to the backyard under cover of night, with the sound of our town’s high school football team winning its last home game of the season ringing out a couple of blocks away. (They literally have a giant “victory bell” they ring after a win.)
After a couple of hiccups, we finally got a good blaze going.
On the bookish front …
One exciting piece of book-related news from this week is that I won another Goodreads giveaway!
I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of “The Good Daughter” by Alexandra Burt.
From the author of Remember Mia comes the tale of a young woman in search of her past, and the mother who will do anything to keep it hidden…
What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?
Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.
In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighboring farm, she ll learn that in her mother s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…”
A couple of days ago I finished reading “If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities” by Mark Batterson.
And how did I like it, you ask?
I received a copy of “If” in a Goodreads giveaway, in exchange for an honest review.
And I’m being perfectly honest when I say that this book gave me a fresh new perspective. Batterson takes us from the pitfalls of “if only” and challenges us to shift our thinking to “what if,” a mindset that is focused on possibilities in all arenas of life — work, family, you name it.
It’s all filtered through the lens of Romans 8, or “the Great Eight” as Batterson calls it. And there are many other Scriptures referenced throughout the book.
I really enjoyed Batterson’s writing style. He’s a pastor, and pastors use LOTS of illustrations to get their points across. I don’t mind that at all. I also appreciate his down-to-earth approach … there is NOTHING stuffy here.
As I was reading “If,” I kept thinking of all the people who would benefit from it as well. It’s a long list! I’d love to get my hands on a copy of the study guide and reread this wonderful book as I go through it. It’s a great option for a Bible study or Sunday School group.
5/5 stars for “If.”
Meanwhile, I meant to start reading “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir” by Jennifer Ryan, another giveaway I received almost two weeks ago. But as I was reading “If,” I was notified that the inter-library loan I’d requested was waiting for me. So now I’m working on that.
“Visioneering: A Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision” by Andy Stanley is another spiritual growth book I’d been wanting to check out.
For some reason, the first time the library tried to contact me when it came in, I didn’t get the message. They were kind enough to extend the due date after I’d finally picked it up. I have until Nov. 14 to return it, but this isn’t the kind of book I can just buzz through – so I started it as soon as I could.
Vision is a preferred future. A destination. Vision always stands in contrast to the world as it is. Visioneering, according to bestselling author Andy Stanley, is “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” With warm, down-to-earth practicality, Andy Stanley explores the ordinary life of Nehemiah and his God-given vision for accomplishing the extraordinary. He shows how the life of this great ancient visionary, determined to rebuild the ruined walls of Jerusalem, reveals principles that can prepare us to find and follow God’s multifaceted vision for our own lives. Now this bestseller is again available in an attractive, affordable paperback!
Everybody ends up somewhere in life.
You can end up somewhere on purpose!
Visioneering is the engineering of a vision. It’s the process one follows to develop and maintain vision. “Vision,” writes Andy Stanley , “is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.”
In the bestselling Visioneering, Stanley builds a compelling case for the necessity of a clear, God-ordained vision for each of the roles of your life. Whether you’re a parent with a vision for your children or a CEO pursuing a corporate vision, Visioneering is the perfect tool to help you develop and maintain God’s unique purpose for your life.
“Visioneering is the best book on vision I’ve seen. It will put you on track to discovering God’s purpose for your life. In my course “The Vision of the Leader,” I quote from Andy’s book more than any other. Visioneering should be on the bookshelf of every pastor, business leader, and parent in America . I heartily endorse it!”
—Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, Chairman, Dream for Africa
Story Behind the Book
Andy Stanley, the pastor of more than 15,000, knows a lot of people, and is well aware of the overwhelming and mutual desire nearly every Christian holds to find and fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. This book was written to stir these hearts and move people forward by providing tangible steps to getting from Point A to Point B. “As Christians,” states Stanley, “we do not have a right to take our talents, abilities, experiences, opportunities, and education and run off in any direction we please.” This book was written to provide a specific plan for going in the right direction. It truly is “God’s blueprint for developing and maintaining personal vision.”
To be honest, “If” was a hard act to follow. It was released this year, whereas “Visioneering” is 17 years old and could stand to be revised and updated.
Still, I like “Visioneering” enough so far that I’ve asked for my own copy for Christmas. It’s the type of book that, in my opinion, you have to mark up in order to get the full effect.
“Chilbury” will probably have to remain on hold even after I finish “Visioneering,” because I’m pretty sure my friends at book swap will be bummed if I don’t bring back the book I grabbed at last month’s meeting.
It’s true, not everyone has read “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins yet. Shocking, I know.
I’m about half-finished with “Visioneering” and will start “The Girl on the Train” immediately afterward. I have a hard time reading more than one book at once, which is terribly inconvenient.
Next book swap is this coming Thursday. In addition to books, we’re also swapping soups. I’m taking my personal favorite, Skinnytaste Lasagna Soup, which is supposed to be healthy but totally doesn’t taste that way.
That about wraps it up for this week’s highlights. Hope everyone who’s participating in the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is having a good time; I wish I could join you. Today I have reader’s theater rehearsal, followed by a trip to the pumpkin patch and, as I mentioned earlier, NLCS Game 6 …
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my adolescent dream boyfriend, Zac Hanson, is 31 years old today.
It was also 16 years ago today that I attended my first Hanson concert. I’m still a fan, just not obsessed like I used to be. (And yeah, they’re still making music! Check them out!)
Have a great weekend, everyone!