Loving Lately: Books, Jammies, FitBit & Audible
This year I wanted to use my last months with just little Truman to grow my brain and my heart. In working through my powersheets (love!) I determined that I wanted to be more intentional about reading, moving my prego bod, spending time in my gardens with my boys, spend less time scrolling and establishing more tools to study the bible in my tiny windows of time. So. This post is (mostly) about that. Now that I read back over it, that seems like a lot, but for the past 5 months, having these ideas loosly in my mind has helped to guide my time A LOT.
I've completed 9 books, planted a veggie garden, redone two areas of lame landscaping and a host of other things. I have to say I'm currently in one of those phases where I'm reading about 10 things...but hey...nbd. Determining and keeping these goals in mind has definitely helped change my patterns and use of time.
1. First lifesaver? Audible. I was on the fence (and off of it, really) when it came to audible for soooo long because I LOVE to actually hold and read the book, BUT with a Truman and a full workload squished into a couple days a week this has been such a blessing to my brain. I'm working through Brene Brown's Rising Strong, enjoyed Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat on a carride with Luke and just finished up Paul David Tripp's What Did You Expect? and loved it. It's a lengthy listen at 11 hours, but I enjoyed having it on my phone, ready for a listen on a short car ride or for an hour here and there in the office. Another secret?...the ole bra. Since I was a little and we rode horses on the farm, often alone, I've been living with my phone tucked into my bra and if you turn on the podcast and tuck it in you can get a lot of yard work done while listening to podcasts and books. Bonus? It makes the work go by faster. There's your quadruple plus, love in one.
2. Everyday Hope by Katie Orr is simplifying my bible study time, that is running short on many days. She follows a FOCUS method that meditates on a passage for 5 days at a time in 5 different ways. She's also got Everyday Faith: Drawing Near to His Presence and Everyday Love: Bearing Witness to His Purpose - will probably give her method a try on my own until baby arrives then roll through Faith and Love when I'm shorter on time and self-direction.
3. Reading lately? Nearly finished with this spiritual memoir of sorts by Preston Yancey. It hasn't been my most fave, but I certainly have enjoyed reading from a different sort of author than I'm drawn to. I'll tell you that the cover photo was really what drew me in and the talk of his time at Baylor and Waco kept me going. If you're a spiritual memoir fan or someone searching through faith, asking questions about denominations and traditions, safe to say you'd enjoy his perspective and experiences in Tables in the Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost, and Found Again.
4. Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough This gem of a book has me searching my heart with each chapter and loving all the visuals that Haley and Jess have thrown in. The tagline for this book is superb, because is so succinctly addresses who God made us to be and that our tendency to believe that we're either too much (yes!) or never going to be enough (that, too!) isn't part of how He made us. Totally a perfect start to summer freedom. Grab it, read it with some friends and soak it in.
5. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature This book is definately something I'd expect to pick up for class, but was a quarterly read in the #nancyraybookclub that I am so glad I ordered. I saw a few other ladies I mega-respect reading through it and have thoroughly enjoyed Scazzero's exploration of emotional health and maturity and how that factors hand-in-hand with our spiritual health. He briefly touches on some denominational traditions, grabs your hand and goes mining through family traditions and experiences, expectations, church life and a plethora of other hot-button issues and experiences so many of us see our faith through. The latter half uses a Stages of Faith model that theologians from Augustine to John Wesley have used to explore the Christian life. It's a heavy, heart-opening, behavior-challenging read that will most likely take you a long while to weed through, but it's been the most expository book I've read in a while. You can also pull up Nancy Ray's book club details here and watch old periscopes, on past books, too. There are still 9 books to go on her list and I've really enjoyed her perspectives (as usual) and the community of folks following along.
6. The Fitbit Flex. Yep. I've become one of those people. But before you get crazy and try to challenge me to a step-off (I pretty much have no idea about the fitbit community..obviously) know that I am not an addict yet, am not a super competitive person and I'm not even close to using it's full potential and I LOVE it. Above you'll see my fitbit disassembled how I like to use it. I'm not an armband or things-on-my-arms person, so when I saw this fitbit magnetic clip, I grabbed it up. All I do is remove the flex chip from the armband, pop it in this magnetic clip and attached it to - you'll love this - MY BRA! (I hope I have enlightened you to make full use of these dumb things we ladies have to use. I wear mine right against my heart, between the girls with the larger side out and it works like a dream. I've got it linked to my phone and have found myself being much more aware of my activity. This pregnancy hasn't been the easiest to keep strenuous workouts going (but also....how often do I really participate in strenuous), so walking and being mindful or moving my body more has been the answer. I rarely hit 10,000 steps, but I really love keeping tabs on what I think is a busy day. I also make use of the water tracker, because with crazy Truman around, the usual tally I kept in my mind doesn't exactly keep as accurately these days. Keeps me from feeling junky and has really changed my attitude about another trip up the stairs, running Truman's toys back to their various places and similar activities. SO that's it. Grab ya a fitbit flex and that $7 magnetic do-dad and you'll be walking and rolling.
7. Truman's fluffy hair...cause duh. He's a sweet little dreamboat right now who needs a haircut, but the crazy, fluffy hair, I find, makes grace a little easier for me to extend when he's being a wild and crazy toddler.
8. Many of you Mommas have asked where we found Truman's popcorn pajamas and it's my old standby: The Gap! He loves to wear them and come upstairs for a little movie on Friday nights with Momma and Dad. I also grabbed these super American Flag jammies, too. I've always been a fan of patriotic and the Gap just delivers time and time again on the ole red, white and blue.
So there ya go - my random list of loves that's a little book heavy (surprise!) and ends on a Truman note. A quick sidenote from last week's Loving Lately, too - Grove Collaborative is offering a free full-sized hand sanitizer and $10 in credit to anyone who feels like signing up for their sweet service. I unloaded a box of newborn diapers yesterday and was reminded that they are one of my most favorite parts of simplifying life these days. A gentle reminder that the book links on this post are Amazon affiliate links and help me keep this little spot of enjoyment running.