I tend to be a passionate sharer. Like, when I LOVE something, everyone around me hears about it. Relentlessly. My husband loves this about me. I want everyone else to love it like I love it because I love to share a love of something with someone (that's a whole lot of love).
So in that spirit, I want to share "Stuff I Love Too Much" for January with you. This will always be an incredibly odd collaboration. I will also reign myself in and stick to 6 or fewer things (pinky swear).
First up. I have 2 current book obsessions.
Stuff Number 1: Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin was a Christmas gift from my bestie, and it kind of blew my mind. In the first part of the book, she discusses many tendencies that *some of us* (ahemm) have when studying God's Word. I essentially was making ALL the mistakes. But that's OK. Jen does a phenomenal job of explaining why these things ARE mistakes, according to God's word, then HOW to do it differently. I love this book and her process so much that I made an awesome book mark + cheat sheet incorporating the principles in an at-a-glance format for use during my Bible Study (make sure to get access to this via the Practical Joy Resource Library). It's SO helpful! This is literally transforming how I approach, read, and understand God's Word. Yes. It's that good. Snag it for yourself here. And if you're a local I'll be leading a small group via Church of the Highlands that will meet at Panera in Eastchase on Saturday mornings at 6am.
Stuff Number 2: FREE of Me by Sharon Miller is keeping me super convicted and laughing HARD at the same time. She's witty, perceptive, and truly knows God's word and heart. She has made me think about things I had never considered before. Let's just say, I didn't run across this book on accident. God knew I needed it, and he's doing some serious heart housekeeping with it. I call it a MUST READ. If you don't think you are self-focused or self-centered (I kind of knew I was but not like insanely bad), this will help you realize that it's something we ALL battle to various degrees. Get your copy!
Stuff Number 3: I'm LOVING the Get Dressed Challenge! It was a random thought one day, as I lay around in jammies (like I do 99.95% of the time). Well, more leggings that pajamas per-say, but still- not READY. Soft leggings with tons of worn out elastic, my husband's oversized t-shirt over a uniboob creating scruffy nursing bra, and a big (gross) cardigan had essentially become my "uniform". So I decided to start getting ready each day. Crazy, huh? For ME, this is a pair of pants that are mostly not leggings, SHOES (so important), and on day 4 I upped my game to a real bra. I'm also opting for clothes that match that I could feasibly go to Target in. That's my standard. How's it going? SO WELL! I've been so encouraged by the results. I'm more energized, productive, and focused. I keep going all day because shoes just do that to you! And my girls have been inspired to do the same, despite being able to homeschool in PJs if they choose. If you want to join in, follow me on Instagram and share your daily pic with the hash #getdressedchallenge!
Stuff Number 4: Did YOU know the Bible app reads to you? I didn't! I'd lost time the other day and hadn't had my Bible study. I also needed a shower. My husband mentioned he listened to it but I thought it was only the KJV version on audio. Not to offend anyone, but I can't understand the bible in medieval English. So, I looked and BEHOLD! You can listen to the ESV version, AND the guy does such a great job! It was really so fun to listen to! I'm hooked 😃
Stuff Number 5: Who else does block scheduling? Homeschool or not, I love it gives us the freedom to move from task to task using timers on our phone (or this one is great too for your kid who needs a warning). It keeps us on rhythm and focused. It also helps my girls manage their school schedules independently. Having two independent learners is how I'm able to spend time on this blog!
Finally, Stuff Number 6: Have you heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Essentially, our brains miss the sunlight and low Vitamin D levels lead to decreased serotonin output- IE: happiness. Using artificial UV-free light via a light box or Happy Light (Huff Po tells you how to use it) helps your brain to release the serotonin and keeps the happiness flowing. I've suffered for years with just feeling so sad, forlorn, and depressed Jan-early March. This makes ALL the difference in the world! The one I have isn't available anymore but this one is very similar. You want at least 7500 Lux (brightness). You just read or eat or something while it's shining at you nearby for 20 minutes. Easy-Peasy.