Sunday, June 7, 2015

What I Read in May

We are a week into June, and I'm just now blogging about what I read in May. I am also using our iPad to type this, so there will probably be typos. Consider yourself warned.

Consider this : Charlotte Mason and the classical tradition by Karen Glass. -  I have beenreading about   Charlotte Mason and her methods for over a year now, perhaps close to two years. I was hoping for something more from this book. I found it a bit dry, although if you are looking to understand why the CM method is classical education, this book would be helpful. A lot of interesting points, but it won't be one I purchase. It did solidify my belief that the CM method is one of the best educational philosophies out there - when implemented correctly. 

The mingling of souls : God's design for love, marriage, sex & redemption by Matt Chandler with Jared C. Wilson.  I would recommend this book to high schoolers, college students, and those who are single, dating or engaged. Half of the book is geared toward the pre-marriage phase. Chandler refers to Tommy Nelson's The Book of Romance quite a bit.  I read that one in college and it is very good. I liked Chandler's book but found it very similar to Nelson's, if memory is serving me well. I like Chandler's preaching, so perhaps I was hoping for more. If you are married and can on,y read one marriage book this year, read Francjs Chan's instead. But if you have time for two, this one is a pretty good one. 

A day no pigs would die by Robert Newton Peck..  - I'm trying to read some children's lit that I haven't before. This book was well written, but depressing. It was on a must-read list from a source I trust, but it was just so-so in my opinion. It won't be on Bubby's required reading list in his upper elementary years. 

Scary Close - Donald Miller - I think I actually finished this in April and forgot to write about it. I read Miller's Blue Like Jazz like everyone lead about a decade ago, but if don't think I've rad anything else by him. His theology is different than mine, but some of his thoughts on boundaries and people who have hurt you made a lot of sense to me. This isn't a book that was very memorable to me overall though. 

The Gospel-Centered Woman by Wendy Alsup - A friend let me borrow this book as I am wrestling with some theological issues and questions regarding women. Honestly, I thought I didn't want to read this book (because I'm reading another one of similar topics by a different author that I want to throw across the room half of the time because she doesn't seem to wrestle with the questions I have.) But this book was so good and not what i expected. First of all it wasn't pink. (Finally a Christian woman's book without pink or princess themes!) This book is about  understanding my identity because of the gospel. I even appreciated her thoughts on the Proverbs 31 woman (and any discussion of that woman usually puts me in fight or flight mode).  Alsup is a complementarian, but even if you are not there is a lot more to this book than that issue. One of my favorite quotes from her book, "Godliness with contentment does not mean pulling yourself up from your bootstraps. If the phrase fills you euthanized guilt, you are missing the entire point. The gospel does not obligate you to contentment. It equips you for contentment. That battle with your sin, the temptation to gossip, anger with your children, church conflict, failing marriages, suffering, death- the gospel equips you to do battle with sin and suffering with the very same power that raised Christ from the dead."

I need some great fiction for the summer. I have a list of suggestions I refer to when I remember, but I'm always looking for more ideas. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

To Bubby, age six

Dear Bubby,

You turned six a few days ago, and though you were sick and running a fever we managed to celebrate at home a bit with your requested Chick-fil-a breakfast biscuit, Mexican food take-out, and fancy cupcakes that had a mini-Oreo on top. Every present was your favorite this year - a year filled with Legos and Ninja Turtles and light sabers, which you still call "light savers." Your list of words that you pronounce incorrectly grew shorter this year, so I only correct the light saber error because I don't want anyone to make fun of you. But honestly, I think it is adorable. That and the fact that you still say "aminals" from time to time instead of animals and "Pichotle" instead of "Chipotle." It seems there "baby words" are all that are left, and there's a part of me that regrets not recording every other word you have mispronounced over the years.

The fact that you are six now, Bubby, is a little bit hard for your mama. For one thing, you call me Mom now almost all of the time. And I came to realize about a month ago that your time with us, your mom and dad, is 33% over. You are 1/3 of your way to eighteen, to adulthood. It is going much faster than I ever thought it would. This saddens me, but it is also a joy to watch you grow.

You are reading so well now. Even in the last month you pick up (an age appropriate) book and read it cold with little to no assistance. I love listening to you read real books. I love how you laugh at classics like Frog and Toad, as well as the newer Piggie and Elephant books. We survived our first year of homeschooling together, and though there were tears (from both of us at times), it helped me to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses as well as mine.

You started piano this year, and it has been fun to hear you practice the last couple of weeks - now that lessons are over for the summer - and you are practicing because you want to. You tried basketball for the first time this year, and it was hard for you as one of the youngest and littlest on the team, but you stuck with it. You continued playing soccer, and it was fun to see you on the older end of your spring team, knowing what to do and making some goals.  You memorized all your verses for Awana this year, but more important than that, I see God working on your heart by the questions you ask about Him and the tenderheartedness I see displayed in your life.

You continue to be an excellent big brother. I know it is hard, but you handle our family's unique dynamics with grace and strength. You are patient and kind, and when I see you reading to Bug or wrestling with him or even working on his speech therapy homework with him, I am humbled and amazed by your kindness.

You are testing the boundaries. You remind me so much of myself with the words and attitudes that come out of your heart and mouth at times, and I pray you will learn how to use these things as assets rather than hindrances. You still have an innocence about you that most kids even your age lack these days, and I am thankful for that. I am thankful that you create rocketships out of cardboard boxes and pirate ship cannons out of papertowel rolls. You are kind to babies and toddlers. Your questions and observations are non-stop.

I pray that your year of being six would be blessed with fun and excitement, with new learning and new chances to show compassion. I pray that your heart would be open to Jesus and that your eyes would be open to those around you.  Happy birthday!