Monday, 16 January 2017

New Year - New Challenges - New Plans (I'm back!)

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I haven't written a post since OCTOBER.

I've thought about it so many times, but life has just happened.

However, when thinking about WHY I haven't written much, I realised I was putting too much pressure on myself. I was of the mindset that if I couldn't keep up with blogging at the rate I formerly posted, then I couldn't do it at all.  If I couldn't carry on in the same style and substance, I shouldn't carry on.


That's the conclusion I have come to.

WHO SAYS I have to do things how I always did?

Not a single person. And if they do, it matters not.  My blog. My writing. My choice.

So, I choose to start blogging again at the rate I can cope with, and not beat myself up over lack of posting, too much posting, or any other such silliness.

I would like to try and post once a week, but we will see how it goes.

I am going to start off by sharing about one of my plans for the new year.

Once upon a time, in a life time far, far away, I used to read voraciously.

Now I am a mother of nine, and reading for pleasure seems to have fallen away. Other things have come in - some profitable, others less so - and reading has dropped WAY down in volume.  I read aloud to the children a LOT, but I rarely read by choice for my own pleasure.

I read aloud to the children pretty much every day. I hugely enjoy that, especially as I learn alongside them with history based reading, and beautiful literature choices.  I regularly read a book for our Mum Heart group, too, as well as a few others here and there.  My reading, however, hasn't been INTENTIONAL. I haven't pushed myself to read new things and learn more by reading for the joy of reading.

So, when I saw the 2017 reading challenge from Tim Challies I decided it was a great idea!

Last year, my friend's eldest daughter (she's really my friend, too.... Mwuah), had done the 2016 version. I remember looking at her list as she crossed them off and added titles, thinking it was a good idea. Life needs to be more than SEEING a good idea. I reckon I need to actually DO it.

So when I saw someone share about it at the end of 2016 I decided to join in. I quickly joined an accountability/encouragement/sharing group, and started to choose my books.



Can you see my first problem??? Soooooo hard!!!

Some I knew right away. Others required some idea hunting, and getting suggestions from my online friends.

I got there in the end, and I now have a list!!!

My plan is to share my list with you and then share what I am learning from the books as I go along, and do a book review on each as I complete them.

I will link through to where you can find these books (mostly on Amazon), so you can have a closer look yourself, before I fill you in with more information.

1. God's Smuggler
2. Pollyanna
3. Stories of the Covenanters in Scotland
4. Mom Enough (this book is also available for FREE from Desiring God, as a download)
5. The Attributes of God
6. Wild Swans
7. Amazing Conversions
8. Keep it Shut
9. Stepping Heavenward 
10. Heidi St John's New book (not yet published)
11. The Desperate Journey
12. Age of Opportunity
13. The Challenge of Islam to the Church and its Mission

I am thoroughly enjoying getting dug into several of these. Yes, several. I just couldn't start one, finish, and then move onto the next! They are all on vastly different topics and genres and I read them all for different purposes. So, yes, I am reading a few. I've started with Mom Enough, Wild Swans (one of my ones on Kindle, so easy to read whenever I have my phone to hand), Stepping Heavenward (it's split into journal entries, so easy to pick up and put down), Amazing Conversions and Age of Opportunity. I'm just finding them all to be super reads and have no regrets at all with my choices. I can't wait to come back and share with you some details about them all!!! Every single one has been challenging on some level, but more importantly, on a spiritual level. Only Wild Swans isn't a "Christian" book, but challenges me AS a Christian!

Are you doing the reading challenge? Please share which books you have chosen in the comments, or link to a blog post if you have written one.

If you haven't seen this yet, it's not too late to start.

This isn't some kind of guilt trip - or a rigid list that someone is going to be testing you on or monitoring you as you read. Its simply to help you be more intentional about reading and making good choices in WHAT you read.


  1. Thank you for posting your list. My list seems to be moving slowly but I am really enjoying Samuel Rutherford's "The Loveliness of Christ". It is a little book but needs to be read slowly as it has excerpts from different letters. I've been copying quotes into my commonplace book to savour.

  2. I am not taking part in a reading challenge, but have been reading more consistently recently, although not large amounts at a time. I have read and enjoyed Age of Opportunity before, and also Pollyanna and The Desperate Journey with the children. Currently I am reading The Set Apart Woman by Leslie Ludy, which is quite convicting. Thank you for sharing what you will be reading :-)

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