At our house, by summertime, we always had too many toys. Between birthdays, Christmas and maybe a few random purchases, the toy box would be overflowing. What to do? We started every summer with weeding out the toys. It was kind of like a beginning of summer game. Here’s how we did it.
I usually find it fairly easy to listen to my heart. But doing what it tells me sometimes comes a little harder. The last year or so has been a productive time in my life. But with productivity comes busyness, which has led to weariness. Lately, now that all the projects and transitions and changes are nearly through, my heart is whispering to me to rest.
I love hearing it, because that’s exactly what I feel like doing. But still, it rubs against what the world tries to tell me I should do. Will I be perceived as lazy? Lacking purpose? Unproductive?
Maybe. But does that even matter?
Lately, I’ve been carving out time for an afternoon rest. I may nap, play a mindless computer game, crochet, or read. If my favorite team is playing during the day, I may even watch the game on TV. I’m finding that when I give myself some rest time, I am far more productive overall. My soul needs that breather so my mind can think more clearly and I can do the things I need to with renewed energy. I don’t set a specific time limit on my rest. I just get back to work whenever I feel ready.
Obviously, not everyone has that luxury, especially if you work for someone else or have children clamoring for your attention. I understand. I’ve been there, too. But if you can find even a few minutes to clear your mind in whatever way works best for you, do it.
Listen to your heart. Do what it says. And if you can’t do it right then, take good notes so you don’t forget its whisper.
What is your heart telling you these days?
In recently responding to a comment on my 2016’s Most Impactful Book post, I saw that I’d promised one commenter that I’d blog about all the books I read in 2016. That was back in December. Oops. I never did it, hence this late post about said books.
I read only ten books all last year, which I find a bit disappointing. I’d like to read at least one book a month, but some years just don’t allow that. The books I did read are as follows.
Springtime is my favorite season, even though it means a hot Arizona summer isn’t too far away. But I love the warm weather, the sweet smell of orange blossoms in the air, and so many plants in bloom. Here’s a gallery of photos I took on my walk around the neighborhood this morning.
Palo brea tree
Not sure what this is, but it sure was pretty!
Brilliant purple bougainvillea bush
Not sure what this purple bush is.
A close up of the purple bush’s flowers.
Ocotillo in bloom
I love all the babies growing on this prickly pear cactus. It was just starting to bloom.
Is it springtime where you live? What’s blooming in your neighborhood?
As a child, I rarely made my bed, except for when my mom made us clean our rooms. She taught us how to lay the pillow with the open end of the pillowcase toward the edge of the bed. Then we pulled each sheet and blanket up to the top one by one, smoothing out the wrinkles so the bedspread would lie neatly on top. If there were wrinkles underneath, they showed through to the top layer. Mom taught us how to pull the covers and sheets until there were no more lumps. I’m glad she took the time to do that, even though I seldom used the skill regularly until my late twenties.
But now, there’s something about making the bed. I do it every morning. It makes me feel like I’m ready to start the day fresh, like I have at least one thing together. Often, I only make one half of the bed because over the years, Rollin and I have come to each make our own side of the bed. But if he has to rush out to work, I do his side, too.
Exciting news! My book, Meet Shelby Culpepper, is on the cusp of being released by Armonia Publishing. It’s a clean, wholesome, FUN read for your favorite kids who are roughly in the eight-to-twelve-year-old age bracket. But books don’t sell themselves. That’s where you come in.
I’m looking for a team of people who would be willing to post a review on Amazon (and any other book-selling platform) in exchange for a chance to win a free, signed copy of Meet Shelby Culpepper AND a 10% discount on any additional copies you order when you join the team. The book will retail at $8.99 in print form, and $2.99 for the e-book. Here’s how it works.
I got up at 4:30 this morning. That’s a solid two-and-a-half hours earlier than I normally get up. But it was important.
You see, my young adult daughter was super excited about a new Hurts Donuts store opening near us. Well, not super near. But about ten miles away. The first 100 customers would be entered into a drawing to receive free donuts for a year. We intended to be in that number. They opened at five, so it was rise and shine at 4:30.
I’m struck today by how complicated Christmas has gotten. A friend caring for her husband who has Alzheimer’s feels bad because she hasn’t had time to put up a tree or decorations. She just isn’t in the mood to do it. Others are frenzied with activity, yet they feel they still must do Christmas baking and complete their shopping from elaborate gift lists. What happened to silent night, holy night? From where I stand, all is certainly not calm or bright.
Some things in life are just over-the-top sweet. For me, being a mom is one of them. Which is why there are still some days that I miss my children. Two of my kids live within a half hour of me. One is out of state. It really doesn’t matter that I may have seen them just days ago. I still miss them at times.
Some days, I long to hear their voices bouncing off my walls, their delirious laughter ringing through the house. Even their arguing might be welcome because it means they’re here, close enough to scoop up and hug. Of course they’re way too big for that now. The scooping up, not the hugging.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that they’ve grown up so well and are living on their own. I don’t wish them to come back permanently. I have a productive, happy life of my own and they would certainly cramp my style as much as I’d cramp theirs.
It’s been one of those years that I haven’t had much reading time. As a writer, I’m supposed to be a huge reader. I think of myself as a huge reader. But this year, I wasn’t. I’ve only read a total of eight books.
Full disclosure, I’m still reading numbers seven and eight of those eight. And I definitely won’t finish number eight this year. Still, I hope to add one more book (an Advent read) to the completed list before December 31 rolls around.
But of the eight I’ve (almost) read, one stands out. And it’s one I haven’t finished and definitely won’t in 2016. The most impactful book for me this year is…drum roll, please…100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart, by Robert J. Morgan.