Library Cart for 2014

I bought my husband a sander for Christmas. He has a great desire to find more time for woodworking. I wholeheartedly support this hobby, especially when there are so many wonderful projects I can send his way. My first for this year? A library cart shelf. Next to my favorite seat on our couch is a constant stack of books, journals, magazines and knitting paraphernalia. I got the great idea to have him build me a replica of a library cart to park right there for organization and easy access. Something like this:

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Or this:

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With maybe some shelves like this on the bottom for my yarn:

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So today I am sharing with you the books that will find their home on my library cart this year. I am very sure it is subject to change, but this is the short list of books I want to read this year.

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Some of them are oldies from my shelf that I haven’t read in a while, some were Christmas gifts.
The first is the Bible. I am trying a new reading plan this year. It is the Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan from the You Version Bible App. I am hoping it will bring more continuity to my daily readings as I search God’s word this year to study His Promises. I will go into more detail about that in another post coming soon.
Tempted and Tried by Russell D. Moore
I have had this one on my shelf for a couple years and still haven’t got the chance to read it. I am really looking forward to digging into it soon.

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Just one of the classics that I haven’t had a chance to read in a while. I probably won’t be able to get to this one until our Homeschooling year is done and we are well into summer vacation.

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A Woman’s Guide to Fasting by Lisa E. Nelson
I am a Co-Facilitator for this book in my local P.W.O.C. (Protestant Women of the Chapel). I am very encouraged by the simple truths of this book and the loving guidance offered by the author. It is practical and still gets straight to the heart of this forgotten Christian discipline.

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A Hunger for God by John Piper
This is another great book on Fasting that I am reading as supplementary material for the PWOC class. It is also available as a free PDF here at DesiringGod.org.

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Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph
This is a fairly new book. I breezed through it quickly this fall, but plan to slow down and really soak it in again. Written by one of the founders of Goodmorninggirls.org.

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The Promises of God by R.C. Sproul
My prayerfully chosen theme for this year is the Promises of God. I will be writing a post about it later this week. This book looks like an amazing way for me to kick off the year studying and learning about God’s promises in his word.
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The Mission of Motherhood and The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
Both of these have been recommended to me by several wise and loving mothers who give them rave reviews. I am already planning a simpler homeschool schedule for next year in the event that we will be moving again {love the military life}. I chose to read these two books first to get my thoughts back to the heart of it all; the hearts of my children.
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Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
Discipline: I need it, lots of it. This book explores areas of discipline that I haven’t considered much before like honoring others, time and work.
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One Hundred and One Devotions for the Homeschool Mom and One Hundred and One More Devotions for the Homeschool Mom by Jackie Wellwood
These two devotionals are essential for me during the school year. The author has such a tender way of understanding the hearts of homeschool moms and encouraging her reader’s with God’s word and also asking great questions to get you praying and applying it to your day.
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Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson
As I said before, I am already revamping our Homeschool for next year and I am hoping to start here with this book. We use the Charlotte Mason method so the thought of a simpler homeschool using real books and real life really appeals to me.
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So that is it. That is what I have filled my virtual library cart with for the year and hopefully soon they will fill a real handmade library cart by my chair as well.
What are you reading now? What do you plan to read this year? I would love to hear from you and maybe even grow my list with your ideas. Leave a comment and let us know. Many blessings for the New Year.

Abiding in Him,

Melissa

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Hearts at Home

image borrowed from www.itakejoy.com  Click the image to see original post.

image borrowed from http://www.itakejoy.com
Click the image to see original post.

 

My most fruitful and meaningful ministry for this season of my life is my home.  My marriage is just shy of a decade old. Without a doubt it will be a work in progress until the day I die, but it is still so young and immature.  It is a pendulum of joy and trials knocking me down from my pedestal of pride to my knees in repentance.

My children are only seven, five and two.  It is my joy, yet my most demanding work to be a SAHM and homeschool them “bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). A LOT of sanctification happens here.

So when I felt the tug on my heart to begin this ministry, I knew it had to be focused on my heart being grounded in my home and the work God has for me there.

All Christian women,

Whether single, married, divorced, widowed,

With or without children,

SAHM’s or moms who work,

Mom’s with young children or moms with grown children,

Homeschoolers or not,

New believers or old believers,

ALL would say that deep down their most important work is done at home.  It is in our God-given nature.

In Genesis 2:18,

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

And again in Genesis 3:20,

“Adam named his wife Eve (whom we are all daughters of), because she would become the mother of all the living.”

We are made to be helpers and nurturers and we need to be encouraging one another in this calling.

In Disciplines of a Godly Woman, Barbara Hughes shares her observations on this calling specifically in motherhood.

Today’s mothers are pulled in many other directions–and typically away from at-home tasks considered too humble or too selfless for twenty-first-century women of status, sophistication, and power.  Today’s mothers are isolated and unsupported by popular culture in the work of mothering.

We must become convinced in our souls that nurturing is a supremely elevated role. And we need to proclaim that truth to the women around us, emphasizing that the role of mother is an incredible privilege. We older women carry a God-given responsibility to help younger women with families so that they do not become overwhelmed with the mothering task, for it is great .

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5)

As a young wife and mother I was, and still am, always seeking out an “Older” woman in my life.  And I realize I am called to be this to “younger” women as well.  A beloved and much wiser friend told me just a couple of weeks ago,  “As a Christian woman, we are in the perpetual middle ground of this command from Titus 2:3-5.”

We are always in need of a wiser godly woman who has walked this path before us.  Someone who can encourage us and teach us and sometimes just listen and cry with us because they have been there.  We will not just wake up and be older and wiser with gray hair and gentleness ready to pour forth infinite wisdom.  We are to be abiding in Christ and he will build us into this role over the course of our walk with him.

But, we also always have wisdom to pass on to someone younger.  Do not dismiss your role as the “older” woman just because you do not feel like you have it all together yet.  You will never feel that way.  But in your walk with God no matter how short, the Holy Spirit is your helper and is revealing God’s wisdom and truth.

In this community of Abiding Hearts at Home, we can encourage one another on all walks and in all seasons.

The older believer can encourage the new believer as they struggle with sin and repentance and the understanding of grace. The older believer can be encouraged by the zeal of the new believer for the things of God.

The Married can encourage the newly married as they begin a lifelong commitment to, let’s face it, another sinner just like us.

The homeschooling mom can encourage the moms with kids in school that our children DO NOT always listen to us. And vice versa, the mothers with kids in school can encourage the homeschooling moms to get out of the house and take some alone time every once and a while.  As mothers with school age children, we both share the same struggles and joys.

The married women can encourage the divorced and widowed by offering a helping hand or just being a good listener. And the divorced/widowed woman can encourage those who are married in the lessons they learned and the joys and trials they had in their marriages.

We are all still growing and we all need encouragement.

I encourage you today if you have an “older” woman in your life that has helped you along the way to contact them and bless them with a word of thanks.  This can encourage them even more in their roles.  I also encourage you to keep an eye open for the struggling young mother or wife close to you that is desperately seeking for advice and encouragement.  Do not hold back thinking you are not wise enough, just answer the call to love and when the time comes the Holy Spirit will be your guide.  Just keep abiding and trust that God is doing the work through you and in you.