In My Free Time: I Read.

Having a child, I’ve learned to make lots of hard choices.  Like, do I eat chicken and peas with her or do I feed her the chicken and I grab a piece of cold pizza?  Pool or splash pad?  Kix or cheerios?

But by far one of the most difficult choices I’ve had to make is what I do with my free time.  Back when the Pickle was tiny and round she hardly napped at all.  I would get so frustrated.  About the time I’d start doing something during her nap, she’d start crying and I felt like I had NO peace at all. 

Now, I’m proud to say, she is an expert napper.  Sleeps a LONG time at night and takes two during the day.  I hardly know what to do with myself! 

Inevitably, I often want to choose me-time things to do.  Laundry and cleaning will always be there, but that cute idea on Pinterest may get lost in the digital filing cabinet and I MUST see it now!

But seriously, some days I choose a good old-fashioned read.

Just as I am a closet gamer, I am also a closet reader.  In fact, reading is on my lose-control-trigger list.  When I was young I would get in SO much trouble for always having my “nose in a book.”  Looking back, I realize that I could have had my nose in a lot worse, so I wouldn’t really mind if Pickle became an avid reader as she grows up.  I’ve already started letting her ‘read’ (aka. have a book) in her crib before naps and bedtime.  We’ll see if it sticks!

Anyways, this topic leads me to my all-time favorite book list.  I will go into detail on these books in later posts, i’m sure.  And I’ll add more here and there as I think of them.  But for now this is a run-down of some of my most life-changing (or addictive) books and why you should read them.  In no particular order.

Let Me Be A Woman (Elizabeth Elliott) – I. Love. This. Book.  It’s a collection of letters that she wrote to her daughter after she got engaged about what it means to be a Godly wife, woman and mother.  Keep in mind that Elizabeth grew up and was all of these things during an earlier time.  She touts ideas like wifely submission, Biblical discipline, and (God forbid) abstinence and modesty.  She is probably the reason for many of my old-fashioned ideas on homemaking, but there is something about this book that grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let me go.  I try to read it at least once a year… that is until I left in on a bus in China.  Now maybe some Chinese woman is reading it once a year!

Captivating (John and Stacy Eldridge) – Are you sensing a theme here?  This book also happens to be about being a woman, but is a little more modern take on the beauty and strength and adventure that it is.  Again, it’s probably a once-a-year read for me, and might be more often now that I have a little girl who will need to know that she is captivating!

Parenting By The Book (John Rosemond) –  There will be a full book review on this one coming soon.  When we learned we were pregnant, some friends of ours in Thailand recommended this book.  Their exact words were: “we wish this had been the ONLY parenting book we ever read”.  With that ringing in my ears (and me in nearly full agreement) I have found myself going back to it time and time again.  Not because John Rosemond is oh so wise, but because he puts Biblical child-rearing down on paper in a way that makes complete sense to me.  And I probably will not bother reading another parenting book.  This is a twice a year or as-needed book (for example, the Pickle made that awful discovery of her freewill the other day in Power Struggles…  I immediately got this book out again!)

What?  Did you think I’d actually give you fiction? 

Hmm.. what are the best fiction novels I’ve ever read?  What do I read and re-read over and over?  Oh!  Duh.. Lord of the Rings.  All of them.  All at once.  With lots of coffee.  Sometimes you just need a marathon… and the big picture.

Little Women.  I read it for the first time in 4th grade and thought I was all-that reading such a big book.  Now I just love the way she writes and the sweet, touching way that the story unfolds. 

Recently: I wouldn’t say it was my favorite book ever, but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a pretty intriguing, can’t-put-it-down kinda book. 

The Help was wonderful, of course.  I love seeing history fleshed out. 

And I actually found a random book in the free bin at the used book store that was really, really interesting!  It was called The True Story of Hansel and Gretel.  Very intriguing view on how the holocaust impacted children.  Fiction, but it really cuts you to the heart.  It’s a little depressing at times, though, so watch out!  Read it on a sunny day!

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