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Archive for July, 2006

For the Love of Reading

I’ve loved reading ever since I was in the first grade and my teacher,  Mrs. House–the pretty lady with the light chocolate skin and the big wide smile–decided to divide the class into three reading groups: the red birds, the blue birds and the yellow birds. Mrs. House never said it outloud, but it didn’t take long for everyone to figure out that the red Birds were the best readers in the class. It made me proud to be picked as one of the “best readers” and I’ve been devouring books ever since. Recently, I was talking to a school teacher who said that she hates to read fiction, and it just blew me away.  Truly,  it saddens my heart EVERYTIME I meet someone who doesn’t enjoy expanding their mind through the pleasure (or sometimes the chore)  of reading a book.

This book questionaire seemed like a great way to talk about all of my favorite books.  Hat tip to Jennifer at Snapshot for the original set of questions.  OK, here we go.  I’ve added to it just a bit…

1.  What books sparked your interest in reading? Meaning, what books first took reading from being a forced activity to being an enjoyable pastime for you?

 

  • Anything by Beverly Cleary
  • The Nancy Drew books (I owned about 60 of these–my grandmother gave me two for each birthday and we bought more in between. Then there was the library of course.)
  • A series of books that were my mother’s when she was a little girl. I can’t for the life of me remember the titles or the author. They were about a girl who vacationed in Cape Cod and I was totally enthralled with the idea of getting to ride in a sailboat and make all of the boys fall in love with me. 🙂 The girl wore a very light, tan-colored lip-stick, which I thought was extremely sophisticated. This might explain my current lipstick afficionado.

 

2.  Which three books have most changed your life (in a practical, tangible way)?

 

  • Proverbs 31
  • Titus 2
  • Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliott  (This is probably the single most influential book in my life.)
  • Confessions of an Organized Housewife by Denise Schofield
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
  • All the Way Home by Mary Pride (I don’t endorse everything in this book, but she has a very unique way of looking at the world that made me proud to be a stay-at-home-mom at a time in my life when I was feeling ridiculed for doing so. She is actually too legalistic for my liking today and I would never give this book to a new believer!
  • Biographies. I think I love biographies, because I love to see God’s sovereign hand in the history of people’s lives. I often find encouragement in reading about the little twists of Providence that totally turned the course of one’s life. Some of my favorites include Patrick Henry, John Adams, Elisabeth Elliott and Keith Green.

 

3.  Which three books (outside of the Bible) have most shaped your thoughts on God?

 

  • Desiring God–Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper
  • The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  • God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew–my husband (then “just a friend”) and I read this together back in college and we would get together after assigning each other portions of it. It greatly influenced our ability to live by faith when we were struggling newlyweds. We still talk about Brother Andrew and the laundry soap, and have had many similar experiences in our own lives.
  • The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur

 

4.  Which book(s), if any, have you intentionally read more than once?

 

  • I hardly EVER reread a book–but I HAVE reread all of the Mitford Series books by Jan Karon each time a new one has come out!  Well, I think I’ve only read the series four times, so that’s not EVERY time…

 

  • I’ve reread Babywise by Gary Ezzo each time I was just weeks away from delivery (that would be five.) Please don’t hate me for this because I don’t endorse everything about the man, but the eat-waketime-sleep schedule has really worked for all of my babies and has helped with the rhythm of things around here. My children are fantastic nappers and sleepers and they can go to sleep easily, without an hour of backrubbing or rocking. With five children, I am very thankful for that! I also thank God for the concept of play-pen time, everytime I need a safe place for baby to play when I’m tied up with something. In case you’re wondering, I WOULD NEVER LET A BABY CRY ENDLESSLY–so please, no emails about the horrors of Gary Ezzo.

 

5.  Which three books would you recommend to a brand new Christian?

  • In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon
  • The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos–I know this sounds funny, but I have discovered with some of the gals whom I disciple, that this child’s Bible is a great way for a new Christian to do a quick survey of the Bible–particularly the Old Testament.
  • The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
  • Marriage booksThe Excellent Wife by Martha Peace or The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott
  • Parenting booksShepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp or A Mother’s Heart by Jean Fleming
  • Books for singlesPassion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliott and  Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris

 

6.  Which three books do you plan to have your kids read? (Or – “Which three books were most exciting to read to your kids / to have your kids read?” – for thoseof you who already have children)

Oh my goodness–there is no way to make this an exhaustive list. I have tried to make all of my kids keep up with the Sonlight reading lists on their level. Those lists are such a good mix of quality literature, pertinent history and books that are spiritual in nature. When the kids were younger, they enjoyed most all of the books on the Five in a Row book list too.

Others–Lord of the Rings series, Elsie Dinsmore series, All Creatures Great and Small series…I could go on and on.

7.  Books that stand out–(i.e. Ones we’ve REALLY enjoyed as family read-alouds:)

  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Chronicles of Narnia (books on CD) by C.S. Lewis
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (annotated and beautifully illustrated version retold by Mark Thomas)
  • The Sugar Creek Gang books by Paul Hutchens
  • The Rod and Staff Bible readers
  • Leading Little One’s to God by Mariane Schoolanad
  • Child’s Story Bible by Catherine M. Vos

8.  A book that made you cry

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

9.  A book that scared you

Hell to Pay–the Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Barbara Olson

10.  A book that made you laugh

Stories I Couldn’t Tell When I was a Pastor by Bruce McIver. I’ll never forget sitting up in bed late one night with my husband, reading these little vignettes by a retired pastor. The stories hit sooo close to home and had us howling and crying at the same time.

11.  A book that disgusted you

Bee Season by Myla Goldbert–This has to be the sorriest excuse for a book that I’ve ever read. I’m convinced that it’s autobiographical–it was too psycho/strange to be fiction.

12.  A book you loved in elementary school

The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary “Her mother knew she wanted a yellow slicker but, NO, she had to go and buy her the pink slicker with the matching hat.” Oh, I remember that story like it was yesterday! I remember that the main character ordered vanilla ice-cream and that the other girl on the double date ordered black coffee and that made the main character feel dowdy. I remember that she bought a dress made of pique, because it made ME want a dress made of pique–and I finally made myself one in my college sewing class!   Fun memories.

 

13.  A book you loved in middle school

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  I had never heard of this book  when I “accidentally” picked it up off of the school’s library shelves. I started it that afternoon while waiting for my parents to come home from work and read until I finished it at 1am. It was the first time I had ever stayed up too late reading a book, and it was a very delicious experience.

14.  A book you loved in high school

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

15.  A book you loved in college

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew

16.  Anymore favorites?

Anything by John Grisham

17.  What are you currently reading

  • Godless by Ann Coulter
  • The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
  • Above all Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World  by David Wells

 

17.  What’s your family reading?

Spencer- biography of Andrew Johnson (in addition the 2,000 pages on the postmodern church for his next doctoral seminar…)
Abigail- Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan, The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, Discussing the DaVinci Code by Lee Strobel and Elsie’s Troubled Times by Martha Finley
Truett- The Hobbit by J.R. Tolkein
Titus- Jurassic Park (ugh…)
Anna- a Magic Tree House book

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Evangelistic?????

What will they think of next?

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About the…

Tourofhomes

Aren’t you??

Don’t know about it?  Go to http://www.boomama.blogspot.com

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Last night as were were wrapping up family devotions, the kids started the nightly bedtime stall tactics coming up with some really good questions!  Here are a few.  Think about how you would have answered…

If the angels rebelled against God in Heaven, whose to say we won’t once we get there?

What’s the difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire?

Can you get married in Heaven?

What are the marks of a true Christian?

We were all huddled on the couches for another hour answering those questions–with the last question ending with everyone in the family sharing their personal testimony of salvation.  You KNOWI love the babies–but oh I love this stage of life where you get to have great conversations with your kids.

It’s all good.

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