Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Reads

Well, this month my reading has kind of turned the world upside down!  I read two books that opened my eyes and convicted my heart: I am not doing enough to serve the disenfranchised, the hungry, the homeless.  The unlovely, unpolished people who Jesus loved and sought and with whom He spent His time.

So...there's been a lot of discussion and moves toward reform in the Jorgenson household.  It will be exciting to share in the coming weeks and months just what that entails.

For now, here's a little peek at the books that graced my night stand over this month of love:

:: Midwives by Chris Bohjanlian
This was a book I picked up at the library on a whim.  The story moved slower than my preference dictates, but I need to learn to write that way, so all examples are good.  I thought it lagged in places and I never had that can't-put-it-down feeling because of the pace, but the story was good and the ending well-done...especially the tiny twist that is actually enormous on the very last page--brilliantly executed.  Overall, though, the action seemed to take place off the page, and I would have liked to see those big moments rather than just hear about them.  If I used a number system, this might be a 7 out of 10.

:: Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
Katie Davis had a burning heart for Uganda and talked her parents into letting her take a gap year to serve there.  This is the compelling story about the life she never expected to find and her plea for all believers to see the need beyond their abundance.  This was the book that first got me thinking about the suffering right here where I live, and how I need to be a Katie, to serve and love like Jesus.

:: 7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
This book just about killed me: I laughed, I cried, I wanted to give away everything I own.  I can't even begin to talk about this book because I wouldn't stop writing for a day and a half.  Read it!  And if you're interested in seeing what I took away, I've posted the quotes I don't want to forget on my GoodReads page here.

:: Quitter by Jon Acuff
Okay, I'm technically not done with this book yet but I will be before March 1 hits.  Jon Acuff is funny and easy to read and though I'm already a "quitter" in that I'm not trying to pull off my dream job while working a day job, his encouraging words are spurring me on to write more, to write better, and to reach farther.

I would love to hear what you're reading these days; I'm always looking for my next great read!
{images courtesy of GoodReads.com}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sloth: A Study in Proverbs

photo source

Hey there.  That picture above?  That's a sloth...I'll get to it in a minute.

So, I wrote about my writing schedule, the two hour block, the two novels a year.

And that's great.  And people liked it and were inspired and praised me for it.

And I'm productive; I'm a productive writer so far.  And I'm somewhat productive elsewhere: I keep a decently clean house, I love on my daughter, I have a great relationship with my husband, and I try to do right by the God who saved me from myself.

But most of the time I'm skating by, doing the bare minimum--loving on Pookie between blog reading sessions, frittering away evenings with my husband in front of the TV, putting off time in the Word for other things.

I see tiny gains sometimes, but mostly I'm coasting.

We read from Proverbs over oatmeal and fruit every morning, the chapter corresponding to the day of the month.  Somewhere in January, I noticed a mention of sloth, the catalyst for this whole examination.

Since then, I've been underlining every mention of sloth, laziness, etc. as we read.  I'm not through all of Proverbs yet, and I'm not sure what I'll find when I do, but I thought I'd mention it's been on my mind.

And maybe I needed to make it known to really know it myself: I'm a productive person, but I have a lazy heart.  And now that it's out there...maybe I'll finally be motivated to address it.

I'm almost through with the whole of Proverbs; when I am, I'll compile my list of verses and share it...and who knows where we'll go from there.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Pleasure of Work

Over the weekend, we took a road trip back home to enjoy a hotel stay with my extended family, a time to catch up, swim, pig out on yummy snacks, and just generally relax.

And those are lovely, lovely things.  Things that I often wish I could be doing or try to fit into my day (well, except swimming...not much of a swimmer!) because they seem so much more pleasant than work.

In our society, television and internet and games and apps and media of all sorts are touted as pleasurable, fun things and though it is never said outright, the idea is that they are so wonderful that they should take up more and more of our time.

But do they bring true joy?

Yesterday, I had probably thirty different internet tabs open.  There were recipes, articles about how to write effective blog posts (how'm I doing so far?), op-eds, and so on.  All sorts of goodies I wanted to catch up on.

And then there was this blue binder full of manuscript and pile of notecards calling my name.

Binder = work. Tabs of fun pages = pleasure. ...right?

But then I dove in, surveying a chapter, writing my notecard, making additional notes.  Oh, it feels good to have that figured out...maybe I need to do another...

I'm not going to say that I zoomed through my work singing "Heigh ho, heigh ho," but the work got done.  Sure, a few of those tabs got enjoyed/devoured/read/watched during that time, but the work got done.

And I was happy for it.

There is pleasure in work if we labor (ha!) to find it.  Here's to hoping you find yours today!
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