February got cold. Real cold. I went to the store and the temperature was 31 degrees below zero (with windchill) and I thought, I should be home by the fireplace with a warm cup of coffee (cinnamon honey latte) and a really great book. And when I say "fireplace", I mean the one in my bedroom. Because if I sit by the one in the family room, it's like I'm magnetically charged. My loved ones come out of the woodwork and get really chatty. Who am I kidding, the magnetic charge is just as strong when I'm reading in my bedroom. There's something about a mom taking time to do something she loves (could I just get 30 minutes?!) that draws them in. Bless. Here's what I read in February:
5. The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
"The decisions we make, make the lives we live. If we want to live better, we've got to decide better. Yes and No. The two most powerful words".
Lucy got me this book for Christmas and I was so excited to read it. I love the line on the cover that says "making wise decisions in the midst of endless demands". I was really loving this book and had it all under-lined and was feeling like I was getting great stuff out of it. And then I hit chapter 17...and I was thinking, Lysa must have written this chapter just for me. The tears flowed from my eyes as I read those words that I needed to hear so desperately. Loved this book.
6. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
"Everything anybody ever said in this house was desperate. Desperate was white noise, as far as Eleanor was concerned - it was the hope that pulled at her heart with dirty little fingers".
This was our book club pick for February. A young adult novel about two quirky teens set in the '80's. A few of the ladies in our book club enjoy reading young adult or teen lit to keep a pulse on teen culture. A lot of disfunction and F-bombs abound in the book. But it was sprinkled with some really sweet moments for two un-likely teens. I really liked this author's writing style and the way she told this story. Heart warming and heart breaking all at the same time. A good read.
7. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
"When things go wrong, you'll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better".
Our read aloud this month was the 6th book in the Narnia series. Or 1st, your choice. We read the books in the order that they were written, so it was the 6th for us. We loved the surprise at the end that filled in some of the details in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (book 1). I asked the kids if they wished we had read this book first, or if they were happy we read it when we did. They were all happy that we read it when we did. Oh, this book was so good!
8. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
"The secret to maintaining an un-cluttered room is to pursue ultimate simplicity in storage so that you can tell at a glance how much you have".
I really enjoyed this book. I tried out her folding technique for clothing in MJ's room, and we were both impressed with the results. I liked a lot of her concepts, and I liked how this book looked and how it read. It got a little quirky for me when she wanted me to say "hi" to my home. And to "thank" my clothing for doing such a great job today. I don't think she has children or even a spouse for that matter, so a lot of her ideas just wouldn't work in my current situation. A lot of great tips but this book is probably best for a single lady living in the city.
9. Keeper of the Angel's Den (the Corrie ten Boom story) by Janet and Geoff Bengel
"Remember, there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper".
I love Corrie ten Boom's story. And I love these Christian Heroes, Then & Now books. (We've read about 8 of them.) But, if you are interested in the Corrie ten Boom story, nothing beats The Hiding Place. Daisy read that book this month, along with me reading this one aloud. I would still recommend this book for families to read to younger (elementary) children, but to older kids, The Hiding Place for sure.
10. Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Clay Clarkson
"Summer is a good time for an annual tune-up of your home and homeschool".
This is a homeschooling classic. It offers such great tips, advice, and book lists. I flipped through this whole book and read what was relevant to me. Throughout the book (every other page) they have little "In Our Home" sections. I read every single one. It was like being a fly on the wall in their home. I love how the Clarksons encourage going after the hearts of our kids. A homeschooling must read.
I've already started in on my March books and can't wait to share those next month.
"In between where you are now and where you want to be will usually be a pathway of awkwardness".
The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst