Friday, March 7, 2014

Lent -- Day 3 of 40 (Books on my Nightstand)

I was joking with some friends on the way to the beach last weekend about how I was reading 3 different books at the same time. In all seriousness, I am, but there are a few that I want to remember:


As I have stated on this blog before I love Sophie Hudson, first of all because she is hilarious, second of all she is from Mississippi, and third, she is a State fan. (“A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet,” is so good!) (And she loves to write in parenthesis.) When I saw that she was recommending the book by Melanie Shankle, “The Antelope in the Living Room,” I downloaded it immediately (thanks mom for the itunes giftcard you gave me for Christmas!!). And let me just say, married, not married, dating, or single, this book is hilarious. She mixes her faith with her funny and throws everything in between. The story about the actual antelope her husband hung in their living room was so something that would happen at our house. Great easy read!!! Here are 2 excerpts that I can’t stop thinking about (the first) and laughing about (the second).

“I think Anne Lamott said it best in one of my favorite quotes: “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” There’s something about grace that makes us want to do better, be better, because we know we’ve been given a pardon.”

Yes, yes, and yes!! Isn’t grace great!

Her daughter is telling her she can’t be in her club, “because it’s a club for four-year-olds, and you’re not four.”
And since I am very, very mature and have read many parenting books that are chock-full of parenting wisdom, I replied, “Well, that’s fine. Daddy and I have our very own grown-up club.”
(Melanie’s husband) piped up from the living
room, “That’s right, it’s called MARRIAGE, and there’s no escape. It’s like being part of a street gang. You have to die to get out.”
He is hilarious.

I think I relate because this is exactly something Rob would say. Loved it! A book, as Sophie said, “will have you laughing and crying at the same time!”


When we were at the beach, we went into the best bookstore ever -- Sundog Books -- in Seaside, Fla., where Julia Reed has a home. I have loved Julia ever since I read her first book, “The House on First Street,” about the renovation of her house in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina AND I always love her “High and Low” article in Garden and Gun Magazine. AND she is (yet again) from Mississippi! Greenville to be exact, which has a special place in my heart – lots of my favorite people (I even took one of these people’s last name) hail from this Delta town. I saw this book and realized it was filled with recipes and picked it up. Julia was also featured in the November issue (I think) of Southern Living and I have made her recipe for Roasted Pecans at least three times now (I crave them and its super easy!). I love all of her stories about growing up in the Missisippi Delta and her life working as a writer for Newsweek, Vogue, and now Garden and Gun. Another quick and fun read (that I am keeping in my kitchen). We will certainly be trying the Roman Steaks, Green Goddess and French dressings (I love a dressing/sauce), warm field pea and shrimp salad, ooh, and crabmeat bruschetta. All of these are perfect (and fairly easy) for spring or at the beach!! Hurry July!! Can’t forget the Black-Eyed Pea Salad, and Judy’s slaw!

Roasted Pecans (from Southern Living article)

 4 cups pecans
¼ cup of butter, melted
½ tsp of kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper

 Toss the pecans in butter. Lay them out flat on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Turn over ½ way through baking. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Devour!!  

“THE CIRCLE MAKER” by Mark Batterson

My sweet friend Alison and I love to talk about books we are reading and a few weeks ago she mentioned reading “The Circle Maker” and wanted to know if I wanted to read it, then do a 40-day prayer challenge. So we are currently reading this book. It teaches us how to draw circles around our prayers and not to stop until it’s been answered. How many people in the Bible had faith and drew circle around their prayer requests and God honored their requests. I’m hoping to finish this weekend! We are meeting for lunch Monday to discuss, set/compare our life goals (fun and scary at the same time), and get started on the 40-day prayer challenge. I’m so excited to see what God does with us and how He uses us during this time!

 Frankly, I could have just highlighted and posted the entire book, but here are just a few excerpts from what I read today that I don’t want to forget – EVAH (my Luke was home sick so I got some reading in):

 When talking about the prophet Daniel:
“The thing that impresses me about Daniel is that he knew his prayers wouldn’t be answered for seventy years, yet he prayed with a sense of urgency. As a procrastinator, I would have been tempted to wait until the last week of the sixty-ninth year to even start praying. Not Daniel. He had the ability to pray with urgency about things”

 This passage it me square in the face because I love to sleep and love to sleep late:
“We love a good night’s sleep, but sleepless nights are what define our lives. If you’re going to bring kings to their knees or shut the mouths of lions, sometimes you need to pull an all-nighter. I’m more and more convinced that the biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock. If you snooze, you lose. But if you pray through, God will come through as surely as the sun will rise.”

“In the circle of successful living, prayer is the hub that holds the wheel together. Without our contact with God we are nothing. With it, we are ‘a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor.”

 “Turn a commute or walk or workout or meeting into a meaningful spiritual discipline. Though I advise against the actual shooting motion, it’s a great way to pull the trigger on 1 Timothy 2:1: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.”

What if we stopped reading the news and started praying for it? What if lunch meetings turned into prayer meetings? What if we converted every problem, every opportunity, into a prayer?

Maybe we’d come a lot closer to our goal: praying without ceasing.”

 When the people marched around Jericho to take the city:
“God said He had already given them the city, past tense. Do you realize that the victory has already been won? We’re still waiting for its future tense revelation, but the victory has already been won by means of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is finished. This isn’t just when God made good on grace; it is when God made good on every promise. Every single one is yes in Christ. Past tense. Present tense. Future tense. The full revelation won’t happen until His return, the return that Daniel prophesied, but the victory has already been won, once and for all, for all time.”

“Destiny is not a mystery. For better or for worse, your destiny is the result of your daily decisions and defining decisions.

Daniel made the decision to stop, drop, and pray three times a day. Those daily decisions add up. If you make good decisions on a daily basis, it has a cumulative effect that pays dividends the rest of your life.”

 “What I love about Brian is that despite repeated failures, he kept trying. Most of us quit trying after six circles or twenty days or two failures. In case you missed the message the first time, if you keep trying, you are not failing. The only way you can fail is if you quit trying. If you’re still trying, even if you’re failing, you’re succeeding. God is honored when you don’t give up. God is honored when you keep trying. God is honored when you keep circling.”

 “This is why goal setting is so important. It creates a category in your reticular activating system, and you start noticing anything and everything that will help you accomplish the goal. Prayer is important for the same reason. It sanctifies your RAS so you notice what God wants you to notice. The more you pray, the more you notice.”

 “Maybe we need to change our prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes


Can’t wait to finish “The Circle Maker” and see what God does in this little life of mine!

Night night – be back tomorrow for Day 4 of 40…(and praying a circle around this blog and my 40 day commitment!

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