I have been reading a lot this week, and I feel better for so many reasons!
First of all, the speaker at our youth rally this weekend offered a Gospel Challenge. He asked us to read through the Gospels in the month of March; so basically a book a week. I've tried this before, just trying to commit to a book a month, and I sadly and inexcusably wasn't successful. I'm so happy to say that as of now (day 4...it's still early, but it's progress!), I'm right on track. And I am thoroughly enjoying it. I'm hoping and planning to do the same challenge in April, reading a different translation. Who knows--maybe I'll do it each month for the rest of the year.
The Gospels are so important because they give us the true voice of Jesus while he was veiled in human form. Reading through his life's story, especially so many times, gives such insight into his character, his voice, and his love. And the more we know that, the more easily we will be able to recognize his presence in our lives.
I'm also reading Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. I started it about a year ago, but I wasn't on a health journey then, so the commitment faded quickly. However, I started the Advocare 24 day challenge this week, and this book has been an amazing partner for this journey. It has also been a great partner for the Gospel challenge. Because as I'm reading through all of these and making different food and exercise choices (and when I say different exercise choices, I mean choosing to do something...as opposed to the nothing that is my norm), it really is tying all together. I'm craving food less and my Bible reading more. It's a process, but I'm working through it.
Speaking of the 24 day challenge... I had gotten down lower than pre preggo weight while I was nursing again (did the same thing with Bella). But after I stopped, the weight started to crawl back up. And not only that, my eating habits were terrible and not changing. When my big clothes started to get tight, I knew I had to do something. Plus, I didn't really feel bad, but I knew without a doubt I could feel better. Several of my friends have had success with Advocare (especially my bestie who looks and feels more amazing than ever); since she sells it now and had experience, I jumped on board and bought the challenge. Being the dear that she is (and because I was nervous and kept putting it off), she decided to do it with me. It has been so much easier having a partner through it to check in and ask questions and be accountable to. I can't tell a huge difference yet, but I can tell you I'm not hungry all day like I figured I would be. And it has been easier (so far...) to avoid the snacking temptations that I gave into without any thought at all just a few days ago. I know that'll get harder somewhere down the line; hoping and praying for strength to fight through! I also know that my reading and praying will build in me self control and discipline to continue.
I also started The Best Yes (also by Lysa Terkeurst; she's kind of my BFF) last month and really want to finish it. The lesson she tackles in those pages is one I desperately need to improve upon.
And finally, I ordered a few books off of Amazon last week and cannot wait to dive into them. I may have a problem...finish a book before overloading yourself with more, Ang! I digress...
Several people I follow had posted that they had laughed and cried their way through Home is Where My People Are by Sophie Hudson (author of the BooMama blog). I had never heard of her, but this book got enough praise from some people I truly admire that I needed to have it. I've read the first few chapters and I can already tell it's going to speak to my heart. Oh, I love my people and I love my roots and I love my stories. This book is going to speak well to all of those pieces of me.
The other two books in that order were 7 and Interrupted by my newfound BFF Jen Hatmaker. I just love her. And I get to hear her husband, Brandon, speak at a conference I'm attending in a couple of weeks--so pumped! Anyway, I know both of these books are going to mess with me in some of the best and worst ways...but we all need that to happen sometimes; more often really...and I'm going to let Mrs. Hatmaker's Spirit-led words sharpen me over the next few months...
I will also be ordering Kid President's new book for my babes for Easter! Brad and Robbie are some incredible fellas who I've had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times; their mission to make the world more awesome is really a disguised way to spread the love of Jesus. And that right there is as awesome as it gets.
And I've gotten back to reading my blog friends' stories more often!
I'm a word nerd, so getting back into reading has been better for me than I realized it would be. I just get so swept up in mamahood and housewife duties and youth ministry biz and this and that and everything, that I convince myself that my brain just can't handle anything else. So I either turn on the tv and blindly watch something, or I whip out my phone and get lost in thoughtless games and social media. This week however, I've read. When K wakes up at night, I read. As I lay down to go to sleep, I read. While I eat lunch, I read. After everyone goes to sleep, I read. Before my kids wake up, I read. And I love it.
Until next time...