Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Word for 2011

Ali Edwards, with her One Little Word project, encourages people to reflectively choose a word for each year.
One little word that resonates with you and your hopes for the year.
I haven't chosen a word for a few years, but I did this year.
My word for 2011 is
Spirit.

I love a little self analysis.
Sitting down, quietly and thinking.
About me.
(Doesn't happen much in this house of three under five, lemmetellya.)
I fully believe that if I'm better, my family will be better because of it.
So, when mothers say they have "no time" to look at themselves seriously and plan and make goals and better themselves (always with the help of God, of course) they are doing a terrible disservice to their husbands, their children, their parents and siblings, their friends.
My pastor just gave a great talk on this and I was really surprised at the amount of resistance I saw from the people listening to actually sit down, look at yourself -
decide what's working, what isn't and make a decided effort to change.
You do not want to wake up one morning and wonder, "how did I get here?"
The thought of someone staggering through life with no pauses to figure out where its going is the most disheartening and depressing of thoughts for me.
Woah...I hate tangents and I just got off on one.
I'm sorry.

Back to my word.
S P I R I T.

Don't be scared.
My word is "spirit" but I'm not going to get all creepy and spiritual on you.
(Not yet anyway, it is only January after all.)

I do a whole lot of reading.
But much of it is for fun.
Novels. A good story. Juicy plot. Character development. Scenery. Escape.
While I still totally believe in good literary fiction,
(just those three words together gave me a little thrill)
I want to make a little departure from that in the next few months.
I want to fill my mind with thoughts and images that will feed my spirit.

Growth.
Change.
New perspective.

I've committed to reading five meaningful books this year.
(I'm a slow reader and school is starting in a few short weeks, five is measly but I believe in attainable goals.)

These are four of the books I'm planning.
(Part way through Desiring God and loving it.)
















For my fifth book I'd love to get a little reader recommendation.
Any thoughts on what book should fill spot #5?
Leave a comment, let me know.

And...as spiritually uplifting and truth-packed as Oprah and The Bachelor are, I'm making an effort to curb the mindless tv watching and fill my down time (or my nursing-the-baby time, dish washing time, laundry-folding time) with messages from these guys (and girl):


"Behind the repentance that turns away from sin, and behind the faith that embraces Christ, is the birth of a new taste, a new longing, a new passion for the pleasure of God's presence."
-John Piper, Desiring God

12 comments:

Burkinator said...

I like Francis Chan a lot. I have tried many times w/o success, to read "Desiring God." For some reason, I lose my way.

One of my favorites is "The Life You've Always Wanted" by John Ortberg. Or anything by John Ortberg. He's good at making you examine your life without making you feel hopeless to change it. :)

Abby LaDuke said...

Ash I love this! I am reading crazy love right now and its really good:)

Lyndsey said...

I love your blog and I LOVE when you post book reviews:)
Oogy was my favorite book of 2010. Also Somewhere Inside was compelling autobiography or either of the Bushes books.
Happy New Year!!

Lyndee said...

I agree that 'The Life You Always Wanted' by Ortberg is excellent. I suggest 'God's Greatest Passion' by H.L. Hussmann, Dutch Sheets 'Intercessory Prayer', and 'The Sacred Romance'by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge. If you have never read 'The Raggamuffin Gospel' by Brennan Manning it is well worth reading. I thought John Piper had many excellent things to tell us but sometimes I bogged way down too. The Devotional Classics are just meaty and inspiring. Enjoy your year with Spirit as your guideword!

Beka said...

I am reading Radical right now. SOOO GOOD! :) I love your choices in books! They are beautiful! :)

Jamie Willow said...

your #4 book is one of my favorites. it is filled to the brim with amazing things by so many amazing people.

I don't know about a #5...the only book that comes to mind is called "The LIfe God Blesses"...a long time favorite of mine. Not sure who the author is..

Mrs.M said...

Crazy love looks interesting to me. Let me know how it is. One of my resolutions for the year was to get in touch with my Spiritual side so maybe that book will be some help.

StephG said...

Crazy Love is an amazing book! I'm halfway through it, but it's changed my perspective...rather it's REMINDED me of how I need to be living my life as a Christian.

I was looking at "Radical" the other day so I was excited to see this on your list.

As far as a recommendation...hmmm...I am halfway through (do you see a pattern here?...lol) "What happens when women pray" by Evelyn Christenson.

It's an older book, but so good. I picked it up because prayer is an area I am lacking & this book was just what I needed. I still struggle with praying w/o ceasing though :)

Happy reading! I can't wait to hear your reviews :)

Jessica said...

I just started reading The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro. It talks about how there are mentors given to us in the Bible that will help us through life. We just have to take the time to spend with them and gain their wisdom so we don't have to repeat their mistakes & live with the consequences.

Alicia Marie said...

Great post. So interesting because as I was thinking about the new year I kept coming back to one word I wanted to live by this year. I was/and may still write a post about it...than you did sorta the same thing!

I have no book advice. I am trying to get through The Strong-Willed Child book...but my two very strong-willed kids make it difficult!

Alexandria said...

ortberg: good.

piper: SO GOOD.

my sister: inspiring. i need this too.

Mrs. B. said...

Girls! Thank you so much for all of the amazing recommendations! So great.
I'll for sure have to pick up Ortberg. I've never read any of his stuff.
And all of these other guys...so many new-to-me authors and books.
Excited!

I'll have to post my thoughts on these books when I'm finished reading them.