Yesterday I found myself in a bit of a downer over the oil spill disaster, feeling as if this amazing world that God gave us is just being ruined by us in our selfishness. With God's Spirit nudging me, I prayed, and then prayed, and prayed some more. My whole day filled up with prayers, prayers of frustration, prayers of sadness, prayers of hope, and prayers of thankfulness. Then I found myself praying thanks and praise over and over again as my day continued, and woke this morning with the same kind of prayers of praise and thanks running through my mind, coursing through me with joy. I have been so amazingly blessed, even tough moments in my life.
Thank you God!
I am so thankful for many things, but I find myself really thankful for books this morning. Books? Well, books, and joy, and peace, and family, and much more. However, I thought I would focus on books at this moment.
Books open to amazing places, and when they are good books they can inspire the mind, heal the soul, and satisfy a hungry heart. I am just thankful that I can read. There are many people who can't, and I'm praying about what I can do to change that.
Teaching my kids to read when they were first learning was one of the most challenging, and most exciting part of home schooling for me. My oldest daughter struggled to read the simplest of books in early second grade and informed me that she hated reading, and she never wanted to learn. My youngest daughter picked up reading easily, wanting to me to read to her at every available moment and wanting to read every word she could aloud. Thankfully, my oldest daughter loved being read aloud to, and with the encouragement of friends her age, she decided she wanted to read herself, and read well. So she started reading more and more each day, and now she goes everywhere with a book in hand, and reads some books that are well above her grade level.
You can imagine my happiness on our weekly trips to the library now, when we come home with bags full of books and both my daughters happily ensconce themselves on the couch with books in hand, and take their books everywhere with them, to stores and on car trips, to friend's houses, and on vacations.
We love reading in our house. We love reading God's Word. We love reading picture books. We love reading historical fiction books, non-fiction books, fantasy books, and sometimes mysteries. We love discovering new cultures and countries through our reading. We read at every age level of reading, from favorite picture books to YA and adult books, and I find myself scouring bookshelves for "good" books.
I would love to share that love with others who haven't found it yet. I would love to write books worthy of being called "good" books.
For now, this morning, I am just thankful that I can read, that God has blessed us with a rich life in reality, full bookshelves, a large library just a few miles away, and a few bookstores that we love to frequent (although we have to watch our spending habits there).
Books that we have read in the last few weeks include:
WILLIAM CAREY: OBLIGED TO GO by Janet and Geoff Benge (home school book about missionaries)
TERESEA OF CALCUTTA: SERVING THE POOREST OF THE POOR by Dr. Jeanene Watson, Louis H. Rock and Robert Lawson (home school book about Mother Teresa)
SHADOW SPINNER by Susan Fletcher (home school fiction book set in the same time period of the legend of Shahrazad, teller of 1001 Arabian Nights)
ALADDIN AND OTHER FAVORITE ARABIAN NIGHTS STORIES edited by Philip Smith
SEVEN DAUGHTERS AND SEVEN SONS by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy (a MS/YA level fictional novel for home school that is retelling of an Arab legend - parents need to read with kids due to some content matter)
ROBERT FULTON BOY CRAFTSMAN by Marguerite Henry (home school book about the American inventor of the steam boat)
CALICO BUSH by Rachel Field and Allen Lewis (a MS level home school historical fiction book set in early America with a strong heroine)
SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL by Patricia MacLachlan (home school historical fiction book set in early America - easy, but great read)
THE JOURNEYMAN by Elizabeth Yates (home school historical fiction book about a journeyman painter in early America)
Just for fun books for me:
CAPTAIN'S BRIDE by Lisa Tawn Bergren (Christian Historical Romance with lots of high seas adventure and a current favorite of mine)
DEEP HARBOR by Lisa Tawn Bergren (second in the series, and even better than the first)
MIDNIGHT SUN by Lisa Tawn Bergren (conclusion to the trilogy that wraps it up well)
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare (reading for fun, and with plans for a home school co-op Shakespeare class I'm teaching next year)
On the kids fun bookshelf the last few weeks:
DOLPHIN SONG and THE LAST LEOPARD by Lauren St. John (magical realism, fantasy about a girl with a magical gift with animals set in the modern day world and in very real places in Africa - there are spiritual issues that get discussed in our house with these books, so I recommend them, and yet I caution parents to read them with their kids)
CALLING ON DRAGONS and SEARCHING FOR DRAGONS by Patricia C. Wrede (fun fantasy books - I've read them, and think they are ok)
THE HATCHLING by Kathryn Lasky (one of her Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, fantasy books about owls)
FLYING FREE: COREY'S UNDERGROUND RAILROAD DIARY by Sharon Dennis Wyeth (historical fiction)
AFTER THE RAIN: Virginia's Civil War Diary by Mary Pope Osborne (historical fiction)
And on writing:
HOW TO WRITE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY by Orson Scott Card
WRITING WITH POWER by Peter Elbow
KIDS WRITE by Rebecca Olien and Michael Kline
RUN WITH HORSES by Eugene H. Peterson
EVERYDAY DEVOTIONS by Stephen Arterburn and Jesse Florea
THE BIBLE(NIV for me and my hubby, NLT for my daughters)
So, I've been reading a lot lately . . . some of it with a purpose, and some of it just for fun, but I am thankful for all of it. And now, back to the writing board . . .