What I’m Reading

I love reading blogs.

Some people think it’s a waste of time, or an evil that must be avoided, but I see it as a way to learn and grow, to feed my craving for beautiful images and wise words. It is tricky to keep it balanced, but I’m willing to participate in that struggle (at this point!) because of the good stuff I find.

I always appreciate the weekend links provided by Holy Experience and Simple Mom to point me in the direction of good posts without having to do all the searching myself.

So, in an effort to pass on the favor, here are some articles I’ve been enjoying recently:

Pinterest, Mindfulness, and Making the Most of It (Becoming Minimalist) – Pinterest is another fantastic resource that needs to be wrestled down into orderly balance. I love it, but it can easily be a time waster. I loved this post on how to use it wisely.

How to Know if You’re a Controlling Person (Donald Miller) – I love the pillow analogy! How many times have I tried to figure out what and why someone else is thinking??

On Surviving the Crush of the Morning Rush (The Gypsy Mama) – I’m thinking I’d like to memorize this whole post, so I’ll remember it on those crazy mornings!!

5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day (Michael Hyatt) – Finally! My daily naps are fully justified!

A Slow-Books Manifesto – I’m starting Pride and Prejudice as soon as we’ve moved and unpacked our boxes!

3 Things I’m Learning About Getting Along With People

Anytime you live with people, issues will come up that must be dealt with.

Or not. You could just avoid people, ignore the issues, and keep going, but that doesn’t usually seem to work out so well long term. It can seem like the more appealing option sometimes, because dealing with issues is HARD. It takes a lot of courage, and a willingness to go through some pain and discomfort. And yet every time I’ve had enough courage to take the plunge, it has been completely worth it.

Sometimes, “dealing with it” has meant working things out with other people.

Lately, though, it’s meant a make-over for the way that I think about things.

Here are the three things I am trying to think about when I am frustrated with somebody:

1) Ask the question, “Why would a completely sane, reasonable person do something like this?”

Ben took a conflict management class for his Masters program this last year, and this was one of the questions he was taught to ask. And you know what? It makes all the difference in the world.

When someone makes a choice to do something which seems completely unreasonable, annoying, or foolish to me, asking this question produces the same answer every time: They do it because they don’t know. They don’t know how I feel, they don’t know all the facts, they don’t realize that it’s difficult for other people.

And that’s okay! Since when does everybody know everything? Since never. And when I realize this, I start to think about the situation from the other person’s point of view. I start to see how things might look from their perspective, which is always going to be different from my perspective.

“Not knowing” is so much easier to take than “being a jerk”.

2) Assume that everyone is trying their very best.

Why is it so easy to assume that people are being lazy or careless or rude, and if they would just try a little harder, everything would be fine?

Who says they are not trying their very best? Maybe they have some heavy burden to carry that you don’t know about, maybe they’re going through a really tough time, and for whatever reason, this is their best.

When you think about it that way, so much annoyance disappears, and it’s possible to give somebody the benefit of the doubt.

3) That person is God’s favorite.

Jon Acuff wrote an incredible post about how every single person is God’s favorite. And when someone is annoying me, and I think, “_________ is God’s favorite”, it is very hard to stay mad and think evil thoughts.

The same God who loves me loves them. He made me, He made them. I pray for God to get me through a tough time, and they pray to the same God. Who am I to think that I’m better, that I know better, that my choices are better, that I deserve to be more blessed by God?


If problems are cut off during the thought process, they stay a lot smaller.

And now you know exactly what I’m trying to think when I’m in a difficult situation. I repeat those three thoughts to myself over and over. Sometimes. When I have PMS, I generally seem to ditch the effort and just let ‘er rip, but I’m working on that, too!

What’s your secret for getting along with difficult people?

Favorite Things I Read This Week

I love reading blogs. They are so fantastic. They expand my life. (They also eat up my time, so I guess they provide such a wonderful opportunity to practice self-control….)

Anyway. I found some great stuff to read this week, so I thought I’d share it with you:

Have a great weekend!


I’m really loving this post. Totally speaking to me in an area where I need it right now. As I read it, I realized that instead of having The Year of Here, I was all set up for having The Year of There. I was not living in the moment, was not allowing God to fill me up with His grace and joy just for right now.

There are a number of things that I’ve been really unhappy about for a long time, and Ben and I have been praying for months for God to speak to us and give us wisdom about what we should do.

It really felt like He was doing nothing, and we kept waiting, but I was pretty much ready to take things into my own hands, once again, because sometimes I actually start to think that I’ll do a better job than when I just leave my life in His hands.

But this Christmas, He finally spoke. He gave us some insight into our situation, and He is making a way. It isn’t the way that I want, and that is why I needed a reminder about having The Year of Here.

“The only place I can ever be alive is right here.

Right where these feet are is the only place joy will ever be possible….

Be all here: and be holy.

Be all here: and be happy.” (Ann Voskamp)

Check it out – it’s a good read!


Anika just read this over my shoulder and asked in a very confused voice, “The only place you can be alive is in this house, Mommy?” I had to do a bit of explaining…

Blog Bonanza

Just for fun, I decided that I’d share with you all a few of my favorite blogs. No idea what kinds of tastes/interests are out there, but maybe you’ll find something you like as much as I do!

For funny spiritual stuff:   http://stuffchristianslike.net/

For serious, challenging spiritual stuff:   http://www.aholyexperience.com/

For challenging, funny spiritual stuff:   http://www.theveryworstmissionary.com/

*There is a bit of a language warning with this one – but if you can get past that, she’s got some really amazing things to say!

For photography:  http://www.rebeccacooperphotography.com/


For photography and scrapbooking stuff : http://aliedwards.com/

For Project Life, photography, and crafty stuff:  http://www.beckyhiggins.com/

For the yummiest-looking recipes ever:   http://www.cheekykitchen.com/


Have fun! I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Been Thinking About” post. See you then!