Bible Plus Three
At Homeschool World, I once read an article about Mother Culture by Karen Andreola where she quoted another mother as saying this:
“Besides my Bible, I always keep three books going that are just for me – a stiff book, a moderately easy book, and a novel or one of poetry. I always take up the one I feel fit for. That is the secret: always have something ‘going’ to grow by.”
That certainly resonated with me! I always have two or three books going a a time. After I read this, I tried to be more intentional about having my “Bible Plus Three” (as she titled it in the article). I needed to broaden my horizons a bit. I was a even more encouraged to do so after having read this: “Mothers and teachers should know about nature. The mother cannot devote herself too much to this kind of reading, not only that she may read tit-bits to her children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observations.” (Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.64) I have a desire to know things about the world around me…about Creation…flowers, animals, clouds, and the like. Also, as much as I have always loved history, I want to know more….for my own sake…as well as that of my children’s. I want to be able to answer their questions and share the knowledge I have on a subject. I want to have conversations about WWII, tulips, the African Serengeti, John Adams, and so on and so on. While I’m well aware I cannot possibly know everything…and that there is such beauty in our learning things together…I can be more well-rounded in my attempts in my own self-education.
That being said, here’s my current Bible Plus Three:
I’ve been reading through the beloved, adventurous book of Joshua. God has reminded, taught, convicted, and encouraged me through the pages of this book. Most recently in Chapter 2, I was struck on how God’s reputation had left those in Jericho fearful and panicking. Rahab had said, regarding the people’s fear of God and the impending advancement of the Israelites, “dread of you has fallen on us”, “we lost heart”, and “everyone’s courage failed because of you”. While there are many things to glean from this text, my personal journal pages are inked with words of reflection as I couldn’t help but wonder when ‘the enemy’ has recently felt that way at the thought of me. When had my efforts to advance the Kingdom of God been so passionate and focused that the thought of ‘God in me’ had been a threat to the enemy…
“No Ordinary Home” by Carol Brazo is such a unique book in my opinion. It is essentially a mother’s journal. The author takes her own raw, heartfelt journal entries and revisits them years later. She expresses her heart on topics such as disappointment, identity, and longing. Also, topics such as gardens, decor, and holidays are addressed as she determines to “bring the holy home”. Already, I have been encouraged as I have read a woman’s thoughts that have often been my own. I also love the chapter on the “keys”. They are a part of her decor that represent something of importance to her and her family. I’m simple. Not at all fancy. So this was a decorating idea that I could get behind! Her own words best summarize the book when she says, “The gentle Savior graciously came and made a disaster area into a sanctuary fit for His dwelling.”
Jane Austen is a personal favorite of mine. In all honesty, it is nearly the only fiction I have read as an adult (other than reading aloud to my boys!). I am hoping to expand on my fiction choices…since I only have two of her books left to read, I will be forced to! While Mansfield Park is so far not my favorite book written by J.A., it has been enjoyable to read. She does a remarkable job of once again connecting me with 18th century England. I am connected to this particular period of history and begin to envision places I have never seen and an age I will never physically be a part of. Sometimes, as I read her books, I think I would’ve been better suited for the time during which they were written….some of the ideals, practices, and such cause me to long for such a time. While there are also many reasons to conjure much gratitude for the time I do live in. In Mansfield Park, I have also had the experience of forming relationships with people from both ends of the spectrum on the socio-economic scale of this time period. I admire qualities in Fanny and fail to understand some of them. I adore Edmund…he is attentive and gentle while also portraying the strength of a man. He seems to bear all the things an eldest son should…although he is not. Thus far, as is typical for me when I read a Jane Austen novel, I am much desiring to walk along the paths and among the gardens of Mansfield Park…
Wow! I checked this one out from the library…and am I ever sorry I did that! This is a ‘must have’ for me! With my library copy, I am unable to dog-ear, highlight, or scribble notes in the margins! This particular book was perfect timing for me. I have been keeping a nature journal for the first time ever, and I love it so much. I was doing some with the kids from time to time, but this book has me even more eager to get out and connect with the world around me with my sketch book in hand. In all honesty, I’m terrible at sketching…but I’m learning! And most importantly, I’m learning that a journal hasn’t any real rules anyway. I am so excited about this book! Can you tell!?!?!
So….what are you reading these days?
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