reading round-up (5.09.14)

“Max, you know what we say in Minnesota: May showers bring June flowers!” – Aaron, while the dog was perturbed during his first real thunderstorm on Thursday.

[maybe by memorial day the polar vortex will be a memory?]

[maybe by memorial day the polar vortex will be a memory?]

[One] Much encouragement over at The Art of Simple on the difference between organizing and decluttering. We pared down our “stuff” a lot before moving, and the new house is much larger… and we still feel like we have way too much floating around here. I was not in a state of mind to dream about maybe having a baby when we decided to get this particular house, so we lack a real “nursery” and will likely be turning our beloved walk-in-closet into the baby’s room. (Where will those shelves go? Maybe the laundry room? Questions abound.) This means there is lots more unorthodox organizing needed in the next few weeks, and this post nailed my frustration: organization is always temporary; decluttering makes you love your house more. So here’s to wisely culling in order for more love in my home!

[Two] My regular bible study is wrapped up until fall, and I’ve been especially missing the girls I had a fabulous summer study with last year. This is just not the summer for a big project, but I’ve been checking out a few online resources to fill in the gaps. It’s refreshing when my daily She Reads Truth devotional pops up in my reader — and those free printables would be fun to have if I ever actually printed anything off. (I usually find it’s easier to grab markers and copy the artwork than wrestle with the printer we should have recycled two years ago.)

[Three] However… if anyone wants to do Nancy Guthrie’s The Wisdom of God study with me (virtually) this summer, I will make my best effort despite the, uh, impending upheaval during the second half of the season.

[Four] Love these thoughts on social media from Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas: Don’t be a hater. It’s not evil, it’s a tool. Just use it well.

[Five] With Mother’s Day coming up, I’m (of course) thinking and praying for the many, many women I know that find it a stressful holiday. This humorous out-take of the story of Hannah’s prayer from 1 Samuel is good advice for those who want to best love the barren and truth for all.  Additionally, I find that (if anything) a new baby coming so SOON (9-13 weeks for a regular full-term delivery, people!) doesn’t negate the lessons from past years. Maybe she makes me realize how true those things really are? If you haven’t read it yet, check out “Only A Dry Tree?” from my archives, and look for ways to bring a special blessing to those who may feel dry and unfruitful this weekend.

“Let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off… I will… make them joyful in my house of prayer.” – Isaiah 56.

[Six] Guess what — Maybe Jesus Wants Us to Get Stuff Done! And get off the computer!? Really. This advice isn’t always going to be helpful — but I think keeping it in mind makes the days of work AND the days of rest more useful and encouraging, just as God really intended. My friend Hannah wrote about how the Sabbath rest of a Sunday is a blessing… and after living with her in college and being so blown away by how she both DID ALL THE SCHOOL THINGS and DID ALL THE FUN THINGS while also DOING ALL THE RESPONSIBLE ADULT THINGS LIKE RUNNING HALF-MARATHONS AND GOING TO BREAKFAST EVERY DAY, I think she’s on to it: Work hard and rest well in the rhythm God provided.

[Seven] Happy weekend! I hope it involves flowers, lots of french toast with copious amounts of coffee and orange juice, and special moments for honoring those who have cared for you and celebrating whatever fruit God has ordained for your life.

“I know now what they say in your world about justice. And perhaps they say well, for in that world things always fall below justice. But [God] always goes above it. All is gift. …The best fruits are plucked for each by some hand that is not his own.” (C.S. Lewis, Perelandra.)

[As always, more weekend quick reading available at Conversion Diary!]