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Friday’s Free Advice

Read a book.


That’s it.  Read a book. 


Oh…perhaps I should be a little more specific. 


Read a good piece of fiction. 


I like to read.  In fact, I like to read a lot.  Before I was married and had children, I was always reading something.  I wouldn’t classify myself as a bookworm, but I definitely take great pleasure in soaking up great literature.  My life as a mom has limited the scope of my reading.  These days I find myself flipping through the pages of Dr. Dobson’s “Strong-Willed Child” and “Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood”,  both of which I highly recommend.  And, if my nose isn’t in one of those books, you can easily find me sniffing away through one of several spiritual growth and leadership development books.  Between my job as a mom, my role as a wife, my passion for ministry and deep desire to grow in all three of these areas, by the time my kids are down for the night I don’t have very many active brain cells left.  I’m pretty much tapped out.


Last spring I challenged myself to read Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”.  I didn’t care how long it took me to read it.  I was determined to plow my way through.  In the past I have felt guilty granting myself permission to read something simply for the fun of it.  I mean, really.  Who has the time?  Then I realized something quite simple.  I have to make the time, and stop feeling guilty about it. 


It took me four months to read “Anna Karenina” (even admitting how long it took me to read this book is a tad bit humiliating, to say the least).  There were some days I could only get through about two pages.  My eyes would start criss-crossing and the next thing I knew I was drifting off to “la, la land”.  Still, I tried to read a little bit every day. 


For me, thrusting myself into a great story is a form of pampering.  I absolutely love to get caught up in characters and plot, suspense and intrigue, lapping up and chewing on the rich words of the storyteller.  It takes me away, causes me to use my imagination and stretches out the tired muscles in my head. 


My advice, read a good fictional piece of literature.  Be good to yourself.  Enjoy thirty minutes of a good story. 


I know it can appear unproductive and wasteful, but let me give you something to think about for a minute.  We’re all about balance these days, right?  We work hard to prioritize, juggle, multi-task, etc., in order to attain a semblance of balance.  In my opinion, a balanced life knows how to play too.  It knows how to take care of itself so it doesn’t burn out.  For me, and perhaps for you too, reading something for the pleasure of reading is how I keep a little balance in my life. 


I just finished “The Lovely Bones”, by Alice Sebold, and I’m currently looking for my next fictional read.  My goal is to incorporate four fictional pieces of literature into the mixture of other books I am reading through the year.  Maybe you’ve already learned how to strike a balance in this.  I know I tend to be a slow learner.  So, tell me, what books are you reading right now?  Have you read anything good lately?  Is there something you would recommend?  Feel free to share it…I would love to hear your feedback.


In the meantime…read on, my friends.

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One Response to “Friday’s Free Advice”

  1. sister sheri says:

    I sooo agree. Lately, my nose has been stuck into educational or non-fiction books.

    However, Christopher and I enjoy listening to books on CD in the car. We listen to the Boxcar Children or The Mysterious Benedict Society or other books that were on the Oregon Battle of the Books list. As he is getting older the plots are getting more complex.

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