Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reading: Making Time On Purpose

I think I've read Edie's blog since the beginning of time.  Well, at least for five years. And I don't remember her ever initiating a linky event. She's been hospitable, welcoming, winsome, wordy, and downright awesome in all kinds of other ways, but a link up?  Hmmmm. Don't remember one.

Before now that is.

So, I interrupt my early attempts at another topical series to jump in and join in over at life{in}grace.  If you've put all kinds of effort into planning a party, sent out invites, and gotten your space ready, you want people to come, right?

Let's just love on her and her blog, go visiting and hear what others have to say about:

We've been invited to share our insights on the broad subject of time.  That's pretty much it.  So, I got to thinkin'...

If stranded on a tropical island for any length of time I'm pretty sure I'd hope I'd thought ahead enough to bring my dutch oven, a pillow, a huge supply of lip balm, my colored pens, and books, books, books, books.  Maybe some more books.

(Right. How am I gonna explain that to Weekend Farmer Husband - fortunately we can all put our minds to rest since in this make believe world he's stranded with me and taking excellent care of everything we need.)

I cannot think of anything that has influenced me more profoundly than the printed word. Really.

Some of you will be surprised. You might have guessed key relationships or even people in general  because to know me in real life is to experience what some have called "intense".  You see, when I'm with you I am totally into you.  I fall in love with you right away, and over time enjoy you more and more, moving from initial phases of infatuation through to (if life together permits), enduring relationship.

And yes, loving you changes me immensely. Forever.

 But not as much books, articles, blog posts, journals, and the scriptures.

Because when I'm full up on you and the wonder of relationship together, I curl up with pages cupped between my hands, and begin to see you , the world, God, myself all over again with help from the heart and mind of another and the words they offer.

What lies on the page for my eyes to scoop up are bits of wisdom, hope, suffering, sweat, ecstasy, longing, denial, fulfillment, history, philsophy, and in the end, whoever the author was or is, they've given over a piece of themselves for me.

It's not always well written.  It's not always true.  And, it's not always good.

But, it's all come a great price so that I might someplace in time and space drink full up on art that another has poured out.

January is a time for rest at Liberty Farm. And I read as well as plan my reading.  It's a commitment, actually, since there's so much to do.  I get up earlier and earlier, stay productive later and later into the day, and seem to get less and less done.  So, you can see why I must choose to read.  Even though reading might seem as natural as breathing, it doesn't happen that way.

We complete the last of our customer orders in December, rush headlong into Christmas,and then crawl into the New Year eager to rest and regroup.

There's not a frenzy of resolving, organizing, planning, reinventing, or any number of what seem to be "typical" January pursuits.

In the quiet and lack of agrarian activity there's lots of books.

So, for all the bookworms out there, and for Edie's bazillions of readers (one of whom may click over here), here's what's on the shelf and in the Amazon save for later list.

First - a long time hope of mine has been fulfilled by participating in the Read Well Live Well Online Book Club.  My nerdy self gets all a quiver when it's time to read about and discuss the most recent selection.  I get all kinds of dorky and stay up way to late shoving my glasses back up on my face to keep pressing on with these hefty works. I still can't believe that other people get all excited about old books.  Ahhh, bosom friends.

Click on the button on the sidebar if you want to get all bookish with me and a bunch of awesome readers, or just click here if you want to see the book list.

For home school maintenance, direction, and accountability I've got a copy of Susan Wise Bauer's, The Well Trained Mind permanently on my desk for ready, regular, and easy reference.

Wendell Berry doesn't know it, but I've got a full blown crush on him.  I can't read or reread enough of his material.  The short list includes a reread of Hannah Coulter, a first read through The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, and a short one Fidelity: Five Stories.

There's no shortage of necessary skills on this fast paced farm stead.  Our family culture is to a fault DIY, so the shelves contain their fair share of how to books.  I'm thumbing my way through The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman in the hopes that we'll be able to adopt some of his models for our growing practices.  It alternately terrifies and inspires me.

I've read it once, but I'm gonna give it another go.  Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon has been helpful in changing a number of our family practices in relationship to food, health, and nutrition.  I'll be reading through again with first born farmgirl.

I'm pretty excited about these:
Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating 
Norman Wirzba
Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today
Craig Bartholomew
Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions
Arthur Boers

For family read aloud devotions we're just finishing up Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God by Bruce Ware.  Oh. My. Word.  Outstanding.  Next up is Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism by Starr Mead.  Hearts are soft and minds are open.  The read aloud spiritual training and discipleship home educating affords in the middle of our school day is so precious.

I'm usually a little fiction poor.  So many friends and good reads online type groups have spoken so highly of Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love.  Tell me, will I wish I'd bought it if I get it from the library?  It's coming to me inter library loan.

Truth be told, I'll read most if not all I've listed, and still max out my library card every two weeks.  Some I'll skim.  Most I'll read word for word.

And when I read, I'll think of you, those I love the dearest, and those I hope to come to know.
I'll learn about myself, the world, the times past and the time we live in.
Art will undo me and pieces of another will fly into my heart to stay lodged, embedded, and continually change me.

Think of me in the mornings, yes?
Fingers curled around coffee cup, first the Holy Scriptures counsel my day, and I hide those words in my heart at the beginning if I'm living well.
Then, until the last drop is gone, it doesn't matter how many children or animals are swarming around, I read until the bottom of my cup.

I do it on purpose.


  1. Excellent. Lot of goodies. So many books, so little time.

    1. Good morning Jerry - If I see you today it's because {ahem} you're bringing me more books... true story.

  2. You are a special one! And yes, the books, everywhere. I fell asleep with Seth Godin last night. His book, I mean. And I'm sitting at my kitchen table writing a book proposal with no less than twelve books beside me. Funny how, when I sit down to write, all I want to do is read.
    Much love dear and thanks for linking up!

    1. Hah! Thanks for clarifying the whole Seth/Stevie thang..Weekend Farmer Husband knows all about sharing our bed with the many authors who catch my fancy. :-) He most often gently lifts off whatever selection is resting on my chest (as I slip into dreamland) and removes my glasses, putting them nearby so I can shove them back on my nose and get started all over again the next day!
      Eager to know more about that book proposal...
      Love right back atcha!

  3. Oh yes. I love her blog, and just began reading The Odyssey. Loving it!

    1. Swoon- The Odyssey just never grows old!
      And, what's not to love about Edie's blog?
      Come back and visit again, jeana.
      It sure is nice to meet you!

  4. I love this post. Love Edie's blog and the book club. Now I will want to add many of these books to my reading list. My library card is almost always maxed out. So glad you linked up.

    1. Aw, thanks Ruth! I always meet so many great people from linking up.
      Glad you stopped by.
      Are you done with The Aeneid?
      Not me - I need to prioritize my reading better to be attentive to when the month is nearing it's end and discussion might begin.
      I did pick up Penelope Lively's, In Search of a Homeland: The Story of The Aeneid. I'm through that to keep up with the original text!

  5. Laura ... I love it here! I've been lurking for a couple of days, thanks to Edie, and I'm finding so much beauty at your place. And there's this: "My nerdy self gets all a quiver when it's time to read about and discuss the most recent selection. I get all kinds of dorky and stay up way too late shoving my glasses back up on my face to keep pressing on with these hefty works." And then there was this: "Art will undo me and pieces of another will fly into my heart to stay lodged, embedded, and continually change me." I think there is kindred spirit between us. Blessings for a wonderful day :)

    1. Jennifer, A very warm welcome to you. I adore it when lurkers comment. Thank you! Do you blog/write? I'd love to visit more and nurture that kindred spirit...

  6. Hi Laura. Found you through Edie's blog. Just skimmed through one post, anxious to read more but I have to make a quick comment. YES, buy Redeeming Love. Go ahead and read the library edition, but I guarantee you will want to read it again and again. So go ahead and just buy it. Fabulous read. As are a few of your other ones that I've read as well. Nourishing Traditions being another favorite.

    1. oh, THANK YOU, for the heads up! Into the Amazon cart it goes.
      And, even more, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
      So glad you hopped on over...

  7. Hi Laura, I'm a reader too and also following Edie's book club. I loved your post and will be checking you out again. I'm so glad you shared your blog on her linky thing. Teresa

    1. Welcome Teresa,
      I'm still all image struck from seeing those lovely Gypsy Vanner horses on your blog. Beautiful.
      Thanks for popping by for a visit and I'm really looking forward to you coming back!