Photo by Jan Tik
This week has been all about the new year, taking simple steps, setting green goals, and now today, what’s inspiring me this new year. I love making lists, it helps me to get stuff out of my head and down on paper, and I like to look back over my lists to see what I’ve accomplished, or to be reminded of something I wanted to do but didn’t get to, and be inspired to start again.
I shared my green changes list on Wednesday and today I want to share some other lists of what I’m planning and hoping to accomplish this year.
What I’m Reading, And Want to Read
- Three Cups of Tea – This is such an inspiring book and excellent story. It is amazing to think about the impact that one man has had since he decided to devote his life to helping others. It’s not a Christian book, but it is inspiring me to life out my faith by serving the least and the lost in meaningful ways.
- Generous Justice – I’ve only read the introduction to this book, but – Wow! I think this will be a great book to read after reading Radical and The Hole in Our Gospel last year. I think God is trying to get my attention about this issue – I love reading books that have a similar message, but from a different angle.
- God Gave Us Heaven – This is a children’s book that we bought to try to help explain Heaven, and where my dad is going when he passes away, to my 3 year old daughter. It makes me cry because the characters are polar bears and the little one calls the older one Papa, which is what my kids call my dad. I think that it’s simple enough for a child, but not too cheesy or fake.
I made a reading list for the first time last year, and although I only read about half of the books on the list, and added new ones along the way that I didn’t know I wanted to read, it was helpful when I finished a book and didn’t know what to read next to look at my list and then search at the library and find books that I wanted to read. So, here’s my list for this year.
My 2011 Reading List
- Prodigal God and Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller – These were on my list last year that I didn’t get to read.
- Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas – We heard him speak on marriage at our previous church and know that his stuff is so good. I’ve heard this is a great books for wives to read.
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donal Miller – I started reading this last year, but didn’t get through it. I don’t like leaving books unfinished, so I’d like to finish it up this year.
- The Strong Willed Child by James Dobson, or some other book on parenting a strong willed child. Jer and I often look at each other and just have to shake our heads and laugh when parenting our daughter. It seems she got the strong willed genes of both of us put together and I am often at the end of myself not knowing what to do or how to parent her. If you have any good parenting book recommendations, I would love to hear them!
- The Omnivore’s Dillema by Michale Pollan – I read In Defense of Food by him, and Real Food by Nina Planck last year, and want to read some more good books about the food industry and eating real food.
- Some novels by Ted Dekker – Sometimes I just need a break from the non-fiction, heavy reading. Ted Dekker is an amazing author and if you’ve never read anything by him, I would highly recommend him. His books are mysteries/suspense and while he is a Christian, his books are not too overtly (and often cheesy – you know what I’m talking about) Christian. Yet, they are also thoughtful and from a solidly Christian perspective of good vs. evil.
I’m sure I’ll add more books to my reading list as the year goes on!
What I’m Listening To
As much as I love Christmas music, by the end of December I’m usually ready to move past the Christmas music and back to “regular” music. My hubs gave me an iTunes gift card for Christmas, so I’m looking forward to finding some new great worship and kids music this year.
- Christy Nockel – I’ve heard some songs by her, but I’d love to get more for my ipod to listen to while I blog, cook or clean.
- Josh Wilson – My sister introduced me to his music over the break when I was at my parent’s house and I am loving my Josh Wilson station on Pandora.
- Slugs & Bugs & Lullibies – My friend Shelley told me about this album a while ago, but for some reason I just haven’t checked it out yet. I’ve heard that it’s music that kids love and that parents don’t mind listening to either.
I’d love to find more great kids music that doesn’t drive me crazy to listen to over and over! 🙂
In the Kitchen
Oh, I always have grand plans for my kitchen every year. Things I’m going to start making from scratch, lovely dinner parties, homemade food gifts, and more. But, my dreams are always much loftier than my actual accomplishments in the kitchen.
This year, I want to continue making real food changes, encourage my family to eat more veggies, and start cutting out white sugar as much as possible.
- Sourdough baking using my own sourdough starter, like I talked about on Wednesday
- Making healthy adaptations to some of my families favorite recipes.
- Making baked goods with sucanat or honey and whole wheat flour.
- Make healthy treats that my hubby’s sweet tooth will approve of and enjoy.
- Making more homemade healthy snacks from Healthy Snacks To Go for hubs and the kiddos lunches.
- Preserving more food by canning and freezing. I’m excited that I got a really big stock pot for Christmas that I can also use for water bath canning!
Around the House
Of course, I always have an ongoing and eternal list of things I want to do around the house that I never seem to get to. But, it still helps me to write the list out, so that when the inspiration strikes, or I have a little extra time to work on a project (yeah, right!), or my wonderful hubby asks me if there’s something I want to work on, I can look at my list and pick out something that fits the amount of time and energy that we have to spend.
Projects to Work on Around the House
- Hang curtains in our master bedroom
- Make a pillow for the bench in our bedroom
- Paint and actually decorate our kids’ room
- Hang family pictures in our hallway
- New mirror for our bathroom – my parents gave us an extra mirror they had that will work for this.
- New floor in the bathroom – without me even knowing, last week when I was staying at my parent’s house, my wonderful hubs took on this big project!
- Hang curtains in our kitchen and living room, and maybe new curtains in our dinning room
Whew, so that’s a lot! I’m not big on resolutions, but I do think it’s important to make and set goals and write them down so you can look back over your lists and be inspired throughout the year.
What’s inspiring you this new year? What’s on your list to read, listen to, take on in the kitchen, or work on around your house?
Remember that Tell Your Time is on sale for $7 through today, Jan. 7th, only! If you need some inspiration to get your life and your schedule in order, this is the book for you!