Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I Love to Read the Story: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
What would you say is your biggest day to day challenge?

Loneliness.  They say that the first year a new place is the toughest.  Though my worst bout with homesickness was right after the F-3 tornado tore through Jacksonville, the sting of not having community outside of work has been disheartening. 

Not to turn this into a rant, but information about surviving your first year in a new place (unless you're a teacher or student) is sorely lacking.  I found one rather insulting article about surviving your first year in Denver.  The author, a Canadian transplant (which should be a clue), offers suggestions like leaving behind your favorite sports team, your significant other, and basically anything that reminds you of home.  She seemed to assume that everyone who moves to the Denver area hates their hometown and would gladly deny its culture.  Sorry, but one commitment I made when I moved out here was that Denver was not going to de-Southern me (#RollTide).  I don't think the author's assumptions are fair or accurate.

I'll just have to figure that one out myself...

May 16th is National Biographers Day. What's a biography you really enjoyed reading? Is this a genre you read regularly?

I've enjoyed several over the past few years:
  • American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson.  I plan to reread this one soon.
  • In My Father's House:  The Years Before the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  The story of her growing up years and the family's determination to protect the Jewish people during the Holocaust is fascinating.
  • My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass.
  • Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington.
I enjoy reading biographies.  I also enjoy when an author add a bit of his biography to an otherwise non-biographical work.  For example, I read a lot of books on personal development.  I get much more out of them when the author give examples from his own life of how the principles of the book worked for him.  I'm very suspicious of an author who maintains a distant relationship with his readers.

How important is keeping a clean house? Do you need to de-clutter your life?

As much as I would love to keep an immaculate home like my mom, I realize that it's not the be all and end all.  I try to keep things picked up and put away.  However, there's just days when I don't have time, or feel well enough to deep clean my apartment.  Plus, I'm still working on getting my place company ready.  

You're the 8th dwarf. What's your name?


What's surprised you the most about your life or life in general?

When we had this question last year, this was my answer:

I started to say that how well things are going was surprising, but that would be a lie.  It should be this good, and better.  I've prayed.  My friends have prayed.  God continually reminds me of His Word and asks me to trust Him.  His plan is good.  I'm the one who's been screwing it up.

Any of you who've read my blog for any significant length of time knows that God has brought me through many hard times (some self-inflicted) and helped me overcome so much crap that should have killed me, or at least made me stark raving crazy (again, some self-inflicted).

God's word says in Romans 8:28 that He works all things together for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose.  I've been calling that one in.  It's my time.  It's time for me to do Him more good than harm.  It's time for me to work and have something to show for it.  It's time for me to fulfill God's purpose in my life, rather than just sit and dream about it.

And I still mean it.

Insert your own random thought here.

Well, I said last week that I might have a surprise for you.  Here it is:

I present the Auntiemobile v. 2.0!
I am finally mobile again!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Book Trek 2018 - 12

Book:  Living on Purpose

Author:  Barry D. Ham, PhD.

Info:  Copyright 2015.  Shippensburg, PADestiny Image Publishing

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars): 

Where Acquired:  Gift, plus it was required reading for a work project. 

What it's about:  Ham gives his take on living a purposeful life designed by the Almighty.  The purposes he outlines are based on all of humanity's relational experiences:  relationship with God, relationship with others, and relationship with oneself.

Favorite Quotes:

"Worship is my active, all-of-life response to the worth of who God is and what He does." - Matt Heard. -- p. 51

If I only live for getting off work on Friday afternoon, my percentages for happiness are slim.  I don't know about you, but two out of seven days is not enough for me.  I much prefer to enjoy and find fulfillment in seven out of seven days. -- p. 203

You may falsely believe hat you can't change, but God knows you can.  Until you accept His grace, your most derailing limitation is you. -- p. 252

What I liked:

It was an easy read.  I completed most of it on a bus ride back and forth to church.

What I didn’t like: 

The author didn't put much of himself into this work.  I'm not impressed when an author creates a "to do" type book, but doesn't show where he's done what he suggests.  Ham was places himself at a very safe distance from the reader and the concepts.

I was not thrilled with how marriage-centric this book was.  For example, from page 92:
This is a picture…of God’s design for marriage.  He knows how He built us, and He knows that people were not designed to be alone.  While I recognize that there are some people who prefer to be single and truly enjoy doing life solo, most prefer to journey with a spouse.  We are, for the most part, naturally wired that way.  God’s desire is that with the support of our mate, we become even more capable of achieving our God-given purposes.
Here's a question:  Does the author consider alone synonymous with single?  That seems to be what the book indicates.  Someone needs to show me in scripture where God “wired” everyone for marriage?  Most importantly, what if a person isn’t “wired” for marriage?  Marriage for the Christian is not their choice; it is God’s choice.  So, what if marriage is not what God has chosen for someone?  Can they not “become more capable of achieving their God-given purpose” without a mate?  C'mon, man!

The author created a "100 plan" chart that chronicles how he plans to spend every stage of his life from birth to 100 years old (or when old age sets in).  Near the end of life, he lists “enjoy being nurtured by family.”  I have two problems with this: one, what if you don't have a family to nurture you, and second, even if you do, should you plan to mooch of them and have them take care of you for the rest of your life?  Sounds pretty selfish to me.


This book read like a watered down, over quoted, knockoff version of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life.  Ham's offering wasn't very original and seemed to be directed towards middle-class Christian families with children.  I would recommend Warren's book over this one.

As a side note, the author is going to be at a staff function at work where we'll be allowed to ask questions.  I plan to ask the questions I had in this review.  I'll post my findings and let you know.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sybil is in the Air: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Monday, May 14 , 2018

Outside my window   Have mercy, what HASN'T been outside the window?  Late April to early May has been the most schizophrenic weather experience I've had since moving here, and being from Alabama, that says something.  I kid you not, one day the weather was this:

Two days later it was this:

The next day it was this:

Then the thermostat clicked back to spring a couple of days later:

And today? We had a hailstorm.


I am thinking... about what really is my place in this world. 

I am thankful...
  • ...for God's willingness to keep showing me His love when I don't even feel loveable.
  • ...for spring...maybe (fingers, legs, and eyes crossed).
  • ...for a good GP who actually listens and communicates with her patients.
  • ...that the effects of my Tetanus/Diphtheria shot have started wearing off.
  • ...for my co-worker introducing me to Rhett & Link and Good Mythical Morning.  These boys are crazier than Rick and Bubba...and you've got to work hard to top those two!
From the Workshop... I'm still making changes to the blog.  Not being mobile has really impeded progress.  I've managed to finish a few projects:
"Pitcher of Sunshine." 8x10 and card
This one I painted for my kitchen.
From Auntie's Test Kitchen:  I've picked up the A-Z challenge I started back in 2015.  Letter I is here.

I am reading... I've gotten a lot of reading done since my last Daybook:
  • Knowing God Intimately by Joyce Meyer.
  • How Do You Kill 11 Million People by Andy Andrews
Books I’ve finished since my last Daybook
  • Audacious by Beth Moore.  The review is here.
  • Let's All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs.  The review is here.
  • Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  The review is here.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  My Goodreads comments are here.
  • Word Made Art:  Lent by Heather Caliri.
  • Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success by Steve Harvey.  The review is here.
  • Fervent by Priscilla Shirer.  The review is here.

And one for the DNF (did not finish) pile:

The Smartest Book in the World by Greg Proops.  It's a shame.  He's so funny and witty, but his book was not.

I am learning...
  • That anyone who claims to be a friend (Facebook or otherwise) but is happy over my struggles is no friend.
  • I am learning that I to get new mini USB cords.  All of mine seem to be going bad all at once.

Favorite quote(s) of the week

"I unplugged Alexa.  She scared me." - Dave Ramsey

"I don't see no points on your ears, boy.  But you sound like a Vulcan." - Dr. Leonard McCoy to Commander Data, Star Trek:  The Next Generation.

"Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time." - Mark Twain
"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses & some don't turn up at all." - Sam Ewing

"I thought for sure I'd get married, you know, when I was 33, 'cause, you know, the Lord laid down His life when he was 33." - Mark Lowry

"So when you say 'expert,' are you like--you're talking about like a [internet] commenter who's...a smart ass?" - Charles "Link" Neal, Ear Biscuits With Rhett and Link podcast, February 5, 2018.
I am looking forward to... 

My upcoming spring stay-cation.  I'm planning to take the time to enjoy some of the activities on my 100 in 1001 v2 list.

And Now For Something Totally Different:

Five Minute Friday word of the week:  Include