My theme phrase for this new year is “Recalibrate Life.” I have shared in previous posts how I want to intentionally recalibrate my life. My focus will be on slowing down, on choosing rest, on learning Sabbath, and on living in simplicity. So, I have chosen a book to read for each month to lead me in practicing these things. I have had many of these books for some time. I may have read them or skimmed through them but I did not intentionally put them into practice. This time through I want to glean practices to apply to my daily life. So, as I read I will be taking notes and journaling responses. At the end of each month I will share my response to the book with you. I will discuss what I learned and if or how I will be applying it to my life.
Let me start by sharing the book titles and a short synopsis of each as well as my thoughts on what I hope to take away from it.
by Ruth Haley Barton
Sacred Rhythms discusses seven key spiritual disciplines. Barton lays out practical ways to weave these disciplines into our busy lives. At the end of each chapter she gives you opportunity to try the discipline, leading you through a practice of it.
I have read this one years ago, and already started it this year. I am getting a lot out of it even after just a few chapters. I will be trying to incorporate some of these practices in my life.
Abundant Simplicity: Discovering the Unhurried Rhythms of Grace
by Jan Johnson
This book is about being intentional about our choices in life, choosing those that lead to living a simpler life in “an engaging and relational way” rather than filled with obligation and pretense.
I have read this one before also. There is a lot to learn and put into practice in this book. I will try to choose a few that I can do. This year is about simplifying, not adding more to-do’s.
GodSpace: Time for Peace in the Rhythms
by Christine Sine MD
First, this book explores spiritual rhythms and then, secondly, the author examines practical ways to incorporate these essential practices into our lives.
I want to learn rhythms to incorporate into my life to keep me from racing and running constantly. I want my focus to be more on the Lord! I like that it is both about GodSpace and GodsPace. Taking time to be with Him and going with Him in His timing!
Keeping Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn
This book is a written invitation to learn to experience joy and wholeness through choosing to observe the Sabbath. The author shares reasons why this is important as well as methods for putting it into practice.
I want to learn more about ways to practice Sabbath. Not to practice it in a legalistic way, but to practice it in a way that gives me rest and honors the Lord.
A Worn Out Woman: When Life is Full and Your Spirit is Empty
by Alice Gray and Steve Stephens
This is a book of practical solutions for the stressed-out woman. This book promises to help its reader to “trade in a life of running on empty for a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.”
Our lives can feel so empty when we are living in the place of stress and overwhelm. I am definitely ready to trade that in for fulfillment and meaning!
A Place Called Simplicity: The Quiet Beauty of Simple Living
by Claire Cloninger
I have read this one and loved it, but will gladly reread it. It takes you on a journey of simplifying many different facets of life. It has a “step-by-step plan based on a personal inventory to help you unclutter your life.”
I am constantly working on decluttering or at least it seems that way. This year I am trying to be more intentional about it!
Even God Rested: Why It’s Okay for Women to Slow Down
by Kim Thomas
In this book, the author shares how to cease from the things in life that are draining us and instead feast on the delight and refreshment God offers.
That is exactly what I need to learn! Life can feel so draining, we all need delight and refreshment!
Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythm of Rest
by Lynne M. Baabs
This one offers to be a practical and hopeful guidebook to help each of us slow down and really enjoy our relationship with the Lord.
Really enjoying relationship with the Lord and slowing down, those are things I need to learn to practice more in my life. It is too easy to just come to Him for things or try to prove self to Him.
Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives
by Wayne Muller
Muller “shows us how to create a special time of rest, delight and renewal. “He “teaches us how we can use this time of sacred rest to refresh our bodies and minds, restore our creativity, and repair our birthright of inner happiness.”
The words “rest, delight, and renewal” caught my eye in this title. I want more of each of these in my life.
Your Sacred Yes: Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion, and Play
by Susie Larson
In this book the author shares “biblical ways to
- learn how and when to say no without guilt or shame
- find peace and perspective that matches God’s best for you
- discern man-made obligation from God-given invitation
These are definitely areas I need help with as I live my life! I get bogged down with expectations and obligations that may not be what the Lord has for me.
Oxygen: Deep Breathing for the Soul
by Keri Wyatt
This book is described as a “perfect guide to help you deepen your walk with Christ.” A few of the important practices discussed are:
- being with God rather than doing for Him
- how to spend time in solitude
- how to journal and pray
- how to listen to what God is saying to you
I am hoping to glean a few new ideas from here to encourage me as I continually learn to grow deeper in my walk with the Lord.
SoulRest: Reclaim Your Life; Return to Sabbath
by Curtis Zachery
This one is a call to examine and restructure our days around purposeful and sustainable life with Jesus.
That sounds wonderful. So much of what we try to do does not fit into those categories in our lives. We get caught up in checking off our checklists that overflow from page to page. And, for me, too often it is more about the “getting done” than about the process. Purpose and sustainability are lost in that.
So, there is my list. I realize there is a lot of repetition in the topics and practices. I am hoping that I can filter through all of the information and come away with a life recalibrated. I will be sharing with you monthly about what I am reading and learning. If I get bogged down with a book, I may choose a different option as I had a hard time limiting my list to one book for each month, so I do have other choices available to go with. I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
Many blessings to you in 2019!