Monday, April 23, 2007
"When I Get a Little Money..."

“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.” Erasmus

Erasmus could have been my middle name. Not that it goes well with Beverly, but it sure does fit. My home is overrun with books. In my on-going journey to live out the 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, I was sort of expecting God to start by telling me where to cut activities, or commitments. Instead, He mentioned a habit, something I've been doing lately.

Deep breath.

"I Bev, aka Blessed Beyond Measure, hereby pledge not to buy ANY books through the end of the summer (September 21)." At least. Much like the date you set aside to begin your diet, or quit smoking, or begin exercising, or getting up early to start your day with devotions, I've set the date. My last book purchasing date is today, April 23, 2007. I won't buy a single one, no matter the cost, no matter the book. Only my family will really understand what a big thing this is for me. They've seen my nightstand and bookshelves. My husband will just sigh with relief.

I'm crazy about books, the feel of them, the smell of them, the lovely covers they now sport. It's been a love of mine since I can remember. B.A.L.A.N.C.E. - that's what we're striving for, people. Purchasing a book, what amounts to every three days, isn't balanced, nor financially responsible. It doesn't lead to a clutter-free home. I'm praying and working toward a more simple life, one that lends itself to serenity 90% of the time, with a little wild/crazy the other 10%. Working on improvement, not perfection, that ratio sounds about right to me.

I tend to have this jump in with both feet, reckless abandon, no holds, personality. That sounds so much nicer than "Type A" or "OCD", don't you think? My husband absolutely will not allow me to volunteer at the Humane Society because he doesn't want to own 19 cats and 7 dogs. If I volunteered there, I'd have to drag home every single creature I was sure nobody else would take. He knows me well.

I started running our church bookstore 6 months ago. Every time I see a book mentioned in a magazine, or flyer, or by someone who stops in the store, or on the blog, I have to order 2 copies, one for the store, and one for me. Seriously. I'd rather have a new book than a new pair of shoes, or clothes, or dinner out. Especially if you'd all go out, and leave me home alone to read the book. I've likely purchased 50 books in the past six months, and since it's unlikely I am going to read two books a week this summer, I'm sufficiently stocked up, and then some. It's not just the cost of the books - even if I'd purchased them all at the Half Price Bookstore, there would still be too many of them, to call it good stewardship of my time.

Here's what I have sitting on my nightstand, coffee table, end table, kitchen counter, desk, bathroom basket, and in my car, waiting to be read:


Discovering God's Will, Andy Stanley (working on)

Brokenness, Nancy Leigh DeMoss

The Search for Significance with journal, Rogert S. McGee

Martha to the Max, Debi Stack

Fresh Brewed Life, Nicole Johnson

Lies Women Believe, Nancy Leigh Demoss

Overcoming Overload, Steve & Mary Farrar

Having A Mary Spirit, Joanna Weaver

Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver

The Friendship Factor, Alan Loy McGinnis


The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Edith Schaeffer

Restoring Order to Your Home, Vicki Norris

Open Heart, Open Home, Karen Mains

Living a Beautiful Life, Alexandra Stoddard

The Simple Home, Sharon Hanby-Robie

Simplify Your Life, Marcia Ramsland

Simplify Your Time, Marcia Ramsland


Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer, Susie Martinez

Paula Deene & Friends (Living it Up Southern Style), Paula Deene

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker For Two, Beth Hensperger


Wish You Well, David Baldacci

Black, Ted Dekker

Red, Ted Dekker

White, Ted Dekker

My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Piccoult

Peace Like a River, Leif Enger

The Prodigal Comes Home, Michael English


Too many to list, seriously

If I read constantly all summer long I would not make it through all of them, although you don't really read a cookbook. Paula Deene's could be an exception, with it's fun side-stories.

So the book buying has to stop. Whether I'm a Mary, or Martha, or something inbetween, I don't need more books. On any subject. What I DO need is to clean out some piles of clutter, do some quilting, weed the flowerbeds, spend time with girlfriends, visit family, learn to bake bread, play ball with our old dog, eat watermelon, begin to scrapbook 31 years of photos, and go camping with my sweet husband. Enjoy my middle daughter moving home next month. Lose the last five lbs (not sure Paula Deene cooking plays into that.) Most of these activities take both hands, so none are free to hold a book. That leaves time on the ellyptical or in the tub, and once in awhile, curled up in the beat up adirondacks in the back yard. Or maybe at the start of a lazy Sunday naptime.

Knowing once in awhile I can grab one of the books sitting around this place, pour some sweet tea and spend an afternoon with my nose inside its pages - that's enough to keep me going. As I dig through some of this reading, I'll come back and tell you what's worth the read, and what's not.


  posted at 10:00 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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