Reading Plans for the New Year and the December Dilemma

I have a  December Dilemma. (Yes, I just gave it that name.) I really want to reread the Harry Potter series this month. I read it the first time in December of 2015 and I would love to read them again. But you don’t read Harry Potter a few pages at a time, here and there, when you have a chance. You read Harry Potter in a pick up the book after the kids are in bed and go to sleep when you finish the final sentence type of manner. That’s the appropriate way to read Harry Potter. Which means I have to either get a babysitter, ignore my life, or lose a week of sleep while I read the series. Will I do this? I haven’t decided yet.

That’s not how I typically read. It doesn’t work in my season of life and honestly, hasn’t worked since I was a child. Adults just have too many responsibilities to do that. So I read in snatches. I read in the bathroom. I take a book in the car. I read before I go to sleep. I read a few pages at quiet time. I read during commercials of tv shows (that’s not a joke, friends). Do I have time to read a paragraph? Then it’s reading time. I read in the tiniest moments because reading matters.

Here for the least: it makes up our lives

For about a year I’ve been contemplating my spot on the internet. Why am I here? Do I need to be here? I watched amazing people do things I love on the internet and knew that the world didn’t need me to do that thing too.

During that same year, I’ve consistently needed the same message in my life. Do not quit. Keep going. Be faithful in the small things. I also discovered that everyone else seems to need that same message. I have Voxer conversations with my friends about how we spend our time reminding ourselves that all this small work matters. I hear people on podcasts say that quitting is the big temptation that they face. I post on Instagram and people across all categories say they struggle to remember it too: the little things are the big things. We know it, but it’s hard to live it well.

Here’s what I keep telling myself: I can’t quit. Can I be honest? Quitting often sounds really awesome. And while there is a part of me that is tired and wants to quit, there is a little whisper, deep down, that reminds me that it’s imperative that I do not quit. That I do it all again today. That I refocus my attention to these little things, these least things, and how I’m doing them.

Unconventional Rest: Going to the Movies Solo

I don’t know anyone else that goes to the movies alone.

(I know you’re out there, ok?)

Almost every time I tell someone that I go to the movies by myself, they respond, “Oh, you should have told me and I would have gone with you!” I try to smother my laughter because I know they are trying to be nice, but I intentionally go to the movies by myself. I look forward to it. I put it on my Powersheets as a goal almost every month. It makes me giddy all day anticipating going after I tuck the boys in bed.

I turn the music up louder on the drive because the kids aren’t in the van. I don’t chit-chat while I stand in line, and nobody says, “mom, mom, mom,” not even once. I order a large Dr. Pepper and a medium popcorn and I sit in silence. Once the movie theater was completely empty except for me. The best part- the reason I’m going- is to get lost in a good story.

Episode 123: Speak Truth to the Lies

In this solo episode, Lisa talks about realizing she was speaking lies over her life instead of the truth of the Gospel. She steps through three questions to help you identify your internal dialogue, evaluate that by the Gospel, and then apply the truth of the Bible to the lies you are telling yourself.

Also, check out her friend Tabitha Panariso on Instagram!

Let’s Talk Leviticus: How to Not Stop Reading at those Sacrifices

I finished reading Leviticus last week. If there’s a book in the Bible that Christians want to avoid reading, it’s Leviticus. Or maybe Ezekiel. I actually loved reading Leviticus this year in my chronological reading. (That’s my favorite way to read the Old Testament.) This is not a theological study that I’m offering here. I simply want us to all know that the Bible is for us: the plain, everyday believer. Actually, we are all the same kind of believer; there’s no hierarchy in the faith (2 Peter 1:1).

God has done a lot of work in my heart, teaching me who He is and how His Word connects together. I’ve shown up for that too. I’ve put in a lot of work to get to a place where a few of the layers of Leviticus makes sense to me. It’s taken work to be able to read Leviticus with awe of how God reaches out for humanity.

I want to start there because often we tell a story that reading and understanding the Bible is easy. That you simply show up (which is most of the battle) and it all falls into place and it isn’t ever confusing or hard to process. That has not been my experience. It has been my experience that it is worth the effort and that small work done frequently will pay off in the long run.

Let’s start somewhere besides Leviticus and make a few points that drastically affect what we’re reading.

Episode 122: Seasons in Ministry with Lauren Alexander

This week Lisa chats with Lauren Alexander, a pastor’s wife, mom, and speaker. Lisa met Lauren at a conference over the summer and snapped up the chance to interview her. They discuss how her speaking ministry started and how it morphed into having an online component. They also talk about social media use and how the enneagram has helped their spiritual lives.