Playing the Part... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

Playing the Part

Jen Turano

Play the Part by Jen Turano  a Sneak Peek on Reading List

Sneak Peek:

"Refusing to rise to the urge to retur, which he knew full well was pointless with a woman of Mrs. Macmillan's disposition, he allowed himself a moment to ponder why he did keep such a disagreeable housekeeper on staff, even if positions were difficult to come by.   When a small voice in his head, one he had a feeling came directly from God, reminded him that unhappy people tended to lash out at other because of wounds their hearts had sustained, he released a breath, sent up a quick prayer asking for patience with his staff, and shifted Miss Plum around yet again in his arms." 

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

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Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

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Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops:


3 Thoughts on Why Relationships Fall Apart

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pondering "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth

3 Thoughts on Why Relationships Fall Apart

When I was in college I was an expert at coming up with a long intro to a paper in order to reach the word limit needed for the assignment.  In fact that is why I got a BS as my degree - that is the joke between my husband and me... however, I've been struggling with a way to intro this first post.  As I mentioned in my God Space series, I am going to start sharing some wondering question reflection posts.  And this first one I knew I needed to share the first time I heard this song.  And since then the words have left me.

3 Thoughts on Why Relationships Fall Apart a Reflection from One Call Away

So while I jump right in this time, please forgive me.

Do you ever listen to the top 40 popular songs on the radio? Well if you do, or even if you have been in a store that does, you have probably heard this song from Charlie Puth: One Call Away.

Just in case, please hit the play button on this video as you read so we can be on the same page.

Halfway through this song, I was in love with it.  It is so sweet to hear about a guy telling a girl he wants to be the one she turns to in life whenever life is hard.  He "just wants to see her smile" I mean come on isn't that so sweet?  (side note - this kid can play the piano...I mean anyone who plays Steinways for their videos...)

Then a little thought crawled into my heart - "This is why so many relationships fall apart."  I was in the car and felt like I got punched in the gut. Why would such a thought enter my mind?

That statement and the song stuck with me for the rest of the day - and as a mom who could easily pass as a taxi driver during the week, that is not normal. So I sat down after the kids were in bed, and really thought about it, rather, I started to pray about it.  (You see I knew that statement wasn't really from my own feelings - it was Truth growing me.)

Expectation of Friendship

The very first line that caught my pondering mind is in the first few seconds (in this video it's at 0:57) - " Call me, baby, if you need a friend, I just wanna give you love".  Fairly calm, shouldn't really stand out right?  Well, this statement, as a friend he just wants to give her love (not even physical intimacy here... or maybe... but let's keep it platonic) sets up so many relationships on bad footing.  You see when a guy starts to show affection towards a girl, it can start as brotherly love or "phileo" love.  However, it quickly moves into a more romantic love ("eros" love) because of the hormones God has blessed us with.  The goal is for the man and the woman to grow closer and get married, to grow the phileo love and eros love and work towards agape love (which is the love the Spirit will bless those who have accepted Jesus into their hearts).  

But let's be honest, that is not really the way relationships go anymore.  Instead of walking the path of growing a relationship mentally, emotionally and physically knowing that the end goal is marriage, or nothing, more and more people are just running headlong into the pleasure of physical love.

Our expectations of this kind of friendship (friends with benefits) start to blur the lines of friendship, and the intimacy of a marriage relationship.  So just needing a friend to give her love is setting up for disappointment.

Constant Need 

Let's looks at this line next (2:05 in this video): 
"no matter where you go, you know you are not alone..."
Alright - adorable for a new boyfriend to say to a girlfriend - even more, lovely to hear your spouse say it.  But life is hard. Life is different for each person, no matter how much you do as at team. There will be times when you experience something on your own.

Do you know who to turn to in those moments? Do you know who has promised to always go before you, walk behind you, and stay in step along the journey? Do you call on Him first when you are feeling alone? (Deut 31:8;  Isa 41:13; Matt 28:20b)

Another minor point that grabbed me has to do with our need for someone to always be there for us.  It is so easy to put the person you love most in a place where they almost need to be at your beck and call. We start to rely on them in a way that no person can really live up to - especially in the hard times.  Do not hear my wrong - you should be your spouse's first support person - but God knew we, as people, could not be everything to another person - that is why we need Him.

We need to make sure that we keep our spouse (or boyfriend/fiance) in the proper place.

3 Thoughts on Why Relationships Fall Apart from Pondering Charlie Puth's One Call Away: verse Deut 4:29

Three Cords

Last one (2:30):
"And when you're weak I'll be strong..."

If you are married - a strong, healthy Christian marriage, this verse probably wouldn't stand out to you at all. I mean this is what a spouse is supposed to do. But why?

Why do most husbands say this in some way to their wives?

Because they are modeling Christ - the Husband to the church.  Christ has promised to always be strong. In fact, in our weaknesses, He is all the more strong. (Eph 5:25-32)

My thought in pondering this song is what kind of damage are we setting our relationships up for when we expect another person, who does not have Christ as their strength, to be our strength when we are weak - every single time we are weak...

What will happen when that person cannot live up to our expectation of strength?

What would happen if your love could not live up to your expectation of strength? @Reading_List1 @charlieputh

God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman and blessed (continually) through Him.  In marriage, we realize that we are forming a union where God blesses the husband and wife, and the two work together to grow in relationship with God.

If we are in relationships where God is not that source of strength, then it is only a matter of time until one or the other person doesn't live up to the expectations of eros love, or even phileo love, and the whole thing crumbles.  But when the fruit of the Spirit love starts to grow in a married couple (which could begin to bloom before vows... maybe another topic?) that agape love allows such statements to stand because they are built on the promises of God.

There were a few other little things... but the breakdown is this - in your love relationship  (hopefully with your spouse...) how much expectation have you put on him? Yes, he can be the person you run to for a hug, as your sounding board, your friend.  But if you are running to him instead of running to your Lord, then you are setting yourself, and your relationship up for some seriously rocky terrain.

On the flip side, if you are walking towards the Lord with your husband - growing in a personal relationship with each other and with God then this is the kind of song that could melt your heart in a good way.

3 Thoughts on Why Relationships Fall Apart - Charlie Puth  One Call Away

Have you heard this song before?  Do you like it? Why? Why not?  Do you have any wondering questions after listening to it? 

Marissa  @ Reading List

~~ Want some more eloquent words on why marriage is more than just the feelings in this song?  check out this great article from Focus on the Family or read Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas** or see what the Bible says about marriage.  Because I am not pretending for one moment that I am an expert on marriage.

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

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Cozy book hop

The Cozy Reading Spot #134

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was by Leslie at Forever Joyful: Help Your Child Conquer Reading Obstacles.  She shares a few common obstacles that our kids today face with reading and a simple remedy for each.    
Help your child conquer reading obstacles from Forever Joyful a Feature on Reading List's The Cozy Reading Spot

Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was from Our Home of Many Blessings: St. Patrick's Day Activities.  She shares a wide variety of activities books and such for this fun day.  
St Patrick's Day Activities from Our Home of Many Blessings a Feature on Reading List's The Cozy Reading Spot

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page.
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes the link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                    

Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

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The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

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Book review

Peace for a Lifetime

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Peace for a Lifetime

Lisa Murray

Maybe it is just me, but it seems that the goal for so many people in life is to achieve peace - peace in finances, peace at work, peace within family or friendships... peace inside their houses... really the list could go on and on right?   The thing is no one really ever goes into detail what peace is... as a result many of us see peace as part of "peace and quiet."

As a mom, peace and quiet are hardly a reality - it's noise, and action, and adventure; or it's quiet, and sulking, and disgruntled sighs... again maybe it's just me.

Then, in order to try to attain some form of this peace and quiet, the stress kicks up.  Feelings of stress and being overwhelmed reign supreme in many mamas' hearts. Honestly, that is not peace. Those feelings of stress lead to doubts, anxiety, depression and again no peace.

The idea of finding a way to cope with life, and seek out a peace that will flow through the dailies, the action, the crazy, the loud, the busy, well it sounded way too good to be true.  And yet I had to find out.

Peace for a Lifetime by Lisa Murray a Book Review on Reading List

Book Overview 

In Peace for a Lifetime, Lisa Murray walks you through her guide to embracing Emotional Abundance in your day-to-day life so that peace can flow through you no matter what the circumstances are around you.   She starts with discussing Emotional Abundance and how so many of us, as kids, never learn how to properly work through our emotions which lead to so many issues later in life - especially being able to model proper emotional health to our kids. 

The book is broken up into three basic sections.  In the first, Lisa sets up the idea that our society has taught us that abundance is getting more of things as soon as we see it - "our culture of I see it, I want it, I want it now..." (p 9) and that is not healthy.  Healthy decisions have to be made where we give up something now, in order to get a bigger return later - delayed gratification, and that this is important to practice with our emotions as well.  The second section moves us into how we actually build Emotional Abundance, through 5 steps, in our lives. Even though Lisa gives five starting steps, she then walks us through vocabulary and baby steps to take so that the five steps are more attainable. She also helps us to see the wounds of our past that impact our emotions in order to start to heal.  The third section looks more into living your life in the present - nurturing your emotional roots in a way that allows them to drink from the Life so that peace can reign over all the emotions that we as people are meant to experience. 

This is the kind of book that requires to really read, dig deep and analyze - a few paragraphs of summary simply does not do it justice. 

Personal Likes

I really enjoyed Lisa's tone throughout the book - there is no doubt that while Lisa lives a full and busy life like the rest of us, she is full of peace.  She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who really works with people, which is evident in her writing. She also points out how she struggled/struggles with anxiety, despair and perfectionism - so that all adds to her credibility - let's be honest, there are some books out there that are full of words and no real substance, this is not one of them.

Another point I really enjoyed were the "stepping stones" at the end of each chapter. The book is written for the reader - it should be connecting with you, so the questions are meant for deep reflection - not the kind of thing you can just read and move on from. And some of them will take serious time and thought to truly answer - and I think that is exactly the point.  Being healthy is not a one-time decision, it is a daily commitment to keep trying.

Peace for a Lifetime by Lisa Murray a Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

My biggest complaint would probably have to be the length.  I wanted to get to the meat faster in most chapters, but Lisa slowly walks through the processes, and I know that is the point.  If the idea is that I need to work on my emotional health n a way that will cultivate more delayed gratification, then she succeeded - I know it's a weakness... what can I say, I'm technically a millennial (just barely).

Another minor issue that some might have with this book is that while she does say treating anxiety and depression with medicine is needed for some, it isn't needed as much as we think. She wants you to really work through the deeper issues. The whole issue of medicine for the mental health of Christians is touchy - granted I'm glad she does bring it up, still some might not want to hear what she says.  Again, this is minor, but know it is there (really a healthy person rarely just uses medicine to heal fully from a disease: medicine, diet, activity, etc are all part of a physically healthy body, so it makes sense that there needs to be a well-rounded approach to emotional wellness also...)

Reading List Rating

five heart rating

I'm giving this a five heart rating because I want to read it again - slowly with focus. Also, because I think this is the kind of book you want to own, so you can dig it out when you need a reminder or a refresher on how to lead a healthy emotional life for yourself and to model for your kids. 

My Suggested Audience

I would suggest this to most  Christians that I know.  So many of us are living lives with so many expectations that the stress weighs us down and we don't know how to deal unless we just grit our teeth and try harder.  Let's be honest, that does not result in peace. I agree with so many that if you are Christian and you are struggling with anxiety or depression, this is an excellent book to go through - especially as it can give you places to start with a therapist.  But this is also a great book for any Christian who simply feels more stress and overwhelming pressure than peace.  I also am not sure I could be an age on this - I am sure teens would benefit as well as adults.

Wondering Questions to Consider

Books that are written for Christians need to be thought of as just that, books, written for Christians.  These are not to be put above the Word of God nor should be used to save other people. This is a book that will help those who are believers, or want to be, to build up their relationship with God because it points to God the Healer., the Sustainer, the Provider in a helpful manner.  If thoughts like why can't I access any of God's promised peace in my life cross your mind or my life is so full of stress, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, and the life, then this is the kind of book that can help you to refocus your efforts with God to heal. It will give you some tools to work with while you spend time with God.  However, this is not a devotional. 

Where have you searched for peace? Careers, finances, relationships, belongings? #PeaceforaLifetime @_Lisa_Murray @Reading_List1

Do you ever feel like having peace in your daily chaos is impossible? How do you usually deal with pressure when it spirals into stress, worry, sadness or anxiety? Were you taught that you should deal with your emotions daily, or stuff them down until they go away? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

~~~ Don't have a copy?  Want one?  Enter my giveaway!

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~~ If you are interested in more thoughts on this book, I'd love for you to check out any of these great responses:

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. ~~Notice if you are a Prime member on Amazon you can read this one for free! (as checked on 3/15/2016)

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

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Help Us Celebrate Easter

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Help Us Celebrate Easter

I have yet to meet a Christian of any denomination that disagrees on the point that Easter is the number one holiday.  What about you?

This moment in history - Jesus being crucified, buried only to rise again - the event that defines so many.  

Families schedule their festivities around going to Church to celebrate with others - to rejoice in the promise fulfilled, the promises that we can put our hope in that is to come. 

So of course, I went to the library this weekend to search out some new stories to help us as we approach another Easter.  I was not looking for religious books necessarily, but something that would be good to read to my kids.  Books that might allow us to come at the story from a different angle this year.  I was completely disappointed...

Then I stopped at our church's library - and mind you we are very blessed with a great library in our church - and again... disappointed.  

If we wanted to get a picture book of the Gospel accounts of Holy Week or the Resurrection, there were some options.  If I was cool with aligning spring and new birth of animals with Easter I could have put together a list of 35 different options - but while I see the parallel, I was hoping for something else. 

I settled on An Easter Carol (Veggie Tales) to go along with our video - again.   This story is in the same style as A Christmas Carol - with the fun and silliness of the Veggie Tales.

An Easter Carol   Children's Corner on Reading List

Since I was disappointed, I figured I would turn to all of you.  What books do you and your kids enjoy for Easter?  Are you a strict follower of the Gospel account for Easter (meaning no extra stories)?  Do you have older kids that need something other than a board book about spring beginnings?  I would really love to hear from you all! If you could please leave a link to a blog post or pin that points to a book or video or something that you all do for Easter with your kids and your family that would be marvelous!

And in the interest of fairness... Here is a little on An Easter Carol

About the Story

The classic Veggie Tales characters take on the roles of new characters in this fun story: Ebenezer Nezzer is the owner of the local factory that specializes in producing plastic Easter eggs. And he gets too fascinated with producing more and more while the workers are complaining about the work. The people are asking for time to go to Church on Easter, and Mr. Nezzer is focused on creating EasterLand...  Well as we would expect any Dickens recreation, when Mr. Nezzer falls asleep in his office he is visited by a vision of his dead grandmother and then Hope the music box angel comes to explain the real reason why Easter is so important.  

The angel does a good job of telling the Gospel story from Christmas to the Resurrection while showing Mr. Nezzer Easter past, present and future...

Why We Like It

My kids like it because we have the movie, and movie night is always a hit.  It has tons of silly moments that keep them engaged and the Truth is front and center throughout.  I am all about reading the book during the week, and then letting them have a movie night that repeats the story. Mostly it is a different angle to help share the story of Easter again.  Christmas has so many secular stories that we can use to redirect to the truth so that our kids can see it from different angles.  Easter is a little harder to get at because for us, we spend all year discussing the importance of the promise fulfilled by Jesus is good... I just wish for more...  

Title: An Easter Carol
Author: Cindy Kenney
Illustrator: Greg Hardin & Robert Vann
Publisher: ZonderKidz
Publication Date: 2004
For ages: 3+ - the movie is your typical Veggie Tales movie...
Based on the video story by John Duckworth **(click here for my affiliate link to Amazon)

Share your #Easter tradition, books, crafts with us! @Reading_List1

Celebrate Easter a Link Up on Reading List

So... Here's our Easter Link up!  

Marissa @ Reading List

** If you're reading this from your email, click over and join us!  Reading List

The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with this Easter linky, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to share any post you link up with Pinterest facebook, twitter, and/or google+.

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