Tag Archives: Reading


As 2011 wound slowly down and 2012 sped closer, I started and finished a book that gave me much to think about. The book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller’s list last year. (You can read reviews and preview the first chapter, here.) In brief, the book is about finding God’s gifts or blessings that He gives us in the everyday. The author approaches this task by noting these gifts in a journal as she observes them in her everyday life. Some might think that life is perfectly rosy for her and that compiling this list will be easy, but nothing could be farther from the truth. She is a simple farmer’s wife. Mother to six children. Her challenge that she takes on in this book is to find thankfulness in the monotony of common life. Add into that her own personal anguishes and demons of her past and her struggle with thankfulness and faith and God become real and tangible. I strongly recommend reading it.

As I read the book, I considered what my own list of One Thousand Gifts would look like. I have always considered myself a person who is observant of what God gives and one who is thankful for His gifts. So when I read Ann’s post on January 5, a dare to her readers to make a list this year of God’s gifts, I thought, I can do that. Yesterday I finally got serious about it and began to contemplate and look for things to write down . . . and failed. Miserably. Sure, I had some ideas, but when it came time to write them out I couldn’t. They seemed so insignificant. I felt so self-conscious. And isn’t that the point? To look at life’s everyday gifts as everyday treasures so that He will be magnified and I will be humbled. This didn’t sit well in me. I realized that though I thought this would be easy, my own pride and self sufficiency stood in the way. And that realization shows me why I need to do this. To look for God in the everyday. To list His benefits in the simple things. To see His gifts and graces in sunrises and frost crystals and hot beverages on cold days and laughter with family and friends. To say goodbye to thanklessness and embrace thankfulness. To realize His goodness so that I may decrease and He may increase. To see and welcome Him into my every moment every day.

So I am accepting the challenge and today starts a new day. A day to see God and be thankful.

Leave a comment

Filed under God, Theology

A Lofty Goal

We home-school our children. At least we did and we still are. The boys are both in High School now. In ninth grade we transitioned them from home-school to public High School. Just our daughter remains at home and she is progressing well through her seventh grade year while looking longingly towards the day she gets to attend High School as well. In the last two years of their home-school curriculum we up the ante and push them with a fairly ambitious curriculum. In part because we believe they are able to handle it, but more importantly to help continue to provide them with a foundation for their own faith and their lives. The curriculum is called Omnibus by Veritas Press. It is Literature, History, Theology, Logic, Rhetoric, and Writing all in one textbook. To be honest, the writing is lacking a bit due to the teacher (me), but the boys finished every book in the curriculum and my daughter is right on schedule. The curriculum believes that the best way to understand history, specifically certain civilizations, is to read about that civilization by reading their authors. In the end, my sons have come away with a love of reading, a grasp of world history, and they have already read many of the greatest works of literature that man has ever written.

Therein lies my issue. I haven’t. I tried when our oldest first started, but home-schooling three and trying to keep up with his reading was too difficult. Now, I think I’m in a place to start again. My goal is not to finish by the end of the school year or even in a years time, but rather just to work towards finishing. Many of the books they have to read I’ve already read, but most of them I have not. Just how daunting is this list? Well, fifty-two books. Just for seventh grade. And then comes grade eight. Right now I’m only concerned with getting through seventh grade. I have set a goal for myself that I will not start on eighth grade until I finish seventh. So without any further fanfare I present the entire reading list.



I and II Samuel

I and II Kings



Minor Prophets (12 books)






Aeschylus I: Oresteian Trilogy

The Codes of Hammurabi & Moses


The Histories

The Odyssey 

Plutarch’s Lives Vol. 1

The Aeneid

Early History of Rome

The Last Days of Socrates

Sophocles I

The Twelve Caesars

Julius Caesar

Chosen by God

The Horse and His Boy

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

The Magician’s Nephew

Prince Caspian

The Silver Chair

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Best Things in Life

The Eagle of the Ninth

The Last Battle

Till We Have Faces

The Screwtape Letters

Unaborted Socrates

The Holiness of God

So there it is. So far I’ve read 32 of them before so I won’t be re-reading them for my goal (though I will be re-reading the Bible of course). I’m currently making my way through The Odyssey by Homer and The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. Bit by bit I feel like I’m making headway. Maybe someday I will be able to share my eight grade reading list.


Filed under Uncategorized