Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Reading Challenges

While my overall reading goal in 2018 is to read 100 books, I've decided to also participate in a couple of reading challenges this year. Check out this amazing list from Kim and Tanya to see a summary of ones that are available.

Author Love Challenge 2018
I'm planning on reading as many books by both Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maud Montgomery as I can this year. I'll be reading at least 5 books from each of these authors in 2018.

The Color Coded Challenge
The color may either be named in the title or it may appear as the dominant color for the cover of the book. For "implies color" the image implying color should dominate the cover--for instance a large rainbow, a field of flowers, or the image of a painter.

2018 European Reading Challenge
The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. I'm planning on participating at the "Honeymooner" level, which means I plan to read at least 4 books from Europe.

2018 Library Love Challenge
I'm planning on taking on the "Library Addict" level, which means I plan to read at 48 books that I borrow from my library.

Read It Again, Sam
I'm planning on tackling the "A Trip Down Memory Lane" level, which means I plan to reread at least 12 books in 2018 that I've read previously.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Reading and Writing Goals 2018

This past year I had two reading and writing goals.
- Writing: the 500 Words a Day Challenge
2017 was my sixth year participating in this challenge. I've enjoyed it for the past couple of years, and I find it helpful to keep me writing consistently, even if not in large chunks all at once.
- Reading: read a total of 100 books

How did I do?
- Writing: I comfortably met my goal for the 500 Words a Day Challenge. Most of this writing was for the classes I teach. I'm really happy with how much I wrote.
- Reading: I did a lot of reading this year. I read a total of 115 books. Not as much as last year, but still more than my goal.

What's up for this year?
- Writing: I'm planning on continuing the 500 Words a Day Challenge. It's been working well for me, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with this goal this year.
- Reading: My plan is to read a total of 100 books this year. This is the same goal that I had for last year. It was a comfortable number for me, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to reach this number again in 2018.

How about you? Any reading or writing goals for 2018?

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Best of Because He Lives 2017

Here are the most popular posts posted here in 2017.
A few posts you may have missed, so check them out.

- Hiding in Thee
- Amy Carmichael on Meaning
- Some of My Favorite Etsy Shops
- Spine Labels - Set 20
- Autumn
- 30-Day Giving Challenge 2017

Happy New Year, dear readers!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Favorite Reads from 2017

I read a bunch of books this year. Some of the books I read were rereads. Some were books that were new to me. Here are my favorites from this year.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Some friends recommended this book to me, and I fell in love with Flavia (the protagonist) and her penchant for exploring death.

How to Talk So Kids Can Learn - At Home and In School by Adele Faber (et al)
If you work with kids - or have kids - this book can be really helpful in working through how to communicate well with them.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
I loved this retelling of the classic Grimm's fairy tale.

The Card Catalog by Carla Hayden
I really enjoyed learning more about the card catalog and how the technology has changed over time.

Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly
The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. This was definitely one of my favorite reads!

Any books you read in 2017 that you recommend? I'd love to hear your recommendations.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Carol

The kings they came from out the south,
All dressed in ermine fine;
They bore Him gold and chrysoprase,
And gifts of precious wine.

The shepherds came from out the north,
Their coats were brown and old;
They brought Him little new-born lambs—
They had not any gold.

The wise men came from out the east,
And they were wrapped in white;
The star that led them all the way
Did glorify the night.

The angels came from heaven high,
And they were clad with wings;
And lo, they brought a joyful song
The host of heaven sings.

The kings they knocked upon the door,
The wise men entered in,
The shepherds followed after them
To hear the song begin.

The angels sang through all the night
Until the rising sun,
But little Jesus fell asleep
Before the song was done.

Christmas Carol by Sarah Teasdale

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

All My Heart This Night Rejoices

All my heart this night rejoices
as I hear far and near sweetest angel voices.
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing
till the air ev'rywhere now with joy is ringing.

Forth today the Conqu'ror goeth,
who the foe, sin and woe, death and hell, o'erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
His dear Son now is one with our blood forever.

Shall we still dread God's displeasure,
who, to save, freely gave His most cherished Treasure?
To redeem us, He hath given
His own Son from the throne of His might in heaven.

He becomes the Lamb that taketh
sin away and for aye full atonement maketh.
For our life His own He tenders;
and our race, by His grace, fit for glory renders.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
soft and sweet, doth entreat, "Flee from woe and danger;
brethren, from all ills that grieve you
you are freed; all you need I will surely give you."

Come, then, banish all your sadness,
one and all, great and small; come with songs of gladness.
Love Him who with love is glowing;
hail the star, near and far light and joy bestowing.

Dearest Lord, Thee will I cherish.
Though my breath fail in death, yet I shall not perish,
but with Thee abide forever
there on high, in that joy which can vanish never.

All My Heart This Night Rejoices by Paul Gerhardt, translated by Catherine Winkworth

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