Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reading... and practicing what I preach

(Caleb at 10 months)

Caleb has been addicted to books since his first few months.  While I was working part-time at our church back then, Caleb would spend a few hours three days a week with my mother.  I am convinced that they spent the entire time perusing books, reading books, and talking about the pictures in books.  At nine months, we couldn't keep him away from his bookshelf, where he would pick out a particular volume and turn slowly through each page.  I've never seen a small kid so careful not to miss any of the pages.

It comes as no surprise that right now a trip to the library is better than a new toy, and a stack of books can keep Caleb occupied for hours.  Benjamin has always been more of a doer (and an eater), but just recently my husband or I will catch him surrounded by board books and "reading" through the pages. It's a great stage!  Both boys can now sit on either side of us and listen to story after story. (Okay, Ben gives out after two.)

As good as the boys are at reading, my own personal reading is just the last thing on my priority list; but it shouldn't be.  I want my boys to be life-long learners, and I know I have to model to motivate.  So I've started trying to be more intentional about reading to them and reading by myself when they are around.  I started with fiction, reading The Help, which I recommend.  It's unbelievable that it's Kathryn Stockett's first novel. This author is not a Christian and uses some ahem colorful language, but the message and story is incredible.

I've never really had a great understanding for the racial conflicts in the 1960's, but I appreciated this author's perspective as well as the humor and suspense with which she writes.  For those who aren't familiar with this story, it is told from the perspective of three different women, two African American and one Caucasian from Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960's.  I've debated about sharing more, but frankly I don't want to spoil one iota of the story. Read it, enjoy it, and be impacted.

Over our vacation, a friend lent me the Duggars' new book A Love That Multiplies.  Totally worth every minute of reading.  Love the grace and honesty with which they share their testimony about the last few months, accounting their journey with a preemie born by emergency C-section and their rise in public recognition.  Also, I always find so much wisdom from the Duggars.  No, we're not going to stop wearing pants.  No, we're not planning to have a family that only fits on a tour bus. But Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar really have gleaned a lot of wisdom through the challenge of raising (truly raising) nineteen children.  In addition to the fun stories and solid wisdom, the book is also sprinkled with recipes and good Biblical ideas for healthy family life.  This book was so encouraging that I will definitely be re-reading it (and putting it on my Christmas list).

So there you go.  Physical proof that I am reading.  Feel free to keep me accountable though.  A speaker once told me, "The person who reads is the person who leads."  Hmmm....

Disclaimer: If you click on the links above and actually end up buying, I get a small (and we are talking very small) commission; but every little bit counts!  Amen, moms?? (I would've recommended the books anyways :-).)

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