And how is my list of 40 things to do in my 40th year going?
Best not ask...
But, as predicted, I am merrily chomping through my goal of reading at least 12 books. I thought I would share some highlights of them so far.
Firstly - I have just finished reading a sneak preview of Sheridan Voysey's book, Resurrection Year - due out in a week.
Thank God for Sheridan and his wife Merryn - daring to share not only their story of struggle, perseverance, strength and hope, but for sharing their interior world, their spiritual journey and their love of travel and life in the midst of it.
Whatever your own particular challenge, whether is be childlessness, or disability, or redundancy, or whatever - just walking with them, in such a beautifully written and thought-provoking book, will encourage your socks off. Honestly - when it launches in a week - just go and buy it, or pre-order it now. Sheridan is a phenomenal broadcaster and writer, Merryn a brilliant mind working at Oxford, and we are blessed that they have fairly recently moved from Australia and made the UK home - I really look forward to seeing and hearing much more of him and his ministry.
So many things here stand out from this US church leader and communicator. But I particularly liked the bit on anger - are you a stewer or a spewer? (Or maybe you stew and THEN spew!!!)
I also like the picture of the vulture and the hummingbird. These 2 birds both find what they are looking for. One looks for decay and death, and one looks for sweet nectar and life. The same is true for us - we find what we look for too - whether we look for negatives in people and life - we will find that easily enough, or whether we look for the positive - and guess what - we can easily find that if we decide to focus ourselves too.
And finally, Patrick Lencioni and his 3 big questions for a frantic family.
I have heard Patrick speak in his leadership capacity - he is exciting, fun and focused. So I was interested in this book - transferring, essentially, some business strategy into our families to make them more effective. But, most unusually, it is written as a narrative or fable. This has some strengths and weaknesses when you get to the nitty gritty bits, and I am not sure we could ever create the family plc he describes - but it was very very helpful for me.
I thought more deeply about what are our values - which should inform our actions, our giving, our time, our priorities. What are the things we should be prioritising in these next 6 months. How are we making sure we are doing what we really think is important - or do we never think about what is unique or important about our family and to us? Excellent tool for engaging with our family in a different way, and perhaps one that both men and women would find accessible.
I've read others too - Condaleeza Rice's autobiography - great but deeeeeeeeeeeetailed! Julie Walters' autobiography - absolutely first class writing from our top comedy actress, and some tosh too. But, I still have a stack to get through....
Will this be the one of the only part of my 40 things list I will accomplish!?!?!?