Just a new route

So my goal this year is to read two books a month.  That’s not an outlandish goal by any means.  But with three kids, it felt like a good goal to me.   So far this year this has looked like a chapter or two a night, or I’ll read some in the afternoon.  Pretty casual.  I’ve been hitting my mark each month, but some months I have to be more intentional about that goal.  Like in June.

Sweet June rolled around.  And we went on vacation, (ooooh a flight, I’ll read then, as I’m chasing my two year old down the aisle), I got to spend time with my best friend (totally worth not reading!!!) and so vacation was kind of a bust on reading.    No big deal, I’ll read when we get home I thought.  Needless to say, my books I picked were hard to mull through chapters, which I do not like to do anyways.  A parenting book that is going to take me six months or more to read, because it’s heady.  Therefore, I only finished one book in June.  Everybody Always, by Bob Goff.  (As I look back now, if that is the only book I read this year it was worth it, great read!)

Now this is where my downfall normally happens when I set a goal.

I failed.

Goal: two books a month, read: 1 book in June.  Those numbers aren’t matching sister!  There’s still one left over which equals fail.  (I’m math minded so I see a lot of life this way.)  

For some reason, I channeled this thinking towards another route.  My books were too tough to thumb through quickly.  So in July, I picked up a few young readers novels at the library about the Holocaust.  Tough topic, but I was confident I’d finish them in a week.  Boosting my self-esteem on not finishing my goal for June.  July pasted and I had read four books!  Boom.

And I read four books without feeling like I was just reading to finish, I was able to absorb.

I love this.  It was simple.  I need simple.  Sometimes our course just needs a little boost or readjustment, not a whole overhaul.

Shift your perspective, give yourself a boost, and continue on those goals you set in January.  You are worth it.  And I bet if you wrote them down, the goals you set are worth it too.

Simple thoughts on reading

Growing up I had a lot of insecurities and one was reading.  My heart would race and I would feel so silly because I read slower than my friends and stumbled upon words easily.  I had the hardest time sounding words out.

So that lead to an early age of not enjoying reading.  Of claiming, I’m just not a reader.  I’m slow.  It’s too hard.  I made it through high school only reading books we listened to on tape (haha!) and reading reviews online to find out details about a book instead of reading it.  I didn’t do well with time crunches on reading.  I’m an absorber of knowledge.  I like to sit on it and let it soak in.

So the first book I remember reading cover to cover was Redeeming Love.  I read it so fast.  It was so powerful and I would sit and read before my college classes would start and pick it up as soon as class was over.  That same year, my husband read Josh Hamilton’s book about his life out loud to me, one of my favorite memories.  We read for two hours.  I sat and listened to the peaceful voice of my husband and cried tears of joy at an amazing testimony of God’s love to change anyone.

My eyes were wide open.  Reading.  The joy and the passion of a good book.  I wanted others to enjoy reading too.  So as I started student teaching science I found I still wanted to encourage my students to read.

I was student teaching and one of the students really struggled with reading.  She wasn’t enjoying the books her friends were reading.  So I encouraged her to step down and read a previous grade book and she loved it.  I saw her eyes open and she was proud of herself.  Reading is reading no matter what.  We must start somewhere.  And books speak to us so differently.

Reading is a powerful connector.

I became a first year teacher six weeks into the school year, and it was flat overwhelming.  I wanted to connect with my one hundred and twenty students, but I didn’t know how.  And the second semester I decided to focus on connecting with a few students instead of the overwhelming task of the entire grade.  So this one student, worked in the library and I loved her book references.  I started reading Hunger Games that spring and we’d share details of the story together.  I remember thinking wow, this is what reading is all about.  Connection.  Reading crosses culture, age groups, social classes and makes us all the same: curious.

I love reading now.  I’d say its a huge passion.  A few years ago I realized it when my husband said, wow you’ve been reading a lot of books this year.  I felt proud.  Honored he noticed, even though that wasn’t my goal.

A few take-aways:

  1. I like reading fiction with non-fiction.
  2. I use November and December to finish up books I’ve left behind during the year.
  3. I’ve set a goal to read two to three books a month.  (Averaging two so far.)
  4. I follow authors on instagram and podcasts (Shauna Niequist podcast); they have the best book references.
  5. I make a wish list on amazon of all the books I want.  The list grows every day.  We are living in days where we can get a book about anything.

I am currently reading A wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle and None Like Him by Jen Wilkins.

Last month I read A Wrinkle in Time and The Happiest Mom.  

So what are you reading?  What books do you re-read?  What book do you want to read this year?  Reference away!