my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
Today I thought I’d share some recent personal development books I’ve read and also what’s on my next-to-read list because I know I’m personally always looking for new reads myself! And before you completely write this post off, thinking to yourself, “how on earth does she find time to read?” let me tell you, I have the same struggles as any other mama out there. I do love to read but I often can not seem to find the time to. And it takes me 4 times as long to get through a book as it used to! However, over the past year, I’ve truly come to see the benefits of doing personal development on a regular basis and I also value the importance of modelling a love of literature to my kids so it’s become a priority. And I just make time for it. Even if it’s just 15-20 min. a handful of times a week.
The books I’m sharing below are quite the variety as they range in topics from Business, to Marriage, to Prayer, to Minimalism but they were all great reads so I wanted to share!
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – This was one of the first books I read last year and was a big reason for WHY I continued to make reading a regular habit. It’s based on the principle that our decisions and habits shape our destiny. Little, everyday decisions will either push you towards the life you desire or to disaster by default. It’s little changes over time that lead to great results.
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek – I read this one in the summer and basically its about how those of us who lead may not always understand the impact that our leadership roles have on those we lead. Essentially we need to focus on helping each other instead of “one-upping” each other.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo– This book really got me started on my journey towards minimalism. A must read if you want to de-clutter your home but have no idea where to start. So good!
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg– LOVED this one. Might be my favourite read of the year actually. It really changed so much for me in my entrepreneurial journey. It’s written like a novel and is the story of an young man who is searching for success. He learns from a successful business man who was willing to give him his time if he just followed the principles he gave, that changing his focus from getting to giving – putting others interests first and continually adding value to their lives, ultimately leads to unexpected returns.
You and Me Forever by Francis Chan – I actually haven’t finished this one yet but from what I have read, it’s amazing. It’s not like your typical marriage book…it talks about how marriage is not forever, it’s until death do us part. Then come eternal rewards and or regrets depending on how we spend our lives. It looks at marriage in light of eternity and it really shifts the way we see one of the most important relationships in our life. It’s a great book to read together with your spouse and I think that’s why I put it on pause. I wanted to make time to sit down and read it together with Ron.
People Over Profit by Dale Partridge – I started following Dale about 8 months ago and just love his startup camp podcast and his daily motivation on social media so I had to grab this book. It’s another great read for entrepreneurs as it really stresses how powerful and far love, care and respect can go when running a business. He shows strong evidence of how companies who value people over profit are actually more profitable.
Fervant by Priscilla Shirer – This past fall our woman’s bible study at my church did Priscilla’s Armour of God study and I heard that this one was great as well so I grabbed it and absolutely loved it. It really changed the way I look at prayer… not only my own prayer life but we also began to implement strong prayer habits within our family.
Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist – I’m currently reading this book! I’m 3 chapters in and feel like I could have written it myself. It’s so relevant to where I’m at right now…not only wanting to de-clutter and minimize the material things in my life but also my schedule, my calendar, and the day-to-day things I say yes to. I would highly recommend it to EVERYONE!
Books I want to Read Next:
Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
Contagious by Jonah Berger
Grace Not Perfection – Emily Ley
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Make it Happen by Laura Casey
The Joy of Less – Francine Jay
Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – By GregMckeown
Garden City by John Mark Comer
I mentioned in an earlier post, that we were planning to have a simplified holiday season. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to hold to our word and we would end up scheduling too many things like normal but looking back on the past weeks, I’m happy to report that we really did do things different this year. Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant and literally have no energy to do literally anything (ha!) or maybe it’s because we intentionally planned it that way… but regardless, it worked out really well. We didn’t want every day on our calendar to be filled in with scheduled events and places we had to be. Instead we wanted to be able to wake up and plan fun spontaneous things to do with the boys, like tobogganing and baking and going on little day trips. Of course we wanted to spend lots of time with family and friends but we aimed to do that more spontaneously as well and it worked out great. We were able to say yes when friends invited us over for dinner the evening before, have a spontaneous games night with other friends and plan a last minute day trip to see family last weekend.
Ron went back to work after New Years but the boys and I still felt like we were on holidays last week because there was no pre-school or anything else going on really so long lazy days for us is how the week went. This past Saturday, our friends Kara and Pete asked us to join them on a trip to St. Jacobs. We love this little mennonite town and since we didn’t have anything planned, we were excited to go along. It was such a fun morning, checking out cute bakery’s, this amazing home decor shop where there’s tons of neat show rooms to look at, and of course the farmers market. It was the best way to end off the holidays and I went to remember this season and vow to every Christmas after just like it.
Thanks so much for reading!
Bryson’s favourite color is green and Skyler’s is red. It makes things easy because everything normally comes in these two colors so when we buy them new things, there is no arguing or questioning as to who get’s what. It also makes things fun this time of year! Today I got them a vanilla dip donut to split while I did some errands and the sprinkles are currently, of course, red and green. So it’s the best thing ever to them, that the store would do up the donuts in their favourite colors.
These adorable tops with the cutest elbow patches are from Os and Oakes and such a fun colorful addition to the twins fairly neutral wardrobe. They wear them all the time! It’s the perfect Christmas gift for any kiddo’s in your life you still need to buy for! You can grab one here!
Fun fact: See that tiny little birth mark under Skyler’s right eye?! That’s the only way most people can tell them apart!
Thanks so much for reading! Happy Wednesday!
I remember I was all excited to do an advent calendar for the twins when they were just a year old. They were much too young to know what was going on though and we maybe got to day 4 and then sort of gave up on the idea. Last year, we never got around to it, and this year as I wrote about here, we’re really wanting to simplify the season and not stress ourselves out with feeling like we have to do anything. But we also want to solidify some fun family christmas traditions and after brainstorming a list of simple activities (most of which don’t need any prep at all and alot of which I got from my good friend Sophie who is the queen of the advent calendar), we decided the advent calendar was something we were going to do this year. If we miss a day, or have to modify an activity, we’ll just roll with it.
Our calendar uses four supplies. So easy! You could throw it together tonight if you wanted to!
The idea is that the boys will open an envelope together each morning and there will be a written activity for them to do that day.
Here’s what we came up with:
Dec 1 – Christmas P.J.s! and a tasty treat!
Dec. 2 – Make paper snowflakes
Dec. 3 – Get our Christmas tree and decorate it!
Dec. 4 – Holiday party with friends!
Dec. 5 – Making a blanket fort, to snuggle up with a flash light and christmas books
Dec. 6 – Make Marshmallow snowmen
Dec. 7 – Make a christmas paper garland
Dec 8 – baking gingerbread cookies
Dec. 9 – Christmas movie night and popcorn!
Dec. 10 – Visit Santa!
Dec. 11 – Make a paper nativity scene
Dec. 12 – make christmas cards for family and friends
Dec. 13 – Drive around and look at Christmas lights with hot chocolate.
Dec. 14 – Make a christmas dough ornament.
Dec. 15 – Make a gingerbread house!
Dec. 16 – Christmas movie night and popcorn!
Dec. 17 – Family Christmas Party!
Dec. 18 – Bake christmas treats for neighbours and friends.
Dec. 19 – Make Christmas play-dough.
Dec. 20 – Walk through our downtown park to look at the lights!
Dec. 21 – Decorate a christmas tree for the animals.
Dec. 22 – Write a note of appreciation and draw a picture for a family member
Dec. 23 – Make reindeer food to sprinkle in the yard.
Dec. 24 – Make a birthday cake for Jesus.