The Simple List 2.0

Summer is just lovely. I see back-to-school sales and hear people talking about the new school year and I am just.not.ready for summer to end. Truly, it's only just turning to August. We have another month. But this summer has been so restful and I've been learning so much, I don't want it to end.

I've been knee-deep in preparing for our first year with Classical Conversations, which means I'm excited and exploding with information and feeling scatter-brained and then excited.

I'm tutoring Challenge A. I have a lot of reading to do. I'm excited.

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Here are a few other things I'm excited about right now:

1. Read Aloud Revival podcast.

I am a big fan of podcasts because I'm a big fan of multi-tasking, but more than being productive, I like to learn. Sarah's podcast, Read-Aloud Revival, encourages me and teaches me in the best way, without making me feel like I need to do more.


She has interviewed Jim Weiss, Tsh Oxenreider, Andrew Pudewa and others, and every episode has been informative and has encouraged me to keep on keepin' on in the read-aloud department.

Ethan and I read Charlotte's Web earlier in the summer. Whenever I go back and read a childhood book again, I'm always amazed at the depth. Charlotte's Web really is stirring and thoughtful, all about sacrifice and love and death.

But also, pigs and spiders. So a great book on different levels.

Currently, we are reading Brother Andrew's autobiography, God's Smuggler, as a family. It's adventure and intrigue and God-honoring exploits, and it gives hope to parents of *ahem* mischievous boys.

I have about 14 other books I'm reading to myself and someday I'll learn to finish what I start...

2. If I could only drink all of my food,

I'd probably have Chia Pudding for 2/3 of my meals. I've never tried chia any other way, but I have loved this pudding recipe:

1 cup milk (from almonds or cows)

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 T. cocoa powder

1 T. protein powder

I pour it all in a pint jar and shake it, let it sit 10 minutes or so, and drink it when it's nice and thick.

Be warned: if you don't like tapioca, you probably won't like the texture of chia pudding.

The other 1/3 of my meals would either be peanut-butter-banana smoothies, frozen blueberry-plain-yogurt-oatmeal-milk smoothies, and coffee. Of course.

3. For the love of all things coconut.

Ladies, you must shave your legs with coconut oil. You don't even need water except to wash out your razor.

Then, shmear a little in your hair at night to deep condition.

In the morning, wash/moisturize your face with it.

Next, put a tablespoon of it in your smoothie. Or if you must eat solid foods, use it in place of vegetable oil in your brownies.

You really can't go wrong with good, cold-pressed coconut oil.

4. Reading Truth.


It's been my goal for years to be in the Scriptures daily. I have read it straight through, hopped around a book at a time, done topical and inductive bible studies, and listened to the audio bible. All of them are good, because God's word is good and we should endeavor to know Him by reading it.

Currently, my favorite 'method' of bible study is She Reads Truth, an online community and iPhone app that joins you with other women reading God's word daily. Generally, they take you through one particular book of the bible at a time, in small chunks each day.

Pray. Read. Journal.

5. Rest.

The theme of my summer has been rest. Everywhere I read, listen, and pay attention to the small voice, I'm hearing the same thing.

Rest means security in Christ.

It's the opposite of the anxiety and performance driven culture we live in. Rest is a gift God has given and we keep trying to return it, to make it something better, to do something more.

I'm learning to rest in this status Christ has graciously given me and to re-evaluate the things that cause me anxiety. To parent from rest, to serve from rest, to live in a rest that keeps out the hounds of performance and secures me in the hands of God.

I want to serve from the rest that comes from pleasing Christ first, others second, myself last. And the crazy contrast is this list that doesn’t leave me last but circles around again and again – Christ, others, me, Christ, others, me, Christ…all my needs are met in Him.

I'll probably keep talking about rest in this place because it's a continual discovery - like opening the folds of the map to some beautiful place.

6. Cough drops should not be inspiring.


Whoever thought this was a good idea? I get the tea bag quotes, the fortune cookies, and other fun marketing gimmicks that try to encourage you to live a good life.

But when I need a cough drop, I don't need advice about buckling down. Don't tell me there's nothing I can't handle. And I'll be impressed with myself today if I can stand upright and take a deep breath without coughing up a lung.

Thank you very much.

Summer colds are no fun. That's what I've learned this week.

Also, how come everyone who gets sick on Instagram gets to lay in bed and read stacks of books? That's the sickness I want.


Sharing what I've learned this summer with Emily and others at Chatting at the Sky