26

My birthday was awesome!

I received so many sweet Facebook posts, messages, texts, and phone calls. 

I talked with my family and even got to FaceTime with one of my best friends. 

The weekend as a whole was a whirlwind of fun from start to finish. 

Here are the highlights:

  • Thrift store shopping
  • Barnes and Noble 
  • Barbecue
  • Finding Dory
  • 2 get togethers
  • Fireworks
  • Reading
  • Coffee
  • In PJs till lunchtime 

I basically partied like a rockstar all weekend. 

And while I’m thankful for good work, getting back into my routine will be hard tomorrow. 

Now, it’s time for this 26 year old to go to bed! 

Remember: the new blog schedule is Monday and Friday. 

Let me know if you have any topics you’d like me to discuss more in-depth. 

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My First (Self-help book) Love

Do you remember your first self-help book? 

Mine was How Full is your Bucket? by Tom Rath. 

I read it at the tender age of 13 and it is the reason I love self-help books so much today. 

The book teaches you how it truly is the everyday interactions with those around you that determines how you respond to the good and bad circumstances of life.  

  1. Every positive interaction adds a drop to your bucket. 
  2. Every negative interaction dips (takes away) from your bucket. 

Looking back now, nothing Rath discussed was earth shattering, but it was presented in such a unique way that I was fascinated. 

Plus, Rath had 40+ years of research from Gallup Polls and his stories were mesmerizing. 

Did I mention that he gave readers access to his Strength Finders test?

What about the cool resources to help implement the new information?

This nerdy chick, way back when, fell in love with self-help books and I’m still a bit starry eyed today. 

If you want to wax nostalgic with me, give the book a read (it’s on hold for me at the library).

And if you want me to wax nostalgic with you, let me know the title of your first self-help book. 

Reading and Hope

There’s a little girl who comes to Thursday Night Lights who has captured my heart. 

We’ve talked about Joan before (I’ve changed her name) but seeing her this week gave me an idea…

She’s out of school for the summer, so I know Joan spends most of her time alone. 

Several weeks ago, I was given some books by a friend who moved back to Shreveport, Louisiana. Many of them were young adult fiction books. 

I asked Joan if she likes to read and she does! Next Thursday I’m bringing her a few books. 

Joan’s 11, which is around the time my own love of reading took off. I bet Joan will have the same experience. 

No matter how bleak the circumstances, the settings of a good book draw you in.

 I’m not recommending reading as a method of escapism, but more as a method of seeing that there’s a world beyond your circumstances. 

Imagination is a powerful force. 

My hope for Joan is that she doesn’t look at her circumstances and think, “This is it.”

Obviously, a relationship with Jesus is what Joan really needs. And I plan on talking with her more about that. 

I just remember how much reading impacted my life as a child. 

If you live in the Tulsa area and have some books you’d like to see go to a good cause, I have some friends who would greatly appreciate your generosity. 

Winter’s Bone

“I’d be lost without the weight of you two on my back.”

Ree Dolly is 17 and responsible for her younger brothers and her mentally ill mama. 

Her daddy, Jessup Dolly, skipped bail and can’t be found. 

As part of his bond money, Jessup put up their homestead as collateral, which means Ree has to find him. 

The setting is the Ozarks. 

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. 

It’s not a young adult read, so don’t give it to a kid, but I highly, highly recommend it. 

I wasn’t sure why it felt familiar to me until I read the interview with Daniel Woodrell at the end of the book. 

If you enjoy works by William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, you will like Winter’s Bone. 

The story doesn’t shy away from the cold, hard facts. Nothing is white washed. 

Maybe this sounds weird, but the rhythm of the story draws you in…

Not every book does that to me. I almost skipped church because I didn’t want to stop reading. 

The movie is also really good. 

My library addiction

I have an addiction…

The public library.

There. I said it.

Any excuse to go to the library gets me excited.

The librarians probably dread to see my name on the hold shelf because that means I will most definitely call them to see if my materials have arrived.

Before I hit up Red Box, I go to the library.

If I fall in love with the music in a movie, I go to the library.

And now my new habit of being a total fan girl that makes me want to see every movie my favorite actors/actresses have ever been in…

Not to mention all of my leadership stalking (we’ve talked about this before) that causes me to hit up YouTube to check out all of a leader’s public talks and the library to check out all of their books…

Sigh. 

At least library materials are free, right? Because I just can’t stay away.

Plus, libraries are just cool places to hang out. Did I mention that most libraries now sell coffee? 

You guys think I’m exaggerating about my library addiction, but I go to the library 3-4 days a week.

Here’s my question to you: 

Are there any local places you enjoy hanging out?

 

Summer Reading

 

It’s summer reading time! 

My friend Mary gave me 2 sacks full of novels (and a few nonfiction books as well) so I am ready for some serious fun reading.

Even when I wasn’t a student, I mostly read fiction in the summer. There’s something about summer that makes me not want to read anything heavy. 

Am I the only one that feels this way?

I thought it would be fun to get some recommendations (you know, in case I’m able to finish all the books on my bottom book shelf). 


  1. What are some books on your summer reading list?
  2. Any of them graphic novels? I’m trying to give that genre a chance, so I’ve read a couple this year.
  3. What about nonfiction? Have any good nonfiction reads you think I should throw on my summer reading list?
  4. Any of your favorite authors releasing books this summer? Any that you’ve already pre-ordered?
  5. Are you participating in the local library’s summer reading program?