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Goals Update and What I'm Reading This Week

Goals Update and What I’m Reading This Week

January 22, 2019

I love the planning and process of setting goals. I could set goals forever and never reach them, its just so much harder to carry them out. Probably most people find it easier to set goals than carry them out, but I really feel like God has gifted me with planning and organization. Just because I’m not as gifted in an area doesn’t mean that God never intends for me to work on it though, so this year I was very careful about the goals I chose. I made sure that these were goals that I felt convicted of and would be beneficial to my family as well as myself.

The goal I have been struggling with so far is memorization. It’s simply so much harder to memorize than it used to be, plus I have to intentionally take the time to review and keep up what I memorize. I had planned to be much farther in Romans chapter 8 by now, but I have only done the first eight verses. Still I don’t want to set it aside because I really feel like God has been working in my heart on scripture memorization.

An Update on my Goals:

Bible Study

  • 1 Samuel- I’m on chapter 21, I love this book so much!
  • 2 Samuel
  • 1&2 Kings
  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Acts

Scripture Memory

  • Romans 8- I have down the first four verses, I’m making it my goal to do two verses a week from here on.
  • John 15


As a result of two of the books I read this week I am adding a new goal for the year to de-clutter my house and garage. This week I sorted my own clothing, home school supplies and jewelry.

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Reading Goals

  1. Gracelaced, by Ruth Chou Simons
  2. So Long Insecurity, by Beth Moore
  3. Finding Spiritual Whitespace, by Bonnie Gray
  4. The Year of Less, by Cait Flanders
  5. And We Are Changed, Priscilla Shirer
  6. The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom- This is a reread, but I remember loving this book and haven’t read it since high school so I wanted to try it again.
  7. I Can Only Imagine, by Bart Miller
  8. Ashley’s War, by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  9. Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly
  10. Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran’s Brutal Evin Prison, by Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh
  11. A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918, by Joseph Leconte
  12. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, by Carmine Gallo
  13. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King – I will be deleting this from my list.

Goals Update and What I'm Reading This Week

What I’m Reading to the Kids

  1. Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
  2. Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien –
  3. The Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton Porter
  4. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her own Making, by Catherine M. Valente
  5. The 13th Reality Volume 1: The Journal of Curious Letters, by James Dashner
  6. Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis
  7. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book 1: The Mysterious Howling, by Mayrose Wood
  8. The Name of This Book is Secret, by Pseudonymous Bosch
  9. The BFG, by Roald Dahl
  10. The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
  11. Mr Popper’s Penguins, by Richard Atwater
  12. Bed Knob and Broomsticks, by Mary Norton- We are halfway done.
  13. The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

What I’m Reading

Gracelaced, Ruth Chou Simons

This is such a beautiful book. Not only the amazing artwork, but the devotions are so beautifully crafted. This would make an amazing gift, and I’m so glad I own my copy. There are eight devotions for each season of the year. Clearly I didn’t follow the season suggestions, I just went through from start to finish and it worked great this way. I can see myself going back through it again and again. Simons is an amazing artist and writer, I’d love to get my hands on her second book Garden of Truth!

Gracelaced, Ruth Chou Simons

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store, Cait Flanders

Ever since we moved a year and a half ago I have been wanting to downsize our possessions. I just hate the idea that we have so much stuff! We moved into a smaller house and I was actually surprised at how much I like the smaller space. The thing is we still have our garage crammed with things that wouldn’t fit in the house. Most things we don’t even miss and I feel like I am constantly seeing things around the house, that really we could live without. So when I added this book to my reading list this year I was hoping for inspiration to clean out our stuff!

This book was so much more interesting than I expected. The author struggles with several types of addiction. After giving up drinking and dealing with some other addictions she realized that shopping was becoming the ‘fix’ she used when she was down or stressed. So she decides to give up shopping for one year except for groceries and consumables. At the same time she went through all of her possessions and got rid of as much as she could.

I really loved that she saw shopping as a crutch and wanted to be free of the debt and clutter that it brought on. There is so much more that can be done with my money than Starbucks and clothing I don’t need. She was able to save over 50% of her income some months because of her lifestyle change  and she could travel to some amazing places as a result. This was definitely worth reading, especially if you wish you could downsize your house.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo

At the same time I was finishing up The Year of Less, I saw Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix and I was so curious I had to pick up her book. My biggest takeaway from this book was when she wanted me to ask myself why I want to tidy. I hadn’t taken the time to think through the why fully. I want what I have to honor God, and the time it takes to conquer the clutter each week could be used for so many things. The idea of knowing that my house is clean and I could spontaneously have company over sounds amazing. If we are able to buy a house and move to a better location I don’t want the stress of packing such a large amount of possessions. Also, I want our house to be more pleasant to live in, and I feel like there are too many things in it right now.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton

This is not my usual read by any means. I saw the title on Goodreads and wanted to give it a try. It’s part mystery, part thriller, part sci-fi. The unusual premise is that a man wakes one morning to discover that he is trapped in a host body. Each day he will relive the same day in a different host until he solves the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. It was a fun read that kept me guessing. I feel like I could have read the whole book with a notebook beside me to take notes and still been surprised in the end.

What I'm Reading this Week

Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Kate DiCamillo

This was a fun short read that I read to H this week. Mercy is a pig who lives with her two owners who adore her and make her toast with a good deal of butter. H loves the Mercy Watson books, they are silly and have great pictures. They’re a little longer than a usual picture book, but not quite a full chapter book. Since they are very low reading level, she can read a lot of the words to follow along with me.

Bedknob and Broomstick, Mary Norton

We are about halfway through this book. The first part is bedknob and the second is broomstick. We finished the first part and all three girls loved it. If you have seen the old movie based on this book, you will have a good idea of the tone of the book. Mrs Price is a learning witch. When she is discovered by the children she enchants a bedknob to take them wherever they wish in exchange for keeping her secret. Shenanigans ensue. Of course you may want to talk to your kids about some of the subjects in the book like witchcraft. We love fantasy and so have had many conversations since reading the Hobbit a few years ago.

What are you reading this week? See what I read a couple weeks ago here.

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  • Karen Friday

    Danell, I respect your goals and the plans you are implementing. I think memorizing God’s Word is so important so it’s downloadable when we need it. Love your reading list, “So Long Insecurity” is a great book. Blessings as you make your way forward with Godspeed. 🙂

    January 23, 2019 at 11:40 pm Reply
    • danellsteffen

      I never thought of it as “downloadable” before- I love that!

      January 26, 2019 at 4:55 pm Reply
  • Valerie Murray

    I loved reading about your goals. I just shared my goals on my FB page. Thank you for sharing! I love reading too!

    January 24, 2019 at 1:27 am Reply
    • danellsteffen

      Thanks for the share Valerie!

      January 26, 2019 at 4:54 pm Reply

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