Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 

We rang out the old and hollered in the new with the band of brothers and Miss Thing in fine style. 

For Zach and Rachel’s 15th anniversary we offered them a weekend to get away. Their money, their plan…but we would take the kiddos and feed them, tend them, correct them and entertain them for two nights and three days. 

Not sure who spent more, but I know who got more rest…

We had a blast, literally…

Russ was happier than he appears, well actually much happier when the noise makers got hidden away…here is proof…

Mommy and Daddy looked refreshed and a good time was had by all. 

So here we are entering a new month and a new year. 

I plan to continue the start of the month book review, so here we go for the first one in 2022:

Going from top to bottom in the photo, and yes our tree is still up…


Jesus-Centered Daily by Rick Lawrence was my yearly devotion as gifted by my good friend Lisa. She has prayerfully selected my annual devotion for so many years. I don’t know the exact number but they are lined up along one of the shelves in this office bookcase, all marked up and tearstained. 

This was a good one. It was different. The author used a lot of culture sources that I am not always familiar with, but used them to point to Jesus; which was a good example for me of remembering I need to engage in the world, not be of the world, but also not check out entirely.

Which I tend to do frequently. 


The Hope of Christmas by Jack Countryman was the second book I pulled out of the collection of Christmas devotional reading I put out every year as part of our decor and then rarely take the time to read. 

I read a little more than half, just because I ran out of time, not for lack of interest. 

This is a sweet book that uses Scripture and then short writings to reflect on the prophecy, promise and fulfillment of the Christmas Story. It ties the Old and New Testament to our own life stories and I plan to finish it in January. 


Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado.

I read this, or at least part of it, years ago but loved reading it this year. I forgot how much I enjoy his writing and how you can hear his Texas drawl as he weaves stories from his life into the truth of Scripture and the truth of Scripture into the stories of his life.

I found that reading this in the evenings or during the day gave me a break from checking things off a list. It gave me the pause I needed to enjoy preparing for Christmas and not just focusing on a task-oriented mentality. 


The Message Study Bible by Eugene Peterson was my choice for an annual read through. I finished up Revelation on the morning of December 31st. And I can assure you….

best. book.ever.

I love the Bible, of course, but this version is such a treasure to me. It has been marked up over the years and has so many good study points. Peterson’s thoughtful insights inserted in between Scripture often bring me to tears. 

I am pretty sure I ordered on sale from some Christian book seller, but when I googled it to buy a copy for John, I discovered it is out of print and worth quite a bit on the market. 

It is worth so much more than money to me. 

So that’s December and 2021 reading report. 

I have thought about doing the annual read through again this year, but am opting to finish some Bible Studies and go back through The Message and my personal journal and dig into the many passages I starred or highlighted as I read through this year. 

I hope to share some of those with you. 

Every year I encourage you all to read through the Bible. I have done it several years and while I am not doing it this year, I can’t stress to you how much I hope you will read it.

Every time I do a read-through, I discover new and deeper insights.

It doesn’t take that long. 

If you just see how many pages your version is and divide by 365 and read that many pages a day, you can complete it. Sure there are days you will miss, so you read an extra one for a week and voila! You have read the entire Bible by New Year’s Eve.  

I know people say they would rather read small portions and get more out of it. That’s great.

But have you read the entire Bible? How can you say you stand on it as your truth if you have not even read all of it? A Chronological Bible is an excellent one to start with! 

There are many plans out there, but plans do not work for me. 

Keeping my Bible next to my morning chair and reading X number of pages is the only way I have made it a habit over the years. 

I hope you will try it. 

Okay, lecture over. 

Go out there and enjoy the day. 

We actually have sunshine here in the heartland today and I need to find my sunglasses! 

Hugs and I will see you tomorrow <3

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