Weekend Reads: Rest, rest, and a smattering of other topics – Simply Convivial

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weekend reads link up

Books Read at Our House This Week

I feel like I’m linking to the same books over and over here. King Midas and the Golden Touch, The Donkey Prince, and Three Billy Goats Gruff were favorite picks once again this week.

We have a huge pile of library books at the moment. Honestly, it’s making me nervous. If I am late on returning that huge pile my library fine will increase by dollars a day. But, if a boy comes to me and says, “Mom, can you check if the library has x?” Then, by jove, we check right then and there and put it on hold if they have it. And we had a lot of such requests lately. Sarah, Plain and Tall was their last book club book, and so at Jaeger’s request we checked out all the other books by the same author. I also checked out a number of books by Gloria Whelan because Dawn recommended a different book by that author which our library didn’t have.

The book I read this week was one not yet available! Sarah Mackenzie asked if I’d be her book editor, and I gladly accepted. I got to read her first draft of Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace. It’s absolutely amazing. Absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I read it before I made too many decisions about our upcoming school year. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you all know about it when it comes out.

I did, however, also finish reading The Lord’s Day by Joseph Pipa. It was an excellent book for understanding the historic Presbyterian, Westminster hard-core teaching on the Sabbath. I almost thought for awhile I’d become a true-blue sabbatarian. But he lost me over his argument that Sabbath is not actually about rest, but about work of another kind, plus his Sabbath rules were based on two-verse proof-texting more than by biblical reasoning. Starting with creation, looking at the fourth commandment, examining the whole big picture of the entire Bible – physical rest is the heart of Sabbath keeping. Plus, I think his view encourages compartmentalizing life: this conversation is “holy,” this other one is not.

I was actually disappointed I couldn’t get on board with him, because I really would like to nail down the Sabbath thing and figure it out, but I think perhaps the truth of the Sabbath is a truth too big to be nailed down and spelled out in rules. That might actually turn out to be part of the point. But it’s rather frustrating.

Oh, I did also quickly read through Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work, because I’ve seen his nonfiction highly recommended by a number of people. This book, however, appears to be the main point of his real book The War of Art made into a pretty non-book for non-readers. It’s full of pages that have one sentence in huge lettering and other signs that the book is a gift-book for “creatives” that don’t actually want to read a real book and care more about design than content. The library just purchased The War of Art for me, though, so we’ll see if his real content is any good.

Online Reading This Week

I think this is an approach homeschoolers should embrace more. Focus less on college and career and more on developing and monetizing skills, talents, and interests as the opportunities present themselves (with seeking out) beginning in the high school years.

We can’t know what the jobs of the future will look like. People’s basic needs stay the same but society is constantly evolving and changing and so we don’t fixate on a job title or career path; we focus on building skills, knowledge, and experience in an environment of flexibility and adaptability.

I know my weakness is in trying to figure out a super-duper combo or maximum efficiency model, but simply showing up with trust and consistency is the real “magic.”

But still, we can be tempted to think that if we just figure out the secret formula — the right mixture of Bible meditation and prayer — we will experience euphoric moments of rapturous communion with the Lord. And if that doesn’t happen, our formula must be wrong.

One of my readers here has me seriously contemplating actually pulling our copy of the Institutes off the shelf. Thank you, Ginger!

Let me forestall the “I don’t have time” objection. If you have 15 minutes a day and a bit of self-discipline, you can get through the whole of the Institutes faster than you think.

Sometimes these sorts of projects percolate for a year or two before coming to fruition, but it’s at least in that process now. Maybe I’ll add it to my super-duper devotional combo. ;)

weekend reads linky party

More Weekend Reads

If you have a post with a collection of links, a post about what you’re currently reading, or a recommended book list, link it up here! We’ll have our very own “best of the web” & “best of our book piles” right here, every week!

2 Responses

  1. kortney
    | Reply

    i too would love to “nail down the Sabbath thing.” i wonder if that’s not some of the problem: looking to have the thing settled, once for all, when really it’s a living, breathing thing.

  2. Amanda
    | Reply

    Sarah wrote a book!? Hooray- looking forward to it!

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