The Quality of Contentment

posted in: mindset, mother 5

I’m almost finished reading The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment – though I did count it in my 2014 total and included in my top five favorite books. Burroughs, a seventeenth century Puritan, develops multiple avenues for developing contentment. After expounding on his specific and deep definition of what contentment is, he then moves on to develop ways we can grow in contentment during our lifetimes – because growing in contentment is part of growing in maturity and grace in … Read More

Do we want great gain? Thoughts on The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.

posted in: mother 8

Contentment is a tricky subject. I’ve been reading the Puritan classic, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, and I am taking it slow because it is so meaty. Then this Sunday our pastor preached from Philippians 4, which included verse 11: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” What is contentment? The dictionary gives us several definitions: * in a state of peaceful happiness * satisfied … Read More

Latin, the habit builder – Wednesday with Words – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra 6

Living a reading life together… Current favorites at our house I’ve been preparing grammar lesson outlines for my writing class that starts this week. I’m using a combination of Our Mother Tongue by Nancy Wilson, The Mother Tongue by Kittridge and adapted and republished by Amy Edwards (I am using the teacher’s manual for lesson content and sentences to use, but not using the student workbooks), and Evan-Moor Paragraph Editing (grades 5 & 6). Can I just say, I love … Read More

Wednesday with Words: Planning for Providence – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra 7

This week in reading… Current favorites at our house Knox’s current favorite he brings to the couch every time we read is one of the Frances books by Russell Hoban. I always love reading Frances books. Ilse’s favorite right now is Pathway’s First Steps, because she can read the short, sweet stories all by herself easily, and it looks and feels like a big kid’s book with chapters. This is what reading said book looks like at our house: And … Read More

The Living Page: Living a Liturgy

I recently finished Laurie Bestvater’s The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason, and I loved it. I bought it based on Brandy’s reviews, and I’m glad I made the leap-of-faith, even though I am only a Charlotte Mason admirer and not a strict adherer. I think this book, with the history behind commonplace books and Mason’s implementation of it, demonstrates more clearly than ever that Charlotte Mason was not an innovator, but was making methods and practices based soundly … Read More

Simply Contemplate: Party Like a Puritan – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra 1

This year for our after-dinner family Advent devotions we are using Doug Wilson’s new book, God Rest Ye Merry. There are four sections, the last of which are for family readings, and I finished reading the opening three sections last week. Wilson was definitely recycling content in this book, but unlike others where he has done that, this one read well and wasn’t choppy. Celebrate the season like a Puritan! Puritans are a byword for killjoys and prudes, but that … Read More

Simply Contemplate: Whipping Up Yummy Things All Too Easily – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra 8

This week I am baking up a storm for our church’s annual fancy bake sale, Confection Selection, that benefits the local Pregnancy Network. Baking reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese, which is a laugh-out-loud funny and entertaining book, particularly if you’ve ever been caught with the “I can make that myself” bug in the kitchen. Is that really a good rule? ‘Eat all the junk food you want … Read More

Simply Contemplate: Good Days & Bad – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra 9

This summer I read John Owen’s Mortification of Sin. I enjoyed the delve into older, denser English. There were several places where at first I was a little taken aback at his line of argument, but after continuing on and thinking about it, I realized it was more that he was not saying things the way that such things would now be said than that he was actually saying something I disagreed with. I experienced firsthand (again) C.S. Lewis’ opinion … Read More

Simply Contemplate: Hospitality Doesn’t Have to Make Us Crazy Busy

posted in: extra 2

In Crazy Busy: A Mercifully Short Book on a Really Big Problem, Kevin DeYoung doesn’t conclude that we should cut as many obligations as possible and live a secluded, contemplative, monastic lifestyle. Rather, he ends up questioning the heart, attitude, and motivation beneath our choices, and addressing the “crazy” part more than the “busy” part. Hospital-ity Recall the diagnostic question: Am I trying to do them good or trying to look good? Think how this question could sanctify our approach … Read More

Simply Contemplate: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung – Simply Convivial

posted in: podcast 4

Ok, so I’m on a Kevin DeYoung kick. Crazy Busy: A Mercifully Short Book on a Really Big Problem is another short 5-star offering from the Reformed Michigan pastor. The Terror of Total Obligation: Calming the Crazy Man Inside That is the chapter title and subheading from which I am about to quote. We all have a cross to carry. But it’s a cross that kills our sins, smashes our idols, and teaches us the folly of self-reliance. It’s a … Read More

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