Saturday, January 8, 2022

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart

The challenge this week was to choose a "Grandparent of Crime" for 52 books in 52 weeks, and I am a bit nervous to write my first book review for this challenge.  So, I am going to try several different formats until I find what works for me.  

First of all, I read two books this week.  The Circular Staircase and How to Study the Bible by D.L. Moody.  

I will review Mary Roberts Rinehart's book first:

I am not a big mystery reader, I have read (& adored) Sherlock Holmes...but that is about it.  I love Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and have often times thought 'I should really read the series this is based on', but such is life, one thing or another has always seemed to pop up to prevent me from following through.  I'm sad that I've never taken the time to read mysteries, I realize now that was a mistake.  

This book was utterly delightful (except for some time-period language *will explain in a bit).

I will begin with my favorites :
Favorite characters: Liddy and Doctor Stewart
Favorite lines: 
1)"In certain walks of life the tea-pot is the refuge in times of stress, trouble, or sickness.."
2) "Sunnyside was furnishing the people, in one way and another, the greatest excitement they had had for years."
3) "I am not at all superstitious, except, perhaps in the middle of the night, with everything dark..."

Rachel Innes is a middle-aged spinster who inherited custody of her neice and nephew when her brother passed away.  She takes a furnished country home for the summer, entitled Sunnyside, and so the plot unfolds.  The book is narrated from Miss Innes' perspective and is utterly delightful.  I found myself giggling out loud at some of the scrapes Rachel and Liddy found themselves in, pausing to read them to whomever was near enough to listen.  Each chapter end found me eager to read 'just one more', and I am already planning to read the next book she published - The Man in Lower Ten.

*I do NOT like reading books that use offensive language to describe (& thus look down upon) people based on their class or race or education - how is/was that ever ok to say about someone?  This book has two passages that almost ruined the entire book for me.  I wish she had not included those.  

I would recommend this book given my above caveat, I also loved her writing style so much that I am willing to give her another chance in her second book.  I do not know enough about this genre to give it a star rating, but hopefully I will read more this year and be able to revisit this.  

Now, for Dwight L. Moody - I have heard much about him, but never read anything by him.  This book was in short AMAZING.  I am immediately rereading this as a read aloud to my girls.  

Favorite quotes :

"We take good care of this earthly body that we only have for a short time. We feed it three times a day, and we clothe it, and we dress it, and soon it is going into the grave to rot; but the inner man that is to live on and on forever is weak and starved."

"there are four things necessary in studying the Bible: admit, submit, commit, and transmit. First, admit its truth. Second, submit to its teachings. Third, commit it to memory. Fourth, transmit it."

"The best law for Bible study is the law of perseverance. The psalmist says, I have stuck unto thy testimonies (Psalm 119:31). Diligence and discipline in studying the Word will allow it to grow within and show without."

and finally

"That is the way with the Bible – study it and study it, one subject at a time, until you become filled with it."

If you have made it a resolution to study your Bible in the New Year, I HIGHLY recommend you read this book.  It is full of encouragement to get you from resolve to action.  And LOTS of great ideas on how to approach it different ways, if one doesn't work for you - try the next.  Both this book and Mary's above are free on kindle.  The D.L.Moody book was on my Tim Challies list and both counted towards the Brighter Winter challenge.  What did you read this week?  


 The first week of January did not unfold how I had envisioned.  I ended up in bed with a cold.  I started the week off feeling ok, just a mild cold, but by Wednesday I felt horrible.  I think I literally slept all of Wednesday and Thursday.  Except for my cough, I am feeling much better really, this will feel like the first week of the New Year to me.  I am just hoping my girls don't come down with it now.  

I did get two books finished this week and will be doing a book review post in a bit.  Hope you guys had a great week - 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happiest of New Years!!

I sit here, at my computer, this morning, sleepily sipping coffee.  I have had a mild cold the past few days and am just hoping my girls don't come down with it.  

I'm ready to put up all of my Christmas decorations today except for some strands of light.  There is something so beautiful, so magical about dark mornings with twinkling Christmas lights and cinnamon candles flickering.  I'm also not quite ready to stop playing my Christmas station on Pandora.  I LOVE old choral Christmas hymns, the Cambridge singers are one of my most favorite choirs.  (Although the Christmas at Downton Abbey is my favorite cd - we have just about worn this cd out playing it to and from doctor appointments)

I don't know how to succintly tieup 2021, it ended much how it began - VERY bumpy.  We, overall, had a great year (taken in context for what that means for our family), but then some medicine adjustments that began in November(ish) have caused quite a bit of havoc.  I have a love-hate relationship with pharmaceuticals.  I know some people are staunchly against them and some people are staunchly pro-western medicine - I land right, smack, dab in the middle.  I am thankful for advances in western medicine that help manage chronic health conditions, yet, I hate medicine because our bodies weren't made for them and it is often times SO hard to find the right balance.  

I am trying something new this year in regards to my goals.  I label my goals in the following categories:
Disciplines - Spiritual Disciplines and becoming an ever increasingly faithful and holy disciple of Christ
Fit - food and weight loss 
Tidy - decluttering and maintaining a cleaning schedule that somewhat keeps a lid on the mess (SO SO SO far from perfect here that I won't even bother to post the before and after pics - but I do take them - as I think that is such an important part of the process)
Smaug - money matters and taming the greed
Reading and Teaching - I love to read and I love to learn 

So I have found or made a mix of 365 challenges and 52 tasks to keep me motivated throughout the year.  

365 challenges
Decluttering Challenge - Starting today 💝

Promises of God - 365 of them - will do a mix of things - verse map, scripture journal, pray them, sticky note them around our house so we can meditate on them and memorize them...most important part?  Making sure I start and end each day with His Promise 💝

52 week challenges
and YES YES YES Tim Challies released his reading challenge for 2022 - I will of course be reading books that fill in the blanks for all three challenges...I am so excited.  My end goal - to read at least 52 books - it would be awesome if I could go over that...but I will be happy with 52 - a book a week.
Paula B Fitness videos and follow her five things for 2022 - I am not 50 yet, but I am not that far from it either...I am going to give her videos a good shot this year and try her five thing plan and see what happens 

And then I decided to take a Spiritual Discipline a month from The Study Guide of Celebration of Discipline and study it.  Next year I think I will try a fruit of the Spirit each month.

And finally I am once again going to try the 40 day sugar fast challenge *sigh*, (In case you are interested in joining it begins on January 10th).  I have yet to make it past four or five days - so we will see how this goes.   And then Lent is right around the corner after that and I will choose something to fast from during that season.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas

Jeremiah 23:1-6
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’
Isaiah 9:2-7
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

For unto us a child was born - unto us a Son was given.  
He is Wonderful Counselor
He is Mighty God
He is Everlasting Father
He is Prince of Peace                                                                                                He is my Righteousness

Saturday, December 18, 2021

52 books in 52 weeks

52 books in 52 weeks (I am still waiting to see if Tim Challies releases his Christian reading challenge for 2022).  

Here is a post that explains the rules, and then I am supposed to have finished my first book and write my first post, if I am reading it correctly, on Saturday January 9th.  I cannot wait, this looks like so much fun!!  💖

PS - The blog hosting this challenge is  (click on the title to go to the blog to check it out!)  Oh and I just saw that other readers are making a list on their first post to fill in as they go and I thought that was a SPECTACULAR idea!
1) The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart and How to Study the Bible by DL Moody

Thursday, December 16, 2021


Have you seen this?  It is a HUMONGOUS list of reading challenges for 2022.  I am anxiously awaiting Tim Challies to release his Christian Reading Challenge (I LOVE this challenge) but just in case he doesn't do one for this year, I will either use a past challenge list (adding new titles for 2022) or I will choose one from this master list:

How did I NOT know about this blog?  Anyway - in case you are wanting to read more in 2022, I wanted to share this with you.  

I hope your Christmas season has been beautiful thus far.  My husband just got over a nasty cold and miraculously the girls and I did NOT get it.  We normally get everything.  I am so thankful.  We have had a great Advent season thus far.  This year has been such a reprieve for us - beyond anything I could have asked or dreamed for.  I am so incredibly thankful.  💖

Thursday, November 25, 2021