Reading Recommendations: January 2, 2020


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The New Yorker shared Shirley Jackson’s eerie short story The Lottery.

This Mayo Clinic article shares important insight regarding self-esteem and the importance of identifying negative thoughts.

I recently have read my first Nancy drew mystery. This Book Riot article examines the history of the series and its writers as it has evolved.


Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York”

I enjoyed some reading time in the New York area as I read the wonderful The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, and Brooklyn by Tolm Toibin. I highly recommend all three.

Book Review: Silencing Insecurity


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I received Silencing Insecurity: Believing God’s Truth about You by Donna Gibbs from Revell in exchange for a review.

The insecurity topic had me at first glance when this appeared as a review option. As someone who started fighting an inner negative and untrue voice years ago, I knew I needed as much guidance in my battle as I could get. This book made great armor in its knowledge, application, and truth. Accessible, it finds a great balance between enough information to gain a greater understanding an insight for reflection and application. I found myself yearning to sit down with my journal at the end of each chapter so I could write out my reflections on the questions. The content included a lot that I already knew, but I found it pertinent and appreciated that it added to my understanding. Gibbs gently reminded her readers that adjusting a mind involves a lot more than a simple flip of a switch. Renewing the mind requires daily work.

Meeting Autumn


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autumn dream


The rain falls before

the trees set aflame

a fresh cleansing

for love’s claim


For sunlight’s ease

shortens like the days

but remains steady

through this phase


The light awoke up

made us believe dreams

fears retreated, doubts cleared

and reality ripped seams


As we shift seasons

taking a step forward

we shed a dead layer

knowing what we move toward


Lively green sets aflame

beauty before death crunches

a shedding, a preparing

for fruit’s new bunches





September 23/24, 2019

Book Review: How Joyful People Think


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I received How Joyful People Think: 8 Ways of Thinking That Lead to a Better Life by Jamie Rasmussen from BakerBooks in exchange for a review.


As simultaneously simple and complex as it sounds to write a book revolving around a single bible verse on a broad topic like peace, Jamie Rasmussen makes it work. He uses Philippians 4:8 to walk readers through a topic by topic route to adjust thinking patterns. Each “whatever” idea falls into everyday thoughts. Reading how to recognize them helped me see where I can stop negative patterns and improve them to better match a biblical standard. In turn, it increases the level of peace I experience throughout my days. While the suggestions felt a little clinical at times, the message maintains its importance. Everyone can benefit from using this book for reflection and instruction on their thought patterns, especially in today’s high stress way of living.

A Future Awakened, Embraced


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You lifted me up

when I felt down

brought hope and joy

as I turned around


You told me plans

to take care of me

I felt secure

wrapped tightly in your arms


I returned the embrace

trusted your vision

as our words built a world

of our future divined


For first sight burst

forth an awakened love

glimmered a reality

of our deeply hidden dreams





September 25/26, 2019

A Coffee Stained Heart


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I knew at once

you were the one

the nervous smile

fronting a quiet kindness


A coffee spot lingered

opposite your heart

endearing you to me

as you listened, waiting


hoping you see too

a sign for more

an opening to turn

the handshake to a kiss


The words flow

laying a path

set to smiles

leading to love



July 10, 2019




Woman in Black


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Today I wear black

not to show darkness

but to mute the doubt

that I’ll see your back


For I stand solid strong

sure in your protective arms

even at a distance,

singing our song


Notes of hope advance

a comforting melody plays

inviting the next stride

of our love’s dance


a single step back

does not disconnect

but rocks you forward

leaning onto me dressed in black



September 17, 2019

Always and Forever, Lara Jean Book Review


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Moving from romantic comedy to realistic teenage angst, Jenny Han wraps up the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy with another sweet chapter of Lara Jean’s life in Always and Forever, Lara Jean. This story finds the titular character and her crushworthy boyfriend Peter awaiting the arrival of their college acceptance letters. As they navigate their future together with their school goals, Han hits a more realistic level than the previous books. It carries a more serious tone, but it still has its share of laughter. Once again, Lara Jean makes a positive role model.