What I Read in June

vintage yellow hardback book cover of I Chose a Parson

I Chose a Parson

by Phyllis Stark

This 1956 vintage book I picked up merely for its cover. It wasn’t until I really flipped through it that I found out it was a pastor’s wife autobiography. Awesome! Being a pastor’s wife, I love reading books by other pastor’s wives. I Chose a Parson was by an Episcopal pastor’s wife and it was so funny! I was literally laughing out loud during it although she is so verbose that it takes some work to get to the punchline. There was almost nothing spiritual in the book until the very end when she talks about the importance of praying together daily as a husband and wife. The habit forces you to settle arguments since how can you pray with someone that you are mad at?

the great gatsby

The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I listened to this book last year now I listened to it again. Why am I so intrigued by The Great Gatsby? My goal for the summer is to find a used copy with an inspiring cover and then next year I will read it slowly and find out why I’m captivated. I am still wondering whether Gatsby is a good guy or a bad guy. Maybe that is the point.

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Marching Orders for the End Battle

by Corrie Ten Boom

This was my pursebook this month. There were a lot of great insights and quotes to use while I write my devotional book on Revelation. Corrie Ten Boom felt it keenly that we were living in the end times. Between living through the two World Wars and the rise of Communism, who could blame her?

I found a great tip in Marching Orders for the End Battle for when you come across a hard part of Scripture in the Bible. She says you can hang it on a hook. You can read more about that here.

I feel bad about my neck

I Feel Bad About My Neck & Other Thoughts About Being a Woman

by Nora Ephron

You probably know Nora Ephron’s movies When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle. Earlier this year I read (listened to) her novel Heartburn which is autobiographical and very bitter about marriage which prevented me from loving the book. I Feel Bad About My Neck was hilarious without the bitterness. It’s a short story collection which is something I’ve been reading more of lately. I especially identified with the Three Stages of Parenting short story. I say “short story” loosely. They are more like autobiographical essays.

The Outsiders

The Outsiders

by S. E. Hinton

I loved this book as a teen. I read The Outsiders and S.E. Hinton’s other books over and over again. I decided to revisit it since there is a teen at church reading it now. Unfortunately, I did not love it this time. It was very YA with the theme of figuring out where you belong. Plus, it was kind of dated. The dated-ness of it did not stand out to me as a teen though. Written in 1967, the library copy I read was from 1995. (Do you dig it?) I’m still glad I read it. It was nostalgic to remember how much I loved the book back then.

Lou Hoover

Lou Henry Hoover: Essays on a Busy Life

edited by Dale C. Mayer

I’m reading through one biography of each First Lady of the United States. With Lou Hoover, I hit the Great Depression for the first time. That’s one of the great things about reading through American history with people’s stories. You hear the same time period over and over from different perspectives. I read about the Civil War 17 times from Julia Tyler whose husband, former president John Tyler, fought for the Confederacy but did not live to see the end of the war to Edith Roosevelt who, as a preschooler, watched Lincoln’s funeral train from the window of her New York home.

This was the first time I read a book of essays instead of a formal biography. I enjoyed the format of Lou Henry Hoover: Essays on a Busy Life and I hope that other First Ladies have similar books about them. Lou Hoover was busy! She had a geology degree from Stanford. She lived all around the world with her husband, Herbert Hoover, while he did his work as a mining engineer. Lou was the active president of the Girl Scouts and was active outdoors person from the time she was little and would go on camping trips with her dad. She gets overshadowed by Eleanor Roosevelt, but Lou did a great job as First Lady.

 

What did you read this month? Would you recommend any of the books?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review of Mrs. Oswald Chambers: The Woman Behind the World’s Best Selling Devotional

Ordinary skills can be used for the kingdom. It’s not just the big name teachers and preachers who impact the world for the LORD. When ordinary people use the skills God has given them in faithfulness and prayerfulness, people’s lives are impacted.

Gertrude Chambers impacted the world through her ordinary, day-job skill. Before she married the preacher/teacher Oswald Chambers, Gertrude (whom Oswald nicknamed Biddy) was a stenographer who used shorthand to take rapid notes while someone was speaking. She excelled in this skill. The average person speaks 100-125 words per minute. Biddy could write in shorthand at 250 words per minute.

After Oswald and Biddy were married, Biddy used her shorthand skills to take notes when Oswald was preaching and teaching. Later, she used her notes to publish what Oswald Chambers had spoken.  Continue reading

Katharina Luther’s 500 Year Old To-Do List

Katharina Von Bora had no clue she would end up as one of the most famous pastor’s wives in history.Katharina-Martin-Luther-by-Michelle-DeRusha-300x461

Michelle DeRusha recently wrote an insightful book called Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk. Mrs. DeRusha did a fantastic job piecing together a portrait of Katharina as a person despite there being very little information about her life.

While reading about Katharina’s life it struck me that although her life as a pastor’s wife began in 1525, almost 500 years ago, her life was not much different than pastor’s wives today. Continue reading

Katharina and Martin Luther: Successful Marriage through Selfless Living

Years ago I read Kitty, My Rib by E. Jane Mall and was delighted by the story of Martin and his ex-nun wife, Katharina. But I never knew what was fact and what was fiction in that book.

Until now.

Michelle DeRusha in Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk has done a phenomenal job telling the story of this world-changing marriage. Continue reading

Who Understands Stay at Home Moms? Pastors Do.

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When I was a stay at home mom of preschoolers (I had 4 under 5 at one point) I felt a twinge of jealousy when my pastor-husband would go off to work.  I would grumble inside wishing I could go sit in a quiet office and accomplish things off a to-do list. But the more I listened to what his days really looked like, I realized that a pastor’s day isn’t too different than a stay at home mom’s.

Both:

  • Get interrupted a lot. They go into the day with a to-do list, but if someone needs attention, the to-do list is put aside and people get your full attention. Rightfully so! But it takes practice to make sure people are a priority in your heart above getting things done.
  • Feel the burden of responsibility to make good decisions because it will affect the well-being of those in their care.
  • Experience the joy of witnessing growth!
  • Have work that is never done. There is always something else to do. Not enough hours in the day!
  • Have repetitive duties. Laundry must be done over and over again. Sunday worship comes every week.

Understanding the similarities in our life helped me lose my selfish way of thinking that my life was so much more work than his.  Instead of complaining, I spent my words and time encouraging my husband to build him up. We were on the same team, caring for people and loving them like Christ loves the church. It’s just that the people in my care were much shorter.

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