Resolving More Specifically to Do More

Last year, I resolved to read more. It was a generic resolution. And one without the means to measure.

This year, I resolve to do better in a more specific way. The accumulation of a pile of books–some I began and set aside and one I’m plowing through–is the foundation of my measure.

I began one book a few days before New Years Day–Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler. Bowler, a Duke Divinity professor specializing in the prosperity Gospel, writes of her struggles as a thirty-something new mother struggling against terminal cancer. She writes in the present tense, and her writing is raw and real. More on this very worthy read ahead.

Another book I’d already begun is The Way of Abundance by Ann Voskamp–a 60-day devotional I set aside briefly to focus on Christmas preparation and Advent-type readings. So far, Voskamp maintains, as usual, a compelling voice of walking in the way of Christ even during difficulty.

The next book I plan to tackle is Dawn–the second book in Elie Wiesel’s Night trilogy. I read Night once, voluntarily, out of curiosity. I read it again, involuntarily to a degree, after accidentally enrolling in a graduate class in Holocaust Literature.

I thought I had signed up for the other lit class at the same time. After all, who would want to study Holocaust Literature for a whole semester? Once I realized my mistake, I decided it was probably too late to try to switch classes. It was my last semester of grad school. I’d just gut it out.

Perhaps my mistake was an accident, or perhaps it was the guidance of God because that class was fabulous. The teacher was the daughter of an Auschwitz survivor and the head of the university’s English department. Best. Class. I. Had. In. Grad. School.

I’ve been curious about Dawn–Wiesel’s first work of fiction–but never took the time–never put it in my pile and never made myself publicly accountable–until now.

Two historical bios inhabit the pile–A Pope and a President by Paul Kengor is about Pope Saint John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan–and Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas.

And there are two books by Greg Groeschel–Altar Ego and #Struggles. I found Groeschel viewing last summer’s Global Leadership Summit.

Jordan Peterson, George Weigel, and Russell Moore round out the enrichment side of the pile. Markus Zusak, the entertainment side, and Karen Wickre’s Taking the Work out of Networking, a professional enrichment pursuit.

So that’s the pile–my resolution to read with a specific measure. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. And please let me know what you’re reading!

Happy New Year!

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37 Replies to “Resolving More Specifically to Do More”

  1. I am starting to think that a New Year’s resolution book list might actually be a resolution I could keep! I think you’ve inspired me to create a reading list of my own . Realistically, I think one book a month is doable, but I’m going to shoot for two. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up reading more than I thought I could! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. I am so thankful that God had given me the gift of reading and a love for reading. Along with my efforts on reading the Bible daily I tend to have another book to read to “sharpen the iron” as well as a novel. Right now I am reading, enjoying and learning from Natasha Sistrunk Robinson’s book Mentor for Life. If you are interested in mentoring I would highly recommend it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I also set out to read more last year. I certainly read more, but not nearly what I had hoped. This year I set out the same goal. I know I will read, but I want to be very specific with what I read. Reading alone is not helpful to me. My one word for 2019 is Nourish. I want to align my reading to that very end – to what is nourishing, not just what feeds my fancy. Currently, I am reading Armed and Dangerous by John Ramirez, Come Ye Children by Charles H. Spurgeon, and Kids Ministry that Nourishes by Jana Magruder. 🙂 Craig Groeschel is a wonderful author. Love his stuff! Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler is definitely on my list! 🙂

  4. Specific goals are always better, I believe. Like with the newspaper I run, I can say “sell more ads,” or I can put a dollar amount to it and strive for that goal. The latter holds me accountable, while the former doesn’t because it feels wishy-washy. Great blog–thought-provoking!

  5. Wow. Great commitment. I’m not the greatest reader, but I’ve been feeling like I need to read some Tozer this year. Haven’t committed to anything yet. I hope you are blessed in upper reading.

  6. I need to make more time to read. One year I read 20 books on one year but have slacked off from them. I find, as a writer, I must be deliberate about reading. Thanks

  7. Nancy, you were right in that I would see how you chose to resolve this year. And I like it. Reading is always a good thing for book worms like us. But your choices sound intriguing, all of which will no doubt add depth of reflection to your life. I’ve read Craig Groeschel and hope to read Russell Moore. Thanks for your list.

  8. My Bible reading comes first, but then I enjoy Christian Historical Romance because they always have a happy ending. Life is filled with unhappy endings. After all, everybody dies one day. So for me, my go-to is to read something that will have a happy ending. However, I also like to read inspirational books and teaching books like Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and No God But One, both by Nabeel Qureshi, and Saving Truth by Abdu Murray. I’m currently reading Till He Come by C. H. Spurgeon.

  9. Well, Nancy, I’m basically in the same boat. I have more books than time, and I get distracted from my current books by new books throughout the year. I too want to read more, but many of my books bore me.
    This year I’ve resolved to read 1 book per month at a minimum, and I want to free myself from boring books by freely abandoning them. Anyway good luck with your reading this year!

    1. That goal sounds reasonable, Chip. And it’s good to feel the freedom to walk away from a book that’s not engaging and move to one that is. Thanks and God bless!

  10. Thanks for sharing – interesting books! I haven’t read any of those. And cool how you accidentally ended up in the best grad school class.

    I’m part way through several books – ha!

    It may sound weird.. ’cause it kinda is, but I’m going through one of my books “Parenting in Christ” with the kids. It’s more of a workbook – so we are working on putting into practice what mama preaches 😉

    I’m also reading “The Complete Book of Discipleship” by Bill Hull – so good! Had never heard of the guy until I found it recommended somewhere

    I also am reading a Tim Keller book here & there and am almost done with “Union with Christ” by Rankin Wilbourne (my pastor)

    I also have a few books on Kindle, including a new one by a pediatrician “7 Secrets of the Newborn”

    I’m not a very focused reader I guess – I hope to finish these this year!!

    1. Those sound great, Christina! I love that you are working with your own kids on your own book. And perhaps my own pile will grow as well. Thanks and God bless!

  11. Great motivation Nancy as l have a list too but life has taken over and had 2 deaths in my family so close and recent. Though l still want to get to that list even if it in February. My books are drawn from other authors journeys through the valley of grief.

    1. So sorry for your losses, Ava. God bless you through them. The beauty of books is that we can walk with others where they have walked and we are walking. Thanks for commenting!

  12. This is a fascinating list. I recently began listening to Kate Bowler’s podcast. I find it challenging and beautiful. I have been thinking of getting the book, so this might be a good time.

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