Links, Books, and Other Things I Love – December 2016

Here are favorites from November and what I’m looking forward to in December. We share once a month at Leigh’s.

1 Second Everyday 

[If you can’t see the 1 Second Everyday video, click here]

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Around the Web

• The Happiest People Don’t Let Their Minds Wander
A recent Harvard study says stray thoughts are directly related to unhappiness. Those with constantly wandering minds were less likely to be happy than those able to focus on the tasks at hand.

• How Burglars Break Into Homes
They asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes. Interesting comments on what they said were the biggest deterrents, what didn’t stop them, and how you can protect your home.

12 Different Gifts to Give This Year
Our friend Linda Stoll details creative and meaningful goodies for those on our shopping lists. My favorites are #4, 7, and 12.

• 2016 Word of the Year – “Xenophobia
From This year, some of the most prominent news stories have centered around fear of the “other.” Because our users’ interest in this overarching theme emerges so starkly for one specific word in our trending lookup data, xenophobia is’s 2016 Word of the Year.

Definition: “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.”


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On Reading

• Top 20 Fiction Books of 2016 (so far)
I’ve only read one on this list, Underground Airlines, so I can’t vouch for it personally. But several of these look interesting.

• One Way To Bridge The Political Divide: Read The Book That’s Not For You
What we lack in diversity among friends, we can at least read about it.


Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild is about Tea Party conservatives in Louisiana. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is about what it means to be black in America.
Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

• 10 Books Every Christian Teenager Should Read by Tim Challies
Of the seven of these ten that I’ve read myself, I also recommend them. And not just for teens.

Ten Books I Recommend
I have read all ten of these books so I know they’re good.


• Currently Reading

  1. The Sparrow
    by Mary Doria Russell
  2. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
    by Sebastian Junger
  3. Habit: The 95% of Behavior Marketers Ignore
    by Neale Martin
  4. Beauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity
    by Brian Zahnd
  5. The Great Spiritual Migration
    by Brian D. McLaren

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Things I Love

 Meeting a Friend in Jail


Julie, Lisa, Ashley at Main Street Cafe

Well, not really in jail. And we weren’t handcuffed. When I was a child, this small building was both the town hall and the city jail. I never went inside. But now it’s a quaint Southern restaurant. And I’ll go in. I was blessed to meet my online friend Ashley (now my real life friend!), who was spending a few days with her good friend Julie, who happens to be one of my 4 Corner friends. Ashley is an amazing young wonder on fire for God. She’s in between mission trips to the Philippines.

Kali’s 23rd Birthday


If our daughter Kali had lived, she would have turned 23 years old this year. We never miss her any less with each passing year.

Marking Time


The main campus of our church has outgrown its facilities. So a local unused high school building will be turned into a new church building. We met there to see the plans a few weeks ago. Each family took an octagon and wrote the story of how they came into the church family. Then placed it on the timeline.  A beautiful testimony of God’s goodness through the years!

Warm Thanksgiving


We celebrated Thanksgiving Day with my in-laws, spending much of it outside. Unusually warm, this fall has been so pleasant for people like me who are always cold otherwise. But alas, it ends this week. Brrr….

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On the Blog

5 Things I Learned at the Enneagram Conference
What number are you?


• No Pride in Giving, No Shame in Taking
The line Saturday morning was long and talkative. When we have, we give. And when we need, we receive. There should be no pride or shame on either end.

• Scared of the Dark…Or the Light? 
When we create something, we often want to hide it. Why are we afraid of the light?

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What was one of your highlights from November? What are you looking forward to in December? Please share in the comments.

previous Links and Books

39 thoughts on “Links, Books, and Other Things I Love – December 2016

  1. Horace Williams Jr

    Wow Lisa. I absolutely love this post! Thank you for giving us a peek into your life. The 1 second video may be the coolest thing I have seen on a blog in a long time. I’m glad to read you had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I hope my upcoming book makes your review list someday; ) I believe all who read it will be blessed. Have a fantastic weekend my blogging friend. May God continue to bless you and yours. in all your endeavors.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The 1 Second Video has been such a fun thing to do. I discovered the free app last year, thinking I’d try it for one month. But I haven’t stopped yet. Yes, I do hope I will be able to read your book one day, Horace! I’ll look forward to it.

  2. Brooke Grangard

    This is such a great, personal (and comprehensive!) post. I really like some of these ideas on it! Converting a jail and each family in the church writing their story on the timeline. Thanks for all of the ideas!

  3. Sherry Stahl


    Last month I was blessed to linkup behind you for your monthly post and my eyes were opened to so many things. It caused me to post a comment under Lecrae’s Huffington Post you shared and that caused a lot of good discussion on my facebook site. This month is no different! I’m visiting today through Crystal’s site #HeartEncouragement. The only problem is I get clicking and reading and almost forgot again to comment on your post 🙂 I loved it. I feel like I’m getting to know you as I read these monthly reviews. I loved this quote on your Post: One Way To Bridge The Political Divide: Read The Book That’s Not For You. This is my favorite quote from that post:

    “My life is small” she says, “and I think books are a way to make your life larger.”

    Reading your posts haves made my life larger! Thanks!
    ~Sherry Stahl

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      What an encouraging comment, Sherry. I’m glad some of these things click with you, too! I know there’s lots of bad stuff out there, but there’s also lots of wonderful things to discover online, too. Thanks for doing your part for the positive side.

  4. Erin

    Wow!! That is such an incredible idea that your church did. I really love the stories and timeline that probably created. The link the burglar article was very insightful!! I was a little nervous about reading it, but it had some good tips. Now, to get a big dog and leave my television blaring at all times 🙂 Also, I have seen Love Warrior all over the internet, so I may have to put it on my ever-growing to-read list!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I was a little nervous about reading the burglary article too. But I felt better once I did. 🙂 Yes, the timeline for church was amazing. I only wish I’d had more time to read everybody’s sticky notes. Such an amazing God to care for and guide each family so individually!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How nice that you know your number, Kenda! I am so torn between deciding if I’m a 1 or a 5. I feel like I lean so strongly toward a 1, but then 5 also pulls me back in. I’ve about decided I’m a perfectionistic 5. 🙂

  5. MIchele Morin

    I’ve been plowing through Enneagram stuff this month as well, and so puzzled about my number. I kept hoping that Suzanne and Ian would say, “And if you think that you’re all the number you read about, then your type is probably ___”. They didn’t.
    1, 3, 4, 5, 8 maybe. Definitely NOT 2,6, or 9.
    So I finally took the test and then re-read those numbers in the book, and I think it may be 3w4.
    I always appreciate all the books you share in your recap posts.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It is harder for some of us to identify our number, I agree, Michele! I definitely can rule out certain numbers as well, which does help. I’ve narrowed mine down to either 1 or 5, but I’m still not certain. But that’s part of the journey, yes? We’ll figure it out eventually if it’s meant to be known. 🙂

      1. Michele Morin

        Lisa, where did you find that amazing graphic for the Enneagram types? Did you create it yourself? I didn’t see it on the Road Back to You site — I’d love to use it in my review of the book (which I’m working on right now!).

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          Oh I look forward to seeing your review on The Road Back to You! I want to hear what you have to say about it. I made the graphic myself based on a basic image I found online. I wanted it to match the wording used in The Road Back to You. Feel free to use it however you want to.

  6. Lindsay

    I’ve had Underground Airlines and The Crossover on my list and they may have just moved to the top. Thank you so much for your book reviews. I’m also going to click over and check out your post on the Enneagram conference. I’m still wading through (and forcing myself to enjoy the process) of discovering my type. I think that’s part of the beauty of the tool….but is sure can be overwhelming 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, Lindsay, I totally agree with the “overwhelming” part of the Enneagram. It is SO much information. I’ve been intrigued by it; the more I learn, the more there is to learn. ha. Blessings to you as you wade through! It’s been so helpful to me already.

  7. floyd

    Big month. Sounds like it was a busy one for you.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and life with us, these are best kind. So real, no curtains. That’s how hearts are brought together.

    And you had to tempt us with the one second shot of those donuts… now my mind is wandering too…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, those donuts. Sigh. So good! Krispy Kreme are my very favorites. Thankfully there isn’t a store within 30 minutes of us, so it can’t be an every night thing. 🙂

  8. Ashley Davis

    I made the blog! Yay! So blessed to be able to meet you in person, Lisa! Looking forward to, hopefully, seeing you again in the next few months.

    Also, I love what your church did. Such a cool idea. It would be neat to put all of those stories into a book for the next generation to read.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      What a treat for me that I got to spend in-person time with you, Ashley! I admired you from afar, now I can admire you in real life, too. 🙂 Yes, I do hope that we can spend more time together before you go back to the Philippines.

      Oh, how neat it would be to compile those stories into a book! I wonder if someone kept all the notes…. It would make a wonderful gift for someone to put together.

  9. Betsy de Cruz

    Love this post, Linda. You keep up with so many different things! I’m impressed! It’s a small education for me to read through. 🙂 Thanks.

    My highlight was celebrating Thanksgiving. After a wonderful dinner party at my house (We did Friday night since no one in Turkey has a holiday!) I had a girl’s day with my two daughters, one who had come in from out of town. So fun.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you were able to celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday. We celebrated with my extended family the Saturday before. It’s not about the day, but about getting together and giving thanks, yes? And how special that you got to have a girls’ day. I missed getting to be with my daughters this Thanksgiving, but next year will be my turn again. I’m learning to share them with their in-laws now that they’re both married. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re right that a church anniversary would be a great time to do a timeline. It was such a moving visual to see the notes popping up on the years people began attending there. There were so many histories I was unaware of.

  10. Lesley

    I enjoyed reading about your month. Thank you for sharing such a great collection of books and links. It’s exciting to read about what’s happening with your church and I love the timeline idea. Such a great way to celebrate what God has done.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I love how people are creative to come up with different ways to celebrate who God is and what he has done! It makes me realize how uniquely he shows himself to each of us.

  11. Angela Howard

    I love this post! It’s one I’m marking to fully read later so I can follow all the links. Are you in the Portland/SW WA area? I noticed the article from KGW. I live in Battle Ground just north of Vancouver. 🙂 Visiting from #heartencouragement today

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      No, I’m not from the Portland area, but I would love to visit there sometimes. We visited Seattle this past August; does that count? 🙂 It was a beautiful area and I’d love to return and spend more time there. We ran out of time before we could hop on into Canada so that’s on our to-do list as well.

  12. Trudy

    You always have such a great variety, Lisa. I always love the the 1 second everyday. I love the warm smiles you and your hubby have. 🙂 I pray God will continue to comfort you in your loss of Kali. I’m sure these special days and the holidays are even harder. Advent blessings and hugs to you!

  13. Lori

    I’m going to have to revisit those book lists when I have more time. As for the 12 Different Gifts to Give This Year – heirlooms! My love when my parents hand down a family treasure instead of spending money on something that I probably won’t use. Last year, my dad made 2 mirrors with a frame that came from my great grandparent’s house. Before the mirror was broken it hung in the bedroom of my grandfather and his brothers. The wood came from several pieces of the old heart pine siding. This was the best gift I could have been given because it has been in the family for over 100 years. Thanks for sharing another peek into your life with Thankful Thursdays.

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