5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – December 2018

What was a highlight of your November? What are you looking forward to in December?

1 Second Everyday

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

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5 Things Around the Web

1. Why You Can Be a Kinda Contemplative Christian
by Ed Cyzewski

Ed is one of my favorite Christian thinkers and writers. Here he reminds us that:

“It is far better to begin imperfectly, to be ‘kinda contemplative,’ than to have no silence, no centering, no attempts to reach God in the stillness of our souls.”

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2. Want to Remember It? Draw It
by Emma Young

The act of drawing something has a massive benefit for memory compared with writing it down.

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3. Should We Stop Publicly Shaming People?
by The Tylt

Is it the internet’s job to make people pay for their mistakes? How do you vote? I’m in the camp of #EndTheShame.

Stop Public Shaming

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4. Stop Hand Washing Your Dishes
by A.A. Newton

Another great excuse to just load everything up in the dishwasher, using math.

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5. Just 5 More

Want to squeeze out just a little more from yourself? I love these short videos every few weeks from Dan Pink.


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5 Things with Books and Podcasts

1. How Long Does It Takes to Read Each Book of the Bible?

This is an interesting infographic about the length of time it takes to read sections of the Bible, including this:

Reading the Testaments of the Bible

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2. I Love My Kindle, But…

It can’t do this. Funny comic by Maria Scrivan. She’s right.

Try That with a Kindle

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3. Podcast with a 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Lots of suggestions here on gifts you can give AND help others around the world at the same time.

FOR THE LOVE OF GIVING: EPISODE 01, The Hatmakers’ Favorite Things Returns: 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide.

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4. Podcast: 7 Little Habits That Can Change Your Life, and How to Form Them

On the OLD podcast (Optimal Living Daily), the host reads one great blog post every day that he finds around the web. This one, Episode 1079, is by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits on simple things we each can do to make for a better life.

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5. Five Books I Recommend + Video

Here are two novels and three non-fiction books that I really enjoyed and learned from in November.

5 Books I Recommend-November 2018_LisaNotes

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5 Things I Love

1. Under the Tree – Progress!

How’s your Christmas shopping going? It’s empty under our Christmas tree—no gifts there. BUT I have actually bought almost all my gifts; they’re just not wrapped yet.


I never finish this early (and granted, I’m not done yet). But this is big, y’all. I’m hoping it will help remove some stress from the busyness of Christmas.

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2. Clean and Lit – Into the Future

We’re not prepping for surgery. We were about to tour a facility that grows lettuce the hydroponic way (without soil).

clean room

The lettuce is grown under LED lights. We wore special glasses for the tour to protect our vision.

When I later looked at the picture I took, I was surprised – it was totally pink. Jeff is standing near the center, looking left.

led lights

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3. Kali’s 25th Birthday

If our middle daughter Kali had lived, she would have turned 25 on November 13.

Jeff is a wonderful caretaker of her grave at the cemetery every year. It makes me love him even more when I see how he tends to these details.

kali's grave

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4. Siblings Turn 60?

How can this be? Both my brother Lane and my sister-in-law Bonnie turned 60 this year. Neither one of them look it!

Their daughter Amanda threw a surprise birthday party last weekend for Bonnie. We had lots of fun celebrating her and guessing trivia questions about 1958+.

bonnie 60

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5. Life at 10 Months

We were blessed to see our sweet granddaughter a lot in November. And hope to in December as well!



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5 Things on the Blog

  • You Have a Voice – Use It
    Do you use your voice to speak up on things that are important to you? Review of Kathy Khang’s new book, Raise Your Voice.
  • No Dead End Here
    This dead end street took heavy losses from Hurricane Michael. Charles was growing despondent. But there are no dead ends with God.
  • You Are – Children’s Book Review
    This children’s book, You Are, speaks words of truth into little ones about who God made them to be.
  • Want a Good, Long Life?
    The secret to a good life doesn’t have to be a secret. Study Psalm 34 with us.
  • But Are You Different Enough?
    You’re probably quite different from your partner. But are you different enough? See 5 ways to use differences to build up your relationship, not tear it down.

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What was a highlight from your November? What are you looking forward to in December? Please share in the comments.

previous Links and Books

18 thoughts on “5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – December 2018

  1. Pam Ecrement

    Always enjoy these posts chocked full of good resources and ideas, BUT the video with abundant views of your granddaughter is the BEST! So glad you got more time with her in November and will in December as well.

    Our November was very full. We made a trip to TN to have a leisurely 3 day weekend with our son and his family. Our grandson managed to slip home from Lee University for about 24 hours so we got to see him was well as our oldest granddaughter who snagged some time at the end of her nursing shifts at the hospital and slept at our son’s instead of her condo.

    Next came a surprise belated birthday party with friends from our church that totally blew me away. First ever surprise birthday party.

    We ended the month with 8 days away in MD at our daughter’s and then VA with friends, celebrating our youngest granddaughter’s 16th birthday, Thanksgiving, going with them to cut down their Christmas tree and being there to decorate it, seeing a movie, playing games, and having amazing conversations before heading to VA for the last couple of days to visit our very dearest friends who moved there 10 years ago. We met the wife in graduate school in the mid-80’s and quickly discovered a camaraderie that has been sweet through the many transitions in our lives. Now the sweet hubby has Parkinson’s and we had not seen them in a year so the time there was so very good.

    December will include a short celebration here with everyone home from MD and TN and we will celebrate our 54th anniversary.

  2. Ashley Davis

    Emmett’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, and Thanksgiving were great events in November.
    December is busy with different events, but I am looking forward to going home Christmas, Lord willing. Last year, Mom had the flu on Christmas, so I’m praying we will be able to visit longer this Christmas.

  3. Beth

    This post is chock-full of goodies, Lisa! One that caught my eye was the idea of drawing something in order to remember it better. I saw a story on TV once that talked about how doodling while you listen to someone speak actually helps you remember their message better! So now I make a habit of doodling during church! Lol! But I also LOVED that photo of your granddaughter yawning! Oh the cuteness! Thank you for all of these, my friend! Pinning!

  4. Laurie

    I vote to end the shame too.

    Lisa, I did not realize that you and your husband lost a child. My heart goes out to you. Seeing the picture of him tenderly taking care of her gravesite makes my eyes well up. What a good guy!

    I hope you get to see your beautiful granddaughter a lot in December too! Such a sweetie pie!

  5. Trudy

    So much great info again, Lisa! Your 1 second everyday is always one of my favorites. 🙂 I am definitely with you in the camp of #EndTheShame! I was on Facebook some years ago, but it would often get me depressed. I smiled at that cartoon though I wondered how he got so many books there! 😉 I always love the pics of your granddaughter. Time flies! She will have her first Christmas! Fun! I’m sure you often see the missing place where Kali would have been. Blessings of strength and peace to you! Hugs!

  6. Barbara Harper

    I always love your 1-second-per-day videos. Fun that much of it features your granddaughter. 🙂 Christmas will be so fun this year! I loved being able to shop in the toy aisles again when our grandson came along.

    I agree about the public shaming. I think public outcry about things like the Dove commercials helps. But people aren’t allowed to make mistakes and learn from them – one mistake can ruin a life. And people get a bit self-righteous posting what they think others do wrong without taking time to understand the facts or context.

    Nice to have my preference for dishwashers justified. 🙂

    That chart about Bible reading is helpful.

    We’re the same with presents – have a good portion of them, but they are not wrapped yet. Hopefully this week. My closet is getting cramped with the Christmas presents hidden there! I really love getting the shopping done early and enjoying the rest of the month.

    Kali would have been the same age as my youngest son. I know November will always have something of a pang due to her loss. Praying for God’s comfort for you until you are joyously reunited.

  7. BettieG

    It’s always so fun seeing your monthly videos Lisa! Those Grandbabies grow so quickly–what a sweet way to document the changes. And such great information that you always gather here. I love the thoughts on being “kinda contemplative.” So true–God honors every step we take on the road to resting and pausing in His presence! Have a Blessed Advent Season!

  8. Michele Morin

    I still have lots of wrapping to do as well, but mostly done shopping. Hooray!
    My husband turned 60 in October, and it’s a bit surreal. I can remember when my grandmother was 68, and that seemed so ancient.

  9. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, there is so much in this post I don’t know where to start. 🙂 I love those 1 Second Every Day compilations and your granddaughter is adorable! And what a precious picture of your husband tending to your baby girl’s grave … a parent’s love never ends, does it? I need to go back and read your post about differences in marriage … I have a feeling I will find it helpful. I hope you and your sweet family have a wonderful Christmas season!

  10. Betsy de Cruz

    I always love these posts of yours, Lisa! You are a wealth of information. I don’t know how you keep up with everything, but I’m for sure going to listen to the Leo Zen-Habits-Guy podcast episode. I’ve enjoyed his posts before.

    And I’m sorry to read of the anniversary of your daughter’s passing. Continued grace to you.

  11. Lesley

    Great collection of links and updates. I agree about ending the shame – I hate the mob mentality that exists on the internet at times. I’m with you on being more organised with Christmas shopping this year for once, but still need to do the wrapping too!

  12. Anita Ojeda

    I didn’t realize that you’d lost a daughter :(. But you’re right, seeing the photo of your husband tending her grave made me choke up. Your granddaughter is precious! Enjoy every minute!

  13. Jean Wise

    What a full post overflowing with blessings. wow. I didn’t know about Kali – so sorry but neat you honored her. Love the Pink video J5M – I thought he might have meant Just 5 minutes. I could use that when I want to snack instead of eating right away, waiting often helps me resist. I think I will try this!!

  14. floyd

    Another busy month, sister.

    I swear that baby looks like you!

    It’s not a perfect life, but our Father is good…

    I’m inspired by Jeff to do dishes more often!

    Blessings to you and yours, sister.

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