5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – February 2019, Hope Edition

I’m writing every day this month on “Practicing Hope.” So look for hope in more places here on my monthly round-up.

What did you enjoy in January? What are you hoping for in February?

5 Links Books Things I Love LisaNotes

1 Second Everyday


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

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5 Things Around the Web

•  Need to Improve Your Mood? 
by Emily Price

Step outside for 5 minutes. A simple dose of hope is often right outside our door. Researchers are proving what we already know intuitively: going outside for even a few minutes really can lift our spirits.

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•  Why It Pays to Declutter Your Digital Life
by Kelly Oakes

I can often lose hope when I look at my digital photos—I have too many! Maybe it’s emails for you. Or folders on your PC desktop.  Digital hoarding can be just as debilitating as physical hoarding. But there’s hope. Set aside time regularly to regain control of your digital clutter. [Here’s a book that helped me; I need to reread it.]

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•  Intellectual Humility: The Importance of Knowing You Might Be Wrong
by Brian Resnick

Don’t lose hope if you think you might be wrong about something. It’s actually a good thing! The hardest part might be uncovering our blind spots. But it’s worth it.

Dunning-Kruger finding

The classic Dunning-Kruger finding: People who perform worst on a task are supremely overconfident in their ability to perform that task. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

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•  How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You
by Coach Tony

This is a very, very thorough guide to getting more out of your iPhone. The explanations are clear and illustrated. I’m doing a few things each week. And loving the changes. I’ve recently switched to a swiping keyboard for typing. There’s a learning curve, but it’s already a much quicker way to text and type on my phone (although if you get a weird message from me, know I still make a lot of errors).

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•  Valentine’s Day When Married

This is definitely Jeff and me. For Valentine’s Day. Anniversary. Birthdays. We both hate to shop and don’t care about gifts, so it works for us.

Valentine's Day meme

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5 Things with Books and Words

•  Abridge, Too Far 
by Jamie Todd Rubin

I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I feel like I’d be cheating myself out of something valuable if I used a service like Blinkist to give me the 15-minute version of the best books. (I never could let myself my parents’ Reader’s Digest Condensed Books for the same reason.) But it could be useful in deciding what to read later in full. Your thoughts?

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•  Marie Kondo Doesn’t Really Want You to Throw Away Your Books
by Lisa Respires France

The internet got angry at the suggestion by Marie Kondo to keep 30 books. This article tells what she might have meant instead.

Because really . . . just 30 books?

Marie Kondo 30 books

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•  ‘Collusion,’ ‘Ghosting,’ ‘POTUS’ Top List of Banished Words for 2019
by Doug Criss

Also includes ‘wheelhouse,’ ‘wrap my head around,’ and ‘in the books.’

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•  2 New (to me) Christian Podcasts 

I’ve recently discovered these two podcasts and have been binge-listening. They give me hope that followers of Christ are staying relevant in our current culture.

  1.  The Gravity Leadership Podcast. Their tagline is: “Curated conversations on how to practically orient our lives and leadership in the love of Christ, which is the ‘center of gravity’ that holds everything together.”
  2. Nomad Pocast from the U.K. Their tagline is: “Stumbling through the post-Christendom wilderness, looking for signs of hope.” (The British accents are a bonus.)

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•  10 Books I Recommend + Video

Here are 4 novels and 6 non-fiction books I really enjoyed last month. They all provide hope in their own unique way.

10 Books I Recommend_LisaNotes

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5 Things I Love

•  New Series on Hope

Anita is doing a #Write28Days series this month (replaces the #Write31Days in October that has retired). I’m writing on how to actually practice hope as a spiritual discipline. (I *hope* I can keep up! lol). Hope is also my One Word for 2019 so it will be good for me.

Practicing Hope #Write28Days 2019 LisaNotes.com

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• Tree-a-Month

In 2017, I took a picture of our backyard every month. In 2018 I focused on just one tree every month. The nuance basically happens just a few weeks out of the year as seasons change. For 2019? I’m just looking, not snapping. And excited that spring will be here soon with full greenery again.

2018 Tree

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• Special Weekend Visitor

We loved having our grandbaby visit a weekend ago. Time with her is always fun.

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• Then She Turned 1!

I’m not sure how this happened, but we’ve been grandparents for a full year now! Having the best time!

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• Future Piano Player? 

I’m hoping she’ll be the next pianist in the family, if she enjoys it like she does now. Many little (and big) fingers have played our old piano.

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5 Things on the Blog

•  Ordinary Is Underrated – The Ministry of Ordinary Places
Don’t think you always have to go big. Sometimes the most magic happens when you go small. Review of Shannan Martin’s book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places.

•  Connect Your Dots 
Are you connecting the dots in your life? They can help us discover the bigger picture. Here are three dots in this season for me.

•  What If You Have to Go Backward to Go Forward?
Going backward is not what we like to do. But what if going back to the beginning is the best way to make forward progress?

•  You Might Be an Introvert If . . .
You might be an introvert if . . . you have friends who talk more than you do, you prefer texts to phone calls, etc. Thoughts from Susan Cain’s, Quiet.

•  Resist and Persist – An Important Book for Our Times
What role should people of faith be playing in the fight for equality? Erin Wathen lays it out plainly in Resist and Persist.

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

previous Links and Books

See all the Practicing Hope posts here.

17 thoughts on “5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – February 2019, Hope Edition

  1. blankYvonne Chase

    Resist and Persist is on my list of books to read. Anxiously awaiting the notification from my library that it’s back on the shelves and I can pick it up. Apparently, it’s a popular book.

    I could not function with 30 books on my nightstand. The declutterer in me would freak out. For that reason, I have a nice bookshelf in my bedroom. How many books do you have on your nightstand?

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Ha. I understand. I don’t have 30 books on my nightstand either–that would drive me crazy too (plus, I don’t have room for that many on my nightstand!). I probably have about 5 books there at any given time. But I do have at least 30 books within eyesight in any given room. 🙂

  2. blankMichele Morin

    I always enjoy these round up posts, and if I let myself, I could add 30 books a month to my pile just by reading blog posts where books are recommended! I am especially enjoying your series on hope.

  3. blankLaurie

    Your granddaughter is, of course, adorable. What a sweetie! The picture of you 2 at the piano is adorable. My youngest son played piano, and it was such good discipline for him. He still plays a little bit as an adult.

    The “Hope” series is such a good idea. I need to do something creative like that, just to shake things up a little bit on my blog. I will have to get the wheels turning to come up with something creative!

  4. blankBarbara Harper

    How can your granddaughter be a year already! Happy birthday to her! I had not herd of Blinkist, but I don’t think I would enjoy it, either, except maybe if I wanted more than the usual description to see if I wanted to get a book. Those little summaries might leave out something that would have been important to me. 🙂

    I like doing digital organizing on those days my brain feels mushy. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to me to go through and toss unused files and such, or better organize my downloads, but I still feel like I have accomplished something.

  5. blankMartha Brady

    hi lisa, i enjoyed all your short posts in a post. most of them were things i was interested in and want to follow up on. like the one on decluttering your digital life! and scrolling instead of typing, i also enjoyed the short reviews of books, some of which i had heard of. i’m your neighbor here today. at least i think i will be once my post gets okayed and comes down next to yours. i’m glad i met you and saw your blog:)

  6. blankAnita Ojeda

    Love, love, love the photos of your granddaughter! The highlight of my January was having family here, our daughter’s wedding, and getting to hang out with our oldest daughter and grandson for an extra week! Seeing a white-throated thrush came in a close second ;).

  7. blankKaren Friday

    Thank you, Lisa. Fun and powerful things to ponder. I like the ideas of decluttering our phones! And recently when I got a new iPhone and couldn’t back up the old one due to low storage space. I cleaned house! I downloaded the images on my phone to a usb drive. Then I went from over 5000 photos on my phone to 500. I know 500 seems seems like a lot, but not in comparison.

    And I’ve found that you can get some great and inexpensive greeting cards at places like General Dollar stores or the value section of greeting cards at your local Walmart. They do the job nicely.

  8. blankTrudy

    So many goodies to glean here again, Lisa. Thank you. I loved hearing your granddaughter’s giggle on that 1 second everyday video. The photos also are so cute. They grow so quickly, don’t they? Love and blessings to you!

  9. blankJean Wise

    First of all that grandbaby is gorgeous and love all the pics especially of the two of you.
    as usual, a great list – hard to find a couple to highlight since I loved them all. Digital clutter is awful and getting worse. I am also working on my photos this year. Deleting and moving others to flash drives. will take all year I am sure.

    re the cost of valentines, we still buy them here but we have friends to don’t sign the bottom of the card and regift it each year. Not sure I like that idea though.

    Thanks for sharing. always a fun post

  10. blankLesley

    This is a great monthly round-up! I love the photos of your granddaughter, and that she’s getting started on the piano at an early age! There’s definitely no way I could cut down to just 30 books, but at least with a Kindle I can keep a lot more books that don’t take up any space!

  11. blankDebbie Wilson

    Lisa, I chuckled at your stack of books. I have them all over my house—in neat piles. 🙂 My dear husband asked if I need them all. I went through and gave some away I figured I wouldn’t reread. But I love my books! My audible.com books cause no clutter!

  12. blankfloyd samons

    I can’t believe it’s been a year… and that January is already gone. Feels like time is being catapulted forward.

    Love the pictures! You are blessed! The best part is that you know it.

    My highlight was being to busy in January…

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