Links, books, and other things I love – January 2016

1 SECOND EVERYDAY – December edition

[click here if you can’t see the 30-second video]

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11 Ways to Write BetterLike it or not, everyone is a writer these days. So these tips are good for all of us.

A Simple Phrase that Can Prevent Arguments and Resentments. Important insights here from the awesome Dr. Brené Brown.

How to Choose a Word for the YearHave you picked One Word yet for 2016? Good advice from Jean.

The simple way doctors can make their patients feel understoodI’ve had several doctor’s appointments this season, and I’ve yet to be asked this.

• Can you read my lips? This is impossible for me to do! [Click here if you don’t see video]

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2016 Reading Challenges. Are you doing any in 2016? You won’t believe this list. There’s a challenge to fit everybody.

• I’ve crazily chosen these 6 groups, but I have a lot of overlap so it’s not as scary as it looks. I may be looking forward the most to these Red Couch selections with She Loves Magazine and Leigh Kramer.

Red Couch Book Selections

• Books I recommend from my December reading, including one of my new favorites, Rising Strong, by Brené Brown.

My 10 favorite books of 2015


Currently reading:

  1. The Irrational Season (Madeleine L’Engle)
  2. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives (Gretchen Rubin)
  3. Son (The Giver Quartet #4) (Lois Lowry)
  4. Dirty Faith: Bringing the Love of Christ to the Least of These (David Z. Nowell)

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 Of course, Christmas with family

Burgess family 2016

Morgan’s husband didn’t get to make it this year, but Jenna’s boyfriend did.


Coates siblings 2015

Me with my brother and two sisters; we make our picture together every Christmas. Love them!

• A new Bible Chapter Memorization challenge begins Monday! Visit Do Not Depart on January 4 for details on which chapter and to sign up. Memorization begins January 18.

new bible memory challenge 2016

• Excited that Serial podcast is back for season 2.

I loved having such a warm Christmas in the south this year, but the flooding was terrible. Watch this interview with one of my friends to see how flooding really affects the homeless.

heavy rains batter homeless

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What are you looking forward to in January? Please share in the comments.

Linking at Leigh Kramer’s
My previous posts


13 thoughts on “Links, books, and other things I love – January 2016

  1. floyd

    This one is chalked full! I feel like Jeff at the end of the video!

    Good stuff on the writing advice by the minimalist folks.

    I’m looking forward to a new year and what I gain in so many ways from you and your site, Lisa. God bless, sister.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha. Jeff still hasn’t seen that video; he doesn’t know I took it of him on New Year’s Eve watching the Alabama game. 😉 (We’re Auburn fans, if that image means anything to anyone outside of the SEC, ha.)

      I’m grateful God is giving us another year to learn from each other, Floyd! Many blessings to you!

  2. Karen

    Love the Brene Brown article. Sometimes I forget to remind myself that I am telling myself a story. I think it’s just as important for me to remember as it is for the other person to realize it.

    I have always wanted to do that word for the year thing and funny thing is that as I read Jean’s article, the word came to me. It was the same as hers: JOY. It has been a recurrent theme in the last month or so, and I believe it will play an important role in the coming year.

    The lip-reading video was really interesting. I don’t know if you were aware that I have hearing loss (basically from birth). As a child, it manifested itself mostly in just not always being able to comprehend speech correctly all the time; misunderstood words, missed words, etc. As I’ve aged, it has spread to include more “hearing” loss, but now, as opposed to when I was a child, both are able to be helped with hearing aids (thanks to technological advancements). I have always used lip reading to help with my deficits. The video was so accurate in portraying the difficulties in reading lips.

    I’d love to find a face-to-face book group. I need some real-time interaction. Talking about what I’m reading is one of my favorite things to do, but I haven’t been able to find anyone locally who seems to have the interest or time to do that.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m not surprised you like the Brene Brown article too, Karen. I know you’re all about authenticity which is one of the things I appreciate so much about you.

      JOY is such a powerful word. I always envision it as a package of dynamite because it’s such a tiny little word, but it can explode at any minute. 🙂 Beautiful choice! I know your little Cora and being a Nonni has brought you such joy already.

      No, I didn’t know you had hearing issues. (But that makes your Facebook post a few days ago about the ventriloquist make sense to me…) How wonderful that technology has caught up more! I’d be at such a loss if I had to depend on lip-reading (but I hope I would improve at least *some* if I was forced to?). 🙁

      If I hear of any good book groups I’ll let you know. I do like the in-person groups too, but for whatever reason, I rarely hear about any. I thought about joining one at a church near my neighborhood awhile back, but their book choices for the year were none that I could get into. So that was that.

      We used to do a summer book club (of sorts) with the girls in our family, but we didn’t do it last year as the family has grown with more sweet little ones and demands on everyone’s time. But I do hope we’ll be able to do one again before too much longer. Yes, there’s just something special about that face-to-face interaction that you can’t quite make up for online.

  3. Jean Wise

    Lisa this is a powerful list and love seeing the photos too. Thanks for the mention of my blog post too. I had to reply to Karen above since she found the same word or should I say the same word found her. how fun – see JOY is beginning already. Your words always bless me!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad to share your post, Jean. You always have such good material, both from your own words and the words you glean from others.

      It’s cool to me that both you and Karen have chosen Joy! I initially “met” Karen online through blog posts, and then she moved to my area and we got to meet in person! Even though we rarely see each other, I like knowing she’s nearby. 🙂

  4. Barbara H.

    Apparently I am not very good at reading lips, either! My m-i-l has gotten really good – she has fooled us sometimes (not on purpose) into thinking she had her hearing aid in when she didn’t because of how she answered what we said.

    How do you do those collages like the one of your favorite posts?

    Glad you had time to get together with family! I’ve been thinking lately what mixed emotions I have had – enjoying everyone being together, yet glad for things to get back to “normal,” yet missing having everyone together.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I guess we all adapt when we have to. It’s good your m-i-l still has that skill to the degree she does.

      I have those mixed emotions too about the break from routine. I just took down a lot of my Christmas pictures and knick-knacks this afternoon, but haven’t put my regular stuff back yet. So everything looks so barren. The holidays have been good, but normal is good too. 🙂

      I do the collages with Picasa, a free online photo program, using the “Create Picture Collage” button. Super easy.

  5. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! Loved your video montage here! And your sibling photo is so sweet too, you look so much like your sister who is sitting just below you. Too fun!!

    There’s just nothing like family…and a good book! You are such a huge reader, I am so happy that you share your recommendations to people like me who don’t read nearly enough…
    I love Jean too! Thank you for highlighting one of her blogposts 🙂

    Happy New Year to you, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for you,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I had to go back and see which sister you think I look like. 🙂 That’s my older sister, Sandy. You’re right, we probably do favor the most.

      Isn’t Jean just awesome? Her blog is one that I read every article. It’s always nice to find like-minded sisters. glad you’re one of those too. Looking forward to what God is going to show us in 2016!

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