Links, Books, and Other Things I Love – January 2017

Here are favorites from December and what I’m looking forward to in January of this new year! 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

• Proof that life is getting better for humanity, in 5 charts
Updated by Max Roser
While some think the world is getting worse, lots of things are much better.


• What House Guests REALLY Notice When They Visit
by Dabney Drake
“There’s really only a short list of things that really truly make a difference to your guests. Nail these things down and you guarantee a good visit every time.”

New Poll Reveals Most Annoying Word to Americans
Of these 5 words, which is the most annoying to you?
Whatever. No offense, but… Ya know, right.  I can’t even. Huge.

• 11 Everyday Items You Should Stop Using Right Now
Uh oh. I don’t use coffee pods, but I do use several of these other things.


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On Reading

• Still Puzzled By The Election? Authors Prescribe Fiction For Better Understanding
“In part, working-class anger is said to have fueled Trump’s victory; and to understand where that anger is coming from, some people are turning to books.”


“Anger isn’t something that is solely a rural, American, white guy emotion,” says novelist Nickolas Butler. He and Jennifer Haigh recommend books about a range of American experiences. NPR

6 Books that Will Change the Way You See the World
My friend Ashley sent me this list from Relevant Magazine. “Here’s a look at six books about poverty, injustice, faith, the criminal justice system and human rights that will change the way you see major issues, and provide insight in how to effect them.”

• 20 Life-Changing Nonfiction Books You Can Finish in a Day
This isn’t a new list, but I want to use it this year. From Modern Mrs. Darcy.

6 Books I Recommend
Books from my December reading


My Top 10 Fiction and Nonfiction Books from 2016
It’s always hard to narrow this list down, but here it is.


• Currently Reading

  1. The Colors of Hope
    Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love

    by Richard Dahlstrom
  2. Reading Your Life’s Story
    An Invitation to Spiritual Mentoring

    by Keith R. Anderson
  3. Wherever You Go, There You Are
    by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  4. Fervent
    A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer
    by Priscilla Shirer

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Things I Love

 More Wedding Pictures!
The pictures from Jenna and Trey’s October wedding were all posted last week! Here are a few of my favorites.


Trey and Jenna, October 2, 2016



Instead of flower girls, Jenna and Trey had their grandmothers hand out flowers



So happy for my beautiful baby girl



A perk of weddings is getting great family photos. My first-born beauty Morgan and her husband Fuller



She’ll always be Daddy’s little girl



Heading off for life’s adventures

2017 Bible Verse Challenge
Today we are beginning a new memory challenge. Take six weeks and memorize Psalm 121 with us at Do Not Depart. Sign up here.


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On the Blog

• Did Your 2016 Problems Go Away?
What problems did you start the year with? Did they go away? Have you encountered grace along the way?

• Do You Have a Word and An Audience? 
I check the pockets before I put my shorts in the washer. I find words. Everybody has a word. Speak one. Hear one. Be a witness.

• Listen for the Other – Five Favorites of 2016 
We are a divided nation in more ways than we realized. The first step toward healing? Listen more.

• People We Lost in 2016 and Last Words 
We lost a lot of people in 2016. We say thank you.

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What was one of your highlights from 2016? What are you looking forward to in 2017? Please share in the comments.

previous Links and Books

45 thoughts on “Links, Books, and Other Things I Love – January 2017

  1. Michele Morin

    SO excited about Psalm 121. It’s an old favorite, and I’m happy about reviewing it. And we have a wedding coming up in 2017 which your pictures have made me rejoice about!
    Looking forward to our fellowship in the Gospel in a new year.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I memorized Psalm 121 a few years back with my daughter, but it never really stuck. So I’m glad to be learning it fresh and getting it to stay with me this time! How exciting that you have a wedding coming up. They’re lots of fun but a few headaches here and there too. ha.

  2. Ashley Davis

    I started reading Fervent last year, but never finished it. What I read, I liked. My goal is to finish the 11 books I have on my book shelf that I haven’t read before I buy anything else. Haha. Guess I better get on it, so I can read some of the ones on your list.

    2017 is kind of an unknown for me, but I’m looking forward to it. Lord willing, I’ll be back in the Philippines for a brief period, and then have my friend Je*Ann visit the States in December.
    2016 was a good year for me. Being in the Philippines and then getting a job as soon as I returned home where huge highlights in my life, along with seeing God answer sooo many prayers. It was/is amazing.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I need to read some books off my shelves this year, too. I’ve narrowed them down the past 5 years or so, but somehow they keep growing on my shelves. ha. I’m borrowing Fervent from Jenna, so hopefully that’ll keep me motivated to continue reading it.
      I’m believing that 2017 will be another interesting and faith-filled year for you! What fun you’ll have with Je*Ann here!

  3. Alice William

    I love the lists and pictures you shared. Memorizing Psalm 121 is great way to start 2017, I’ve signed up for it. I’m doing a memory verse challenge myself in 2017, 52 verses in one year. Check it out when you can.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I did check out your memory verse challenge, Alice. What a wonderful way to do it! Thanks for sharing that. I’m glad you’ll also be memorizing Psalm 121 with us. It should be a very manageable pace.

  4. TC Avey

    First let me say what a beautiful family you have! Thanks for sharing the pics.

    Thanks also for all the helpful links and books.
    I checked out the article about things we shouldn’t be using. I’m amazed at how many things we use without realizing the effect they have on our world. I’m guilty of using coffee pods, oops.

    Have a blessed 2017!

  5. Lesley

    Thanks for this great round-up of links and posts. The one about books you can finish in a day was interesting. I love the wedding pictures too- looks like it was a wonderful day! Happy New Year to you!

  6. Carol

    Enjoyed your reflections, lists & wedding pictures! We welcomed our 7th grandchild in November. I am thankful for women that I met at Women Speak for Themselves during a trip to Washington DC and at the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. May 2017 lead us closer to the Lord.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      7th grandchild? That’s wonderful, Carol! I hope to have a grandchild before I get too old to enjoy them. ha. Now that both my daughters are married, hopefully my odds are increasing. 🙂

  7. Barbara H.

    I enjoyed the wedding photos! Also the article about what guests notice. I used to think I had to practically spring clean everything before having company – which meant not having company often and getting too tired to enjoy them when I did have them. I’ve relaxed a lot but still have a list of things I like to do before they come.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I used to do a lot more cleaning before people came over as well. Maybe getting older we realize it’s not necessary. 🙂 I do still want to make the clutter disappear, but I don’t do that deep cleaning stuff except rarely.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know; I wasn’t too excited about reading that list either. And baby wipes was on there? I haven’t had a baby in 21 years, but I still love keeping baby wipes in my car. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t use coffee pods (I still don’t drink coffee), but I’m guilty of using several of the other items. Sigh. We’ll have to work harder to save the planet in other ways, I suppose. ha.

  8. Joe Pote

    What a great list of lists! Thank for sharing, Lisa!

    My son gave me a copy of “Hillbilly Elegy” for Christmas. I’ve just started reading it, and am really enjoying it so far. It’s interesting to me from a personal perspective, because the subculture described is one I grew up in yet never felt a part of. There is so much I can relate to…yet so much that I can’t…

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you’re enjoying Hillbilly Elegy. I listened to it on audio so I probably didn’t really grasp it all, but I enjoyed it as well. Like you, I could relate to some of it, and not to some of it. But I hope it definitely brings people in general to a better understanding of those people who aren’t exactly like us. Happy New Year to you, Joe!

  9. Trudy

    You always stretch my mind, Lisa. I love learning from you. 🙂 It’s encouraging that at least some things are getting better for humanity. I love the wedding photos! Love and hugs!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Trudy. Yes, I needed to see some good news from 2016; we heard so much bad all the time. The good is always there, yes? We just have to uncover it at times. 🙂

  10. Mary Geisen

    I love the recap but also love the lists, information and photos that you shared. The wedding pictures are gorgeous. I’m so glad you shared. I hope your Christmas was wonderful and the new year brings many blessings!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Mary. The wedding was such a beautiful day. I’ve had fun looking back through the pictures to see things that I missed in person! Praying you have a blessed new year as well, friend.

  11. Jean Wise

    Loved the smiles and joy in the wedding photo. And wow to that article about 11 things we need to quit using. I am guilty of quite a few and felt convicted to do something about it. Interesting. And I needed that article that humanity is getting better. So often it feel otherwise. Thanks for sharing all these goodies!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re welcome, Jean. It’s always fun to curate things from the web. I know you’re a wide reader as well, but even those of us who read a lot can’t see it all. ha.

  12. June

    Fabulous wedding photos, Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing those! Your recommendations are always so interesting – I wish I took more time to read 🙂 I’m looking forward to more challenging and interesting, as well as heart-warming posts from you in 2017, my friend!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, June. My daughter is a professional photographer herself, so she took great care in who she chose to be her wedding photographer. 😉 And she chose well! We were so pleased with the pictures.

  13. Dawn Boyer

    What a fun post. I really enjoyed this Lisa. I love when people share things that change them, encourage them, bless them… its how we share our gifts together.
    Thanks for this amazing list of blessings!

  14. Laura Thomas

    So much good stuff right here, Lisa! It’s so fun to look back on the year and allow some reflection time. I love your book choices, and simply adore the photo of you with your daughter at her wedding. 2016 will be one to treasure for sure. Blessings for the coming year 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Laura. The wedding was definitely a highlight of 2016 and will be forever. Now both my daughters are married so, Lord willing, hopefully I’ll never have to do another wedding again. ha. Praying you have a wonderful new year of grace ahead!

  15. Beverley

    Loving the one-second-a-day…use wipes for cleaning (sometimes) but it probably a good thing to get rid of, off my shopping list and disposable razors – sorry they are staying.
    watching your daughter getting married means so much more to you than our daughters will know, until their own daughters get married.
    Good luck with the coming year – Happy New Year, Lisa x

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I’m keeping my disposable razors, too. I’ll have to find other areas to cut instead.
      Good point about how meaningful it is to watch our daughters get married, but they won’t understand until they’re in our shoes. I’m sure I wasn’t thinking about the deep emotions my mother felt when she watched me get married back in the day until I saw my own daughters get married.

  16. Dolly

    What gorgeous wedding photos! Thanks so much for sharing them and all of your books. When I grow up, I want to read as much as you. And thank you for including my book in your list. Honored. Thank you, my friend. And Happy and blessed New Year!

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