a book for all seasons and an invitation to share

It’s the weekend! Date with husband, coat shopping with child, football game, two soccer games, a birthday party to go to, a baby shower for a friend, church . . . so much to do!

But I really want to squeeze in a little chat about books. And I’m hoping you’ll join me!

I’m going to write a little post each day this weekend about a book that is really helping me live this season of my life more fully — all of them deeply influential for me right now.

And I would love to hear from you about books that are helping you Live the Season you are in, too.

You’re invited to join in the comments below with:

  • the name of the book and author
  • what season you’re living
  • what you love about the book/why you’d recommend it

*** Bloggers: If you are joining me by writing about your Live the Season book or books on your own blog, be sure to put a link to your post in the comments with a few sentences of preview. I can’t wait to read your posts! And if you don’t mind mentioning my post with a link, that would be nice, too.

I’m starting with an immensely practical book. The sort with lists and stuff like that.

Saturday, I’ll write about a book that inspires me in my work.

And Sunday, I’ll focus on a more spiritual book.

So here goes:

an immensely practical book that is saving my sanity at home:

The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark

I am super envious of people who are both creative and organized.

I have tried every housecleaning system under the sun and have come to the conclusion that the art of housekeeping is definitely personality driven.

And those of us without a sincere love of order, who could care less about piles as long as they’re hidden, who ALWAYS have to shut AT LEAST one door when there are visitors have a considerable amount of trouble learning good housekeeping skills from people who are naturally offended by mess . . . at least I do.

I want a house clean enough that I’m not embarrassed, but lax enough that my family feels comfortable. Also, I hate daily maintenance. So The House that Cleans Itself — which was given to me for Christmas by my mother a few years ago — was written just for me.

2011-07-11_10-57-56_623
One of our two ridiculous cats. Who sprawls on everything and impedes all productivity.

The author, Mindy Starns Clark, gets me. And my husband will concur that this was the best gift he’s ever received from my mother — next to me that is.

I think she’s so good at helping me fix the mess in my home because she really thinks like I do. She is a writer, and here’s a quote:

Problem: You have a hard time remembering to pause, think, and do when it comes to the actions of daily life. Your brain is usually quite busy working on something unrelated to your body, so many of your physical actions are done without conscious thought. For example, when you’re brushing your teeth, chances are you are also designing a living room, plotting a novel, or planting a garden — in your head at least.

Also, she is a sage . . . and she reads my mind without even knowing me at all:

Problem: You are a perfectionist, or similarly, you are an all-or-nothing cleaner. You’re not going to clean at all unless you can do it right and/or do it completely. The problem is that life doesn’t often allow the luxury of that much uninterrupted time.

Pegged.

Perfectionists and all-or-nothingers can absolutely paralyze themselves, preferring complete inaction to doing something imperfectly or incompletely. Consequently, they miss out on a lot of life because they avoid having people come to their homes except when their places are perfectly clean.

Ouch!

This should be the goal of every perfectionist: to not need to be perfect. This should be the goal of every all-or-nothinger: to not have to finish everything. Ask God to begin to work such a change in you.

And she doesn’t just leave you there, she gives you step by step instructions on how to get your house in order. It’s do-able and maintainable — even for this crazy creative.  My whole family loves the system. But in writing this post, I realized we need a refresher.

Who wants to clean when there’s so much writing to be done? Not me.

So what about you, friend? What practical book is helping you Live the Season?

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2 thoughts on “a book for all seasons and an invitation to share

  1. OK, I don’t read near as much as I should. I think I ingested so many when I was younger, and now finding time to read offline is an art that I struggle with. Funny to have experienced both ends of the spectrum.

    However I did just finish reading The Fabulous Reinvention of Sunday School by Aaron Reynolds. It’s a how to/reference book, but had some good points from a guy who was a theater major about our approach to large group presentation. Came at a time for me where I needed to hear that it is not only OK, but good to memorize what you are going to say and that it is not a bad choice or one stifling the Holy Spirit.

    So a little detail that I loved because I needed to hear it and the affirmation it brought. And I’d recommend it if you regularly need to speak to large groups of grade-school children. If you don’t – well the other non-fiction book I read in the last 4 months was a guide to historical Japanese sewing techniques. . . .

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