The Best Life

Three Books and a Symphony

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There were many books I wanted to read in September, but I wasn’t able to read as many of them as I would have liked. However, I was able to find time to read three and I would like to share my thoughts on them with you. Also, read on and find out the special surprise I received thanks to a family member’s kind generosity.

Though I’m in a different season of life than the author, her book spoke to me in ways I could never have imagined. In “Cultivate,” Lara uses gardening metaphors to describe events in our lives and how we tend to respond to them. At the beginning of each chapter, she gives us a lie we are led to believe and the truth we should believe. She also offers prompts throughout the book to encourage readers to dig deeper and journal their thoughts.

Using scriptural references, she encourages us women to strive to have purposeful lives. We should be gratefully cultivating the areas that need improvement. When we do this,  we can live the fulfilled lives which we all long for.

Lara Casey also has a line of beautiful planning products which are geared to help you work toward your life goals. Because of how much I loved her book, I purchased the “Best Year Yet Bundle” from her store. This includes the 2019 Powersheets – a fantastic goal planner she designed which I highly recommend. She also sells some amazing tools to use with them.

“Cultivate” is a book I plan to read again so I can dig deeper into my own personal life, goals, and priorities. In all honesty, this was a book I was reluctant to purchase.  I’m so glad my husband encouraged me to buy it anyway.

Most of us women have heard of Lysa Terkeurst through Proverbs 31 Ministries and through the many books and Bible Studies she has written.  I’ve completed one of her Bible Studies, but I had never read one of her books until now.

The main focus of “The Best Yes” is to help the reader gain an overall view of all that’s going on in their life before making a commitment. Lysa advises that prior to giving a “Yes” answer, one should consider if they have time to do it.  If you’re going to stress or dread it, then you should probably reconsider.

These requests for your time may be good intentioned and beneficial to many, but they may not be the things you need to be doing right now. Lysa suggests women examine the following four areas when asked to commit to anything:

  • Physically
  • Financially
  • Spiritually
  • Emotionally

If the commitment is going to stress any of these areas, you should most certainly turn it down. This could be anything from helping out a neighbor, to agreeing to have a group meeting at your house each month, to baking something for a bake sale, or to taking on a new role at church.

I enjoyed Lysa’s insights from “The Best Yes” and would love to read more of her books. I plan on adding some of them to my reading list.

“Nourished” was the least favorite of my reads for the month of September. This book was written by a mother/daughter duo who enjoy writing books together. These two women share funny stories which pertain to the message they are trying to convey.

Each chapter is about a “stressor” that affects women and each author is given space to record their take on how to convert these into “soul nourishers”. The book reads like a back-and-forth conversation between the mother and daughter.

“Nourished” was entertaining and did have some helpful tips on how to reduce some of the high-stress areas of life. If you feel overwhelmed with stress right now, this book may offer some useful suggestions for you to apply.

Charlotte Symphony

Now, about my special surprise. I was so excited when a family member invited me and several others to go with her to see The Charlotte Symphony in concert. I had never experienced a live orchestra before, nor had I listened to very much classical music, so I wasn’t sure how I would enjoy going. However, when it was all said and done, I am so glad I went.

As we were taking our seats, each symphony member was warming up on stage. They were each in their own little world it seemed and to us listeners, it sounded loud and chaotic. However, as soon as the conductor began leading them through the first few chords of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, I was entranced. What sounded so unorganized and chaotic only minutes earlier had transformed into the most beautifully enchanting melody.

The orchestra played seven songs total – some were familiar to me and others weren’t, but they were all magnificent. My only disappointment with the concert was that it was over way too fast. If you ever have an opportunity to see a symphony, I highly recommend you go. My experience was an afternoon beautifully spent.

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