method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Find Your Strongest Life

lifeTo be honest, I would never have picked up this book on my own accord. The reader will quickly notice that the author, Marcus Buckingham, is a man – yet this is a book for women. On top of that, this looks very much looks like a self-help book – a genre I stopped reading when I was about 17. Despite these two obstacles, I wanted to read this after I read about it on Michael Hyatt’s blog:

Most of us were taught by our parents and teachers that the secret to success is improving our weaknesses. As it turns out, this is completely wrong-headed. You can focus on your weaknesses all you want, but you will likely only make marginal improvements. However, if you will focus on your strengths—those things that you are naturally good at and come easily to you—you can make huge strides. In fact, when you do so, you will be more happy and fulfilled. Not only that, you will make your greatest contribution to the world.

Buckingham starts off with startling statistics relevant to the modern woman: despite a wealth of opportunities, women are less happy than they were forty years ago and less happy relative to men. While an extra hour of free time will double a man’s feelings of relaxation, it will do nothing for a woman. Studies show that having kids only amplifies both of the previous statements. Six major studies of happiness also show that “though women begin their lives more fulfilled than mean, as they age, they gradually become less happy. Men, in contrast, get happier as they get older” (p.19). Continue reading

October 5, 2009 Posted by | books, introspection | Comments Off on Find Your Strongest Life

Parents: Most of What You Are Doing Is Wrong

Great article on Salon: Parents: Most of What You Are Doing Is Wrong , a review of Nutureshock: New Thinking About Children.

Having read some of Alfie Kohn’s work, I’m familiar with some of this – especially the information about praise being bad. This sounds like a good book, but I’m not sure if I’ll get around to reading it since it seems to be somewhat similar to Kohn’s Unconditional Parenting.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | Comments Off on Parents: Most of What You Are Doing Is Wrong

Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith

becomingThis is the story of an en masse conversion to Orthodox Christianity. The author and his Campus Crusade for Christ colleagues found that they had become disillusioned by the parachurch movement they were involved in. They wanted to rediscover the original church – the New Testament Church. Together they began a journey to find this church and in the end they found that she was there along as the Eastern Orthodox Church.

A week or two before picking up this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Orthodox Church. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that it was some division of Catholicism. My ignorance was rather profound given my Christian upbringing. I learned that in the first few centuries after Christ, the division between the Eastern and the Roman (Western) church was at first geographical. The division became very real and permanent when the Roman church began to re-interpret the established church doctrine. The Orthodox church holds very strongly to the views and practices of the original New Testament church and the ecumenical councils. In my reading so far I have found that it truly is an unchanging church.

The author presents an eye-opening critique of one of Protestantism’s main tenets: sola scriptura. If you’ve ever wondered why there are so very many different Protestant sects, sola scriptura is your answer. Was the Bible really meant to stand alone? Writes the author, “Without the Church being there to interpret, to shed the light of holy tradition on those chapters and verses, you and are in a dead heat: his interpretation versus yours.” To Protestants with “Romaphobia,” the use of holy tradition seems very Catholic and thus concerns them.

This book is a great introduction to those unfamiliar with Orthodoxy. If you’re background is Protestant then you are really in for a wild ride, but you’ll find that it is hard to ignore the validity of the arguments.

September 7, 2009 Posted by | books, christianity, orthodox | | Comments Off on Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith

Parenting Library

I’ve been thinking of putting together a book list for awhile. I’m finally getting around to it after reading through the great list on phdinparenting. Some of the books listed there are favorites, others I’ve been meaning to read, and then there are a few brand-new ones that I’ll have to add to my list.

As you’ll see from all of the books on my “to-read” list at the bottom, I am a bit obsessive when it comes to parenting books. I like to research everything. I want to know all that I can know. Do I need these books to be a good parent? No, I don’t think so – I have plenty of mothering instincts already and when I listen to them, they serve me well. If anything, I need the information in these books to help shield me from the modern world of parenting. These books help me to get back to the basics. Continue reading

August 29, 2009 Posted by | all things baby, books, childbirth, crunchy, motherhood, parenting, women's health | 1 Comment

The Duggars: 20 and Counting

duggars-20-and-counting-2501I swear, I don’t usually read books like this. But I admit to a certain level of intrigue when it comes to the Duggars. I grew up in conservative Christian circles, but the Duggars just take it to a whole new level. Maybe it’s the traditional gender roles, maybe it’s the lack of any form of birth control, maybe it’s their seemingly docile sweet-natured kids. Whatever – I’m hooked on this freak show. I would be the first in line to poke fun about how Michelle Duggar got married at 17, or about how she began a career of handing out pizza samples following the marriage. Or maybe we could talk about the eldest son Josh and how he would give his fiancee awkward side-hugs. We don’t even need to say very much about Jim Bob, his name speaks for itself.
Continue reading

June 29, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | 3 Comments

Food Matters

food-mattersWhen my sister said she was going to adopt a vegan diet, I thought that she was a little bit crazy. She asked me to read two books, one of which was Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman. Bittman was struggling with his weight as well as various health maladies at the same time he was writing  a new cookbook called “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”. He decided to become a part-time vegan; until dinnertime he would forego any animal products, simple carbs and junk food. He did not give himself any restrictions for dinner, though gradually he found that he was eating more vegetables and less meat. As time went on, he lost weight and his health maladies went away.

Sounds great, but wait – this is not a diet book. Rather it’s an eye-opening critique of the food that we eat and where it comes from. Despite my skepticism, I have learned that many vegans don’t choose their lifestyle just because they can’t stand to eat Bambi. Many are vegan for very legitimate health and environmental reasons. Yes, I said environmental! Our eating habits aren’t just bad for us – they’re bad for the planet. Bittman focuses on factory farming, a concept that I’ve been relatively ignorant about until now. Continue reading

June 28, 2009 Posted by | alternatives, books, food, health | Comments Off on Food Matters

Unconditional Parenting

I’ve been intrigued by attachment parenting for the last five years or so. By the time I was pregnant I was fully devoted to AP and all that it entails. I was committed to breastfeeding, to responding to my baby’s cries, and to wearing my baby. I wasn’t sure about discipline, though. I had read some of the posts in the gentle discipline forum on Mothering, and I really wasn’t sure if this was the approach for me. Sometimes the posters had kids that seemed really out of control… and I thought that there must be a better way. Both my husband and I grew up under a very traditional form of his discipline, and honestly it has been hard for us to imagine anything else. Continue reading

June 19, 2009 Posted by | books, parenting | 1 Comment

Mitten Strings for God

mitten stringsYou might be surprised, but a mother of a 9-month old who only works 2 days a week can still qualify as a “mother in a hurry”. Hurried is sometimes just a state of mind. I become stuck in a cycle of counting down the hours until nap time, rushing out to run errand in between nap times, and then using that precious nap time to do something totally mundane (checking Facebook, for instance). At the end of the day, my baby hasn’t received the attention that he needs and I’m exhausted from all the running around.


Continue reading

June 8, 2009 Posted by | books, introspection, motherhood | 1 Comment

Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety

This time the bargain bin really panned out. I picked this up on a whim, after the juxtaposition of motherhood and anxiety caught my eye.

I spend more than my fair share of time on the internet, and one of the things that I like to read about is motherhood. I read blogs and message boards like I want to learn about the real deal, the raw and unadulterated account of the realities of motherhood. From my years of very informal research, I’ve learned that one must sacrifice many of the pleasures in life for the sake of the children. Don’t expect any more nice vacations or meals out. Don’t expect time to yourself- not to sleep, read, go to the gym, or simply veg. Certainly don’t expect your husband to help out. The only pleasure you will find in life will be through your children. The woman’s identity fades into the background. Her career, her marriage, her sense of self all suffer when she buys into the culture of sacrificing self for the sake of the children. Continue reading

July 3, 2007 Posted by | alternatives, anxiety, books, culture, introspection, motherhood | 1 Comment

Hopefully heaven isn’t as lame as this book

A few months ago I picked up 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life at the bargain section of Barnes & Noble. I don’t normally read books in this goofy genre, but I had heard about this book somewhere. At the time I thought that I had heard it mentioned on NPR, but I have since decided that this couldn’t possibly be the case.

My short introduction probably gives away my feelings toward this book. The author devoted very little time to recount his visit to heaven following a bad car accident. The book focused much more on the other parts of the story, devoting more pages to the author’s physical therapy than his recount of heaven. The story was mildly interesting, but nothing I would recommend, and not worth the $5 I spent. I didn’t learn much about heaven that I didn’t already know; namely that it is a nice place where your dead friends and family now reside. I sound flippant because I am. This wasn’t exactly a convincing recount of a near-death (or actual death) experience.

June 2, 2007 Posted by | books, christianity, religion | 2 Comments