What I’m reading, doing, thinking

I thought I’d spend a couple of minutes and update my life!

What I’m reading these days

  1. I came home from Israel and started re-reading all of Joel Rosenberg’s fiction books. There are five of them, starting with The Last Jihad. These books are set in the final days before the rapture, but are very different from the LaHaye Left Behind series. They are geo-political in nature, dealing with the prophecies as they relate to Israel, hence the immediate drive to read them all again. Now seeing the characters move through the streets of Israel is really fascinating. And the scholarship behind the prophecies is amazing. The books are also eerily accurate: the first book opened with a terrorist airplane attack…written BEFORE 9/11.
  2. Love Mercy by Lisa Samson. This book is a small paperback describing Lisa Samson’s trip to Africa with her daughter to discover what God is doing in Swaziland. I’m fascinated with this book because Samson has been one of my favorite authors through the years. A couple of years ago, though, her fiction took a dramatic turn from what I call “beach reading” Christian fiction to a new genre. Her book Quaker Summer dealt with the themes of Christian justice, getting out of the church and into the world, and the call God has put on us to show his grace and mercy. This new book is divided into two parts. The first part is Lisa’s story of moving from — my words, not hers — soccer mom to activist. I wanted to know that, too. It explains the change in her fiction writing. And the second half of her book describes how she and her daughter lost their hearts in Swaziland. Worth your time to read this one.
  3. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler. I started this one before our trip to Israel, during our trip and finished it after. The author looks at the “Jewishness” of Jesus and shows how that relates to his new life in the kingdom. It was eerie how often the chapter I was reading coincided with what we were actually seeing that day in Israel. This is not a “Everyone must celebrate all the feasts and keep Kosher” kind of book. It’s much gentler, showing hidden depths in scripture and putting context to Jesus’ life.
  4. Simple Spirituality by Christopher L. Heurtz. I just started this one, but so far God has used it to remind me of the “Giants” I face in my life, and the spiritual disciplines He’s put into place to combat those giants.
  5. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof. This book is dealing with the issue of the traficking of women and girls, both for the sex trade and child labor. This is not a Christian book, and so it offers a slightly different perspective on the issues. But the stories are powerful.

What we’re doing these days

Last week, Kylie brought three friends home from college for Spring Break. So we spent the week cooking and feeding, planning, boating and generally making sure her week went smoothly. She had a great time!

Jillian got her license last week and started running all over the county. She’s a good driver and has had a lot of practice, so I am thrilled to see her get a taste of freedom. I remember my first few trips without an adult along…it redefines your life.

I’m really proud of the growing maturity I’m seeing in both girls. They are going through their life experiences — boyfriends come and boyfriends go — but they are learning from them and turning into strong, independent women. You go girls!

What I’m thinking about these days

  • I’m continuing to educate myself in the issues surrounding trafficking at all levels. I’m shocked by stories I hear in my own county, let alone the stories across the world.
  • I am looking forward to the Q conference in April. I attended Q a couple of years ago, and the people I met and the talks I heard have been impacting me ever since. There’s a gut feeling that God’s got a few surprises for me this year!
  • Lately I’ve been stopped in my tracks by Isaiah 58, and verse 12 in particular. It says that we are called to be “rebuilders of the ancient walls, and restorers of streets with dwellings.” It means something. I can’t wait to see how God works that truth into my life!
  • Navigating the sandwich generation is still a tricky process for me. As we approach summer, I am wondering if Mom is going to go back north or stay in Florida? If she goes north, how will we make sure she gets the care and supervision she needs?
  • David and I sense a new phase of life coming soon. I’m not going to call it empty nest, but self-sufficient nest. In that time of life, God’s going to have a new direction for us. Can’t wait to see what it is.
By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.