Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What I Read When I'm Not Reading Fiction

If my blog looks like a ghost town, it's because LIFE!

Neighborhood kids singing You're a Grand Old Flag, Fourth of July 2014

I'm not really making an excuse because I firmly believe my time has been well spent. As a homeschool mom who dabbles in politics and takes every spare moment to read, whether it's current events or a really tasty bit of speculative fiction, it isn't that I don't have time to blog/write/read/review/whatever. When we're honest with ourselves, we know our "I just don't have time" excuses really just mean "I'm doing other things that I deem more important." That's true even if we don't want to admit to ourselves that obsessing over our sock drawer or 'everything' drawer or that highly addictive new facebook game is a value choice of one activity over the others we also claim to value. Luckily, I haven't been tempted by a facebook game since about 2007. :)

As a recovering perfectionist, I have to be careful how I spend my time or I end up writing until 3am or "sorting papers" (read: reminiscing over high school essays) for an entire day. This natural obsessive tendency, which is very much genetic, is what allows me to crank out first drafts in pretty good time when my heart and soul is in it. It's also what leads me down other paths that are equally riveting. 

So here's some insight into my Soul Stretching Out (hint: that's my blog title these days):

I read NDE's (near-death experiences) like they're going out of style. My most recent read in that category was this:


These books are a great supplement to the backdrop of intense scripture study I find myself doing, especially when it has to do with the beginning of life, the purpose of life, the end of life, and the end of days. While I don't believe everything I read from those who claim near-death experiences and visions, I do find these types of books about visions of the afterlife or future to be soul-stretching. They give me an opportunity to ponder and pray for my own answers, and those periods of quiet meditation are necessary reprieves for a mom of tiny tots. 

That brings me to something else I study somewhat obsessively:


I read about pregnancy and childbirth. You'd think after four pregnancies and births I'd give up my study, but I ALWAYS, always, always find new bits I didn't know before, or am touched by reading somebody else's completely different birth story, or find healing in a birth story a lot like one of mine. Every pregnancy, birth, baby, and child is different. I can't imagine abandoning my study or thinking that I've finally learned it all. 

Of course, since I do homeschool, another topic I obsessively study is education. 


This book, between twenty and thirty years old, has some of the greatest insights on education I've read yet. It's a bit of a thick read and heavy on the technical language in parts, but it also includes scriptural and apostolic guidance about the way human beings learn. Since I believe learning never stops until you die, I also like to read a bit of history and classic literature.

Right now I'm reading this:


So now you know what I read when I'm not reading fiction. For an example of the awesomeness I read when I'm craving fiction, check out the moving book carousel in the right sidebar. I'm lucky enough to know those authors, and every one of their books is an adventure.

What do you read when you're not reading fiction?