"Give Them Grace" by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Next time a mother asks me, "I am learning to let go of law and performance in my spiritual life. But how do I apply these truths to my parenting without being permissive?" I'll hand her this book.
"One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. This book should come with a warning: "Read at the risk of losing your jaded cynicism."
This book is a classic. "Sundial of the Seasons" by Hal Borland. I just re- discovered it this past year, and what a treasure! A day by day almanac of luminous nature-writing.
In late 2010, I inherited my husband's old smart phone - a Droid. Since then, I've become a junkie. Have a sweet new one, now. Cannot quit the crack-Droid. Here are my top three apps:
Astrid. It's a task manager. A list-junkie's dream come true. I'm in love! I think I might date Astrid.
Evernote. Obviously. I can save everything and its mother and its poodle to the cloud, baby! Every image, every note, every-everything, even voice reminders or audio files can be stored, filed, and retrieved at a moment's notice. A writer's Nirvana. Caveat: I'm still learning how to use it. I'm checking out a "how to" book I've recently discovered for Evernote - I'll let you know what book it is and who wrote it - if it makes me grow in my Evernote Wisdom by leaps and bounds. Jury's still out on the book. No time to read it much, yet.
Top three products:
L'Oreal's Eversleek products. 2011 has been a good hair year, thanks to this line of sulfate-free products. Seriously. You have no idea what a big deal this is. My whole hair mojo has been set free.
I got this Jeanne Oliver dress in 2011. Only I wear it as a top, with boot cut jeans. Love! Her designs absolutely rock.
Next, my personal top three "New Blog Discoveries" - blogs I've stumbled upon in 2011, and have added to my list of all time favorites:
Modern Country Style - such a great design blog!
Flower Patch Farmgirl - Shannan, Shannan, Shannan. I heart you. I discovered you in January of 2011.
The "Flower Patch Farmgirl" has done the very reverse of so many others - she and her family moved AWAY from the country and from the idea of "farm life", TO a small house in the city, and in the midst of it all they have great peace..because she and her husband want to make their lives count. They want to be about the business of loving God by loving people, not just, or merely or even mostly livery and livestock and acreage. She writes movingly about adoption, and about their coming out of law and into grace. She writes about being ambushed by God, who has pulled her out of her Country House/Anthro-Shopping/Self Sufficiency quasi-life, and thrust her into true abundant living. All this, AND she's hilarious. A permanent favorite.
Kudos, Shannan for going against the current tide of saccharine pseudo-farmy "I Heart the Country" blogs.
Michael Hyatt's Intentional Leadership - has impacted me in measurable ways in 2011.
Last but not least, these are my top three most visited/requested/read posts of 2011:
Mountain Moving Faith - this one has suddenly taken off in the last three or four months, passing up my previous top post by just a few hits, but doing it very quickly - nearly two thousand views!
A Wedding Designer's Challenge - From Concept to Completion
The Refreshing Signs of a Gracious Woman - still hanging in there near the top of the list!