Making Room: why so many book reviews?

If you know me at all you know I love books! I’m never with out one, or more like a bag full of books. Reviewing books is one of my favorite perks of having this blog and that will continue to be part of what I do here. BUT you may have noticed an influx of reviewing, and little else posting, for a bit now. This is because I’m making room. No not just for new books on my “to read” shelf, but for several other things.

First off I’m paying attention to God’s voice, no He doesn’t speak to me audibly, it looks/sound/feels more like a prompting in my spirit that is then confirmed in other ways once I honor it. He has been spurring me on to read through the Bible in it’s entirety for a while now. I’m finally doing it, but the first step to accomplishing this was to commit to pull way back on the number of outside books I’m reviewing. So while I may still do some periodically it won’t be as frequent. This was totally confirmed when two major groups I review for are closing their doors or have been out of commission for a while. Scratch that, just got a third email in my inbox and another group is closing up shop too, so that makes THREE. That being said, something must be changing in the book review world… Book launch teams perhaps? Maybe the regulations are changing, I’m not sure. But I am grateful that these felt like total confirmations of what God was prompting me to do personally.

Secondly, I’m continuing to revamp our lives, to simplify and to make room for more spotenaity, a less frantic schedule, and fewer commitments, and more time for what is most important to us. I started on this journey almost exactly three years ago when I started Bible Journaling and my life is radically different. It started when I began reading a devotional called Savor and then also Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist (twice!) (Find more about that influence in my life here.) Here I am again reading Savor in community with some fellow ladies and being reminded of this same concept – Antifrantic. I use this question to guide my responses, “Will saying yes to this require me to live in a frantic way?” This question changed everything for me. My yeses come less frequently and the word itself hits my tongue much slower now. I ask will saying yes to this require a no to more important things. I know where I want my yes responses to land and I am making room. I  want more room for my family and my faith, I want to continue to make room for my creative worship form of Bible Journaling both for myself and as I teach classes, facilitate workshops and meetups for Pacific Northwest Bible Journaling   and begin the adventure of bible journaling with my boys. I’d also like to write more. I am a life-long learner and will never stop reading. But I am also a writer, and no not just of these short “book report” type review pieces. I love that with blogging and reviewing I am staying up to date on technology and learning new things in this ever evolving techy world, plus doing new things like creating and waiting videos! Yes I have a YouTube channel. I’d love to do more of this, but in order to make room and have time book reviewing will slow down. I’d also like to dabble a little with some vlogs here. (Video Blogs, and answer more of your questions that way!)

Finally I am adventuring into another stretch of 21 day fix and that takes commitment, time, and loads of energy so here’s to making room. You can read more about my first experience with 21 day fix here, and stay tuned for some more personal updates soon!

Hope you’ll follow along here as I make room and share more about these areas in the new future.

– Bible reading and the creative worship of Bible Journaling

– Writing, just more about life, motherhood, and what I’m learning.

– 21 day fix and how I make it work for me.

– Food – as I’m making room I’m also hoping to share more about feeding my family and those who we welcome into our home and life with stories about our table and recipes for you to try.


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1 Comment

  1. Hallo, Hallo Alex!

    I wanted to follow-up my last comment (on your latest Ms Gray review) and mention I’ve gone through the ‘seasons’ of book blogging you have as well. Sometimes your contacts change from blog touring companies to working with publishers directly or mixing it up between blog tours, publishers and authors directly. Follow your heart and you’ll find your own path – after all, you don’t have to source books from touring companies or publishers, if you have your own organic methodology of finding the stories which are speaking to you ‘in the moment’. We all must trust what is best for us.

    I love my local library for allowing us to submit purchase requests, borrow in-state and out of state ILLs (interlibrary loans) as well as regularly either updating their OverDrive selections or being open to requests for digital audiobooks – as I only read print or listen to #AudioReads (ie. chronic migraines).

    My humble budget doesn’t allow to purchase too many books per year myself, which is one reason I was happily surprised by how my Mum and Dad were gifting me books this year (the forementioned Essential Inspirational books by mail and also Audible) as a way of celebrating my 5th Blogoversary & 5th Blog Birthday.

    Ooh! I just discovered something on Audible – once you have the basic membership (Gold), you qualify for a ‘discount’ for the Romance package. I love reading Roms but don’t always find what I’m seeking – would you believe they have Historical Romances as much as Contemporary but they have a healthy selection of INSPY authors, too? I was wholly excited finding that out! For a little extra a month (approx $7) you can ‘borrow’ 10 of these lovelies and then, borrow 10 more – as you listen, return, repeat! Eek. #awesomesauce I know!

    I thought I’d let you know about this – as I was reading your blog and I fully understood how limited your hours / time might be to read or hear a story whilst raising your beautiful sons! Mums need creative ways to ‘fit in their reading lives’ – as my own Mum started reading with a heap of frequency once she had to start taking on 12 hour overnight shifts – she’s able to read during the ‘quieter’ moments of her job, and this gave her a renewal of joy to read. She hasn’t read in years with this much joy – so I definitely ‘understand’ the time crunch but also, how life affects our reading lives just as much as our interest change / alter / grow as we age.

    If more of us listened to God’s whispers and nudges of grace in our lives, we’d be healthier and happier. You might appreciate visiting me sometime – I blog rather frequently on INSPY topics as I review for Hachette’s faith-based imprint FaithWords (both Fiction & Non-Fiction) as well as reading today’s Contemporary & Historical INSPY authors – including Indie authors like Brenda S. Anderson.

    I simply wanted to leave two notes behind tonight to let you know I am enjoying my visits on your blog and look forward to seeing where your ‘next chapter’ takes you. Blogs evolve, as do we – blogs reflect our growth as much as our own soulful journey through life. At least those of us who blog intuitively and journal our lives inside our bookish pursuits.

    Similar to you, I blog about my life but you have to read my blog to see how I merged those bits into reviews, interviews, and other kinds of posts – it just came organically to me and like you, I developed my own blogging style. Keep listening to your heart and let your faith guide you. You’ll know what feels right for you and what is the right pace to blog.

    I am a foodie myself – I need to start blogging more about food and cookery bliss – I did this for awhile, but when life turnt adverse in 2016, I sort of put those posts on hold. Tweeted a bit about what I like to cook but honestly, I’d like to focus on the cookbooks I am loving right now or the baking projects I’d love to tackle… so, I am keen on seeing what you share from your kitchen!

    If your looking for an INSPY / Clean Read touring company, try Singing Librarian or Prism Book Tours – their both linked in my sidebar. I’ve read Love INSPIRED through Prism as well as Becky Wade (I’m still attached to the #BradfordSistersRomance series which I recently listened/read this June whilst reviewing the first 3 stories in-series!) — with SLB, I have been finding new Cedar Fort authors and/or other authors outside of CF, too. CF publishes both mainstream and faith-based stories, not limited to LDS. I know some readers of INSPY are open to LDS, others are not, but I wanted to put this out there in case you weren’t familiar or wondered if you could still host a tour on occasion. I am a non-LDS Protestant in case you were curious.

    I stand behind everyone I host for – you can always PM me if you want to know about one of the other ones or about these two as well.

    PS: I love your book photos! I want to explore doing more with mine. I’ve had so much going in personally these past 5 years, I’ve not focused on my ‘style’ of book photos but just went ‘with the moment’ of what I was photographing. I do love it though and I like how yours give a glimpse into your lifestyle. Great job!

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