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Use up the Soap
June 10, 2016 at 6:17 am 23
What do you want? The question isn't sure these days, not like it was in elementary school, when we'd dress up as a doctor, fire fighter, teacher. It seeps into pores, it wraps its tentacles around us, and we don't even realize how all the mundane is squeezed by its grip if we do not first give attention to our desires. For we are, at base, desiring creatures. What do you want? We list off all the usual -- healthy family, moderate success, and if we're church-going types, things like the furthering of the Kingdom of God. But we live our lives in endless loops of practicality -- getting ready for work, doing the dishes, bringing children to sports practices, watching Netflix. So the question beats louder: what do you want? what do you want? what do you want? We ignore it to our peril. It will slowly kill us then. I'm afraid to name my desires out loud, to act swiftly and boldly on them as if I was bivouacking the tentacles of strangling desire off of me. Because naming them means I could fail at them. I am, just now, learning that failure is actually good. That failure shows vulnerability. That failure means there are things like second, and third, and a million chances. That without failure grace is a pretty bathroom soap that smells good from afar but you never use in fear of messing it up. "Use up the soap" -- on desire, faith and grace. Ashley Hales aahales.com Failure, rejection, feeling out of place are gifts -- not because we glorify our failures, and not because we have to use them as giant stepping stones on a pathway to greater, higher success. No, failures are gifts because they point out what we already knew was there -- perhaps what we were afraid to name all along -- that we are desperately needy. We have been found wanting. For those of us who have thrown our lot into the Christian story of grace and redemption, we can eschew the stepping stones of success and dive deeply into our desires and failures because there is a sea of grace that is wide and deep enough to cover them. So start a bakery. Start writing the book. Bake bread. Do justice. Run for office. Plant a garden. Put down roots and chase those desires to the very end. Don't chase them towards more ladder-climbing because, at the top, there is nothing there to save your soul. Chase them so you can use up the soap. The beautiful thing about the story of redemption is that there is more manna, more sustenance every single day. There is more grace. Take and eat.   // Linking up with the Five-Minute Friday community where you write a post in 5 minutes flat. It's such a great community and writing exercise. Join in and read others' words! Do you need some tools for slowing down and practicing sustained attention in a world full of noise? I'm sending out a freebie to my subscribers soon. Don't miss it!
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The Sacred Space of the Minivan: Or, Listening is an Act of Love
May 20, 2016 at 12:37 pm 12
hustle cannot save me -- Ashley Hales // aahales.com   In the quiet of the waiting season, I didn't expect to hear the wind so clearly. After rejection and the momentum of all good writing things building, I hit pause. I stopped scrolling through Facebook, I needed to listen. I wanted to sign up for all those "build your email list" webinars, and yet I know, deep down, that the way of the artist must always start with deep listening -- to the world around you and to quiet the clatter to let the words bubble up. So I've taken to my suburban walking paths to see and hear again. It's a healthy discipline, shutting down and yet, there is always the tugging of the Fear Of Missing Out on my shirt tails. It takes a while for that tugging to die down, to spread my toes on the earth and find that that perhaps is a better practice of presence than all the retweets, likes and comments. This blog has been a bit quiet of late and I watch my stats dwindle and I wonder if this quieter way means that I'm killing my blog. If it means I will have no more opportunity. If it means that no one will want the book when it is at the point to bring to publishers. But that is scarcity hissing behind my ear. And I need a manifesto for abundance. To tell you truth, I've decided I'm not going to hustle for my worthiness any more. Work is good; it's a gift -- a holy one in fact. It can push you into your need and into the grace for yourself when you flounder, fail and even succeed. But hustle will never make me worthy. Keeping busy will not earn your keep. Hustle cannot save us. But I think that listening just might. Then I can hear the least of these. I have the strength of compassion to help calm the chaos, help stem the whining, and not turn to food or the glass of wine to get me out of my deep slump. It is a slump of the weary, the restless, the too-busy. We run around and we forget what the wind sounds like because we live in air conditioned houses and take our kids to sports practices. Our lives become revolving journeys taken in the minivan, where it's so easy to slide into the routine, to pop in earbuds, to drown out the noise, to race from one thing to another. No, hustle will not save me. My minivan can be a sacred space to house the questions, the tears, the failures after another missed ball. My body can spread out to envelop and contain the crazy of the people who God has granted to me who live, move and have their being in this house. This house, too, can be a refuge. But my minivan can only move from being a movable trash can to a place of communion if I slow down to listen. David Isay said that "listening is an act of love." And I realize with a start that I am so often only quiet so that I can make noise, so I can fill the yawning void of space. That I wait to say my piece and do not sit with palms open to offer a sacred space into which others can curl their own words and find themselves held in downy blankets. I breathe in, "The Lord is my shepherd." I breath out, "I have everything I need." I close my mouth and open my ears. My hands grip the steering wheel but they are open. This is the prayer I hear on the edge of the wind.   // Linking up with Five-Minute Friday. *Feel free to save the image above to remind you that hustling doesn't save.* I'm holing up and writing a book. I'm doing the quiet work. But I'm still here and I'd love to connect with you! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter below to get updates on my reading lists!
 
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Lessons in Polkadots
April 22, 2016 at 5:37 am 16
Unity in Polka dots -- Ashley Hales There's something a little bit "Onward Christian Soldier" about the word "unite," that song that played in the background on a tinny piano in my third grade Sunday School class. It's all right angles and big bold letters. But what if unite is also something organic, with cells clinging to each other as they whirl past each other? What if unity mushrooms and grows like the way moss seems to seep up imperceptably between cracks in stone? I'm back to my minivan life, but last week at The Festival of Faith & Writing there was the right-angled unity and there was the moss-like blooming kind. The right-angle unity is the type that looks over the shoulder of the person in front of you to see someone more famous to be associated with. It means when you don't have an offering of status you aren't valuable, your conversation is expendable. I went up to famous authors to tell them how I'd been moved by their words, feeling a total fan girl, blabbing on without a point of connection. The generous ones searched with me, too, knowing that unity is worth cultivating. That holy curiosity is about sustained attention. In the bathroom one morning, I commented on how much I loved a writer's polkadot skirt before finding out she not only was a published author of more than a dozen books, but also a part of the same writers guild as I was. Her face lit up. She'd check on a book that she'd sent me of hers (which she had offered after a quick Facebook conversation). I became human, more than a fan. She was not looking for the next person, she was with the person in front of her. Because at the end of the day, we're all just people in polka dots. We're all just flesh and bone and spirit. We all need to know our words matter, our little outpouring of creativity. Unity grows best out of love -- a love that is born from a common denominator -- that we are the glorious mess of humanity together. // There will be more thoughts from Festival of Faith & Writing and I'm going to send a proper newsy update to my newsletter friends. Don't miss it, sign up here:
  *Linking up with Five-Minute Friday.
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Coffee fumes, Resurrection and Feeling Alive
March 25, 2016 at 5:46 am 14
It's Holy Week when all the earth is pulsing towards the glorious burst of life springing from death. Where sadness, fear, and death itself is turned around. But I'm half-awake breathing coffee fumes to keep on going. The alarm goes off and I grab my computer. I wish I could say that my making of coffee in the dark hours of the morning was a beautiful ritual -- where water and beans and the slow wait of the french press somehow taught me a spiritual lesson all tied neatly with a bow. But it doesn't. I find myself creeping and crawling toward resurrection, wondering if this pace is sustainable -- the sprint of productivity and the hesitation of overwhelm. I wonder about you. What makes you come alive? Is it the coffee, or the drink after work with friends? Is it the electricity between you and your lover? Is it being looked in the eyes and seen and known? What is the good thing that calls you out of bed in the morning, tired with lumbering limbs? Sometimes waking up is slow and steady and not the crack of the recognition of resurrection. That does not mean you're any less alive. Sometimes we have to wait for the coffee fumes to jog our minds and hearts. That, perhaps, is only human. The problem, I suppose, is when we turn to the coffee, the drink, the shopping, the socializing, and even things like justice-seeking and discipleship as that which brings life. As long as we put those things on the other side of the rolled-away stone, we will wake exhausted and depleted day after day. When we find Jesus there -- on the other side of that stone -- well, that is a different matter completely. Because Jesus, holding the power of life made new, means that life can spring from the soil of death. Again and again. Season after season. When we see Jesus and he surprises us by saying our name when we thought he was someone else, that's when we'll come alive. In the meantime, I'll ponder -- slow and steady -- as I sip my coffee. // Linking up for Five Minute Friday, a community of amazing people who write for 5 minutes every Friday together on a prompt. Make sure you subscribe: my newsletter is coming out soon! I'm also offering you a gift of free story therapy! 
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I hope that the sea will save me
March 18, 2016 at 8:35 am 10
Let me tell it straight: I love where I live. I love that my kids can play outside year-round. Our photos can look like vacation with sun, sand and smiles, even in February. I love that my children play for hours in the alley with neighborhood kids, that we have friends that we can hang out with with a drink in hand on the warm summer evenings. I've been blown away by all the people God's brought to us as we've started this baby church back home. But there is also one other thing. Moving from my beloved spot of green earth and Rocky Mountains has also been death. My dreams of staying put in one spot for longer than a few years, were painfully uprooted. I am left hanging raggedly open, with dirt that has not seen the light of day clinging desperately to naked roots. I'm exposed. I hate it. So, I do what the first couple did: I hide. All loss -- not just of people but of places and ways of living -- means that grieving is natural and normal and part of the process. This does not, however, make things easy -- as if grief were a formula you could work through, like checkboxes on a grocery list. Grief comes in unimaginable waves with no warning. It sneaks up on me -- the way my children remember or forget. The way that a conversation with a friend with whom we shared our weekly crazy is on a phone now. The way I don't even know how to clothe my body in a new climate and culture. What's the hardest is that this new place -- full of all the growing pains that happen when you root yourself into a new place -- was supposed to be the easiest. We're home. I've moved just miles away from my childhood home. Coming home was supposed to be the easy part. But it has meant wrestling with the demons of my own insecurity. It has meant feeling like I'm 15 again and trying to find a seat at the lunch table. It has meant that sometimes Jesus is far off. It means that for all the sun and sand, I find myself in the dark. I'm caught in "back then" and "up ahead." And the middle way is murky. I want to kick and scream and shout to the heavens that this cannot be my home. This was not the plan. I was supposed to live in a bustling city, with children who loved art and literature. We'd visit galleries and read slowly and quietly. We'd look like Instagram photos with infinity scarves, and hot lattes, and old man wool sweaters on my handsome tow-headed boys. We'd fit so nicely, so cozily -- there in my imagination. But instead of two demure children, I have a set of 4, who are loud and active and it pushes me up to the end of myself day-after-day. I wonder if I am messing the whole thing up. But instead of museums, we run wild and free and there is noise and chaos and I drown. I shout. I hide. I root myself to the ground and crawl behind my king-size bed in my suburban tract home. I dream of Pinterest-worthy chalkboard signs to ground me in this new place, anything really to make sense of the now. It takes such an effort to find the ground of a new space. I hope that the nearby sea will save me. Ashley Hales #NightDriving Synchroblog One time it did. When my eldest son turned 8 years old last summer, we threw him a party at the beach. There was skin that smelled like sweat and saltwater. There was laughter, and friends and family, and drinks. We sang happy birthday and didn't care how close the sun was to going down. And then my husband let out a whoop and sprinted to the ocean waves. Another friend followed. And then I found myself running headlong to the waves (the grandparents were all there after all to watch the children) and dove under wave after wave, the salt dripping from the ends of my hair. We floated out past the break with fresh air in our lungs, our bodies on the top of water, our faces facing up toward sunset sky. Then the world seemed full of promise. That it could be reborn in the endless tumble of wave upon wave. That the shore would always accept this gift of the sea. I keep trying to get back to that day, when I am numb and cannot feel. When I hide behind my bed and try to flatten myself down to touch the carpet and to touch something deeper. When I am running around in the frenzy of the day with too much to do and not enough sleep or caffeine. Those days where I treat my body like a product and frown at my belly after 4 babies, then I try to see myself joyously floating at the top of wave. Maybe that raucous joy will return again. Perhaps in the summer. Maybe, like an ocean wave, joy and the peace of simply being present will crest, and crash, and recede. Perhaps joy, like grief, also comes in waves. Perhaps that is the way of the earth. // Night-Driving-Synchroblog Linking up with Addie Zierman's synchroblog on #NightDriving for the release of her newest memoir, Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark. Buy it now on Amazon (it's under $10!) (Full disclosure, this is an affiliate link. It means if you buy it through this link I get a few pennies, which allows me to keep writing on this blog).  
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Linkup, comment and find new books with #LMMLinkup
March 13, 2016 at 10:37 pm 0

Welcome back to the #LMMLinkup where we love to share about why we read. Reading and learning are central to our mission. We love to encourage others to find inspiration in the written and spoken word. Encouraging life-long learning unifies us as bloggers.

We have great news this week too. We have a new permanent co-host, Beth Strickenburg.

Beth is a homeschool mom, and can often be found under a tree reading aloud to her son. She has a masters in French Literature, and loves all things French and bookish. Her blog features reviews of books for all ages, including a number of book lists for homeschoolers. She blogs at Pages and Margins. You can follow her on her Facebook page, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Why I Read

by Beth Strickenburg

France 2013 684 - Beth Strickland

It was so easy to read as a kid. I grew up as an only child and I would spend hours—whole afternoons—lost in a book. Tucked away in a favorite chair or up in a climbing tree, I would enter the wardrobe with Lucy Pevensie, cross the Lake of Shining Waters with Anne Shirley, or explore the Phantom Tollbooth with Milo. It’s harder to read as an adult. Life and kids and responsibilities get in the way, and it can be hard not to see my time reading as wasted time when other responsibilities press down on me. Yet I’ve realized that taking the time to read is just as important for me—if not more so— now than it was when I was growing up. Here are a few of the reasons.
  • Reading helps to keep my world big. As a stay-at-home mom living in suburbia, my world can sometimes feel small. I can get caught up in changing diapers or keeping the house clean, and something that happens halfway around the world feels unimportant in my life. But then I read a book like Half a Yellow Sun or Inside Out and Back Again and I’m transported to another place on the globe, where I get to know characters who matter to me. This opens me up to feeling like a part of another community and a larger world. Now when I hear a reference to Nigeria or Vietnam in the news, it’s no longer a random place I’ve never visited—I feel a connection to this place and its people because of the books I’ve read.
  • Reading gives me compassion. It can be easy to get caught up in my own story and to surround myself with people who are like me. Reading helps open my mind and my heart to people whose stories are different from my own. It helps me to see the world through different eyes and to understand different circumstances and experiences. After I get caught up in a story like The Nightingale or The Book of Ebenezer Le Page , I come away feeling that I truly know the characters. Their stories become embedded in me. And those stories allow me to better interact with the stories of those around me, and gives me more compassion when the stories are very different from my own.
  • Reading helps me understand myself. Sometimes I just need perspective. Perspective on who I am now, and where I’ve come from, and how I’ve changed. Finding just the right book, whose author uses just the right words to describe something I know in my own life can be a magical experience. It gives me words to describe myself and my experience in new ways. I’ve experienced this with Gilead and The Snow Child . It’s the search for these kinds of books—the ones that describe specific moments in my life perfectly, using words I never would have put together myself—that keeps me reading day after day.

Now on to our weekly linkup! First let's Meet Your Hosts
Ashley @Circling the Story Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram
Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
  Next week I will have a new host graphic up and more information for you about Beth. :)

Now let's celebrate reading and learning by reviewing:

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS ABOUT MUSIC

My-Favorite-Children-Books-About-Music (more…)

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#LMMLinkup (and jazz books for kids)
March 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm 0
Every week, we have more than 100 people linkup with us to share their reading- and writing-related posts for Literacy Musing Monday! It's a great way to find a new book to read and find some new bloggers! We're even taking some mini guest posts. Find out more and apply here What are you reading these days? I'd love to hear! Now on to the #LMMLinkup. First, let's Meet Your Hosts
Ashley @Circling the Story
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram
Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
 
 

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

CHILDREN’S BOOKS THAT INTRODUCE JAZZ MUSIC

By Maria at Music Teaching and Parenting

children's books jazz

Maria writes about the importance of exposing kids to the riches of the jazz music and how doing so can enhance kids' creativity, cultural education, and literacy. Her list of book is lively and fun.This post is a not miss.

(more…)
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I want to Forget that Siren Song of Unbelonging
February 19, 2016 at 10:45 am 4
I want to forgot those years of looking in the mirror, sideways and bird-like, to see how the mirror would tell me I'm worthy. I want to forget those stray thoughts that took flight away from my anxious attempts to grasp them. They flew away, those errant birds, that chirped and warbled their siren song of belonging: You only matter if...You are only desirable if...You can be perfect.  And so my story of becoming woman was always accompanied by siren birdsong that told me I didn't measure up. I was in 6th grade and had become a woman on paper, that great crossing over from girl to woman, that made me insecure and pay attention to all my hormones and try to learn new things like pads and tampons. I was trapped in the hyphen between girl and woman, aware of my girlish belly and rueing my horrible haircut. I watched sideways as my best friend kissed boys behind the cabin at winter camp. I desperately wanted to be the star, but all I had was a belly, stirrup leggings and bad hair. I desperately want to forget those stories, to refashion the birdsong and reframe my neural pathways to remake the narrative: You are loved because you are Mine. You are a daughter of the High King and that is and always will be enough. Ashley Hales at Circling the Story: on body image, forgetting and womanhood. And yet, after four babies I still look at myself in the mirror and I struggle to not make my self-talk a war of not fitting in, of not seeing my body as exultant and accomplished and fearfully and wonderfully made. I want to see myself with kind eyes. I want to be fully present in my body and not make the story about forgetting, remembering and reframing. I want to simply be. I realize that the wanting to forget is part of the becoming. It's part of the long road of gospel-becoming where there is good news -- not in an effort to erase all the bad, hard, suffering, grief and shame -- but in somehow that "everything untrue will be made right." It's in that somehow and those hyphens that trip me up and most days, I chose to race onward, crossing off things on my To Do list instead. It's when it's quiet (and when I quiet myself) that space is opened up. The birdsong will always be there. But there is also another song, deeper and wilder and more true that I can hear. It rumbles of mountains and glory, it rises on the wings of the dawn and it sees the hairs on heads and fallen sparrows. It's harder to hear -- it doesn't clamor for attention -- but it is the song of Love in its terrible glory and humanity. That's the song I never want to forget.   // This post was written in response to "forget" as a writing prompt for Five-Minute Friday. It was written in five minutes and unedited. It's a great writing exercise and a lovely community. Find out more here. This month at Circling the Story, the theme is "Becoming Woman." I'd love to host your own story for March on "creativity and resistance." I also have a gift to give you! It's 20-minutes of free story therapy when you subscribe. Intrigued? Sign up below!

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#LMMLinkup: Linkup is growing and introducing fun ways to win!
February 15, 2016 at 8:02 am 0

Welcome back to another week of Literacy Musing Mondays where we are book lovers and love to blog about learning, reading, writing, and literacy. This week we have a special guest post by Corinne Rodrigues about how she became a book lover. She also shares an important book review for parents which includes an affiliate link which means if you use it to purchase the book, a small percentage of the sale will benefit her blogging efforts. I know she will appreciate your support!

Also this week, we will hold our commenting contest so please read on. ;)


Becoming Book Lovers

My Forever Valentine : I am a Book Lover

By Corinne Rodrigues

With Valentine's Day just over, it's natural that I think about love and my ultimate Valentine - books! I am always grateful to my parents who encourage me to be a book lover at an early age. While we didn't have money for luxuries, books were never considered a luxury in our home. My parents bought us all the Enid Blyton series, and any gift money we received from our uncles and aunts went to buy more books. My mother started reading to me at a young age, and I was so book crazy that I could pretend-read at 3 years of age. I actually narrated the story word for word and knew when to turn the page too. Mom fooled a visiting uncle about how smart I was to be reading at that age. When I actually began to read, I loved spending time surrounded by books. Being an army brat, we moved frequently, and I learned early to entertain myself. Books became my best friends. One of my favourite games involved gathering and arranging books and pretending I operated a bookstore! In my childhood, Indian authors in English had not really started publishing books for children. It was from reading that I was introduced to various cultures, especially British and American, since they were the books we grew up reading in India. Thanks to Pearl Buck, Gerald Durrell, Joseph Condrad, Neville Shute and other authors, I was introduced to their version of China, Africa, and some Asian countries. I can identify with Anna Quindlen when she says : “In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own. I learned who I was and who I wanted to be, what I might aspire to, and what I might dare to dream about my world and myself." As I grew older my reading of inspirational, spiritual and self-development books provided me more inspiration than any individual could. Books helped me pull myself out of self-destructive habits and helped me see the value of finding and asserting myself. My love of books continues to grow in midlife as I now have more time, and consciously make time to read and review books. My Kindle is my constant companion, and I'm blessed that my husband is not jealous of it! Today, I would like to share with you a wonderful book for parents of young children - Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader (affiliate link). The book is written by a teacher, a freelance writer, and mom of two, Melissa Taylor, who blogs at Imagination Soup. Taylor is an award-wining educator and parent who knows firsthand how hard it can be for parents to encourage their children to love reading, especially in this digital age.  Her eldest daughter resisted reading so she developed strategies to gently encourage her to read more.  In her book, Taylor shares these playful, out-of-the box strategies as well as tips for growing a reader and assisting kids who are learning to read. Taylor's eldest daughter resisted reading; Taylor knows first hand how hard it can be for parents to encourage a love for reading by their children especially in this digital age. This award-winning educator and parent gives busy parents of kids ages three to ten engaging, playful, out-of-the box ideas for growing a reader, assisting kids who are learning to read, and gently encouraging reluctant readers. Cover of Melissa Taylor's book, "Book Love: Help Your child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader Just a few of the many helpful insights and strategies she shares include: - The most common reasons why kids find it hard to learn to read or may hate to read (too boring, too tricky, too blurry, too "sitty")-and what to do about them. - Activities and product recommendations to facilitate letter recognition, rhyming, sight word skills, phonics, and fluency. - Approaches for improving word attack and reading comprehension. - Book lists organized by kids' interests. - Printable sight word flashcards and word strategy bookmarks. Packed with practical, bite-sized ideas that get children reading and loving books, Book Love can be your go-to guide for reading help for kids. Parents, I would encourage you to make the effort to give your children the gift of a love of books. They will always be grateful to you.
"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” - ― W. Somerset Maugham
corinne-rodrigues Bio: Corinne Rodrigues is a lover of words, a frequent book reviewer, and a self-acceptance blogger. Happily journeying through midlife, moving from self-improvement to self-acceptance, and enjoying being herself, you can find more of her writing on her blogs - Everyday Gyaan, CorinneRodrigues.com and Write Tribe.

Commenting Contest

Now on to Literacy Musing Mondays! The official commenting contest starts today. The person who comments on the most blogs next week will win a prize of Terri Blackstock's If I Run and a $10 Amazon gift card. To win, you must submit to Mary a report on the number of and names of the blog posts in this week's linkup on which you commented. The report is due in her email inbox by midnight Friday. Also you do not have to be a blogger to win our contest. All Literacy Musing Mondays participants are invited to participate. Her email address is marykatbpcsc45 @ gmail.com. In the event of a tie, the co-hosts will vote on the tieing entries to determine the winner of the contest. We will announce the winner in next week's linkup! So get ready and start commenting today. Come back each day to check for new posts. ;) By the way the top commentor for this week's linkup is Gayl Wright. You can find her on these social media sites: Blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.  
#LMMLinkup Top Commentor!

#LMMLinkup Top Commentor!

Remember last week was our practice week. The contest gets underway tonight! Send me your reports by midnight Friday for the chance to win the Top Commentor Prize Pack as described above!
Now on to our linkup. First let's Meet Your Hosts
Ashley @Circling the Story
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram
Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
 

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

board books, favoritess, kids, kidlit

Favorite Board Books: Part II

by

Dani writes about an important milestone in toddlers' reading development: learning hands on about books. Board books are a critical resource in emergent literacy and help create book lovers at a young age! Dani includes a list of really ground-breaking board books for your youngest readers. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle of little ones, you don't want to miss this post. This post is part of a series; so, you my want to check out part one first: Amazing Board Books: A Mom’s List.
I love that Mrs. Brison stressed the importance of reading to our kids no matter their age, even high schoolers. When we do so, we encourage our children to become book lovers. She includes some important reasons for reading aloud that I had not thought of before; so, be sure to check out this informative post!
Be sure to visit the other co-hosts' pages to see if your post was selected as one of their favorites for the week!
Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!
Follow Mary Hill's board Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.
 
Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop! You will have until Saturdays at 12 p.m. now to link up! So come back often. :)   Literacy-Musing-Mondays- graph

Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome posts featuring books or written with excessive violence, sexual content, or cursing. These posts will be deleted.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger's post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone's posts. I know as a blogger, you know how it feels not receive comments, right. :) Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.
[tweetthis]Come join the fun! Link up your family-friendly, book- or literacy-related posts at #LMMLinkup ![/tweetthis]   Remember to share any ideas you have to improve the Literacy Musing Mondays community in the comments section below. We can't wait to read your input!    
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linkup
Literacy Musing Monday: Linkup & find your next read!
February 1, 2016 at 9:19 pm 0
Welcome to Literacy Musing Mondays -- for those who are new to the linkup, it's a place to link up your blog posts (or just read some new ones) that are all reading and literacy related. So check out the linkup at the end; you might find something new to read! 
Now let's move on to our weekly linkup and Meet Your Hosts
Ashley @Circling the Story
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram
Leslie@Forever Joyful
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Tami @ThisMomsDelight
Blog/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus
 

Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!

The Plans I Have For You {Review and Giveaway!}

at The Scarlett Thread

One of the nice things about our weekly linkup is that bloggers link up really great giveaways each week. This one was really sweet. It is of an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children's book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love, and joy, and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us. I hope one of the Literacy Musing Mondays community won this gem.
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