Ang’s March ’20 Reads and QOTMs

People often ask me what I miss most about life in the States. Family and Kroger’s ice cream aisle are pretty high up there, of course. But – nerd alert – I think the library would make my “Top 10” list as well!

The last few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing about the endless hours I spent as a young girl in our public library. (There is a literal ache in my chest when I think of that place!) I absolutely attribute my deep love of reading to my camping out at the library. I felt such a sense of wonder every time I walked into the main atrium of whichever branch we decided to visit on a particular afternoon. It was almost overwhelming for my indecisive little heart – which section should I peruse first? Sometimes I’d stand there amongst the rows of books, not really searching for anything in particular. Just being in the middle of all that knowledge and fun excited me!

It hurts not to have that same access to physical books. I can’t check out a giant pile of good reads (with my very own library card, of course). There are no weekend trips to listen to an author do a read-aloud. While my kids humor me by taking part in reading challenges at home, it’s not the same as going through our library’s summer reading program. I’m much more thankful these days when I get my hands on a good book, and my Kindle quells the sadness a bit, too.

I’ve digressed. I’m supposed to be sharing about my March reads.

This month, I finished Paul David Tripp’s book, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family. To be completely honest, I’ve been feeling a lot of “mom guilt” recently in regard to how I handle my growing kiddos and their various struggles. One of my biggest takeaways from this book was the reminder that, while I have the incredible responsibility to be an ambassador of God’s love, grace, mercy, and discipline, my children will ultimately be changed as they choose to walk with Him. My biggest criticism of Parenting is how repetitive it felt. Tripp could’ve gotten his point across in half the number of pages. Overall, I’m glad I read it – I was able to slow down and think intentionally about how I can better draw my babies toward Jesus in each precious, mundane moment.

Awhile ago, I was talking about The Boxcar Children series with Krista, a fellow missionary. I was fairly obsessed with those books at one point in my childhood. Freedom’s school library has a few of them in English, but I wanted to read the first one aloud to my kiddos to set the stage. I was elated when Krista told me her girls owned a copy! This month, Noah, Leyton and Cal were forcibly introduced to the enchanting world of Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny. Such fun – for me, at least!

Below you’ll find a few of my favorite quotes of the month.


Since change is most often a process and seldom an event, you have to remember that you can't look for a dramatic transformational conclusion to your encounters with your children. 1

What kind of picture are your children getting of God's authority by the way you exercise yours? 1

It's not your weaknesses that you should fear, but your delusions of strength. 1

Parenting is about the willingness to live a life of long-term, intentional repetition. 1 

If the mind developed through blind, material process of Darwinian evolution, then why should we trust it at all? Why should we believe that the human brain--which was the outcome of an accidental process--actually puts us in touch with reality? 2

What does national unity mean? It surely means that reasonable sacrifices of Party opinions, personal opinion, and Party interest should be made by all in order to contribute to the national security. 3

It is curious how the English-speaking peoples have always had this horror of one-man power. They are quite ready to follow a leader for a time, as long as he is serviceable to them, but the idea of handing themselves over, lock, stock and barrel, body and soul, to one man, and worshipping him as if he were an idol; that has always been odious to the whole theme and nature of our civilisation.... 3

1 Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, Paul David Tripp
2 More Than a Carpenter, Josh and Sean McDowell
3 Churchill: The Power of Words, edited by Martin Gilbert

Ang’s February ’20 Reads and QOTMs

Happy Leap Year! Here’s my February in books. And… go!

I received Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog for my birthday from a dear friend who knows me so well! This fun book would be great coffee table decor. As her subtitle says, Florey definitely gives “the quirky history and lost art of diagramming sentences.” I know that the percentage of people in my life who care even the tiniest bit about diagramming sits around .00002%, but I’m in love. (Thank you, Mrs. Ramsey, for being my Sister Bernadette when it comes to diagramming and grammar.) In the middle of this short read, I feel like Florey breaks away from the topic at hand, but it’s an enjoyable read overall – if diagramming is your niche.

Milton Vincent’s A Gospel Primer for Christians was a birthday present for Scott, but I stole it. Heh. I wanted to devour and savor this tiny book simultaneously. Its whole premise is that the gospel is not just for unbelievers, but for everyone. Even after salvation, preaching the gospel to oneself is necessary if abundant life is to be experienced. Some great content in this concise little read. It’ll definitely be a re-read as I continue to digest the ideas here.

It’s been hard to find books that concurrently capture the attention of all three of my kiddos. After discovering that our school library has a good portion of this Magic Tree House series, I started pulling these books because they were short and easy reads. I thought they’d be perfect for my kids’ varied age ranges/interests, but I’m actually not a huge fan. The concept of siblings visiting other times and places is all fine and dandy, but the books are poorly written and the plots are slow-paced. When I’m reading these stories, I find my mind wandering. We made it through #7, but I think it’s about time for a break.

Below: some quotes I’d like to remember from this month’s reading.


In the end, I think the important thing was not what we learned from diagramming in Sister Bernadette's class, but simply the fun we had doing it. Diagramming made language seem friendly, like a dog who doesn't bark, but, instead, trots over to greet you, wagging its tail.1

When I begin my train of thought with the gospel, I realize that if God loved me enough to sacrifice His Son’s life for me, then He must be guided by that same love when He speaks His commandments to me.2

When I see persons who are materially poor, I instantly feel a kinship with them, for they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ.2

Indeed, as I perpetually feast on Christ and all His blessings found in the gospel, I find that my hunger for sin diminishes and the lies of lust simply lose their appeal.... Eyes do not rove... when the heart is fat with the love of Jesus.2

And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigorous, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.3

To conclude that Jesus was a deliberate liar doesn’t coincide with what we know either of him or of the results of his life and teachings. Wherever Jesus has been proclaimed, we see lives change for the good, nations change for the better, thieves become honest, alcoholics become sober, hateful individuals become channels of love, unjust persons embrace justice.4

Good parenting, which does what God intends it to do, begins with our radical and humble recognition that our children don't actually belong to us.5

Your kids will never be what they're supposed to be or do if they lack God-consciousness.5

God's greatest and most wonderful gift to you as a parent is himself! He knows how hard your task is....5

1 Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog, Kitty Burns Flory
2 A Gospel Primer, Milton Vincent
3 Churchill: The Power of Words, edited by Martin Gilbert
4 More Than a Carpenter, Josh and Sean McDowell
5 Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family