What a week! I read the most AMAZING book, fell down a wonderful professional rabbit hole, geared up for some clutter-clearing and found some pretty great links, too. I cannot wait to share them with you!
What I’m Reading:

I have two books to share with you this week. One is a self-help book and another is a middle grades novel, but you might be surprised at the connections I found between them!

First, I read Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. I read this book with a sense of disbelief. How was it that Shauna pegged my current way of living so perfectly? It’s like she saw right through the pages and into my mind and heart, inviting me to truly live her words into being and choose present over perfect. I’ve never read ANYTHING that so perfectly captured my day to day struggles with busyness, perfectionism and yes, anxiety. And because I felt seen and understood, I devoured the book in a way that I couldn’t otherwise. I explored many hard lessons that I’m still grappling with today and gained many incredible insights that instantly changed how I think about my purpose. Filled with sticky notes, this is a book that will sit front and center in my office so I am reminded of the magic within it.

Then, because it’s Middle Grades March, I read I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay. To be honest, I’ve had this on my shelf for a loooong time. Over five years ago, Susanne visited my children’s school for an author visit and I bought the entire collection of Jack books. I figured Middle Grades March was the perfect time to finally crack the spine. And it was. The story follows the life of Jack and his family, a family full of love that Gervay so beautifully captures on the page. Jack faces fierce bullying, bottling up his fear inside to protect the ones he loves the most until a family friend intervenes in hopes of protecting him. What follows is a testimony of love, friendship and the honest work of a school to right their wrongdoing. Filled with relatable characters, complex middle school interactions and the reality of the systems that might not serve us well, this book is sure to touch your heart like it touched mine.

But one more thing…..I mentioned I was surprised by the connections between the books, too. And I was. Present Over Perfect invited readers to choose connection over competition, presence over perfection and love over work. I Am Jack brought us into the fabric of life for one loving family with a parent who was overworked and overtired and made tangible shifts of presence for the sake of her family. I truly believe books end up in our hands for a reason and I could clearly see the reason this week: make time for what matters most.

What I’m Writing:

This month, I’m participating in the Annual Slice of Life Challenge from Two Writing Teachers. For 26 days straight (so far!), I’ve written a brief note to a person, item, location or experience I'm grateful for within the last 24 hours. It’s been life-giving and I’ve been so inspired by all the other slicers in the challenge. This post made me instantly head to my notebook: Who I Am and Who I Am Not. It’s so therapeutic and I recommend you try it in your own notebook!

What I’m Learning:

I’m noticing a theme in what I’m consuming this week: Spring Cleaning! Rachel Hollis offered her top strategies for spring clearing your life. Gretchen Rubin offered many excellent tips for clear outer clutter to make way for inner calm. Lisa Funk offered spring cleaning tips for our minds and thoughts. Here’s a line that struck me the most, since I’m often a bit annoyed when every single one of my family members walks by something out of place and does nothing, other than to admire it. =)

If you're annoyed by other people's clutter, ask yourself, "Have I worked to eliminate clutter, or am I just managing clutter in a neat way?" For example, are you putting the plastic containers back in the kitchen cupboard, closing the cupboard door, and complaining about how messy the cabinets are?

Why yes, I am.. So, this weekend, I’m spring cleaning my home AND my mind and it feels good. =)

What I’m Loving:

Here are three links that have brought some love to my literate heart. I hope they do for you, too:

There you have it! I hope this inspires you to make space for more reading and writing in your own life. What are the highlights from your literate life this week?

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