On day 10 of quarantine (I remember it very clearly) I had a bit of a breakdown over things that were out of my control. I could not control the National Government (count your blessings) and I also could not control my toddlers singing at the top of their lungs to “Old McDonald Had a Farm” during a work zoom call when they were asked to sit quietly and build Legos. But I could control the amount and type of content our family was digesting. We turned off the screens and started spending more time throwing ourselves into books in the evenings.
I discovered a book club for my children called Literati. In short, magic in the form of 5 books shows up at our door each month. One that we frequent is “Children of the World” by Tessa Strickland, Kate DePalma and David Dean. It is an amazing book that teaches children about the all cultures of the world through text and pictures. This book highlights each culture’s hobbies, food, ways of learning and even religion. My favorite line from “Children of the World” is “Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.” That’s a lesson I can get behind as a mother.
I decided that I needed to come out of quarantine a better version of myself, so I turned to books and podcast instead of my treadmill (Mistake! I should have listened to the books while on the treadmill!). One book that I read every morning is “365 Devotions to Embrace what Matters Most” by John Michalak. It’s a great easy read that starts my day off on the right foot. I have found myself revisiting it on hard days reminding myself to simply remember what matters most. I’ll share todays devotion with you, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34. Another book that I can’t put down is Ivanka Trumps book “Women Who Work”. Politics aside Ivanka has it figured out when it comes to a successful working mother. Each page is more inspiring, but two things that it has helped me with is clarifying my priorities and elucidating my goals. Rewriting the rules for success are important in the ever-changing world we live in and she has mastered doing so. On the note of self-improvement, I am almost finished with “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Coggins. He and I would be great friends if we ever met due to the fact that he refers to checking in on your self as taking inventory of your cookie jar. David was a Navy SEAL and overcame many obstacles in his life and has mastered self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work. He writes about how most of us only tap into 40% of our capabilities which I find fascinating and a challenge to overcome as a society.
I’ve been intrigued with politics ever since my fifth-grade teacher pushed every student in her class to remember and recite The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln. I can still remember standing up finding a spot on the wall directly above my classmate’s heads so that it seemed like I was speaking to them and starting with the iconic phrase “Four score and sever years ago,”. Recently I have found myself thinking about the Declaration of Independence which inspired Lincoln to write the greatest speech in our nation’s history, The Gettysburg Address. Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America defines how Lincoln gave this speech and a “new birth of freedom” rather than memorializing the gruesome battle. I have learned a great deal about how he came to change the world and to affect an intellectual revolution. He truly wove a spell that has not been broken in America. God Bless America and God Bless you during this trying season of life. I hope you find yourself deep in books this summer!
Sadie Schweers, Portfolio Manager