November Reading

I love reading in the fall! Favorite pastime during my favorite season :). 

At the beginning of the year, I set out to read 100 books by December 31st. I realized by about July but have been in denial until October that 100 books isn’t going to happen so I’m cutting it down to 50 — a goal I should have no trouble meeting. I mentioned in another blog post that I was going to quit book blogging at Unscripted and move everything over here but I’ve decided against it. I’ll keep my site up and do book reviews on that site and do everything else on this site. It may work, it may not, I’ll just have to try it out and see what happens! In the mean time, I’m going to list my monthly reads at the beginning of each month and then a follow up post at the end of the month. Here’s what I’m currently reading and planning to read in November.




Money Making Mom – I started reading it the day it came in the mail last week and I’m a couple chapters away from the finish. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Crystal Paine is so awesome and I just love all the great wisdom and information she offers in this read. 

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions – I’ve already read both The Best Yes and What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa Terkeust so when Proverbs 31 Ministries announced that the next online Bible study book was going to be Unglued, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I love Terkeurst’s honesty and transparency and so far, the book is a great read!

Dating With Pure Passion – I got this book shortly after the BF and I started dating last year and have yet to read it! So I’m determined to get through it this month. I’ve flipped through it a couple of times and I think it’s going to be really good!

Happier at Home – I started Gretchen Rubin’s second book early this year and just haven’t finished it. It’s on my TBR list for the year and I need to get through it! Especially since I really want to read her other book Better than Before.


An American Tragedy – I bought a softcover copy of this last fall at an airport bookstore. It’s on my Classics Club list and my TBR for this year. There’s no way I’m going to get through the print version so I’m listening to the audiobook. So far, pretty good!

Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters – I love Jon Acuff. I listened to Do Over earlier this year and loved it. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while and put it as an alternate on this year’s TBR. Since Acuff does such a great job reading his own books, I figured I might as well enjoy this one on audio as well. 

In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars – I know absolutely nothing about this book, I think I got a free copy of it somewhere but I don’t remember exactly – maybe But the title is intriguing so I’ll give it a try!

I’m off to a good start already so I’m hoping I can finish all these titles and maybe even complete the other stragglers that I’ve been reading on the slow for the past several months!

What are you reading this month?


2. Good Mornings | 31 Days

This is post 2/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Hi, my name is Elyssa and I’m a chronic snoozer.

[I’m pretty sure this is the part when you say ‘Hi, Elyssa’ back]

I literally set my alarm 15 minutes early so that I can snooze for three 5 minute intervals. And then I set a timer for another 15 while justifying why I can’t possibly face the day yet. Yes, I know, it’s rather pathetic.

All my years as a homeschooled high schooler and an independent college student, and I never got a grip on my mornings. I wish a million times over that I had because it is an area of life that requires cultivating and intentionality.

Seriously, good mornings are one of the best weapons in your arsenal to battle the junk that comes flying in on a daily basis. Have a stressful job? Get a grip on your morning. Too many classes this semester? Get a grip on your morning. Kids driving you crazy? Get a grip on your morning. Too many problems, don’t know where to start? Get a grip on your morning. New projects to work on? Get a grip on your morning? Just want to feel better about life? Honey, get a grip on your morning.

What do I mean by get a grip? I mean taking some time and deciding what you need your morning to consist of and then committing to it. Before anyone else has say in your life, get your grip.

The Happiness Project author, Gretchin Rubin, considers September to be a kind of new year, a concept she talks about in her book Happier at Home. It makes sense because it’s the beginning of a new school year, the end of the summer adventures, and the start of a brand new season. So when this past September rolled around, I decided to do the same thing. New season. New challenges. Top of the list–mornings.

September was good. I was more consistent with my morning routine than I have been in a long time. It wasn’t perfect–I still snoozed, but it was a start in the right direction. But I need to do even better. It’s October now, and there’s one more piece to my morning puzzle that I need: early rising.

So yesterday, was the first day of the month and I didn’t hit the snooze button or set a timer. I actually got up, grabbed my water bottle, and headed for the treadmill before I could talk myself out of it. 

[I think there are supposed to be some sort of congratulatory remarks or maybe a hand clap or two here. I don’t really know how Snoozers Anonymous works, but it seems appropriate]

Yeah, because writing for 31 days straight and launching a podcast isn’t enough challenge in one month, I have to tackle something else too. And this thing, so seemingly mundane, is huge because waking up at a decent time so I can have time to do my life is important.

But that’s how it goes right? You have to stop and commit to the little things while in the thick of everything else otherwise you lose yourself. I didn’t manage this very well when I was in school. This is one of those things I wish I could go back and tweak but I’m committing now. And now is better than never, yeah?

So what does my good morning routine consist of?

  • Wake up between 530 & 600. I’m shooting for 530 but I’m giving myself a grace period to get used to it.
  • Treadmill for 1/2 hour
  • Bible reading & journaling for 1/2 hour to 45 min
  • Write for 1 hour
  • Breakfast
  • Shower

That’s it. There are other things that I need to schedule during the rest of my day but I can’t get that under control until I get a grip on my mornings first.

Good morning means my body is awake (treadmill), my soul is awake (Bible reading & journaling), and my creativity is awake (writing). I add breakfast and a shower to that combo and I’m ready for the races! My attitude is better, I think more clearly, I’m more apt to respond rather than react, and I’m much more patient.

Good mornings are something I wish I got a grip on earlier in life but am determined to master now. They will fluctuate and change with the seasons but the grip remains. Maintaining that control, preparing your body, and letting God speak to you before anyone else does is so important. So when all the junk comes flying in, you’re ready. It’s not easy but you’ve made ready and no one can take that from you.

Have you got a grip on your mornings? What does your routine look like and how does it help you deal with the crazy life brings? Do you need to get a grip and have good mornings? What kinds of change do you need to make to get your routine going?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!