Empty Shelf Challenge

As 2013 draws to a close, I’ve been planning out my goals for 2014. I’m writing a more extensive post on this which will be up soon.

As you know, I’m a huge nerd and absolutely adore reading. The majority of my Christmas presents were books. While I definitely don’t have a problem reading, or getting books completed, I figured it would be fun to track the books I’m planning on reading in 2014. This idea is not original at all, Jon Acuff is the one that created the Empty Shelf Challenge.

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Here’s the premise of the challenge:

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Ruth Bell Graham

Fact: I love reading biographies!!

They provide such an intimate look at a persons life and there’s so much to learn; it’s like having some of the world’s greatest mentors!! I recently read a biography on Ruth Bell Graham – wife of the famous evangelist, Billy Graham. Whoaaaa, I was stunned by this woman. Seriously, if I made a list of top 10 people I’d like to meet, she’s definitely be on the list! The book I read was by Patricia Cornwell.

The book traces Ruth from her childhood growing up as an MK in China, to meeting Billy Graham at Wheaton College and her extraordinary life. I found it fascinating to read about the woman behind the legend. You know what they say, behind every great man is a great woman! Well, Ruth Bell Graham was definitely a great woman.

Also…I think she’s absolutely gorgeous!!!

The two characteristics that jumped out the most about her was the fact that she was headstrong (almost to the point of being stubborn) and she was humble. Story after story is told in the book of Ruth meeting countless celebrities who range from royalty to presidents, and everyone in between. (The Grahams frequently visited Johnny and June Cash to retreat from the world.) Even though she met the world’s “best”, she preferred one-on-one conversations and time with people the most. She avoided the spotlight whenever possible and never promoted herself.Fearlessness characterized her throughout her life, once when she was 80, she was rushed to the emergency room because she was playing with her grandchildren in her backyard trees and fell 15 feet.

 Her love for her Savior was the most defining characteristic about her. Anne (one of her children( remarked  that,

“Mother was in love with Jesus—and that love was contagious. She wasn’t caught up in religion or traditions or rituals or even a denomination, although she was staunchly Presbyterian and very proud of it. She was caught up in a personal relationship with Jesus. While it was a relationship that was very intimate and passionate, it was not rooted in her emotions or in her experiences; it was rooted in the truth of God’s Word and in prayer, which is the second primary aspect of the legacy she left to me.

Ruth is the kind of woman I have loved to sit down with over a giant cup of coffee and just chatted about life with – sorrows, joys, experiences, failures, celebrations, etc. The Lord saw fit to take her home in 2007. Without a doubt, her life was well lived and will be well remembered and cherished!

“Men of God, whose prayers are recorded for us in the Bible, never read a book on prayer, never went to a seminar on prayer, never heard a sermon on prayer. They just prayed.”

“Take all away. I am content to know
Such love is mine-for life is all too brief
To grieve for pleasures bringing only grief;
Give me but You; it is enough just so.”