By Patti Johnson
I find myself sometimes between two worlds. This, the modern, contemporary, cutting edge, tech-savvy and forward-thinking world. The other, a quieter, simpler, slower, old school, consistent, and contented in the moment world.
While neither holds all of the answers nor all of the problems, it is not by chance that a book, a classic, has once again found its way on my nightstand. Written in 1977 by Anne Ortlund, a wife, a mom, a composer, a writer, a speaker, but also a woman like you and me. One who looked for the meaning and balance in the era she lived and loved and found it in simple places.
She writes a book called Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman. It is a book that defines the simple elements that if put into our life at any time can transform the hurried, hectic and harried life into beauty and grace. It is not a traditional “do this” book, but it reads like a letter from a dear friend that wants the best for us.
Anne is no longer here in this world but those she has influenced are. Her daughter-in-law, Jani Ortlund has also written a book called Fearlessly Feminine. She in some ways picks up the writings of her mother-in-law and places them in a more modern time but a classic thought is a classic thought no matter the year or era.
One of the more intriguing elements of Anne Ortlund’s book is her sharing of her “notebook,” her daily guide through day to day life. Now we have multiple ways to plan, journal, and record our lives but this lays the thought foundation for whichever medium you would choose to use. Paper, digital, audio, creative, or plain vanilla are all outcomes of this one foundational thought. You will accomplish what you plan and achieve what you dream.
I had the privilege of hearing her daughter-in-law, Jani, speak at a women’s retreat and she spoke of this notebook she learned to create for her life from Anne. She encouraged us to write some life goals. Do you know I still have that sheet of paper and those goals are still relevant today for my life 20 plus years later? A classic is a classic.
I challenge you to pick up both of these books and start 2021 with a fresh piece of paper and plan your days and dream your dreams.