What I’m Into: December 2014 Edition

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Welcome to my second monthly edition of “What I’m Into” – had to steal this idea from some other great bloggers and compile all these fun things from December into one place!

What I’m Watching:

Well, I Saw Mockingjay: Part 1 two more times in theater, so that happened. Love the movie, obviously, had “The Hanging Tree” song stuck in my head for like two weeks straight, which is a little creepy.

I finally purchased the Bourne trilogy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum)on DVD and watched them all the way through. They are so much better that way! I definitely had missed some important parts of each in the past, and Matt Damon is just so cool.

Interstellar. Whoa. Blew my mind. I’d heard pretty mixed reviews before I saw it, which was several weeks after its release, and once we started talking about it afterwards, there were definitely some missing pieces in the story. However, I have never experienced a movie like that before! It is so intense and really had me on the edge of my seat for a large percentage of the (almost 3-hour) movie! We saw it in IMAX, which was awesome, and I found myself staring open-mouthed at the giant screen at several points in Nolan’s masterpiece of a film – giving him the canvas of all of space for his majestic tale was certainly a great idea. I loved it, can’t wait to watch it again and really catch all the little things.

What I’m Reading:

Slowly consuming “Dance of the Dissident Daughter” by Sue Monk Kidd, which I can’t bring myself to read quickly, as it feels like something that just needs to be savored. I’ve never been disappointed by anything she has written, and so this one about finding her feminine spirituality, surely will be remarkable, particularly in this season as I prepare for four messages on biblical personhood in January.

My mentee and I read “24/6“, her for the first time, while I’ve been through it several times, but the reminders about a lifestyle rhythm of Sabbath rest and work are always welcome.

Bought copies of “Wonderstruck” for several of my favorite people, because really, this book is truly too good not to share!

My brother asked me for book recommendations and I sent a text message equivalent of throwing the book “Into the Wild” at his head. Hope he likes it! 😉

Was over-the-moon delighted to discover a whole section of NEW fiction and non-fiction at the library that I legitimately have never seen before, and found FIVE books that have been on my to-read list for months, so obviously I checked them all out and will be basically non-stop reading them until Christmas:

  • Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World” by Tsh Oxenreider – finished this one on the 17th. I’d heard so many authors that I love talk about this book, and now having finished it, I can see why. It didn’t include quite as many novel ideas as I had anticipated, but her philosophies on how to live are refreshingly practical and still inspiring. She encourages readers to slow down and pursue intentionality with a great 80/20 rule for life (80% of the food we eat, activities we pursue, etc. are intentional and directed, so it’s okay if 20% is junk food or whatever). I really appreciated her emphasis on knowing where our food comes from and on eating as much farm-to-plate as possible for where we live, and I’m definitely going to carry that into 2015.
  • Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith” by Michelle DeRusha – finished this one on the 22nd. I have been reading Michelle’s blog for the last few months, and was so excited to see that her book was one on the shelf at the library. I loved reading her journey into faith, and found her completely relatable and charming. The glimpse into her life, parenting, and marriage gave her words roots in a very real, down-to-earth life, and I laughed out loud several times, particularly when she mentioned that she’d rather get a bikini wax and a root canal at the same time rather than pray out loud in a group.

Books December

What I’m Eating/Cooking:

I’m not much of a cook, but I’m good at following directions! I made these enchiladas with my friend Emily when I visited her in Couer D’Alene last March, and so I made sure to get the recipe from her site for them – Annette’s Enchiladas. I had my closest friends over for Friend Christmas Dinner and made these, and despite missing cilantro (my bad – bought parsley instead), they were delicious and just as good leftover!

I always bring some kind of potato dish for our Staff Christmas Breakfast, and tried this recipe, Pioneer Woman’s Breakfast Potatoes, a little different from the usual, this year. I totally burned them, so a failed first attempt, but that was my fault, not the recipe! Great idea otherwise. Sorry staff.

Still working on perfecting Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe – the taste is great, it’s the texture I want to perfect! Any suggestions on getting them to be tall and fluffy?

On the Internets:

Probably the most impactful and beautiful piece I read on the web this month was Margaret Feinberg’s “When You Are The One Being Whispered About“. In this, she describes the sensation of knowing that you are the subject of others’ whispers, and the humbling and broken place that often brings us, as well as the person with whom we know we share that in common – Christ.

Justice For Black Lives Must Begin With Us (Part 1) (Part 2) – this is an interview with Propaganda, an LA rapper who is an inspirationally vocal advocate for racial reconciliation. He is so full of wisdom, and communicates it eloquently, this interview has really stuck with me in light of what our country is going through, and the part the church needs to stand up and play.

Rachel Held Evans'”God Can’t Be Kept Out” really changed the conversation about Advent for me, and even how I pray for our country, and was encouraging and powerful in a way I hadn’t expected, but should have, considering the fantastic author. She proclaims that “if the incarnation tells us anything, it’s that God can’t be kept out.” So good!

As “one of those physical touch people”, I couldn’t appreciate or agree with this article more! “The Spiritual Power of Physical Touch

Finally, I stumbled upon these two posts called “What (Not) to Wear: A Female Pastor Prepares to Preach” (Part 1(Part 2) So much truth and frustration amidst some of these double standards that are exposed. I kind of took this direction with my “Thoughts on Speaking Days” post!

What I’m Writing:

I had some awesome friends guest post last month in the Brave November series, and so I wrote my own to close out the 2014 Resolutions, “I will be BRAVE“, and am putting the finishing touches on my Resolutions for 2015, look for those on New Year’s Eve!

Finished four posts for the movie review site over at Mike & Rusty’s:

What I’ve Been Up To:

December has been a delightful month. Lots of Christmas parties at work and present shopping. Said goodbye to my dear coworker and fellow blogger Khristi Adams as she left APU and moved back to the East Coast, as well as bidding farewell to two of the girls that I mentor who graduated from APU this month!

I had the wonderful opportunity to teach the Cornerstone Women’s Tuesday morning Bible study group on chapter 3 of 1 Thessalonians, and have been preparing for a high school series and a retreat session on “Biblical Personhood” in January, which I’m really excited about.

More than anything, I am looking forward to unplugging and spending time with my family for Christmas! Merry Christmas to you all, readers!

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