What I’m Into: February 2015 Edition

* Links to books in my posts may contain affiliate links, which means that if I recommend a book and you click on the link to order that book from Amazon, I can receive a commission for that sale  
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February was an interesting month. As you will surely be able to tell from the heaviness of the “What I’m Reading” section, I spent a lot of time reading and not nearly as much time watching, writing, and the other usuals. My grandma passed away this month, and so I found my alone time much more important as I process and grieve that loss in our family. I also attended an incredible conference on Valentine’s Day, “Celebrating Women in Leadership,” put on by The Junia Project and a local church, and I was overwhelmed with encouragement and empowerment as a female in ministry and leadership. It was a good month, albeit an introspective, bookworm-type one.

What I’m Watching:

Most notably, my friend Kesha has never seen Star Wars (or Indiana Jones, for that matter), and so this month we decided to finally remedy that. We’ve watched A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back so far, and she has loved them! Looking forward to Return of the Jedi soon, as that one is my favorite, and then the terrible prequel set. Maybe this summer we will work on Indiana Jones. She’s gotta have her young-Harrison-Ford movie-education! ❤

What I’m Reading:

Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard – (2/8) My dad has been talking about these books by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, including this one and “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln”, which are now at the top of my to-read list. This one was a fascinating compendium of facts and information about the life and times of Jesus leading up to his death, brought together by two Catholic men who aren’t really looking for Biblical accuracy, so much as historical legitimacy, which is different than anything else I’ve read about Jesus, but made it absolutely page-turning to read (despite knowing the ending). The information shone a whole other light on the story I’m familiar with, adding depth and human richness in a profound way. 

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte – (2/13) I snagged this gem from the Glendora library and was so interested in the sociological framing of the studies and information. Basically, it’s about time and how much of it we think we do or do not have. The study investigated perceptions of time and the idea of leisure, especially, across the world. It was so fascinating to read about how the concept of time differs, and I was really impacted by how much more control I have over my time than I sometimes feel. Very empowering and informative, without being dry. 

Thr3e by Ted Dekker – (2/16) I’d heard a lot about this author, and a friend highly recommended this one of his novels. It was such a page-turner, I read the whole thing in two sittings. It’s a great thriller and the plot was surprising and interesting. It’s not the most original story, but the ending was very cool, and the conversations about faith and morality throughout really added to my enjoyment of the characters.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – (2/17) I found this one on a list of must-read books for women, and so I actually requested it from the APU library, which was surprisingly convenient. I struggle a bit with reading older books, sometimes, as I find the lack of modernity difficult to engage with, but Woolf’s words from the late 1920’s were surprisingly refreshing in their tenor and social observation. She writes bluntly about the state of women, in society and particularly, as writers of fiction and poetry, and examines some of the historical and societal norms that had contributed to that point. I’ll never forget the shock I felt in my own post-modern-feminist heart when I read her experience of not being allowed into a university library because she was not accompanied by a man, to which she wrote, “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” Such power, I loved it. I would definitely recommend this one, but be forewarned, the language is a bit odd and it definitely took me longer to read than usual.

Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray – (2/) Originally, I had begun to read through this and realized that I was so excited to pass it along to a friend when I finished, that I’d read it quickly. I have not  been able to do that, though, as every single chapter’s content and direction has been so deeply profound and applicable to my life. She writes about creating intentional space for God, but not in a “buckle down and have quiet time” kind of way. Instead, through vulnerable stories of her walk through PTSD and therapy, she helps her reader discover a deep desire for intimacy with God that is found within all of us. I tend to be a bit skeptical and critical of journaling prompts at the end of a chapter, but I found myself taking time to write and think through almost every one here. This book really impacted me spiritually, and has guided me in this process of seeking vulnerability and intimacy in a way I didn’t expect.

I’m in the middle of The Knowledge of the Holy by AW Tozer, which my sweet friend Emily sent me to read.

What I’m Eating/Cooking:

I haven’t spent much time cooking this month. Instead, I’ve found myself eating takeout thai food from Siam Palace several times a week. And I feel great about that. If you live around here and haven’t been there yet, you are missing out. Yellow and red curry are great, as is the pad thai!

On the Internets:

One of the most beautiful descriptions I’ve read of this heartbreaking topic – “The Edge of Grief: A Summer Reflection

This is a video from the amazing conference that I mentioned getting to attend, Jeanelle Austin shared this piece and it was beautiful!

I love TED talks, and came upon this one around Valentine’s Day. So interesting! “The Mathematics of Love” by Hannah Fry.

A snarky look at name-changing. “My Husband Didn’t Take My Last Name

What I’m Writing:

Finally finished my last assigned review for 2014 for Mike & Rusty’s on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 

I’m working on a submission for Laurel Magazine, but for now you’ve just got to check them out!

I’m on the planning committee and also speaking at Cornerstone’s April Women’s Retreat, so getting ready for that, too!

 

Catch y’all back in March!

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