Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I'm Into (April 2013)

I can't believe that it's almost May already! I'm linking up again with Leigh for a recap of the month.

Highlights



     My dear friend Demetria was in town for the week, so I got to have a belated birthday dinner with her, and also meet up with Geri for a three-some breakfast. We all led a worship ministry together our sophomore year of high school, and have been good friends ever since. Demi and Geri graduated a year early and proceeded to leave the continentDemi went did a YWAM DTS in Kona, and Geri attended the Alpha Bible school in Greece, while I stayed home to finish up high school. Since then, Demi has moved to Spokane, WA, so we try to hang out whenever she's in town and we get the chance. It was such a blessing to meet up with these two girls, cook breakfast together, and enjoy some sweet conversation. It went by too quickly, I miss her already! The hardest part is not knowing when I will see her next, but since I'm moving to the west coast next year, hopefully it will get a little easier to see each other more often.
     I've been writing like crazy this month, and working on a series for May or June. I'm looking for some people to guest postif you're interested, comment, and I'll shoot you an email with the subjects that I'm looking for guest posts on. I'm also guest posting later this week on Aubrey Sampson's blog: stay tuned!
     This was certainly a hard, stressful month in parts, and it is still surreal that my college decision is made, but it has come to good close, and I am grateful for that.

Bookwise

I did a quarterly reading update at the beginning of the month to check up on my year-long reading goal. This month in particular I finished a total of  seven books, though two of them were re-reads.
I finished:
  • Uncommon Decency by Richard J. Mouw was the second of my Urbana reads that I have finished. I really enjoyed his thorough and Christ-centered approach to the idea of civility. He tackles the idea of learning how to engage in a kind and loving manner with people that we disagree with. A terrific read whether or not you are passionate about social issues and politics.
  • Love Walked In, Belong to Me and Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos were my quick reads for the month. They have incredibly cheesy titles, but were surprisingly well written in spots. Not classics by any stretch, but they were light and fun reads.
  • The Pricking of my Thumbs and A Pocket Full of Rye (by Agatha Christie) were my re-reads for the month. I love anything by Agatha Christie, and I love that I can re-read her books and still not remember who committed the crime. 
  • East of Eden was probably my favorite read this month: see the Quarterly Reading Update for a longer review. 
This month I started quite a few longer books: A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens); The Once and Future King (T.H. White) and The Dangerous Act of Worship (Mark Labberton; another Urbana book). I'm not too far into the latter, but already I love everything he has to say. The Once and Future King is still intimidated me a little because of its immense girth, but I love the adventure and whimsy and humor, so I'm definitely sticking it out to the end. A Tale of Two Cities is good, but I am having trouble sticking with it. Ironically, I was watching an old Mentalist episode last night, and one of the shots showed Patrick Jane lying up in his loft reading the same copy of Tale of Two Cities that I have. Guess I should get moving on that one!

TV and Movie-wise


This month, I got hooked on Sherlock, thanks to a few friends who suggested it. I love the intensity of the episodes, and the wit and humor convinced me to stick around. One of the best adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories that I've seen. I'm currently one episode away from finishing the second season.

Kelsey and I have been working our way through the seasons of Chuck, and we just finished the third season. One of my all-time favorite shows!

Music-wise


I'm listening my way through all of the Josh Garrels albums that were on Noisetrade earlier this month. I really like his newest album, Love and War, and the Sea Inbetween, as well as a few songs from Over Oceans, but as I listen through, I find myself marking a lot of songs as deletes. There are some really good songs on both Jacaranda and Over Oceans, but some that are equally bad (in my opinion). 

On the Web:


New in my blog feed: 
chatting at the sky  for the beautiful words, the clean, restful design, and the encouragement. The post that drew me in was How to Brush Your Teeth Like a Revolutionary
The Run a Muck for the beautiful combination of poetry and prose, and her honesty about the struggle of women using their gifts of teaching in or outside of the church. The post that made me cry was On Holding It In.

Favorite Links: 

"When I was 16, I got a purity ring.
And when I was 25, I took it off.
I didn't tell anyone I was doing itit wasn't a statement or an emotional thing. I just slipped it off my finger that day, and before tucking it away in a box, ran my finger around the words on the familiar gold band.
'True Love Waits.' Waits.What's it 'waiting' for anyway?"
The Way of the Water at (in)Courage
"All must be, in some way, let go. This is the way of the Water. He moves, scatters, shakes. We will stand and be engulfed by Glory. We will feel the breaking apart of everything that is us. Hearts will tremble in awe of I AM. And every day the Water will overwhelm. And every day, the tide will roll out and our eyes will see the life He has given, the life that comes after the Covering."
When I believe in the gospel, not your story at Deeper Story
"We weaponise STORY as a concept sometimes as a means of hiding behind the fact that we don't want to face the consequence of being wrong, or being prideful, or dare we actually say it-sinful, out of line, not conforming to the pattern of God's logic and design that is woven through complex strands of Scripture.
We need to find the balance. Let us share all the stories, but let us pledge our allegiance but to the One."
A powerful response to the Dove "True Beauty" Campaign: Why Dove's "Real Beauty Sketches" Video Makes Me Uncomfortable. . . And Kind of Makes Me Angry
"I don't know if anyone else is picking up on this, but it kinda seems to be enforcing our very narrow cultural perception of "beauty": young, light-skinned, thin. No real diversity celebrated in race, age, or body shape. So your beautiful... if you're thin, don't have noticeable wrinkles or scars, and have blue eyes. If you're fat or old...uh, maybe other people don't think you look as fat and old as you do yourself? Great? Oh, and by the way, there are real women who look like the women on the left. What are you saying about them exactly?"
Something to make you laugh: Do you speak Christianese? at Stuff Christians Like
"Brethren and sistren, how is your daily walk? How are your quiet times and devos? Remember that seven days without prayer makes one weak! For me, I've just been counting it all joy. I'm too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed. I hope you don't think I'm superspiritual or that I've arrived. After all, I'm not perfect, just forgiven. Some people have accused me of being so heavenly-minded that I am no earthly good, but have patience with me pleaseGod's not finished with me yet!"
And a few more if you are interested:
 Pursuit of Beauty: http://kindredgrace.com/ambassadors-of-beauty/

How to make art when there's no time for art: http://www.chattingatthesky.com/2011/05/02/how-to-make-art-when-theres-no-time-for-art/
The one song no woman can afford to miss: http://www.incourage.me/2013/04/the-one-song-no-woman-can-afford-to-miss.html


On the blog:
The three most popular posts this month were:
How to Survive as a Homeschooler... 
7 Quick Takes Friday (In which I told you about my college decision)
Quarterly Reading Update

Teaching-wise

This was a great teaching month, we finished it off on Sunday with our spring recital. I only had twelve students who were available to play, but they all played well and I am so proud of them. I had two students perform a duet for the recitala first for my studio, and for four of my students it was their first-ever piano recital. 
     I had a group class this month with nearly all of my younger students; it was quite an adventure
(there were seven of them) but we had fun, and I think everyone learned something! We played some games, sang together, talked about Mozart, and then they filled out a worksheet while two of the girls practiced their duet.  And they all got to perform their recital pieces for each other.
     I'm excited that it's warming up outside now, yesterday I was able to take my students outside for a time to work on note naming and rhythm in the sunshine and warm weather. I'm going to need to buy some new side-walk chalk soon, mine is running dangerously low!
 
What have you been up to this month?

7 comments:

  1. I love de Los santos' books! And east of Eden is by far my favorite Steinbeck!

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    1. oh yay! I'm not alone there. I was surprised by how much more I liked East of Eden than Grapes of Wrath. I'm definitely going to have to read more Steinbeck now. :)

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  2. I'm definitely in for guest posting if you'll have me.

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  3. So glad you got the chance for catch-ups this month, Jessica. There is truly nothing like old friends is there? :) Loving all these great links!

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    1. There really is nothing like it! Glad you liked the links, I had so many, I wasn't sure I should put them all up, but they were just too good to keep to myself! :)

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  4. I haven't read Falling Together yet but I loved the first two books by Marisa de los Santos. She has a deft way with her characters. Glad you liked East of Eden! I read it with my old book club a few years ago and while I was mostly bored the first 100 pages, my friends told me to persevere and I'm so glad I did. Steinbeck is a master. Isn't Chuck the best? Such a consistently funny, great show. I was really sad when it ended.

    Thanks for linking up with What I'm Into!

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