Friday, May 31, 2013

What I'm Into (May 2013)

It's almost June. Holy holy holy cow.
I'm currently lying low around the house because I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted on Wednesday. I feel alert, which I'm thankful for, but I've got a golf-ball sized lump on my right jawbone, and it hurts to eat. The one benefit? I get 10 days off of teaching, a good break before I jump into summer schedules.
Here's what I've been up to this month.


I finished a grand total of seven books this month, which was a little lower than I would like, but still pretty good. Two of them were re-reads, so I'm not sure they count (Harry Potter 1 and 2), but I did get through quite a few good books this month. Here's what I read:
The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
Love. I absolutely loved this Shakespeare play, which was a first for me, because usually I'm just slightly disengaged when I read Shakespeare. The plot kept me reading and I loved the poetry of it. Favorite Shakespeare play ever.
A Lantern in Her Hand, Bess Streeter Aldrich
A story about the daughter of Irish immigrants, I didn't think that I loved this book, and then the end made me cry. I have mixed feelings about it.
The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall
I love some new children's fiction every once in a while, and this was superb. Four sisters, one mysterious boy, a mansion and a summer cottage, this book kept me engaged to the very end. I finished this in a day. I'll definitely be checking out the sequel.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon, Ellen Raskin
By the same author as The Westing Game, which I happened to love, The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon just sort of annoyed me. It might be better the second time around, but I'm not sure I'll ever get there. It was funny, and sort of witty, but overall just kind of ridiculous.
The Dangerous Act of Worship, Mark Labberton
This was my third Urbana read that I have finished, and well worth the two months it took me to read it. The Dangerous Act of Worship is all about our worship moving us towards justice and compassion, and awakening from the slumber of the American dream. I underlined, wrote in, and copied down parts of this book. Definitely a keeper, and I'll certainly be re-reading this at some point, after I loan it out. ;)
I'm still in the middle of Tale of Two Cities and The Once and Future King (almost done with this one!!) and I also started Jayber Crow and Macbeth. I'm determined to finish The Once and Future King before I start teaching again, but I'm not sure that will happen.

TV and Movie-wise

We watched a few movies this month; I went out and saw Ironman 3 with my dad one weekend and loved it, and then we had a family trip to see Great Gatsby on Memorial Day. I haven't read Great Gatsby in a while, but I did enjoy the movie and thought it definitely did justice to the themes of the book. I just watched the season finale of Elementary yesterday, and am still trying to get to the last episode of Sherlock which I haven't seen.


This month I've been working my way through some Noisetrade downloads, and my favorite so far is Through the Deep, Dark Valley, by The Oh Hellos. Whenever I listen to Lament of Eustace Clarence Scrubb (the name of that song is the reason I downloaded the album, in all honesty) or The Truth is a Cave, it makes me want to run hard or sing at the top of my lungs or dance. They took a little getting used to, but now I'm in love. Check them out.

On the Web

New in my blog feed:

How to Talk Evangelical by Addie Zierman
I love her brokenly-honest posts, the clear eyes through which she sees the church, and her vulnerability. When I realized I was checking her blog pretty much every day to see if she'd posted, I knew I'd better add her to my blog feed. I've got three of her posts below, so if you've never read anything  by her, make sure you click through.
the wild love by Hilary Sherrat
I love her quietly beautiful prose, and her thoughtful musings. I found her via Preston at See Preston Blog.

Favorite links:

"I want you to read writers who are master wordsmiths and who tell stories full of truth, beauty, and goodness. Needless to say, Miss Meyer is not one of them. "
"We could be His daughters called to be Peacemakers and Rift Menders and Fence Destroyers, the ones who know that the brokenness of humility is the secret to community and the harshness of pride is what builds walls of division. We could be the sisters in Christ who are done with fearing guilt by association and ready to live grace by association. "
for when you feel rushed inside at Chatting at the Sky

'I read in Richard Foster’s book on prayer, “Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love.” I pause to think about those words, rub my sore jaw. Love is a choice and love takes time.'
 Church Cliques, Lego Blocks, and Making Room for Love at How to Talk Evangelical

"But I was lonely. I was waiting for the church people to take us straight in like they did all those years before. I needed love and belonging and an invitation to lunch. But they were Lego blocks filled up, connected and connecting, already built into what they wanted to be."
You Don't Have to Be Good at How to Talk Evangelical

"There is no continuum of holiness here. You can’t be “more” of a Christian, or “less” of a Christian.  There are no faith giants or super-heroes. There are no perfect Christians, and no one has it entirely all together. In the end, we’re just a hundred thousand beating hearts, torn and broken and made perfect by his Love."
What it Really Takes to Join the Sisterhood at (in)Courage
"And we can hold each other’s fragility and we can forgive each other when we crack an artery, and our hearts will break, and we can pray and grant grace and begin again because we’ve tasted mercy and His name is Jesus. "
 On God, Storms, and Asking the Hard Questions at How to Talk Evangelical
"In the end, I think that the clich├ęs are more damaging to faith than the hard questions. And if we keep just putting band-aids and quick-fix phrases over top the whole thing, we’ll never really heal. There will always be doubt festering like an infection beneath, unspoken questions that we are too afraid to ask."
"Someone took the easy way out, and when they did, they made womanhood a burden, not a joy. A pesky trait that means you can’t do this and you can’t do that and that you’d better watch how you dress so that you don’t make people stumble."

On the blog:

The three most popular posts of the month were:
my response to Oklahoma:  In calamity
my thoughts on moving to a new state and new part of the country, and a love letter to my home state: a Song of the Land
and Friday thoughts: 7 Quick Takes Friday


I played in my last-before-I-go-to-college piano recital this month, and it was a great way to end my piano lessons for the past few years.

My mom also managed to find a picture of me at my very first piano recital, and she put the two pictures together:
Teaching-wise, I'm excited for the summer months. I'm very sad that this will be my last summer with my students, but I'm offering a one-week piano intensive for the very first time, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it goes.
I had the opportunity to lead College Group for the second time; you can read more about it here.
I finally gave in and joined Pinterest! You can find me here.
Lastly, but hardly least, one of my favorite parts of the month was celebrating my little sister's 17th birthday last week:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to put some ice on these cheeks.

What have you been up to this month?
For more What I'm Into Posts, head over to HopefulLeigh.


  1. Love the then and now piano playing pictures.

    I've fallen behind on DVRd episodes of Elementary. I cannot wait to catch up. Such a great show. Johnny Lee Miller is just perfect in that role.

  2. Hope your mouth is feeling better by now! I'm impressed by your reading list- lots of classics! Such cute recital/piano pictures.

    Thanks for linking up with What I'm Into!



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