Remember when months didn’t fly by so quickly? It must be something about being less than two weeks away from graduating college, but I think I blinked and a year passed. I need to be careful about blinking or it won’t be long and I’ll find myself looking in the mirror at sixty-year-old me.
I don’t pretend to be a super reader. If I read more than the average person, that says more about the lack of books other people read than the amount of books I read. Looking back, it feels like I read a whole lot, but I didn’t actually read as much as I thought I did. I read some books for class, but senioritis has attacked me to the point where I am surprised I care about anything anymore.
All the same, I read The Genesee Diary by Henri J. M. Nouwen for my Personal Development of a Minister class. Let me tell you: I love me some Henri Nouwen. It is his diary from his time he spent with monks, so honestly, parts of it was boring. I realize baking bread is holy, but it was kind of like finding my Uncle Willard’s daily journal getting really excited because you think it will become one of the wonders of the world, but really it was just: “I baked a cake” and “It rained today.”
The book I read and want to recommend to everyone is Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton. It was honest in the best ways. It made me feel like I am okay. It speaks a lot to parenting and marriage, neither of which I can personally relate, but I devoured this one Saturday. I don’t agree with her beliefs on everything, but she is open about her relationship with God. So I show up at her blog, hungry for more of her words and essays—her mash of honesty and humor.
Anne Lamott is hands down one of my favorite writers, so I finally read Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. It was shorter than I wanted it to be, because once I hold her words in my hands, I want them to last forever. Favorite quote from this book (and also quote that spoke into my life like none other):
“If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you’re dying. You’re saying: Leave me alone; I don’t mind this little rathole. It’s warm and dry. Really, it’s fine. When nothing new can get in, that’s death. When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing – we had this all figured out, and now we don’t. New is life.”
Nothing convicts me to action like words like “mushroom” and “poop,” apparently. No, not really. But as someone who is about to graduate and facing the new scary life decisions that wait on the other side of my undergraduate degree, I needed someone to say this. And hearing it from Anne Lamott was just what I needed to really listen.
After reading The Fault in our Stars by John Green last month (by reading, I mean listening to on audiobook, but potato, potato*), I tried to read some of John Green’s other works. I read (again, I listened to on audiobook) Paper Towns and am currently “reading” Looking for Alaska. I enjoyed Paper Towns. Although, as a sign I have been putting too much information in my head, I accidentally told someone something from this book as if it were fact because I forgot it was not fact and really just from this book. However, this once again proves you can get anyone to believe anything you say if you say it with enough confidence.** All the same, I enjoyed them. Also, I found I like young adult fiction. That and my love for the game Mafia makes me feel like youth ministry just may be the right place for me.
These are the links from blogs and articles that have been worth sharing, as determined by me and what I choose to put on my Facebook wall.
First, and most recently, there was an article written in the paper about my pastor from my hometown. He is a hero to me. He has played such an important mentor role in my life that when I found out he was in the hospital—not to mention when he was in the hospital for a month before they even found out it was West Nile—my world was shaken. He is continuing to regain strength, and man, let me tell you, I admire him so much. Many, many prayers have gone up for him and his wife, from people all over the world.
And, since Shauna hits it out of the ballpark in my mind, I was also really digging her article for Relevant Magazine: because, yes, this:
“Because community—the rich kind, the transforming kind, the valuable and difficult kind—doesn’t happen in partial truths and well-edited photo collections on Instagram. Community happens when we hear each other’s actual voices, when we enter one another’s actual homes, with actual messes, around actual tables telling stories that ramble on beyond 140 pithy characters.”
I finally finished season three of Downton Abbey. I know. I know. Right? Also, please let me confess to you right here: I had about forty-five minutes left of the last episode and I had to look up at the ending. I know, I am an awful person. I just couldn’t handle it. I knew something bad was going to happen because I remember my twitter blowing up, and I am awful with surprises. I will just admit that I am that person who Wikipedias*** the endings of movies. I recently saw the question if you could watch the rest of your life on tape, would you? And even though I hope I wouldn’t—and am glad I will never have that option—I probably would. This is why people don’t surprise me.
Also, I feel like we should talk about the most recent episode of The Vampire Diaries, but I’m so on the fence about how I feel about Klaus.
My roommate has been pretty into watching the show Splash on ABC. It is one of many celebrity reality TV shows, but since they are learning how to dive which requires some skill and messes up your make-up and hair, we feel like it is somehow a step up from the others. I don’t know, but one week, I found myself crying because I was so happy someone stepped out of their comfort zone to dive.
Random Things I’ve Been Diggin’
One of my roommates turned 22 this month, so to celebrate her birthday, we followed T. Swift’s lead and attempted to do everything she sings about in her song, “22,” which includes dressing up like hipsters:
So, I’ve been digging spending time with my friends and trying not to think about how sad I am that college is about to end.
I have also been diggin’ warmer weather. Sunday I spent some time reading my last assigned book of my undergrad under the sunshine. I’m about to wear shorts today, and it feels great. We are just overlooking the fact that there is SNOW in the forecast for Thursday. Ugh, the Midwest.
I continue to dig: all things polka dot. I love polka dots.
Finally, I know this video has received a little bit of negative feedback, but its overall point and purpose I really resonate with. We are our own worst critics, and we could all learn to love ourselves more. We need to accept we are beautiful and loveable.
*This does not carry the same meaning when written. So please read this as if I were pronouncing it different each time.
**I once gave a speech for Public Speaking citing a completely bogus statistic, but I had confidence so everyone believed me. It was something about the number of reps required when lifting weights before you start building muscle. I really have no idea.
***Wikipedia, in verb form.