How is it already June? I am trying to remember what happened in May, but I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that May is over. Of course, I do remember working on final papers and projects for my spring semester classes. In those moments, I thought I would never see the end. So I clung to the following quote:
“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela
And you know what? I finished everything. Unfortunately, I have lost all meaning of summer vacation because I am taking not one but two summer classes. Apparently my idea of a fun Friday night includes reading Bible commentaries. One of my classes required me to physically be in Kansas City, so while I was sitting in class, I had this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness for the education of which I am fortunate enough to be a part.
May also meant high school graduation. As a youth pastor, I am able to celebrate various moments with the teens in the youth ministry. Graduation is an exciting time to celebrate all the hard work and dream about the possibilities of the future.
I am excited for June. June is my birth month, and while I have always had a love/hate relationship with my birthday, it’s still an exciting month. I still have summer classes, so I will be busy with homework. Our church is hosting Vacation Bible School, and I am teaching the Bible stories. (Which I must be more skilled at than when I was in London and helped lead music for VBS. If you don’t know me, just trust me when I say I have absolutely no musical ability, especially singing. Yes, I was in choir through junior high and high school, but I went to a small school so they were not privileged to be that picky. I was in band though, but playing flute does not help one lead music for VBS.)
I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci
I read this book mostly because I wanted a break from seminary reading and because used book websites had taken a hold of me. Every time I order a book for $3, I know I can’t stop, won’t stop.
The book itself was interesting enough to keep me reading. However, I did not find it that funny nor was I super invested. She writes about her relationships, which were more interesting at certain times than others. But this book includes recipes, and I like reading recipes like they are bedtime stories. The plus side was it has recipes I would, for the most part, actually consider making.
As any good Veronica Mars fan will tell you, if there is more material out there, you need to soak it up. You need to devour it like an anteater with a freshly ant-ed log. (Ant could be a verb.) Once I found out this book was on audiobook, read by Kristen Bell mind you, I was sold. I listened to it from start to finish on my drive home from Kansas City. The book ended just as I was pulling into my driveway. Normally I take breaks from listening to audiobooks on my drive (you know, to sing along to some T-Swift or Ben Rector), but not this time.
My review? It was great. If you are a fan of Veronica Mars,
read it listen to it on audiobook. It picks up right after the movie. Make sure you watch the movie first. And if you are not yet a Veronica Mars fan–what are you waiting for?!
Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs
I read this book mostly because I liked the title. I felt like it would be a good light-hearted read. Overall, it was not that great. It was funny in parts, but the chapters end with this sort of script between the author, her therapist, and then God and Jesus enter the conversation. I was kind of eh about it. I mostly wanted to skip the end of each chapter.
Would I recommend it? Not really. It was an interesting memoir, but I do not think it was that memorable. I really appreciate books that give me ideas to chew on or even something that makes me think long after the turn the last page. This was not one of those books.
Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style) by Tim Gunn & Kate Maloney
I read Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style because I have been on a Tim Gunn kick lately. I really appreciated him in Project Runway because you could tell he really cared the designers. If I could pick a fashion mentor, it would be Tim Gunn.
However, this book was somewhat dull. Reflecting on the fun books I read this month, I definitely read an odd span of books. This book was informative about different styles and how to dress tastefully. I would recommend it if you wanted to know more about fashion. Tim Gunn just seems like he would be a fun person to have coffee with.
I read the following books for class: The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight, Interpreting Biblical Texts Series: Gospel of Mark by Donald Juel, Mark: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition by Kent Brower, Mark by William C. Placher, and Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 31: Hosea-Jonah by Douglas Stuart. Basically, from reading this list you might think that seminary means reading a lot of commentaries. But! Don’t be fooled: it also means writing a lot of papers using commentaries as sources.
Movies & TV
I watched Exit Through the Gift Shop on Netflix. I really like documentaries, but you really have to be in the mood for them (at least I do). This documentary was so strange and interesting. It’s a film by Banksy. Banksy, as I am sure you know, is a famous street artist. In this movie, he tells the story of Thierry Guetta. If you are asking, who on earth is that? I do not blame you. Of course, my finger is also not on the street art world pulse. Overall, it’s an interesting movie. It’s an experience.
TV Shows I’ve been watching include New Girl, The Mindy Project, Parenthood, Bones, and Parks and Recreation. They all had their finales; I think they all ended in May, but honestly at this point, who can remember?
The only show I am watching that is airing new episodes is Jeopardy! (When one of my friends who lives in town asks if I want to join her for a walk, she makes sure not to have a start time any earlier than 5:30 PM so I can watch Jeopardy! This is, of course, a sign of true friendship.)
Other Things I’m Into
- Seeing people I love who live way too far away.
I didn’t get any pictures with people, but while I was in Kansas for classes, I had the chance to see some of my favorite people. Including a family that will be moving overseas in the fall. They have been mentors to me, and they have journeyed with me through some difficult times in my life. I am so excited for what will happen in the future, but let’s be real: I will also miss being in the same country. I got to meet one of my friends/former coworker’s new baby, which was really exciting! I had the chance to spend some time with another one of my favorite families (and my favorite almost-five-year-old).
Sometimes I feel isolated and overwhelmed because most of my friends lives in different states, but then I remember how blessed I am to be able to have them as friends. Despite the miles, I have a fantastic group of people who have poured into my life.
- Getting to visit Half Price Book Stores (during a 20% everything sale). This is what I bought:
- Twist Cone
Because, hi, ice cream with eyes. (This further shows I have the diet of a seven-year-old.)
Check out what others have been into this month: