landline

Still catching up here… I think you know how much I love books. Reading is one of my favorite ways to explore creativity, beauty, and well, life. It seemed only fitting to include an edition of Twitterature in this month’s series.

Here’s what I’ve loved about the books that have found their way into my hands in the last month.

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Emma

by Jane Austen

This was the first Austen novel I ever read, and to be honest, this time it went very slowly for me, despite always loving the story (and of course, Mr. Knightly!). I think maybe its familiarity is part of what has kept it a favorite for so many years. Emma isn’t my favorite Austen heroine by any stretch. In fact this year, I think I preferred Emma Approved to the original (I know! the horror!).


 


Northanger Abbey

by Jane Austen

NA caught me by surprise. I read it faster than I’ve ever read a classic, and it was definitely a record for the Austen novels I’ve been reading. Maybe its starkly different style carried me through quicker. Regardless of why, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


 


Landline

by Rainbow Rowell

Super loved this one. The more I read of Ms. Rowell, the more I love her writing style and her creative stories. The character development is deep, the plot is laid out in a unique way, and the emotion is real (the fantastical element isn’t even that weird or out of place; it just… fits). Bonus: Landline really got my own creative juices flowing.


 


How People Change

by Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp

We read this book with the leadership team at church and it was enlightening and encouraging, and full of anecdotes illustrating its points. Whenever we watch Frozen and the diva troll sings, “Cause people don’t really change,” Gigi and I look at each other and I remind her, oh yes they do. Jesus transforms people’s hearts and lives.


 

Currently:

Read anything good lately? 

Linking up with the lovely Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy. Affiliate links included, thanks for the support!

the life poetic

This is Day 18 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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date night

On Friday we celebrated David’s birthday — the kids spent the night at my parents (thank you!) and we went out on the town. Going out on the town for us meant a favorite local BBQ place for dinner and my high school homecoming game. The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast (after a lovely night’s sleep with no one extra crawling into our bed), and then I took my love golfing.

David is an avid golfer, and I’m not generally a big fan of the game that takes him away for many hours on a Saturday. But together we walked and talked and played and enjoyed a beautiful fall morning outside. I impressed him a tiny bit with my skills and he gave me pointers and tips. It was so fun.

home is wherever I'm with you

I planned all this because I wanted to bless him with things he loves, but the truth is that I had a great time myself. I like to be outside, I like good food, I enjoy sports, but most of all, I just love to be with him.

We laugh until we think we’ll die,
barefoot on a summer night
Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is whenever I’m with you
Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is when I’m alone with you

~Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

the life poetic

This is Day 17 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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If you are sufficient for your task, it's too small.

We live in a culture that praises self-sufficiency.

But the beautiful thing about God’s paradoxical design is that the weaker we are, the more glory He gets when He strengthens us.

And not only that, but He gives us each other to build one another up, bear each other’s burdens, and hold each other’s hands when the day is dark.

the life poetic

This is Day 16 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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mom

I almost gave up on this series. Somehow, time and days got away from me with no time for writing, and I started feeling uninspired. I’m not sure why– maybe the series topic felt constricting, or irrelevant, or boring? I just felt unmotivated for a few days… okay, for almost a week.

And then, this morning, my mom came to visit while I went to the dentist (so glamorous, right?!) and when we were chatting after I got home, she mentioned that she was loving this series on my blog.

She said it was speaking to her right where she was, and suddenly… that was enough. One person! My mom!

In Julie and Julia, I always giggle when Julie first starts her blog, and her only comment is from her mom. Of course, her mom’s comments weren’t the most encouraging. Mine on the other hand has always been my biggest cheerleader. She reads faithfully, and even tells me where my typos are since I can’t seem to self-edit very well.

It’s nice knowing someone is in your corner. She’s not the only one, I know. Many of you have been such sweet readers, commenters and friends (even if I’ve never met you) over the years and during this series.

And some of you I have met, and what a blessing to have been given your friendships thanks to something silly as a blog, or Instagram. One day, my kind neighbor friend read about my longing to be a writer (and my decision to be brave and call myself one) and then she dropped a book on my porch about writing. How sweet is that?

I’m truly thankful for each one of you that takes the time to read my thoughts and view my photos.

You inspire me to keep going on the days when the words and ideas don’t flow naturally.

My “poetry” here feels valuable when I know there are readers out there snapping along with me.

Thanks, Mom!

the life poetic

This is Day 15 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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bringing him glory

I like to dabble at poetry. Ever since I learned what a sonnet was as a young kid (junior high maybe?) I’ve tried my hand at writing my own here and there. Not so much the deep, serious, beautifully constructed kind of poems, but more the fun (usually rhyming) type.

For Christmas one year, I wrote Gigi a bunch of fun poems and printed them out in a real book complete with full-color photos. It was one of my favorite handmade gifts.

But I don’t think poetry is my calling. I don’t call myself a poet, even though I may enjoy dabbling at it. When I named this series The Life Poetic, I wasn’t really referring to poetry itself, but rather the idea of poetry and of a poetic life.

I’m reading Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways, and she has hit the nail on the head for me. I know why God gave me that title/phrase now. It’s not that I’m a poet, it’s that He’s a poet.

I’m a poem, my life is a beautifully constructed piece, crafted with rhythm and grace, seemingly ordinary but in fact, distinct and unique. 

Our English word poem comes from the same greek word [poiema]. Workmanship, masterpiece, poem– all these words in Scripture are used to describe God’s work– you and me.

God calls you his workmanship, his poiema. What happens when God writes poetry?

We do. We happen.

We are walking poetry, the kind that moves, the kind who has hands and feet, the kind with mind and will and emotion. We are what happens when God expresses himself.

I feel like my job is simply to observe, and to recognize His artistic hand at work in my life. Of course, part of His design is that I myself am a creator as well– He gave me a creative mind so that I can reflect who He is every time I make something, whether that’s by way of sewing, cooking, writing– anything!

It’s easy for me to feel like I’m bringing Him glory when I’m worshiping Him, arms out stretched, heart and voice singing out with abandon. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg really. Living out a poetic life, where all that beauty stuff is noticed and appreciated, that too brings Him glory.

When a poet writes a poem, he isn’t writing a technical manual or a how-to booklet. A poet writes to express an inner desire.

We see that same idea here in Ephesians 2:10, where it essentially says, You are a poem written inside the person of Jesus Christ. You exist to carry out his inner desire. This is your good work.

So this is our job, to carry out the inner desire of Christ. And the inner desire of Christ is to bring glory to the Father.

This goes for you, too. You are a poem, beautifully, wonderfully crafted out of the inner desire of our Savior. 

the life poetic

This is Day 13/14 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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The discipline of writing at least something daily is hard one for me, for my stage of life. I’m not legalist about it as you can see, but I’m going to keep on going, there’s so much poetry out there in my life and in the world to take in and note down. I lost steam for a couple of days, but I’m hoping to carry on through the second half of the month. 

Quotes from A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman. I’m loving this book so far! Affiliate links included; thanks for your support. :)

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For years, David has been half-jokingly been talking about celebrating his 33rd birthday with a Three Amigos-themed party (anyone know why this had to be the year?).

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This year, things got real, and we decided to make it happen, complete with a singing bush, sombreros, Mexican food, and a cantina that only serves tequila (okay, margaritas). We had a jolly good time.

Three Amigos Party-2 Three Amigos Party-5 Three Amigos Party-6

Besides celebrating with friends (and parents who returned from a two-month journey!) the best part was probably how the theme and the costumes came together(we had El Guapo and El Guapito and even a few Germans!).

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It was a laid back party– but I had a lot of fun making tissue paper flowers and stringing them on crepe streamers and patio lights.

Three Amigos Party-7 Three Amigos Party-2-2

Seeing people we love crowd into our tiny house and onto our lit-up patio really warms my heart. Plus, I love my husband and it was fun to bless him with a special night. Double win!

the life poetic

This is Day 11/12 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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When I think about observing, documenting, and appreciating the beauty, grace, rhythm, and poetry in life– what I’m calling The Life PoeticTen on Ten seems like one of the best ways to express it. This simple photo challenge of taking a photo every hour all day on the 10th of the month churns out such bits of beauty that I many times would not otherwise notice in the midst of a busy day.

So I’m linking up again this month over at Rebekah’s sweet blog. Here are ten moments from October 10th, and here are ten snapshots of The Life Poetic.
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10 on 10-1 10 on 10-2 10 on 10-3 10 on 10-4 10 on 10-5 10 on 10-6 10 on 10-7 10 on 10-8 10 on 10-9

10 on 10-10

the life poetic

This is Day 10 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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evidences of God's grace

At our church leadership meetings each month we take some time to share what we call “Evidences of God’s Grace;” leaders of various community groups and ministries share ways that they’ve seen God work or examples of His grace. It’s a life-giving exercise, and usually the best part of the meeting. I’ll be doing my version that here some days during this month of The Life Poetic– it’s reminiscent of Ann Voskamp’s counting gifts, and seems only appropriate this month.

  • crisp October mornings
  • days and evenings as warm as midsummer
  • fish tacos at the beach
  • my four loves playing in the ocean
  • reading Jane Austen on the sand
  • pink sunsets
  • reinstating Quiet Play Time
  • party planning
  • birthday scheming
  • dark skies, sunrises, and hot coffee
  • good, gospel-teaching books
  • fun, well-crafted novels
  • gathering with friends
  • my parents coming home after over two months of traveling!

I’d love to hear from you– what are some evidences of His grace in your life today?

the life poetic

This is Day 8 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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nothing gold can stay

One of the best ways I remind myself to find bits of beauty in my days, is to remind myself how fleeting they are. I’d rather hear it from a poem or a refrain (the days are long but the years are short) than from an old lady at the grocery store.

The poem I remember most from high school is one that I still love, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” by Robert Frost.

So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

(source)

I think that’s why I love photography so much– it gives us the power to freeze a fleeting moment so we can remember and review it any time. That lovely masterpiece painted in they sky might be long gone, but I can look through iPhoto and remember all the beauty in a tangible way.

Sometimes I confuse actual memories with memories of looking through photo albums of my childhood endlessly (my mom was so good at documenting). But I don’t mind that blurry line. Either way, I reflect back on how things were, on the road God has brought me on, on the beautiful sunsets I’ve witnessed.

It’s true that when dawn goes down, nothing can stop the colors from fading. But He’s been so faithful to wake us up with light breaking through again on the next day.

But this I call to mind,

and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

 they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:21-24

For as many days as we are given, I’m going to try to see the gold.

the life poetic

This is Day 7 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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embracing the beauty ache: the life poetic day 6

I opened a new book today and immediately was struck by the words of the preface (I haven’t even gotten to the meat of the book yet, but I already know it’s exactly written for me. I’ll share more about it with you later this month.).

“The One who calls Himself the Great I Am actually is. Right here.

And it’s this God who has given you the beauty ache, that ravishing desire to find good in the mess, to hunt for glory in the grime. When you go looking for beauty and hunting for glory, you’ll discover again and again the realness of Him: the God who is here and is not silent. The One who all the while– when you were grappling around in a fallen, wrecked-up world– was there.”

This. This is why I’m seeking out the beauty, poetry, rhythm, grace of this one ordinary life I have. Because if I don’t, the hard stuff will overtake me and my life will be one big complaint (which it sometimes already feels like).

The good stuff is always there. But sometimes, it’s quiet. Too quiet to be noticed under the loud struggles of tantrums and spills and fights. But it’s there. It’s always there. This month I’m working on hushing up the hard stuff and amplifying the goodness.

the life poetic

This is Day 6 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

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