Dear Readers

I’ve been meaning to write to you for sometime, but every time I try to write I have nothing to say. I’ve been trying to figure this out because it’s not as if life isn’t happening and I don’t have anything to say. Then it hit me: busyness. I have nothing to say because I don’t have time/ haven’t correctly prioritized time to think. I am busy and tired and pulled in a million directions (sounds familiar to your heart too, right?).

I need to prioritize thinking and actively work out my life in words and songs and prayers. It is what helps me grow and learn and feel alive.

In this new year, I want my life to be full of deep thoughts. rich conversation and above all joy. Joy that stems from Christ, from relationships and from worshipping the creator in all things.

I hope you keep reading as I keep thinking and processing my life.

If I have anything else to say at all right now it is this: that joy is what I’m seeking this year. Cynicism is so easy to fall prey to (especially for me) and this world is so full of things that are so easy to be cynical about. I want to be full of joy. Some days that just feels so fake to me because I let the world lie to me. No more of this. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

 

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Moving as an Introvert

I moved over 5 months ago. How can it have been that long?! When I think about these last few months, I think about the rich blessings and miraculous provisions that are far better than I could have imagined when we set sail for the West Coast. These last few months have definitely proved over and over why we had to leave Tallahassee.

However, these last few months haven’t been easy either. One of the hardest things about any move is leaving those you love behind. We have the best friends and family in Florida. I miss them. I miss my Monday afternoons holding beautiful babies and playing with toddlers and I miss the Saturday morning coffee dates with close friends you could say anything to. Those kind of things have been challenging to find here. Building relationships is tough and takes time.

I think it’s hard for me as a rather introverted person  to step out and start building those type of relationships again. Compounded with the busyness of life and work, I’m failing at this. In 2014, I want to try harder to build new relationships and step out of my comfort zone. I’ll admit some days this might be a challenge for me and I think it’s hard being in between seasons (married, no kids yet is the official between season in my book) for a number of reasons. I want to push through all that and really work to build a new community. I know it’s for my good, the good of my family and the good of those I’m going to meet to.

New Year, New Husband

It’s been almost a month since my husband quit his early morning coffee gig.

It’s the best.

My new husband is much like my old husband (because he’s obviously the same person) but he’s different because he isn’t always sleepy.

In fact, I think I am usually sleepier now.

I so appreciate how hard my husband worked and how early he had to wake up so he could provide me crucially important things like health insurance. I’m so excited for this new year of late nights and mornings waking up next to each other. Having  remarkable similar schedules for the first time in our marriage is pretty cool. I’m basically already in love with 2014.

Looking forward to soaking up lots of time with my favorite person.

Books I’ve Read

Every six months or so I do a review of the books I’ve read. I hope you’re reading something great!
Fiction 
  • Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult – This book was better than I thought it would be. I’m not big into vampires or wolves or anything like that, but this was an interesting read and offered some really interesting information about the lives of wolves wrapped into the main plot of the story.
  • Divergent by Victoria Roth – It’s no secret that dystopian novels are my absolute favorite. I love the building of a new society based on the fall of the old and the conflict it creates. This book had great potential as the author created a truly interesting world. The factions remind me of Hogwarts schools on a greater scale and well, I loved that. But the story felt a bit too simple for me although I’m sure the intended audience of a younger reader would be all over this. All in all, a fun, easy read but not as interesting as I wanted it to be.
  • Insurgent by Victoria Roth – I think this book was better than it’s predecessor. I’m still interested in the world this author created and still think these are easy, yet interesting reads.
  • MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood – This is the final book of Atwood’s Orxy & Crake trilogy. Margaret Atwood writes what she calls speculative fiction and this book is probably the furthest from modern-day America that she’s written. It’s actually a pretty tough read considering the differences between the worlds she’s created, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
  • Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine –  I love a good coming of age tale. This was pretty good and an interesting take on watching not only a kid grow up, but his guardian as well. Aren’t we all still growing up?
  • And the Mountains Echoed  by Khaled Hosseini – I’ve loved this author for a while. I read Kite Runner when it came out and each time Hosseini comes out with a new novel, I can’t wait to read it. Each time I am amazed. This book is so good. It’s multi-generational and it is so captivating how to story entwined with the characters and with American understand of Afghanistan and Afghan culture. It’s a beautiful book and well worth the read.
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch – This is one of my favorite reads of the year. It’s dark, satirical and wonderfully written. I’d highly recommend it for a suspenseful read.

Non-Fiction

  • What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti M. Anyabwile – Taylor and I read this as part of our new members class at our new church. It’s a good primer on church membership.
  • The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis – I’ve realized that I really am missing out on a wealth of knowledge by not having read much C.S. Lewis, so I read this collection and I feel like it was a pretty excellent read.
  • Orange is the New Black  by Piper Kerman – Not my normal non-fiction read, this memoir tells the story of Piper Kerman through her year in prison. I realize I should read more memoirs because they can be just as engrossing as good fiction.

Love in the New Year

I’ve been thinking a lot about a theme for my year. I know it’s new year’s resolution time and sure I could say I plan to work out or eat better, but I want to really focus on something more than that (not that those aren’t great goals.) I know some families that have themes for their year and I think it’s a great way to intentionally focus on something you want to work on for the year.

After reading this blog post, I’ve decided my theme will be to pursue love. I want to understand love in a deeper way, to know God’s love more profoundly and to love more than I have before. I want to love those I know and those I don’t know, both at home and afar more. I want this to be a year shaped by the love I know and the love I want to share. I’m praying that this will be a year that I learn to love in new ways.

What do you want your year to be about?