What I'm Into {a snapshot of September 2014}

What I'm Into {a snapshot of September 2014}

Sunflowers on the Kitchen Table

Sunflowers on the Kitchen Table One of the things that I’m loving about paying attention to the moments and months of my life is the way patterns emerge and the way I continue to be surprised by my life.

Sometimes, small parts of my life, whole days, the occasional week, seem monotonous, or downright sodden.

I am beginning to think that this is not uncommon. The joy and the hope and the equilibrium do not come from those moments of darkness and pain, but rather from the knowledge that those things ebb and flow.

I have been hurt most painfully, but I have healed (perhaps even stronger). I have wept most bitterly and I have sat in despair, but I have also rejoiced and laughed at the future.

If I look at the story long enough, I begin to see the patterns.

I’m sharing a few details of my life with you below. I’d love to know what you’re reading, pondering, watching and doing in your own patterns, if you’d like to share.

Thanks for being here, friends.

Reading

This month, I had a craving for a Deborah Knott mystery. I’m slowing working my way through the series, recommended to me (and many others, I’m sure) by Lauren Winner in Girl Meets God.

Margaret Maron started writing about this gutsy judge in the 1990s, and I’m somewhere in the early 2000s now.

I prefer to listen to these as I’m driving to and from work (the reader really sounds like Deborah to me).

Margaret has a way of weaving some knowledge or other into each of her books and the one I listened to this month was about pottery. It’s called Uncommon Clay.

Watching

My roommate and I have caught up with Parks and Recreation. I still can’t believe I hadn’t watched it before now. I am on the edge of my seat to find out what will happen to these lovely characters in the final season. Anyone else there with me?

I’m delighted to have New Girl and The Mindy Project back. It was a little strange to realize that I do sort of feel like these characters are my friends. I have missed Jess and Mindy and their posse’s.

I’m also settling back into The Big Bang Theory (and still sort of mourning the loss of How I Met Your Mother).

I'm planning to try out Selfie and A-Z, but I'm not making an promises. (Any other shows you guys are excited about?)

Living

My dance class is back! Once a week, I bounce around to the rhythms of the pop song of the moment. We’re coming up on the three year mark on this class and I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me, and the ways that I’ve learned to love my body (even my knees) better as a result.

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Literary Crew

I discovered the literary scene in my city this month.

I met Spokane’s Poet Laureate, Thom Caraway, at long last (we’ve been connected online for a while and were both in Michigan for the Festival of Faith and Writing, but met, poetically, at a clambake (yes, really) at his home.

Dave Harrity came to town and I was asked to do a joint reading with him (I read about crepes and sushi and he read about werewolves and lice, it was awesome).

I realized that it was my first ever formal reading of my nonfiction. I’ll probably write more about it in more detail later, but for the moment I will say that the experience was life-giving and very affirming to what I’m doing as I put one word in front of the other. I’m not sure that the high is gone yet.

I also had the opportunity to attend an event showcasing local authors and musicians called Lilac City Fairy Tales (Spokane is the Lilac City). Several friends were published in the anthology, and the event itself was better than I could have anticipated.

All of this combined got me excited about this place I call home, and hopeful that meaningful connections with writers and readers can be made without having to travel too far afield (though I still want to be sure that I’m doing that).

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My church

At long last, I went back to church this month. Yesterday marks my 4th consecutive Sunday.

There have been two potlucks in the four weeks that I've been going. For that reason, and for many more, the experience has been healing and lovely. I'm already looking forward to the wonder of Advent, and to walking out life with this community of faith.

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A while back, I was asked to be on the board of a small, progressive bookstore. I once tweeted a picture of Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist next to I Am Malala and a Star Wars Encyclopedia. That about sums this store up. I love it.

Many things are beginning to change and develop there and I'm so excited about the ways that my passions line up with what needs to be done. This past week I had the opportunity to help curate a selection of books on racism, prejudice, and privilege. (This board membership is going to get expensive, I can already tell).

My bookshelf

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Lindsay and I

After nearly a year of internet friendship, I got to meet the lovely Lindsay in person. It's surreal to sit across a table from someone, at a coffee shop, and realize that you know all sorts of interesting snatches of their lives (but with large pieces missing).

I don't think I'll ever get over the thrill of meeting a kindred spirit from the internet in real life.

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I found myself in Nish Weiseth's book.

Cara in Speak

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It's been a busy month.

Clicking

Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults by Christena Cleveland

If you click through to nothing else, please read this piece. I have never thought about singleness (and relationships between single and married people in the church) the way Christena unpacks it in this blog, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. This is an important one.

Friday Night Meatballs: How to Change Your Life With Pasta by Sarah Grey

There is something simple and beautiful about this idea. I'm captured by it, and still trying to figure out the best way to incorporate this kind of community into my life.

Deep Cleaning My Marriage by Erin Lane

I always appreciate Erin's beautiful writing. I also love this peek into her life and marriage.

Writing

This month I wrote about the Discipline of Not Being Fixed (which I'm slowly and painfully learning to practice). I wrote a letter to those who have miscarried. I told the story of my re-entry into church and confessed that it's hard for me when people refer to their best friends.

In one of my favorite written sentences ever, I referred to Jesus as the greatest mole-whacker.

I wrote about my second simplicity over at Amy Peterson's blog (as part of her lovely series), and I contributed an essay about one of my most embarrassing moments ever to my friend Nicole's amazing online anthology about church camp (read, submit, enjoy!)

I welcomed several new writers to the de(tales) family this month.

Amy Peterson wrote a musical de(tale) about her sister.

Carmen Ibrahim wrote about holding hands across the years.

Hannah Paasch wrote about those elusive lines on her stomach, the one's she's chased for so long.

Ben Moberg wrote about the car that got him there and back again, listening to all of his prayers.

I'm also delighted to announce that I have been selected to guest blog for The Junia Project (an organization I admire, respect and support). Stay tuned, and in the meantime, check out The Junia Project for yourself! ...

Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into (check out the rest over at her site).