I spent most of June in post-wedding/post-transatlantic-trip recovery. Thankfully July has provided some much needed white space and down time. Here's what I've been into this month:
I just finished reading Notes from a Blue Bike* by Tsh Oxendreider, an easy, pleasurable read about cutting out chaos and living with an intentional slowness. I found I related so much to the longings of the former, simple (though not always pleasant) way of European life when we repatriated back to the US. At times, I did find myself asking, "What isn't she perfect at?" But Tsh did well to write about more vulnerable moments - crying in the van when she realised homeschooling wasn't working anymore, in the Philippines when she felt shattered and humbled in the home of her sponsored child - showing that her growth and their ever-shaping lifestyle have not come without a good bit of trial and error. I wish I felt as put together as Tsh is, but I closed the book encouraged in our choices and challenged to continue pursuing the simple way.
The Poets' Wives by David Park is a moody piece and I'm somewhat lazily making my way through it. It's so different from the previous work of his I read, The Truth Commissioner, that I am amazed at how he enters the mind of his heroines. Blake's wife, Catherine, has a particularly other-worldly, troubled voice and Park writes her beautifully.
Reading Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist has become my bedtime ritual, leading me to dream of tasty dishes of risotto and flour-free brownies, which, unfortunately, never seem to magically appear in the morning.
In the queue... Home & Gilead by (Robinson), Eats Shoots and Leaves (Truss), Red Joan (Rooney) and Matt treated me to my very own hard copy of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which up until now I only had on our e-reader. That's true love, folks.
*disclosure: contains affiliate links.
I don't know if you noticed or not, but I've become obsessed with Call the Midwife and anxiously await Season 3 appearing in my local library. We've also just started the series Luther, starring Idris Elba (who I can't look at the same after reading this). My mum inquired, "Which one?" referring to the film based on the life of Martin Luther - also quite good - and to which I responded, "If it's not British telly, chances are we're not watching it."
Film-wise, it was the month of the documentary. I started in earnest to share here my thoughts on God Loves Uganda, and then decided it was best to write it as a proper blog post. Look for that soon.
We also watched the amazingly informative The Armstrong Lie documenting the rise and terrific fall of Lance Armstrong. I also have Strong Feelings on this film, but suffice it to say, Armstrong is probably the least sympathetic real-life character I have come across (apart from, you know, like murderers and stuff). He's human in the most human of ways: success at all costs, pride before the fall, and very few lessons learnt.
To cleanse my palate, I dug in the Netflix vault for High Fidelity, which so accurately captures the young adult indie Chicago culture of the late 90s. I love this film. LOVE. It makes me homesick every time and I end up searching high and low for those old mix tapes.
I'm enjoying listening (and writing) to Yearbook by Sleeping at Last, as well as Death Be Not Proud from Audrey Assad. Surprisingly fun to exercise to was Rich Mullins' The Jesus Record. I still remember the day he died, and the more I listen to his catalog, but the more I mourn for our world and rejoice in his going Home, the place he so longed for.
Celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversary
Picnics in the park with friends
Warm mornings and sunny days
Laundry on the line
Children dipping their feet in service
The new (free) She Reads Truth app
A day in Wicklow
The Motherhood Around the World series at A Cup of Jo
Taking the wee one running with deer
Free programs at the library for wild summer kids
Addie Zierman's series on blogging
Viewing some of the oldest biblical writings at the Chester Beatty Library
That's it for July. What were you into this month?
Linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I'm Into.