What I'm Into Right Now (October 2016)

I'm excited to share what I've been loving lately. I really have two months of goodness to share, since we skipped September. Hard to believe it was peach season when I last posted what was making me happy. Since then we've picked apples and made sauce, crisps, and cakes. Now that season too, is almost past and I'm celebrating pumpkins!

Listening:

I've been working my way through last year's conference sessions from Allume. I had wanted to attend a writer's conference this year but it did not work out, so I purchased the audio and have been gaining a lot of insight. So far I've enjoyed Brian Dixon's practical session about email list building, Jamie Ivey's podcast session, Kristin Kill's discussion of brand relationships, and Amber Haine's talk on Writing the Invisible.

Along with the rest of the world--or at least the U.S.--I've been swept away by the musical Hamilton. Just wow! It's awesome. I don't think a musical has moved me this much since Les Miserables. It takes a bit to get into the music, at least for me. I'm not hip hop listener in general so it took me a minute to find my bearings, so to speak. It was so unexpected. But I just love that Hamilton makes the Founding Fathers come to life! It so easy to forget how they fought and argued and even hated each other at times. When you read the history books and just get the highlight version of their life of just the positive side it's easy to forget the conflict of personalities and politics that went on. And even more amazing our country has survived when so many fledgling nations don't. 

Watching:

To continue the Hamilton theme Hamilton's America was fabulous! You can stream it live on your mobile devices or cast it onto your TV. Just watch it.

Reading:

I just finished reading Jane of Lantern Hill. I read it when I was a preteen and didn't really remember it at all so I bought it to add to my L. M. Montgomery collection. I literally had been craving Montgomery's writing. I needed some cozy comfort reading as we headed into autumn, and to me, Montgomery, although wonderful anytime, is particularly delightful in autumn. Anyone else feel that way?

We're reading North! Or Be Eaten together as a family and have also just started From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

I've also started a unique "devotional" book of sorts called At the Still Point: A Literary Guide to Prayer in Ordinary Time. I am really liking it. It is unlike anything I've read before and it suits my personality perfectly. Besides scripture readings, each week there is an opening and closing prayer and then literary readings from poetry and prose. I adored the introduction alone and highlighted it up. Like this quote: "God is at work, not only in overtly spiritual things--devotionals and memoirs, liturgies and hymns--but also in the imaginative lives of God's people, in their subcreative worlds (as J. R. R. Tolkien put it), in their carefully crafted turns of phrase."

Eating:

I made these when we went camping last month. So tasty! And you could grill them or do them over a fire. This One Skillet Sausage and White Bean Gnoochi was a perfect fall meal and I made this Pumpkin Delight to take to a recent large gathering.

Now your turn. What are you into right now? What do you consider "comfort reading"?

A Fresh New Look and a Giveaway!

Hello friends!

It's almost been two months since I've shared in this space and I've missed interacting with you all!

Even though my blog has been quiet, I've been hard at work behind the scenes. For the past year I've had security issues with my website and I decided to switch my platform from Wordpress to Squarespace. It took a lot of work and time, but in the end, I'm glad I did. Once I got over the learning curve, the switch to using Squarespace has been so easy. And I also hope the switch will serve you--my readers--better as well. Thanks for your patience with me as I work through and solve these technical issues.

So, to celebrate a fresh new start, I'm giving away two recently published books!

The first is Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy. I loved her book and reviewed it here if you want to find out more! 

The second book is Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes the Soul by Hannah Anderson. I first was introduced to Hannah's writing when I read, Made For More: An Invitation to Live in God's Image. At their core, both books are actually about finding our identity in Christ. The first books is more about our personhood, this second is about humility, as the title indicates.

Hannah turns to nature as both an illustration and a metaphor to uncover what it means to live humble. She reminds us that "Jesus comes to bring us freedom and rest. But this rest is contingent on something. We must come to Him. We must take His yoke. We must learn of Him."

Hannah explains that Jesus' humility will fundamentally change us. He is not a model for us to live out good behavior in our own strength. He is the very source of our life. Living humble will have an impact in our lives only in so far as we allow Christ to work in our lives. Only then can we experience the real freedom and change that humility brings: freedom from self-condemnation, from having to know it all and instead be willing to learn, and freedom from emotionally manipulating others by letting the Holy Spirit do his work.

The subtitle states that humility "nourishes the soul" and I think Hannah's book does just that. It is rich, thought-provoking, and filled with grace.

Now, how to win these two lovelies?

The giveaway will be happening over on my Instagram account. So, pop over and enter to win!