Out my Window: Sunshine and cold
Enjoying: Having my family under one roof. Having an extended break. Time to relax and catch up a bit. Getting ready for Christmas.
Listening to: I am still podcast crazy right now. I am very much enjoying listening to conversations that are humorous, informative, and deep. The Holy Post Podcast https://www.holypost.com/holy-post-podcast Episodes 378 and 379 have been very interesting interviews. I have added two more books to my list to read.
I also listened to John Branyan’s podcast, I have gotten past the horrible sound quality and distractions in the background and just enjoy the family banter and thoughtful conversations on various topics. Always gives me something to think about. https://johnbranyan.com/listen-podcast/
Not funny, but super interesting and helpful, Proverbs 31 Ministries has a podcast series called Therapy and Theology. I listened to one on trust that was very interesting and helpful. https://proverbs31.org/listen/podcast/full-podcast/2019/10/29/therapy-theology-why-do-i-have-trust-issues
I did finally choose my next audible book, but have not started it yet, Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry. I started following her on social media and appreciate her voice. Looking forward to the listen.
Reading: Since I last wrote I finished The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman. There are some good quotes to think about. She includes some great quotes from other authors that have now expanded my never ending reading list. I think I enjoyed the audiobook better because it is more like a blog/podcast in writing style.
There’s nothing like an unmade decision to smoke our addictions out.
Desire is only toxic when we demand our desires be satisfied on our terms and in our timing.
Just because things change doesn’t mean you chose wrong in the first place. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it forever.
By my bed: Unhurried Leader: The Lasting Fruit of Daily Influence by Alan Fadling.
My carry around book has been: The Heart of Recovery: How Compassion and Community Offer Hope in the Wake of Addiction by Deborah and David Beddoe, review coming soon.
I also joined another book launch team. I was given a three chapter peek at She Laughs: Choosing Faith over Fear by Carolanne Miljavac. Review coming, along with some promotions on social media. Definitely a simple read. Carolanne tells stories, some very funny that she weaves a truth through to encourage.
Pondering: Still thinking on narratives… what are the stories we are telling ourselves about our life, what story are others telling, what stories are we being told? How am I reading them? How does this impact my thoughts and interactions? Thinking about how other people read things differently and have a different narrative going. I feel like that word continues to rise to the surface in various areas for me, whether it be a podcast, or a book, or a talk, or conversation. Narratives are the undercurrent and how we tell or re-tell a story makes a difference. How we see something and interpret the narrative makes a difference. I went to a talk last week at the local Jewish Temple where a Jewish woman who is a professor at Vanderbilt seminary teaching pastors about the New Testament spoke on how Jews and Christians read Scriptures differently. It has given me much to think about. It amazes me how this woman knew the Bible better than I ever will and has read it in all its original texts and sees great literature and culture, but not the Messiah. Then I listened to a fascinating interview with N.T. Wright about how we read the New Testament with a skew that makes us miss the purposes of God. We are focused on the finish line here so we can get to heaven, and are missing Jesus came here to begin the restoring of the Kingdom that will usher God living among His people. So much to think about and re-think. May I have eyes to see and ears to hear the Spirit of God and allow Him to define the narrative for me about myself, others, and Scripture.
Learning: I have started many blog posts, but have not finished them. I know I say this often, but I need some sort of direction for the blog to help me focus better. I need some sort of structure for fitness and for my home. I was way into structure in September and all was well, and then I lost it. I have learned through the years that life is about rhythms, not balance, but somehow I lost the tempo. I feel like when I was in marching band back in High School and would get out of step with the group, you usually just did a quick skip and hop, and you’re back on track. I feel like I am out there skipping, hopping, and tripping. The rhythm seems to change faster than I am able to catch on. I know that means that I am forgetting to focus on God ordering my days, and practice being in the moment and day, instead of doing all that I think I need to do. I am slowly learning to identify my needs and implement a structure that works for that day, week, month, or however long it is needed.
Home: Somewhat keeping up. Somehow never quite made it mentally to November. I usually put out decorations for Thanksgiving, that never happened. My son got me a white board to organize me last year. I usually write the month, a thought, focus, to dos, book and blog stuff, some people I need to connect with etc… I have November written at the top, book review due dates and people left on there from October. So I am looking forward to December for a do over. I feel like November may have passed me by. Looking forward to decorating for Christmas so that surfaces will get a dusting and floors will be cleaned up.
Fitness and Mental Health: A little bit of moving here and there. Too much tea and chocolate. So many early mornings with my son needing a ride to work, and then heading off to subbing I have been wiped out physically. I realized I never quite readjusted my bedtime to make the last few weeks more manageable. Mental Health has been a bit foggy. Lighting candles and curling up under blankets has been very good, but need to be more intentional with fitness to help my mind clear up.
Giving Thanks: For an opportunity for our extended family to have another holiday together. Each one feels like it will be the last because all the kids are growing up but we have been blessed with extras. For laughter and fun with family. For friends who pray and encourage. For people who challenge me to think deeper and live a better narrative. For the teens at school and how they add depth, meaning, and laughter to my days. For opportunities to grow and heal. For a couple extra days home to gather myself a bit.