Monthly Archives: February 2016

What I’m Into: February (2016)

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It’s common for bloggers to share various “what I’m into this month” types of posts, recounting books they’ve read, movies they’ve watched, artists they’ve listened to. Often with links and witty commentary.

To be honest, I often delete or only skim these posts. I have no idea how some of these writers have the time to read not just one – but three or four or more books every month. I have no idea how they manage to watch so much television and so many movies (mostly I’m in awe of their ability to stay awake past the first 25 minutes, which I can’t seem to do). And when I’m reading blogs, I mostly want to read their stories, hear their voices.

But – the things these writers love and are inspired by and challenged by also make up their voices and their stories.

So I thought I’d try. Maybe I’ll do this every month. Maybe it will fall by the wayside. But there are so many little things to love and laugh and think about – good blog posts, challenging New Yorker articles, a recently-discovered song, a great coffee maker. And what can I say? Nearly every book I have managed to read is one that I read about on someone’s blog post. So, here goes. I’d love to hear what you are loving, too. Won’t you leave a comment with a link to something you’ve enjoyed this past month?  Continue reading

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Filed under blogging, books, music, What I'm Into, writing

to my newly-expecting friend

 

DSC_0115Sweet friend,

I am so happy and excited for you to become a mom. And while I feel so far from inhabiting a place of wisdom (or even peace) much of the time, I wanted to give you more than some hand-me-down maternity clothes and half a box of size one diapers. Although I know those come in handy, too.

In fact, there are so many things that I want to tell you – little things, like how you should buy prints instead of solids because then the spit-up and peanut-butter and runny-nose-residue are less visible – and big things, like what being a mom has been teaching me about grace and forgiveness and love and patience and despair. Here are four things I’ve learned so far.

PRIORITIES. Being a mom is really, really busy, and really, really hard. I know you’ll be juggling a lot next year with the baby and your running and your work and, of course, your relationship with your husband and your church and your small group. So many things seem so important. And they are.  Continue reading

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lessons from a lighthouse

little red lighthouse

My son has this book that he loves called The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge. In the book, the little red lighthouse is proud of its job sending out beacons of light to protect the boats in the river from the rocky shores. One day, a crew of men appears:

 

Every day [the little red lighthouse] watched the strange new gray thing beside it grow and grow. Huge towers seemed to touch the sky. Strong loops of steel swept across the river.

How big it was!

How wonderful!

How powerful!

A great gray bridge, spanning the Hudson River from shore to shore. It made the little red lighthouse feel very, very small.

“Mommy, is the little red lighthouse sad?” my son asked one day after I read this passage to him.

“Yes, sweetie, it is,” I replied.

“But why?” he asked. (He is a three-year-old, after all.)

“Well, the lighthouse is afraid that he won’t have any work to do, now that the great gray bridge has been built. He’s afraid that there’s no job for him. And that makes him sad. It feels good to have a job to do, doesn’t it?”  Continue reading

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Filed under books, children, contentment, god & faith, identity, motherhood, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized, work

roast chicken redemption

My husband made a roast chicken over the weekend. I had really been looking forward to it for a variety of reasons — I love it when we can eat dinner together as a DSC_0162family; chicken hadn’t been on sale for weeks and our freezer stash was long gone — but primarily because the last time he made a roast chicken and veggies, it was awesome. This time, he carefully researched how to keep the chicken extra-moist and brined it several days in advance.

Saturday night came. I was eager for my chicken. (I was also starving, since lunch was pizza and cake stolen from my toddler’s plate at a birthday party.)  Continue reading

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dust to dust

This year, I’ve worked hard to help my little ones understand the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas. Birthdays. In November, I designed a Thanksgiving and bought 60 small leaves in fall colors. My husband, son, and I practiced recounting one thing each day that we were thankful for, adding leaves to the branches and counting down the days. While other trees were losing their leaves, ours blossomed until we celebrated all those good things together with extended family (and turkey) .

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In December, we had an advent calendar and an advent wreath and read stories about Mary and Joseph and Jesus. We talked about how Christmas was like Jesus’ birthday and how we give gifts, just like on other birthdays. We named all the gifts that God has given to us. (And most of all, Jesus, right? My three-year-old always repeated in his earnest, lisping voice.) Continue reading

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Filed under children, family, God, god & faith, holidays, motherhood, resolutions, Uncategorized

outside in

You guys. This might be my most seemingly-superficial post to date. Don’t judge me. (Or quit reading.)

This post is about clothes. That’s right. Clothes.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes. I’ve been thinking about them because a few months ago, I bought this wild pair of leggings. IMG_7652 They were quite a bit out of my comfort zone, but I really liked the pattern, and I really wanted to be able to wear them. And they were not expensive. So: why not?

At first I wore them a bit sparingly. I’m not usually a loud dresser.

Or, not lately.

But as the months have gone by, I’ve started wearing them more and more. And I’m buying a second pair. And when I wear them, I feel confident. Kind of like I can kick butt, actually.  Continue reading

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Filed under body image, clothes, contentment, identity, motherhood, Uncategorized

to my struggling friend

I have a few things to say to you, but it won’t be enough.

You will get through this. You will. But it’s going to take work. And then it might happen again. And it might be the same – or it might be completely different.

No one has experienced exactly what you are experiencing or have experienced. But there are plenty of people who have walked similar roads, traveled to the hard places and come back again. You are not alone.

The world is broken. It’s broken! It’s broken because of sin, because in the perfect Garden, when a man and a woman had a perfect relationship with each other, a perfect relationship with God, and perfect relationships with their work and their bodies and all the animals and everything else, sin entered in. And things began to break down. Even if you’re not sure you believe this – look around you.

The world is broken. Undeniably broken.  Continue reading

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Filed under body image, career, children, contentment, depression, family, friends, God, god & faith, identity, trust