Favorites

My favorite blogs & websites

Books that have shaped me:

  • The Bible
  • The Small Rain and A Severed Wasp by Madeline L’Engle. Not to mention everything else that she’s ever written (and that I’ve read by her). I love the simplicity, beauty, and honesty of her writing and these two books in particular shaped much of how I thought of the world as a developing artist.
  • Poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke, Mary Oliver, T.S. Eliot. I realize these are not book titles, but the influence these three poets in particular have had over me has been tremendous.
  • Reason for God by Tim Keller. After my near-decade of living as a “name-only” Christian, I explored (again) what it meant to be a Christian and believe in Jesus. I read this book several times. It dispelled many of the doubts I had about Christianity and “religion,” helping me realize that if I didn’t follow Christ, I was following something else.
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney. I have read and re-read this book, particularly the chapters on fasting. Also the chapters on journaling and scripture study have changed my own practices and views. I had little understanding of the importance of these disciplines or the need to practice them before this book.
  • Bold Love by Dan Allender. Of the many books my husband and I have read in our efforts to learn how to love in hard and hurtful situations, this had the most impact on me. Jesus’ love is not easy; it’s challenging, surprising, and radical.
  • One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I struggle with joy. I struggle with discontent. This book taught me that practicing  thankfulness leads to joy.
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. This book opened my eyes to the idea of complementary relationships and the Biblical role of women in marriage and in the home. I was deeply challenged and changed by this book and its Scripture references.
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. At first as a book that shaped me and then as a book that I rebelled against, all of my reactions to this work have been strong. And I love the writing and character descriptions.
  • Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything by Tim Keller. These studies impacted me deeply, especially the chapters on idolatry.

What I’m currently listening to:

  • Seeds Family Worship. Yes, I’m officially a Christian mom. We listen to this in the morning. My favorite albums are Seeds of Praise, Seeds of Character, and Seeds of Faith.
  • Solo cello suites – Britten and Kodaly. (Peter Wispelwey is the cellist on my favorite recordings.)
  • Chris Thile (favorite albums are the older ones – How to Grow a Woman from the Ground Up and Not All Who Wander are Lost) and Punch Brothers
  • Brad Paisley. Yes, I live in New York, but I’m also still a Texan who likes pop country music.
  • Mozart Viola Quintets, Beethoven String Quartets, Mozart String Quartets
  • Late Beethoven Piano Sonatas
  • Josquin and Palestrina Motets and other sacred choral music.
  • Lots of various Christian mixes I have made (but no favorite groups or albums)
  • Kate Kilm (In particular, Up and Down and Up Again)

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I usually work in a direction until I know how to do it, then I stop. At the time that I am bored or understand – I use those words interchangeably – another appetite has formed. A lot of people try to think up ideas. I’m not one. I’d rather accept the irresistible possibilities of what I can’t ignore.” –Robert Rauschenberg
  • “…the presence of God, having him WITH US, is a two edged sword. How convenient, we may secretly think, if he would just be nearby, on-call, as it were, ready to come when we need him, but not bothering us with his presence if we’d rather be left alone. But it’s impossible that the burning, shining love that holds every particle of the universe together and which has loved you to death on the cross and beyond could have an off/on switch. The truth of the matter is that many of us have settled for a compromise—God, I sort of want you to be with me when I need you, but I don’t want you to be so close that I feel the need to change my life. So we settle for a vague and unsatisfying not-very-personal relationship to Emmanuel.” — Kathy Keller
  • “Much that has become our own in gentleness, modesty, kindness, willingness to forgive, veracity, loyalty, resignation under suffering, we owe to people in whom we have seen or experienced such virtues at work, sometimes in a great matter, sometimes in a small….Example is not the main thing influencing others. It is the only thing.” –Albert Schweitzer
  • “What you feel in the presence of a thing you admire is just one word – ‘Yes.’ The affirmation, the acceptance, the sign of admittance. And that ‘Yes’ is more than an answer to one thing, it’s a kind of ‘Amen’ to life, to the earth that holds this thing, to the thought that created it, to yourself for being able to see it.”  – Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
  • “Any approach [to finding peace and self-knowledge] that cheapens sacrifice and service as basically neurotic and offers a sophisticated justification for self-serving pursuit of pleasure is a violation of the true route to joy. The task of growth is to pursue an unflinching honesty about self, world, and God, no matter what the results compel us to face or give up.” — Dan Allender

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