Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Hooray!! It finally happened: my blog got a makeover!

Kerry at Throw You a Rose hosted a generous giveaway, and I won :) So she gave my blog a little boost, and you're looking at the finished product!

I absolutely love it. Kerry was so sweet and excited to work with me and got everything done so quickly. You should go check out her business, Spit Image Design.

Thanks again, Kerry!

Friday, November 9, 2012

what i'm reading

I've always been a reader, ever since I was a little girl. I remember moving away from New York at the end of first grade, and my teacher gave me a handful of books and sent me letters encouraging me to keep reading. So sweet. Some seasons of life make it easier to find time to read than others, and I'm really thankful that this year, I've managed to read about 15 books so far. So today I thought I would share some of my favorites this year:

+ One Thousand Gifts :: I've seen this book in blogger circulation for a while. I finally bought it on a whim and devoured it. Sometimes I get so down and negative about life, and I have to really fight to see the good in life. I know people who seem to be naturally positive about everything, and I am not one of them. That being said, this book opened my eyes to how simple, and yet how difficult, it can be to open our eyes to the daily gifts we receive. Ann Voskamp has nailed down the art of eucharisteo and what it means to live a life of thankfulness to a loving, good Father. I've been catching myself lately complaining about trivial things and really searching my heart for the reasons why I'm bothered. Most of the time, there's actually no legitimate reason to be unhappy. If I truly believe that God is good and therefore worth serving (which I do), then I know that each day, each moment, each interaction, each person is a gift and something to be thankful for.

+ The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse: a book for Creators :: Oh my word, this book. Michael Gungor (of the band, Gungor) has such an amazing grasp on what creating should be. Whether you are a writer, a painter, a singer, or a musician, or if you've ever even had the desire to create something, read. this. book. It's a lot about what music and art has become in the midst of all the technology we're bombarded with, and it made me think about what I'm creating and what my influences are. Am I taking the time to pay attention to the important and beautiful things in life? Am I filling my head with mindless matter, or am I taking the time to empty out all the drivel, really open up my eyes and see what can flow out of me when I am unburdened by the crowd? Am I creating from a place of love or a place of fear?

{art is not a distraction from human meaninglessness, but part of burgeoning newness that gives our existence a hopeful and sacred meaningfulness*}

+ Worship Matters :: I almost find it a little difficult to recommend this book to everyone because Bob Kauflin is specifically addressing those who are worship leaders in churches by career (or at least hobby, like myself), but anyone can read it and gain insight from it. In fact, the thing I love most about this book is that it opened my eyes to the Gospel in a brand new way! I truly did not understand the Gospel of Jesus until I read the second section of this book. I can't even explain why or how, I just know that God gave me a fresh understanding of what Jesus did for us when I read this book. It also gave me a new way of looking at corporate worship and what we do as churches in America. If you've ever been a part of a music ministry or want to be, I highly suggest this book.

+ Out of the Silent Planet, (Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) :: This is CS Lewis' science fiction series, and it is amazing!! Lewis is my favorite because his fiction always opens my eyes a little bit wider. Chronicles of Narnia is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I'm not a huge science fiction lover, but this series is definitely worth sticking with, even if it's not your typical read. It follows a man who ends up traveling to several other planets in the solar system and becoming a sort of ambassador for the higher beings that exist on each world. Earth is the "silent planet" whose higher being has become evil. There's way too much to tell in one paragraph, but you should take my word for it and go read it.

Those are my favorites for this year! I wish I read more fiction, and I'm actually in the middle of re-reading the Harry Potter series. And then I want to borrow the movies. I love a good fiction series.

What are your favorite books right now? I'm pretty much always looking for suggestions. Up next on my list is Love Does by Bob Goff, and I'm currently in the middle of reading Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst. Leave your suggestions in the comments!

*Gungor, M. (2012-10-04). The Crowd, The Critic, and the Muse: A Book for Creators (Kindle Locations 1825-1826). Woodsley Press. Kindle Edition.