Currently: First Post of 2017

Current Books: I am reading Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg, but it is not holding me quite how an Elizabeth Berg novel usually does. I may have just read too many Berg books in a row. Sometimes, I am like that with authors. I need them in well-portioned doses. I am also reading Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science by Mike McHargue and LOVING it. I will post a full review soon. By my bed, I have a volume of poetry called Return of the River: The Selected Poems of Roberto Sosa. He is a Honduran poet, and this book is for both pleasure and book research.

Current Playlist: The Liturgists podcast. Always. Mixed in with a few Gungor songs. I just started the episode called Who Am I?

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I stayed home while my husband and kids traveled for a few days. I did miss the family time, and I loathe being home alone at night, but I got a lot done and I really needed to feel I’d accomplished something over break.

Current Colors: Grey and teal, especially the darker shades of teal.

Current Food: I had Papa John’s pizza last week, and I hadn’t had it in a long time. It was so good.

Current Drink: Coffee, as always, but also I am shaking EmergenC Immune+ powder into my water bottle in the morning this month. I refuse to get sick again. I leave for Honduras in a month, and the sick has to go.

Current Favorite-Favorite: The word “hygge.” My friend, Jen, taught me the word and showed me this website and I am in love. It explains what I have been aching for in my own home.  It isn’t the theme God gave me for 2017, but it is my personal goal for the year.

Current Wishlist: Items to help me accomplish hygge in my home and a few books and such.

Current Needs: A job that pays more for less hours or allows me to work from home or else to feel at peace with the juggle of my current job (which I do like) and school (classes start in 2 weeks).

Current Triumph: I cleaned so much stuff out of my closet/craft cabinet over break. So. Much. Stuff. And I finished reading The Anatomy of Story so I am ready to start scene weaving my new novel.

Current Bane-of-My-Existence: Illness. My kids have been sick and so have I, and I cannot shake the sneezing and the coughing. It just will not go away. It always goes away in Honduras, so I am hoping my upcoming trip will help reset my system.

Current Indulgence: I watched all of the first season of “This is Us” last weekend. I can’t wait for it to return.

Current Mood: First day back to work after break and juggling illnesses in the family? My mood is pensive and exhausted. Probably, by Friday I will be back to normal.

Current Outfit: Dark wash jeans, dark purple sweater over a black tank, dark grey cardigan, light grey sneakers

Current #1 Blessing: The Well… the community I have found there… the friends I have made within that community… They are keeping me sane.

Current Quote: (This explains the answer I gave for #1 Blessing) “I hadn’t realized how much I’d been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to.” ― Elizabeth Berg, Talk Before Sleep

Current Photo:

Photo Jan 02, 3 28 00 PM

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Currently: Going Forward

Current Books: I am a few chapters from finishing The Anatomy of Story. That book make my brain hurt but it is so helpful. I am reading The Souls of Black Folk as an early start on my peace/justice book list. It is crazy how little has changed in the handling of race relations. Technology has changed and the details of what a family’s home life might look like, their school, etc… But, over all, in one hundred years, we haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think. I just started The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg for my postal book club. So far, it is a quiet thoughtful kind of read. Last night, I began Return of the River, which is a collection of poems by Roberto Sosa. This book is doing double duty as part of my peace/justice book list but also research for my new manuscript.

Current Playlist: The Liturgists podcast. I get in my car and hit play and then I nod and say amen and say yes and also cry. I have been crying in my car for two weeks. Sometimes I pull over and sob. It’s the same kind of crying I did when I first read Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans and throughout anything Nadia Bolz-Weber writes. My soul soars upward to meet the words and I find hope there, hope and peace and acceptance and challenge of the best kind. The challenge to be better, not a better Christian or even a better person but a better soul, a better me.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Mello-Yello from the soda machine at work… I rarely drink soda, but lately I grab a can from that machine 2-3 times a week.

Current Colors: teals and creams… soft colors, but not pastels, per se. Peaceful homey colors.

Current Food: A lot of my preschool students brought me Christmas gifts, and one of those gifts included three kinds of cookies. So yummy.

Current Drink: This morning, it is coffee from a travel mug one of my students gave me for Christmas, but it will be Emergen-C apple cider in a bit. I am trying to shake a cold.

Current Favorite-Favorite: The Liturgists Podcast, hands down. I know I sound obsessive lately, but their conversations are feeding my spirit. I wonder if this is how the disciples felt when they first started walking behind Jesus, listening. Suddenly, things were making sense, and they didn’t feel quite so crazy.

Current Wishlist: Mostly books: Amazon Wishlist

Current Needs: Stamina… Back to work on January 3rd and then just one week before I am registering for classes and then a day or so later, it is back to college for me. There will be a trip to Honduras tucked in there as well, and I have a book to write.  So, you know, nothing really going on in 2017.

Current Triumph: I got all of my paperwork done and turned in and jumped through all of the hoops so I can go back to school. Also, I completed a full semester as a preschool teacher. There were some weeks I didn’t think I would make it. The kids are great, but my depression and anxiety issues can make things more difficult.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Naptime in my 3yo class… I am going to do some schedule rearranging in January to try to fix that. In a class of twelve, I have only two that always nap.

Current Indulgence: Blogging right now… I need to be putting together media for The Well tonight. And I will do that as soon as I finish this. I also indulged in a thrifting trip with my friend, Jeniffer, yesterday. I bought jeans and a blazer, and I haven’t bought myself clothes in a long time.

Current Mood: Not bad. I am coughing and feeling a bit sick, but I have chicken in the crockpot for our Community Well party and I swept the kitchen while my coffee brewed. I’m looking forward to two weeks off of work, and my new manuscript is promising.

Current Outfit: Grey sweats, Leila’s old Southern Miss soccer sweatshirt, thick slipper-socks one of my students gave me for Christmas

Current #1 Blessing: My husband, my family, my home… finding community here in Mississippi

Current Quote: “There I was, waiting, afraid I’d never experience the kind of joy yet to come, but hoping for it just the same.” -Elizabeth Berg, The Year of Pleasures

Current Photo:

David, after his choir concert

 

Title from:  “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson (((Because, 2015 was Dream and 2016 was Dare and now it is time to go forward with a dream in one hand and a dare in the other.))

Currently: The Best of Summer Gone

Current Books: I have too many open at the same time, and I am trying to wrap a few up. I started Daring Greatly on the flight to Honduras, and it is really good. I am just struggling to focus on non-fiction right now. That’s also why I am only halfway though Foolsgold, even though I started it well before my Honduras trip. I’m reading from Original Voices before bed each night. That is a mix of poetry and prose. For poetry, I am more than half through The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins. That is another I was reading while in Honduras. I’m reading through my copy of Three Simple Rules to help me with small group facilitating. I just started The Hypnotist’s Love Story to continue my Liane binge. I just finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and also the audio of Lit Up (very very good).

Current Playlist: “Trust in You” from Lauren Daigle. I listen to it on repeat as I drive to work each morning. It’s getting me through a rough time. That line… “Letting go of every single dream”

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Binge-watching Downton Abbey on the weekends. I will finish the series this weekend or next.

Current Color: Bright blue, bright red… bright colors

Current Food: I am craving pupusas.

Current Drink: My coffee every morning is so wonderful. I bought more Hope coffee from Mi Esperanza, and it is just perfect.

Current Favorite Favorite: The feeling of publication. It never gets old. I have three poems up at Scarlet Leaf Review this month. You can read them HERE.

Current Wishlist: A few new outfits, new black boots before winter, to try LulaRoe leggings, a writer’s retreat

Current Needs: A bit more energy, because I am now extraverting 6 out of 7 days a week. I’d also do well with a girls’ night out.

Current Triumph: I have my lessons planned through September, and I actually wrote a new poem today.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: I’ve had a cold and I can’t seem to fully recover my voice. It starts out okay each morning but reading to kids all day, talking loudly over kids all day, singing silly songs with kids all day… I need some quiet time.

Current Indulgence: Doing this post and working on a poem when I have food to cook and still need to clean up before tonight’s meeting.

Current Mood: Is exhausted a mood?

Current Outfit: My Buenas TARDIS El Doctor t-shirt, my favorite skinny jeans, grey and white polka dot shoes

Current #1 Blessing: Peace in my home, with my husband and my kids

Current Quote: Hope is a function of struggle. – Brené Brown

Current Photo:

Limited edition shirt from Out of Print Clothing

Title from:

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
― Sylvia Plath

Currently: Summer, Soon Enough

Current Books: I just finished The Reader by Traci Chee (BEAUTIFUL), and I am near the end of the hilarious Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle (on audio). I have a volume of poetry by Billy Collins in my purse, and I am reading from Foolsgold by Susan Wooldridge and The Anatomy of Story by John Truby.

Current Playlist: Various Spanish practice programs on Overdrive

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Probably taking time to do this post today. I have so much to do, having just returned from Annual Conference, and my heart is heavy over the horror in Orlando last night. I want to be doing something that matters, that fixes things. But instead I am distracting myself on the Internet.

Current Color: Red… I wore red shoes and red lipstick with my black dress Friday night.

Current Food: I had a strawberry macaron on Saturday, and now I want more macarons.

Current Drink: I am on my second cup of coffee today, a mix of some from El Salvador and some from Rwanda.

Current Favorite Favorite: Pictures from Annual Conference

Current Wishlist: Eh… various books and such. Nothing major.

Current Needs: A few more items for Honduras… I will start packing this week.

Current Triumph: Last Friday, my husband was ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. He has worked toward this for 9 years. I am so proud of him. And I managed not to trip going onto the stage, so that’s good too. Ha!

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: The hate and distrust that still fills the Church… It’s not right. We have got to love each other and those around us, or we are always going to do more harm than good.

Current Indulgence: I recently bought a stack of books from a used bookstore. I can’t wait to dive into them.

Current Mood: Heavy-hearted over the mass shooting in Orlando, hopeful for our future despite the sadness…

Current Outfit: My 7 For All Mankind jeans (thrift store, y’all, I am cheap) and my Bell Jar tee from Out of Print, along with black flip-flops, ’cause it is summer.

Current #1 Blessing: My husband. He is sending me off to another country for an entire month, and he didn’t think twice about the extra work that will put on him.

Current Quote:  “If you’re reading this, then maybe you know you ought to read everything. And maybe you know you ought to read deeply. Because there’s witchery in these words and spellwork in the spine.”  ― Traci Chee, The Reader

Current Photo:

After ordination, 6/10/2016

Title taken from: “Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”  ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Currently: earth by april

Current Books: I’m halfway through The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker and about to start Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin. For my morning read, I just finished The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning and started Spiritual Sobriety by Elizabeth Esther. For small group, I am reading Blueprint for Discipleship by Kevin Watson.

Current Playlist: I have been hitting shuffle on iTunes.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Apple sodas

Current Color: Red

Current Food: Tonight, I did a taco bar for our leadership meeting at my house.

Current Drink: Mostly water with an apple soda from time to time and coffee to start my day

Current Favorite Favorite: The community that is forming around The Well

Current Wishlist: Books. A lot of books. So many books.

Current Needs: A few things for my trip to Honduras, the last $55 to make my financial goal for Honduras, to update my Tetanus shot

Current Triumph: I had a poem accepted for publication at “Mothers Always Write.”

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: The postal service. They failed to forward a package containing something I cannot replace that did not even belong to me. *cries* It appears to have been stolen from the porch of our old address.

Current Indulgence: Writing this despite the five billion items on my to-do list

Current Mood: Pretty good, especially considering the amount of extroverting I have had to do over the last week

Current Outfit: Last year’s VBS t-shirt, jeans, sparkly Toms

Current #1 Blessing: My husband… he just is.

Current Quote: “There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.” ― Brennan Manning

Current Photo:

Photo Apr 22

Title taken from:

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

e. e. cummings

Currently: March Madness

Current Books: I’m about halfway through Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey and I just started Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. I’m listening to the audio of Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein at my father’s suggestion and started reading a Kindle book Daddy sent me, also, Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell.

Current Playlist: “Océanos (Donde Mis Pies Pueden Fallar)” by Hillsong United and “Por Siempre” by Generición 12

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I want to say not taking a sub job today and staying home to catch up on writing and blogging work, but I did TRY to take a sub job today.

Current Color: Our new house has grey walls. The bedrooms are a pale grey, almost white, and the rest of the house is darker grey. I adore grey and white for walls and trim, so this is perfect. I am now working on choosing a certain pop of color for each room. In my bathroom, I’ve chosen shades of teal and am collecting candle stands to go around the white marble tub. I will probably add teal bathmats and towels eventually.

Current Food: I spent spring break in South Carolina, and Mama made her meatloaf. It is one of my favorite meals ever. I may have to try my hand at it soon. I have made it before but it never turns out as good as hers.

Current Drink: I finally bought a cheap coffee grinder, so now I can enjoy my coffee from Honduras each morning.

Current Favorite Favorite: We took the boys to Senoia, Georgia on our way to South Carolina. It was about an hour out of the way, but worth it. They had so much fun (and so did we) snapping pics of Walking Dead sites. It took me years to give into the Walking Dead fandom and my sons are only just old enough that we let them start watching. I love sharing that with them. I bought a travel mug that says, “If Daryl Dies We Riot.”

Current Wishlist: Some routine. I thrive with a loose routine to guide my days and I haven’t had that in months. Substitute teaching does not lend itself to a routine schedule. Church planting is anything but routine. I haven’t been writing like I want to be, because I am out of the habit.

Current Needs: I need to make eye appointments for me and both kids. I’m nervous I need new glasses already and I don’t want to go to Honduras and start getting sick. When my vision changes, I deal with nausea and headaches like you would not believe.

Current Triumph: Last time I subbed for my favorite school, the teachers on the hall made me feel so appreciated. I wasn’t sure I could handle subbing for elementary school, so knowing I had done a good job was a big deal for me.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Finally getting a few minutes or hours that I could use to write or clean the house or do just about anything productive and being too exhausted to do any of it.

Current Indulgence: I’m going to Target in a little while. In theory, I am just going to pick up a gift card. Yeah… right.

Current Mood: I feel pretty good lately. Confident, even when I am tired.

Current Outfit: A new pair of jeans Mama gave me and my 1984 sweatshirt from Out Of Print, plus tennis shoes. It’s cold here again.

Current #1 Blessing: My husband. He drove us to SC for Spring Break and spent most of the time corralling our kids so I could enjoy time with my family. Plus, all of the people who have donated to my Honduras trip. I am almost to goal, and I will do a post about the trip soon.

Current Quote: “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” ― Anaïs Nin

Current Photo:

Quarantine cell from the prison, on loan from AMC

Title: Because duh. My basketball bracket is broken. Of course. I always pick Kentucky. I can’t NOT pick Kentucky. But my book bracket… that still has a chance.

Currently: The Time for Comfort

Current Books: I started Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett today, and I just finished a compilation of his nonfiction, A Slip of the Keyboard, on audio. Yesterday I plowed through The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and over the weekend, while sick, I read Dumplin‘ by Julie Murphy and finished Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake.

Current Playlist: Spanish station on Pandora and the audio version of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: We have two shower heads in our shower. I should not use both of them. But I have been sick, and the hot water feels so good. Lord help us when the water bill arrives.

Current Color: Shades of grey and the bright orangish-red of poppies

Current Food: I had a breakfast burrito today, and it was yummy.

Current Drink: Mostly water, but with being sick and still having so much to get done, I’ve been having an extra cup of coffee each day. I do make it half-decaf.

Current Favorite Favorite: Our new house… it is bright and cozy and beautiful.

Current Wishlist: Unpacking my shoes, I realized a few pair could be replaced, and I’d like a few more suitable-for-work outfits. Of course, I’d love to buy things for the house too, new bedding, a hamper, etc…

Current Needs: Finish raising money for Honduras, dental work, to call the vet, make a few appointments for me and Haydn, get over this blasted cold, have David’s saxophone repaired

Current Triumph: I had 3 poems and a short story accepted for publication last week!

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: This cold… I’m falling further behind on so many tasks and the tyranny of the urgent is taking over.

Current Indulgence: Using the gas fireplace. Just having it burning makes me feel like everything is okay. What could be so bad when I am curled up in a room with a fireplace?

Current Mood: Good, when I can see past the sick/drugged feeling of this cold. I’m happy about where my current revision is taking this manuscript. I’m subbing two days a week. It’s exhausting but helping the budget. I’ve raised $770 toward my month in Honduras. Sunday night worship is feeding my soul and I adore the group that is forming around this new church plant. There is a lot of happy in my life right now.

Current Outfit: I am in jeans and a baggy sweatshirt, because I was cleaning the parsonage this morning. We are officially all moved out.

Current #1 Blessing: Corey. He has been taking the kids to school and picking them up when my sub jobs make that difficult. He’s trying to arrange finances so we can cover anything I don’t raise for Honduras and he’s handling David’s saxophone struggles.

Current Quote: “Sometimes half of doing something is pretending that you can.” -Julie Murphy

Current Photo:

Manuscript Revision + Cats

Title taken from: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ― Edith Sitwell