I’ll tell you what, I like these What I’m Into link-ups with Leigh every month. Not just because I get to talk just for a bit about the books that are making me thinking differently, and the TV shows that are making me laugh, and the music that is filling my soul, but because these posts make me reflect on the month. They make me think about where I was and what I was doing at the beginning of a month and consider where I am and what I’m doing at month’s end. They force me to consider where I’m spending my time, and I have to ask myself if I’m happy about that. Sometimes I’m not, but I have to say, most times I really am. I’m noticing retrospectively that I’m telling stories about my friends and the things we’re doing together, and by so doing, I’m keeping track of the memories we’re making at every turn.
Certainly, this October proves no exception.
Early in the month, I tagged along with my friend and her family to an Orchard in PA. We had a blast being outside, telling stories, eating all that not-good-for-you fair kind of food. This is what I know: There is nothing that satisfies my fat kid soul like cider donuts and hot coffee.
At the end of the month, I attended a Blackaby Ministries conference with some of my favorite people in the world. You’ll know the name “Blackaby” if you’ve ever done the Experiencing God study. My Tuesday Night Bible Study girls and I worked our way through it almost two years ago, and it was a great time of great honesty in our group. Because of this, it was a treat to hear again the heart of that study from Richard Blackaby himself. I’ll say this too, Blackaby is a great storyteller. He is someone who understands that power of story, who sees the way it connects people and allows God to break in. And with humility and grace, he simply shared the story of his family, and of how his dad came to write Experiencing God.
(Incidentally, Henry Blackaby came to write his study after being approached by a publisher to simply put on paper the lessons that God had been teaching him. When his son, Richard, told this story at the conference this weekend, I flashed back to those exact same words being said to me by the BFF three years ago – “Will you take a cue from Lauren Winner, and just write down what God’s teaching you?” In that flash, I was reminded not of how much she loves me, but of how much she believes in me. And at the end of that session, I hugged her and I hugged her hard. Because the friend that believes in you before you believe in yourself is God’s grace with skin on. And somewhere over the last year I lost sight of that.)
Shauna Niequist’s Bittersweet…again. Because I can’t help when I’m feeling really run down, but to turn back to words that I know will speak softly to my spirit and remind to look for God and hope.
Katie Davis’ Kisses from Katie after months of being told I need to by several friends. What’s surprised me as I read this one is how much it’s challenged me to think about what it really looks like to love someone…or several someones.
My blog reader hasn’t been touched much this month…again. I have spent the better part of the last few months, as I’ve said before, sorting out exactly what *I’m* thinking that reading everybody else’s words about church, faith, God, friends, dating, and whatever else weren’t helping my head to clear, they were only making things cloudier. Blog reading became, for me, became a mass of information, thousand word post after thousand word post of too-much-to-process. I know that I’ll be back in the blogger world again soon, because blogging people are my people, but that’s going to have to wait until November.
So, let’s just have a moment and talk about the awesomeness that is Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” It’s hilariously done, well cast, and a good way to spend a couple of hours…especially if you’re a fan of, say, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Firefly.
Tom Hiddleston, who we know as Loki from The Avengers, plays Henry V in the latest PBS version of Shakespeare’s play of the same name. And I’ll say this, my friend who is currently teaching a class at a state college on Tudor-Stuart Britain enjoyed it a lot. I, however, spent most of the time playing Hay Day on my phone, the exception being when my friend called for my attention –“Seriously, watch this part. You’ll laugh. The King is about to make a lot of jokes about balls.” For the record, the King did not. He made a lot of jokes about tennis, which is not the same thing.
And of course, I’m watching Castle, New Girl, the Mindy Project, Modern Family, and Parenthood. If anyone has thoughts on the Caskett relationship or why the heck Sarah Braverman is crying SO MUCH this season, let me know.
Also, one of my favorite bands, Page CXVI, is releasing an album for Advent. Now, I’m not usually one who’s jonesing to listen to Christmas music, but I’m excited about this album because I feel like in the hustle-and-bustle in the Christmas season that so often frustrates me, it’s going to help me slow down and remember Jesus. If you’re so inclined, even though it’s only October ,you can listen to their version of Silent Night here.