Here is what I know: I’ve been holding my babies a lot lately. I’ve been more drawn to simplicity than busy. I have less words to say, sitting with silence as we search for healing. I’ve been changing the focus of my wide-angle lens that pulses to the drumbeat of worry and zooming in to my simple, ordinary, moment-by-moment living.
It is here that we are reminded of the miracles that can occur in our little spheres of influence when we steward what we’ve been given well, when we love who has been placed on our path well. We can be responsible for how we care for another and make a difference in our own right now places, even as we walk through the rubble of heartache and grief.
In the name of looking at our days and our moments and reclaiming a bit of fun around here, here are some things that I have been into this summer that I’d love to share with you.
WHAT I’M READING
Have Read ::
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom : This is one of the most creative books I’ve ever read and I recommend it highly. It’s narrated by music (sounds a lot more odd then it ends up being in the book), and it tells the story of a fictional musical genius who works with all of the music greats in the 40’s, 50’s, & 60’s, though by the end of the book you swear he must have actually lived it all seems so real. It’s a story you’ll get wrapped up in, I promise, and how it is all tied together at the end is a work of art.
Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick : This is one of those stories that I was imagining as a movie through the whole book; I would love to see it come to life (and it is!). The characters are so endearing, the story so mesmerizing. It’s a quick read, a great choice to take to the beach. It has the feel of a YA novel, being centered around high schoolers, but some deep truths about community are there to be gleaned if you want to look for them.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty : I think that anything Liane Moriarty touches turns to gold. Her writing is so witty and this story is a mystery that is at once hilarious and riveting. I loved this one, though I think any of hers that you find would be a home run.
Want To Read ::
Each of these are of the nonfiction breed. I’ve been doing a lot of escape reading (which I love) but also love to be challenged and learn about new ways of doing and being. These are what I’m tackling next:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert : I’m finally allowing myself to see myself as a creative and an artist and beginning to believe that each of us are creative and have art inside of us. I’ve heard great reviews about this book as one that allows us to step closer to a life of freedom and creativity and wonder. Have any of you read it? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Boys on the Boat by Daniel James Brown : Am I totally behind the curve with this one? Have y’all read this already? It’s the story of the 1936 American Olympic crew team as they defeated the German team and is supposedly fantastic.
Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer : This one was recommended by Emily Freeman, who says she reads it regularly as it helps create space in her soul. Here’s the snippet from Amazon and it already has spoken to my heart : With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose.
WHAT I’M DOING
Weekly To-Do lists :: A little bit ago I wrote a post about how I was making daily to-do lists and how life-changing it was. Well, it was life-changing for about 2 weeks and then it wasn’t. Then it became stressful for me. What I learned is that my personality is just not made for daily to-do lists- I felt constricted, stressed when I didn’t do something, I felt pressured to get it all done so then I just didn’t do all of the things. But I have found something that still works for me: I’ll sit down at the beginning of the week, think through all of the things that need to get done by Friday and write out a weekly to-do list. I still have a roadmap to help me know where I’m going, but the freedom to get there however I need each day. It’s been so life-giving to find the freedom to do what works for me. Do you need to change up a routine? Here’s your freedom to do what works for you. Don’t worry about other people’s rhythms, you do you.
Working out in the morning with neighborhood girls :: I live on a street with a bunch of other young mamas with kids about mine’s same ages. Totally organically, we started working out together at 8:00am every morning. As I am still brand new here and searching for my people and our community, this has been a welcome balm to my lonely soul. Having a rhythm helps us in our mornings, and regularly getting together with mamas has helped build community here, one morning at a time. What’s something you could start with your neighbors? A book club? A crafting group? Freezer-meal cooking?
Instagram :: I am such a fan of Instagram. It helps me to stay grounded in my right-now moments and has helped me to see the creative inside of all of us as we capture our days. I gram pretty regularly- come hang out with me over there!
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO
Hamilton :: I am riding the Hamilton train with so much glee; this is on repeat daily around here. Ever since my dad took me to my first theater show in the 4th grade I have been obsessed with all things Broadway. I taught high school history before having kids, so the Broaday-loving-history-girl inside of me is completely geeking out over this brilliant, brilliant production. Go listen. Did you know if you have Amazon Prime you can stream the soundtrack for free?
NPR’s Ted Radio Hour :: I love this format. Each show gathers several different talks centered around the same theme and the host dissects them a little bit, interviews the speaker, distills the main message. If you’re into Ted talks, check this out.
Hope Writers :: Oh, the love I could give to HopeWriters. HopeWriters gives grace and hope and encouragement and advice to anyone on the writing journey. When you listen to their podcast, you will walk away feeling like you just had coffee with your best friend, empowered and validated. If you aren’t a part of the HopeWriters crew and are a creative, go listen. They speak our language.
WHAT I’M WATCHING
Bloodline :: Okay, talk about drama here! This is not an action series, but every single second is so intense you have to remind yourself to breathe. Family dysfunction, kind of dark, bad language- but if you’re not thrown off by that, go get sucked in. You will binge watch this one, I promise.
I saw Sarah Bessey do this first and thought it was a fun, light-hearted way to connect over the summer. Let me know if you read/listen/watch any of those things; would love to hear your thoughts!