Stories and glimpses of my crazy life

Stories and glimpses of my crazy life

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Among stately trees

Enjoying some evening beauty with my cousin.

One of many delightful adventures lately.

"Laugh from your gut. Burden your moments with thankfulness. Be as empty as you can be when that clock winds down. Spend your life. And if time is a river, may you leave a wake."

Monday, April 27, 2015

Adventure is worthwhile in itself

-Amelia Earhart

I'm sorry if I seem to return here only to tell you when I'm going away. That certainly isn't my intention. The truth is, blogging takes time--particularly the pictures--and so if I'm going to tell you that I'm doing much the same, it seems hardly worth it. Yes, the bookworm is still reading, etc.
Most things I chronicle for myself in numerous notebooks and my phone (a mostly-smart device names Giles). And some things are fine left unrecorded. However, I do love this cyber-eyrie of mine, and try to return here when I have something sufficiently interesting to warrant a little hassle.

I'm going on another trip in a couple of days. Heading East, toward the sunrise, nearer our capitol, nearer the Atlantic. I'm going to see the world at a different angle, and wake up in a town I've never been to. I'm going to spend time with people I love, and probably talk a lot. And learn stuff.

I love traveling, and there are countless reasons to try it for yourself. Here are a hundred.
I came across that list a while ago and loved it. All of them are brilliant reasons that I resonate with, but here are a few of my favorites: to broaden your horizons, to dare to be different, to strengthen social skills (to know different kinds of people), to become a storyteller, to improve your sense of geography, and to challenge yourself constantly.

I love packing light and bringing all the right things. An important part of this is also just being okay without the thing you forget. There's usually something. Just grab the essentials. Wallet, phone and boarding pass? You're okay. Change of clothes, earbuds, and travel journal? You're set!

If you're planning a trip yourself, here are a few tips I find helpful:

- roll instead of fold (most people know this one, but it's very true)
- find a color scheme you like for your wardrobe. That's a great way to choose which pieces to bring
- if you're trying to pack light, make sure everything you bring can be worn several ways
- bring a few things to give away. Whether they're gifts or whatever, giving is always fun, and ensures a little more space on the return trip.

Or, if you're wishing you could be traveling but aren't able to, here are a few ways to bring the adventure home, and cure some wanderlust:

- color in maps, label countries

- pray for a foreign country, maybe somewhere you'd like to visit, or that has suffered a national disaster recently (Nepal, for example)
- make a summer bucket list; plan and take a road trip complete with food, tunes, and a quirky destination, or no destination at all
- cook a dish from another country or place, making it as authentic as possible
- make a list of the top five places you would visit, if your dreams came true. Think of a few things you would be sure to bring with you. And then try to incorporate those things into your daily life.
(Your camera, that versatile scarf, a notebook you've been waiting to fill, your compass and map)
- don't wait till Friday, or summer, or for someone to come along. Make yourself breakfast, use your favorite mug, light a candle, turn on that music you want to dance to.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Salt Water

"The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears, or the sea."
  --Isak Dinesen

Easter dinner

He is not here, for he is risen!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A bit of green

to go with the day.

"Would you like an adventure now?
"... Or shall we have our tea first?"

until we're all grown up...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dids and didn'ts. also inspiration. life.

Well hello there, whoever you are, still out there keeping an eye on this oft neglected eyrie of mine. I miss this place and I'm here to let you know a little of what's going through my mind and life these crazy days that make up life. And just to add to the realism of it all, a few things that I'm also not getting done.

I'm not journalling every day, despite how much it helps me. Every few days I remember and every several I do partake in those clarifying scribbles. But there it is. I do not in fact avail myself of all the available brain-nourishment that I could. Buckling down to actual writing is definitely on my to-do list, and rising toward the top. In the meantime I haven't been totally neglecting my brain exercise. I have enjoyed many puzzles: sudoku, crosswords (these are hard people), games of riddles, midnight poetry writing, navigating airports, inventing recipes, and physical exercise.

I've been thoroughly inspired by Reebok lately, their cool videos, and their Gray Matters page about how physical activity boosts every part of your brain, from life-span, to memory, to anti-depression, anti-anxiety. So yeah, I've been working on fitness too lately. This being the February&March time of year that is both sedentary and restless, I need all the help I can get. I've never been really serious about it before, so it will be cool to see how it goes. And yes I'm still pretty much at the point where my life is just a little bit awkward working around fitness, since I don't want my life to revolve around it... But it is rewarding.

I've gone on trips both North and South, and I'm planning one East. I'm working on reading several books (and audio while I'm cleaning). I've started a few projects, one of them with photography, which is something I haven't really explored much. It's fun.

Duluth and Lake Superior
Until next time then, this is a word from me, sitting in the semi-sunshine of a dining room window. Contemplating yoga, fairytales, mysteries, giant stacks of books, and how it will feel to be warm again.... But not in that order. And wherever you find yourself on this spinning sphere of ours, I hope you laugh today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


as a sort of post script to my last post, here is an excerpt from my scribble notebook a few weeks ago.

"The chattering of birds outside the window has been immeasurably reviving today. I've had a bout of the flu, and to be able to see and hear the cheerful flock of sparrows in their muted browns, hopping about excitedly in the bush, happy about temporary melted patches and fleeting streaks of blue sky has made me feel alive.

A little taste of heaven I think, this brightening of color, sound, sharpening of detail. Moments like these I feel I've been seeing black and white for a while. I've been starved for color, though hardly knowing it, numbed to sharp detail, deaf to the shouting wonder of the world.

And when I feel I've got my eyes back, I'm all the more excited for heaven where reality will be more real than we've ever know. Hard will be harder, soft will be softer. War will become victory, light will overcome darkness, and my eyes will no longer grow weary of wondering."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


The more I travel, the smaller I feel in the world, and the happier I feel in seeing; I'm wide-eyed fascinated at this crazy life on this spinning planet. So long as I can still see the colors of each day, I'm all right. When I can see sixteen shades of blue in the sky, or gradations of sparrow-brown, bright eyes flecked with memories and different colors... and I remember God's handiwork is in every fiber... that's when I can laugh at the riotous, blazing, happiness of the sky; laugh with joy that I can actually know Him, know God! I can even laugh at tomorrow.

My favorite stories: in books, in movies, in life; are the ones that help me see. That's why I read, that's why I travel. Glimpses. Never wanting to let my eyes get weary of seeing; encouraging with new sights, new lands for the imagination, lest monotony or fatigue trick my mind into thinking the color is gone. Beauty. The unseen behind the seen.

"Beauty is a path along which we catch a glimpse of the chimneystacks of home; it is a lamp in the window on a dark night, a song remembered from our infancy. Beauty sings what the youngest part of our souls already knows: this is only the beginning." --Lanier Ivester

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

beside the fire...

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

dose of GKC

"One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty not only in wisdom but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance." --Chesterton

Thursday, January 15, 2015


by Nichole Nordeman

I believe in the rest of the story

And I believe there's still ink in the pen
I have wasted my very last day
Trying to change what happened way back when

I believe it's the human condition

We all need to have answers to why
More than ever I'm ready to say that I
Will still sleep peacefully
With answers out of reach from me until

Someday all that's crazy

All that's unexplained will fall into place
And someday all that's hazy
Through a clouded glass will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting for someday

We were born with a lingering hunger

We were born to be unsatisfied
We are strangers who can't help but wander
And dream about the other side

Someday all that's crazy

All that's unexplained will fall into place
And someday all that's hazy
Through a clouded glass will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting for someday

Every puzzle's missing piece

Every unsolved mystery
More than half of every whole
Rest in the hands that hold for someday

Someday all that's crazy

All that's unexplained will be beautiful, beautiful
And someday all that's hazy
Through a clouded glass will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting, we're waiting for someday

We're just waiting

We are strangers

Thursday, January 1, 2015


"There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

At the beginning of last year, along with books I wanted to read, I made a list of several resolutions, inspired by this post here. Things like listen to more classical music, (something I didn't do incredibly well on), drink more water, plan trips, give to the poor, learn something new. And whether or not I call them resolutions, I really like to take this time of year to collect my thoughts, prioritize, and make goals for the coming year. Without prioritization I find myself accomplishing little, and when I do, it's difficult to see where I've made progress unless I take stock, make lists. What I learned, what I would like to learn. Here's an article about useful lists to keep up.

And while it sometimes feels funny to have a list that spans everything from pray more, to floss more. It can also be interesting, encouraging, and amusing. So here goes.

Things I want to do this year:
  1. Worship
  2. Reach out--commit to community. Friendships take work.
  3. Read chewy books
  4. Journal every day. This helps me stay grounded and keep my thoughts in order... Shows where I've been, and where I'd like to go. They're very interesting to look back on, even if only to yourself.
  5. Choose adventure; say yes to travel
  6. Sing
  7. Relearn how to play baseball. 
  8. Spend time with grandparents
  9. Keep up with world news and global issues
  10. Stick to my bible-reading plan. I'm doing this one.
  11. Get rid of stuff I don't need. Declutter. Unfortunately this involves a bigger mess first...
  12. Watch more sunrises and sunsets
  13. Open an Etsy shop
  14. Direct conversations to substantial subjects
  15. Serve
  16. Rest
  17. Love "To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip your enemies of their greatest weapon... Our goal was never to live; our goal is to love. It is the goal of all truly noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even your life itself." --Empire of Bones by N.D. Wilson
  18. Take more walks and bike-rides
  19. Exercise my mind as well as my body
  20. Write something everyday: story, poem, letter, journal, blogpost
"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein." -H. Jackson Brown

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


2014 draws to a close and I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by the beautiful blank slate ahead. I love its untarnished emptiness--like a new notebook--and I get so excited by the possibilities! All the things that I can do and be. Yes. Be... That is a thought that is both thrilling and terrifying. I could be a whole new person next year. In some ways I feel completely different than I was a year ago.

"We all change when you think about it. We're all different people all through our lives. And that's ok, that's good, you've got to keep moving, as long as you remember all the people that you used to be."
--The Doctor

I'm astounded by how much I grow year to year. How I can be a completely different person than I was twelve months ago. And I've had an interesting year, with a veritable mountain of delightful experiences, but all mixed in with low moments, extreme fatigue, and a blank listlessness that I fear more than almost anything.

I say that only to remind you that we all have our dragons to slay. Every day in fact. If it isn't pain or darkness, then it's laziness, uncharitableness, or pride. And I mention these dark things only because it makes the light shine all the brighter. Over and over this year I have been drenched with blessings, flooded with love, and encouraged and assisted in doing numerous crazy-beautiful things. God has answered so many prayers, and I wouldn't trade away this year of extremes for anything.

This year was, among other things, a year of learning. And that is what I always want for my life. To live and grow and expand.... Life sometimes looks a little long, but it goes by increasingly quickly. Sometimes there isn't a clear path, and I have to remind myself that no one else has a manual for life either. Every year I find out more things that I don't know. But I do know that there is a breathtaking, enormous world out there, and countless opportunities to Serve your Guts Out.  I pray that I would find the ones meant for me, and continue to see and experience to God's glory, sharing His joy wherever I land. Sometimes that means staying right here where I am, and sometimes it means daring to Go. Working, praying, reading, flying....

"Because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world better than those who know no other." --C.S. Lewis

Here are a few of the adventures that 2014 brought:

Florida, a winter break, everglades, ocean, friends

Cross-country skiing

Colorado: rocks and mountains, bracing winds; museum, zoo, friends...
"The traveller sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." --G.K. Chesterton

traipsing all across the state to waterfalls, lakes, camping,
picnic on a sandbar

Tubing in Iowa...
Oregon Coast!

Portland Oregon, and Washington State
"It has long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let thing happen to them. They went out and happened to things." --Leonardo da Vinci

In my previous post I wrote about all the books I read this year. They weren't all the same ones that were on my 'To read list' a year ago, life moves on at a startling rate, and my 'to read list' gets longer all the time. I also filled notebooks with hundreds of thousands of words and don't plan to stop.
Here are a few blogs I started following this year:

the Ink Slinger  Good book recommendations, clever writing, and refreshing thinking.

Thoroughly Alive  She lives in England, goes to Oxford, and writes thought-provoking, truth-filled articles.

The Rebelution: a teenage rebellion against low expectations.  Inspiration to Do Hard Things every single day.
This is a great article from them: Reading God's Word: A New Year's Resolution for the Rebelution.

Brain Pickings  A place full of information and ideas. No need to agree with everything, but it broadens the scope of knowledge. A good place for intellectual fodder.

As far as music goes, and music goes a long way with me--always a part of my life: 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams was one of my favorites this year. I also really enjoyed Owl City's new releases, Bastille's Bad Blood album, Colony House's 'Silhouettes', Jason Gray's 'Love Will Have the Final Word' album, 'Broken' by Lecrae with Kari Jobe... and I made this enormously long playlist this year filled with old and new favorites: Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles, One Republic, Paper Lions...

"Clock moves so slowly... Time moves so fast...." -Bebo Norman
And look at that, we're about done with this year! I'd better post this while it's still 2014. 
Happy New Year!

a year in books

"There is no friend as loyal as a book" -Ernest Hemingway

House of Hades by Rick Riordan
"During the third attack, Hazel almost ate a boulder."

This was an exciting read, not only because it was classic Riordan--adventurous, informative, and gut-bustingly hilarious. It was also the first book I'd read 'fresh off the press'. Never before had I been invested in a series while it was still being written. And although agonizing, waiting for the book to be published was a great experience. And the reading itself was unusual, in that I was able to read it not only in one day, but nearly one sitting! It was last New Year's Day, and I had woken up early in the morning to walk a 5k in 8 degree weather, got back in the house and remembered I had an entire new book to read, and nothing on the agenda. I spent the rest of the day reading, and finished it that night. 583 pages! Such a great time.

Over the course of the year I also listened to the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books again on unabridged audio. (All the ones that were out)

Mythology by Edith Hamilton
"Greek and Roman mythology is quite generally supposed to show us the way the human race thought and felt untold ages ago."

I love the Rick Riordan books, and although you can argue that he changes up the myths a bit and adds all kinds of teenage jargon... those books also got me fully intrigued by mythology, and I went and found Edith Hamilton's book. Much chewier of course, but worth the work. I also love the D'aulaires' book of Greek Myths.

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers
"'Contrast,' philosophised Lord Peter sleepily, 'is life. Corsica--Paris--then London...'"

I'm steadily reading the Lord Peter books, and I love them. I started a bit out of order, and then went back to the beginning. Brilliant mysteries, lovable characters, and such inspiring writing!

Death by Living - N.D. Wilson
"Where are you exactly on this planet? How many feet above sea level and how many feet below and above the nearest stars? Where are you in time, in history, in the beyond-all-human-comprehension parade of handcrafted matter marching in noise and glory through this thing we call the present moment?"

Such a good book. I remember I finished reading it on the airplane returning from Florida last winter. I love the way Nathan Wilson thinks, and he has such a way with words and stories that it never gets dry. I don't read as much nonfiction, but this was completely enjoyable and inspiring. I put it in the category with Lewis and Chesterton, not because of the kind of book exactly, but because the writing in itself, helps you think.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
"Well," I said. "If you need me, I'll be outside, playing with sharp objects."

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
"the answer to every problem involved penguins"

The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
"Our problems started in Dallas, when the fire-breathing sheep destroyed the King Tut exhibit."

A few more excellent Rick Riordan stories here, but a different series. (I didn't read them all in a row, but I wanted to group them together.) Great humor and plot-twists, likable characters. Egyptian mythology this time. I got to go to a museum not long after I read them, and in the Egyptian section I was thrilled to recognize all manner of symbols, pictures and words.

Mike by P.G. Wodehouse
"Mike nodded. A sombre nod. The nod Napoleon might have given if somebody had met him in 1812 and said, 'So, you're back from Moscow, eh?'"

Wodehouse is an old favorite. I read this one because it's the first book in which Psmith appears. Psmith doesn't actually come into the story all that much, and the story involves a great deal of cricket, but it was still very enjoyable.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
"'My idea of good the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.'
'You are mistaken,' said he gently, 'that is not good company, that is the best.'"

I have to have long rests between doses of Austen, but when I do, it is thoroughly enjoyable. I didn't read in a very Austen-ish way though. No fancy dresses (no dress at all actually, and no good posture, more's the pity). I read it on my kindle during my sojourns in Colorado.

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
"As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
No, eight days a week."

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
"'There's a lot to be said for being alone. But you and I know, don't we, Flavia, that being alone and being lonely are not at all the same thing?'"

These two books are delightful stories from the perspective of a precocious eleven-year-old girl in the 1950s. She thinks, and performs experiments, and solves mysteries. There's a whole long series that I look forward to.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
"Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be."

I read this book after seeing the movie. Both are excellent, but the book was amazing. Not only because the story is intriguing and well-told, but also, the writing really makes you think. Sharper, clearer, more strategically. There is a great deal of strategy in ordinary every-day logic that I feel most people neglect. And I was inspired to use my brain to its potential.

What's Wrong with the World by G.K Chesterton
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried."

"Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities."

I can't say enough good about Chesterton. I have mentioned before (quite often) how I appreciate the way he thinks and how his writing makes me think. Even when I get to sections that I don't understand, the writing itself is teaching and inspiring me. An unusual trait, and a thrilling one.

Death in Kenya by M.M. Kaye
'A flock of pelicans, their white wings dyed apricot by the setting sun, sailed low over the acacia trees of the garden with a sound like tearing silk, and the sudden swish of their passing sent Alice's heart into her throat and dried her mouth with panic.'  

A brilliant little mid-century mystery by a favorite writer. A light read, but lovely prose, pleasant, quirky characters and a grand mystery.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
"A thief never makes a noise by accident."

(reread Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner)
"I sometimes believe his lies are the truth, but I have never mistaken his truth for a lie."

King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
"Sometime, if you want to change a man's mind, you have to change the mind of the man next to him first."

Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
"'I don't think unlikely means to him what it does to the rest of us,' said the magus."

love these books. I had read Queen of Attolia before and loved it. So I went back to read the whole series, and loved it even more. Such a great story. Deep, interesting characters and a complex, often unexpected plot. Rich atmosphere. More than the sum of its parts, certainly, and a forever favorite.

Unnatural Death by Dorothy Sayers
"To the person who has anything to conceal--to the person who wants to lose his identity as one leaf among the leaves of a forest--to the person who asks no more than to pass by and be forgotten, there is one name above others which promises a haven of safety and oblivion. London."

Another excellent Lord Peter Whimsey novel.

Death in Cyprus by M.M. Kaye
"Amanda had not been really frightened until she found the bottle."

And another delightful vintage mystery laced with romance. Kaye describes the mediterranean island in vivid atmospheric tones, as always.

The Moonstone by Wilkee Collins
"We had our breakfasts--whatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn't matter, you must have your breakfast."

This book is written from several different perspectives, and each has its own special flavor. Some parts I could read more quickly, each section very like the personality of its narrator. So it was intriguing from a writer's perspective as well as a reader's. The mystery was splendid as well, but I won't give anything away.

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
"Sometimes you must seem to hurt something in order to do good for it."

The last book in the Dark is Rising series (the first two of which I listen to on audio every year). Great favorites. Full of rich description, fantasy, and Arthurian legend.

The Magic Summer by Noel Streatfeild
(couldn't find a quote--the book's back at the library)

I love Noel Streatfeild's Ballet Shoes, and Theater Shoes, so this year I read this one by her. Fun, ordinary adventures, a few eccentric characters, and a slightly whimsical, unexpected summer.

An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters
"August came in, that summer of 1141, tawny as a lion and somnolent and purring as a hearthside cat."

The title speaks for itself I should say. It's a Cadfael mystery--a crusader-turned-monk in the twelfth century--and is rich with atmosphere and history. The stories are full of truths and realistic characters; growth, beauty, herbariums, and moody western England.

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
"The incurable optimism of the farmer who throws his seed on the ground every spring, betting it and his time against the elements, seemed inextricably to blend with the creed of her pioneer forefather that 'it is better farther on'--only instead of farther on in space, it was farther on in time, over the horizon of the years ahead instead of the far horizon of the west."

I have read and heard read all the preceding Laura Ingalls Wilder books numerous times. Then this year I visited Walnut Grove, and although the museum isn't terribly impressive, there was one thing that made an impression on me. One book. One name. (pictured below.) I read this book soon after.

(reread 100 cupboards by N.D. Wilson)
"Henry successfully kept his mind on the game, which mights seem strange for a boy who slept beside a wall of magic. But baseball was as magical to him as a green, mossy mountain covered in ancient trees. What's more, baseball was a magic he could run around in and laugh about. While the magic of the cupboards was not necessarily good, the smell o leather mixed with dusty sweat and spitting and running through sparse grass after a small ball couldn't be anything else."

Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson
"Your blood is all green and gold with the strength of dandelions. And their strength is in their laughter, for they fear nothing."

The Chestnut King by N.D. Wilson
"For you may the weak have love and the strong have fear. For you may the darkness break. May your life be a truth, and your death a glory."

Nathan Wilson writes in rough-and-tumble prose, full to bursting with poetic magic. I don't know how he does it, but I am forever grateful. Dandelion Fire is the one that absolutely captured me. If I ever finish a story I hope it's even a little like those books. There's such vibrance in his writing, so much meaning, and hope. I was reading my journal entries from August which was a difficult time for me this year, and these books really helped me through.

"Your life is your own, your glory is your glory, but you will lose it if you keep it for yourself. Grasp it for the sake of others. What might you do with it?"

"A man once told me that sometimes winning a fight isn't as important as standing in the right place, facing what needs to be faced. And sometimes standing in the right place means you end up dead. And that's better than not standing at all."

Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan
"Getting eaten by a giant crocodile was bad enough. The kid with the glowing sword only made my day worse."

Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan
"She didn't like taking credit for other people's camels."

A couple of short stories by Rick Riordan. (surprise, surprise.) Percy Jackson meets the Kanes. Hilarious. Totally made my day.

Deepening the Soul for Justice by Bethay H. Hoag
"Seeking justice begins with seeking God: our God who longs to bring justice; our God who longs to use us, every one of his children, to bring justice; our God who offers us the yoke of Jesus in exchange for things that otherwise leave us defeated."

This was more of a booklet, but a good read. Raising awareness about the human trafficking that goes on today. And looking to Christ for our help.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
"Governments and fashions come and go but jane Eyre is for all time."

This story is full of all sorts of fun things that you probably always wished existed: literary detectives, time travel, fictional characters that come to life, books you can get inside of, and plenty of what-ifs.

Live Like a Narnian by Joe Rigney
"As G.K. Chesterton reminded us, the reason that order and structure exist in the world is so that good things can run wild."

I first knew I wanted to read this book when I heard Joe Rigney speak at the C.S. Lewis conference. (Since I wasn't able to go--a fact that made me incredibly sad--I watched the lectures online, and they were all wonderful.) Helping unpack the magic of the Narnia series and remind us to be 'first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there's hunger in the land... to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land.' (Horse and His boy)

Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
"'Oh, come on!' Percy complained. 'I get a little nosebleed and I wake up the entire earth? That's not fair!'"

Last of the series, and a great one. Sad to see the era end. Definitely a cast of characters that will continue to be my friends for years to come.   .-..  .  ---    ..  ...    -  ....  .    -...  .  ...  -

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
"Your primary goal isn't to do something extraordinary but to do all things, even the ordinary things, extraordinarily well."

So yes, I'm a little behind the times in reading and getting behind the Rebelution. Not only was this book written six years ago, it was written for teenagers by teenagers, 'choosing to get every possible benefit out of the teen years in creative, responsible, and highly effective ways'.

"Do hard things means fighting for greater levels of excellence because there is always something harder to do. It is never a matter of arriving; it is a constant battle for growth."

"The point is not to have an easy life--Christians don't live easy lives--the point is to serve Him in even the mundane little everyday things and when we feel like giving in.
Help will always come in time."

Although this is my first reading of the book, doing hard things for Christ's sake played a huge part in my teenage years. The transformation of my whole self, my every moment, to live for Jesus--that's when it began to click. I have long felt that each step outside my comfort zone, each difficult task, was a victory, and somehow exponentially important to life. But I've had a lot of trouble trying to express this, and in the slow day-to-day I get discouraged. I forget that there are others out there doing hard things for Christ. I forget the importance of the little stuff; that when we pour ourselves out for Christ, we are filled again by Him.
So it's not a particularly new concept for me, but it is one that speaks to my very soul, lifting me up, reminding and challenging me to live every difficult minute for Jesus. Not expecting it to be easy, but expecting it to be worth it, fulfilling, a learning process, even fun. And being excited all over again about heaven, and all my fellow Christians and rebelutionaries around the globe!

Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
"Youth is a failing only too easily outgrown."

Another great mystery; Agatha Christie this time. Great characters and and a plot that will keep you guessing. It was such fun. This is another one I have memories of reading on my kindle, in an airplane.

The Library of Owen Axanger by J.A. Shealde
"This is the story of a man who stole the seed of a valuable flower from its owners. When he had stolen it he locked it quickly in a strong black box of his own design to prevent it from growing. . ."

An excellent read. It's a children's fantasy novel but with entirely unique twists. Full of new ideas that surprised me and made me think.

The Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson
"Horace smiled. 'Always breakfast like a man condemned. One never knows what a day may bring.'"

The Drowned Vault by N.D. Wilson
"'Son,' his father said. 'Run faithfully to the end, and like all good men, you will die of having lived.'"

Empire of Bones by N.D. Wilson
"'When everyone waits for someone else to do something, evil will always triumph.'"

The Ashton Burials series by Wilson. Brilliant once again. Inspiring, full of adventure and endurance, strength and family. Wilson's books make me want to live my own life with purpose, and depth, and deep-seeded joy.

And more than anything, laughter.