Oh, friends. Are you so tired of me saying it’s been quite a week? If you are, I won’t say it again. Instead I’ll say this: I’m ready for my husband to come home. And I’m ready for my cat to stop going to the hospital.
(This is when I should stop and thank God for how good I have it and for how great my kids have been this week and how thankful I am for my community here in Austin.)
Last night, instead of writing a profound post, I drank tea and watched Parks and Recreation in my bed while petting my sick cat. It was awesome.
And now, in place of something profound, I want to tell you what I’ve been loving this month.
- A Good and Perfect Gift – I read this memoir last month and I still can’t stop considering the themes of Amy Julia Becker’s story of her daughter Penny’s birth and her grieving process upon learning that Penny has Down Syndrome. This book is beautifully written. Rarely does a memoir capture me and demand that I keep turning pages. I lost too much sleep the week I read it! As Amy Julia (who also blogs for Patheos, by the way) works through her own value system and grieves the loss of her dreams of having a child “like" her, she comes to a beautiful understanding of what “perfect” actually means. This book has demanded that I search myself and how I love my kids. (Am I holding lightly to my own expectations of what their lives are and will be? Am I loving them the way God loves me?)
- Rain for Roots – When I heard this album was coming out I think I did a giddy dance. If you have connected at all with The Jesus Storybook Bible, imagine beautifully crafted children’s songs (with lyrics by Sally Lloyd Jones!) about God’s deep love for us. When I listen to most Christian kids music, I find that it tends to emphasize moralistic teaching over grace. Of course, what I love about The Jesus Storybook Bible is that every story points our kids to the heart of God. These songs are in that vein and the music is lovely. It's written and performed by four quirky and talented women, including my girl Sandra McCracken (who can do no wrong in my eyes).
- In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer (Jan Richardson)– If you were reading this blog during Holy Week you’ll recognize the name Jan Richardson. Her art is breathtaking. She focuses on biblical and liturgical themes and I am always moved by her work. I just recently bought this book for use during my prayer times and it is something special. It’s totally different than anything else I’ve ever used. If you’re looking for a tool that tells you what to pray, this is not your book. But if you need a small reflective thought to direct you gently in prayer, pick this book up. Jan thinks in a way that is unique and contemplative and, well, artistic. And it’s really good for my time in prayer to let her heart guide my own. Also, if you haven’t seen her work, find it here and also, check out her blog here.
- Slate’s Mad Men TV Club – I used to watch a lot more TV than I do now. But, Mad Men is a fixture in my TV life and I’m all in. I’m also a faithful Slate reader. And I feel like I can’t fully experience an episode of Mad Men without clicking over to Slate to see what their TV Club says about it. It’s all part of the TV watching experience for me…
Other than that, I’m kind of lame. I wish I could say: Honey, I'm totally into "watermelon pink and deep gray"! Or, I’ve made my children some chilled summer porridge in adorable mason jars and they just looooove them! (Alas, I have not.) Or, Girl! Add this to your DIY list! (I’ve never had a DIY list in my life so I don’t even have anything to link to…)
Instead I’ll say, get some rest and enjoy your Thursday and do yourself a favor and listen to Rain for Roots with your kid and/or by yourself. It’s the very best.