What I’m Into – April 2013

Source: ebay.com via C on Pinterest



April showered me with whirlwinds of surprisingly strong and difficult emotion.  There were some hard moments personally–not life altering, just a dash of rejection and loneliness mixed with gobs of waiting, frustration and painfully beautiful growth.  I went to a somewhat dark and unexpected place with my worry and fear until I experienced a MUCH needed and amazing weekend of refreshment, rest & beauty.  I then ushered in the end of the month with a delightful birthday, thanks to my Soul Mate Husband.  I don’t mean to be vague about it all, but it was deeply personal, and ultimately cathartic.   All in all, quite a good month, I’d say….

Favorite Blog Posts
Kelly Minter:  Quiet and Small: It’s Okay   
Sometimes quiet and small is okay. It may not make for clever Tweets or garner a slew of comments on Facebook, but it’s nothing to fear; Sometimes private is good. Not every picture has to go through the filters of Instagram and rocket into the public square, it can be for just you; And sometimes hidden is best. Not every blog or bestseller has to be about doing something huge, radical, revolutionary, monumental.


Ann @ A Holy Experience – 40 Things You Need To Know Before You’re 40
In a world of Twitter and Facebook, the command not to turn to the left or the right takes on immediate gravity.


…The moment you stop caring what other people think — is most likely when you start doing what God wants.



Kamille @ Redeeming The Table: The Practices of Eating– The Family Dinner Table & Eating For Soul Nourishment
Eat dinner off the good china, just because.  Have picnics at the table in the Winter and cold gazpacho outside in the summer as it dribbles down your chin.  Make dinners where utensils aren’t needed.  Expect spills and stained tablecloths to be marks of a dinner well eaten. Dinner war wounds–the best kind.  


….Eating is just as much about feeding our souls as it is feeding our bellies.  
It is why the table is so important.  It is why cooking is so important.  When looking at a garden, or going to a Farmer’s Market, we are bombarded by the creativity within creation.  The senses enliven one another and we encounter our deepest desire to be with the other.  


Virtual Bread & Wine dinner party: Hosted by bloggers Leigh Kramer, Hollywood Housewife, Dear Abby Leigh, Blah Blah Blahger, Sarah Bessey, & LoveFeast Table


This self-described ‘virtual, progressive dinner party’ was hands down, my favorite bloggy party/linkup ever.  Everyone of these bloggers had a unique and personal take on the recipe they featured–this event marked probably the 3,456th reason to read Bread & Wine–just sayin’.

Sarah Bessey: In Which I Share My Creative Process

This month I was honored and floored to post my interview with Sarah on my blog.  She was so generous with answering my questions–heck, I was shocked and amazed she said ‘yes’ to my request!  I was even more shocked and amazed when she liked the post enough to share it on her blog–complete with a typewriter graphic that made me swoon.  

Which brings me to my own blog’s faves this month:

On My Blog
In Which I Interview Sarah Bessey

Sarah blew me away with the beauty, honesty and depth of her responses to my cacophony of questions.  I hope to one day to meet her in real life – she is an incredible inspiration to me as a writer, blogger and generally amazing and genuine human being.  I was so thrilled that this interview resonated with so many fellow online kindred spirits.

To me, art is like manna.  I have enough words/inspirations/ideas for today and so I can write and work with abandon.  Tomorrow, there will be more.  I had to learn to trust God’s provision for the “day’s bread” before I was released to really write freely…
…I find God in every corner of my life and it makes me feel like even the most mundane moments of my life are sacred ground.  


Bread & Wine & A Foodie Playlist
In addition to being a bread-and-wine person, I happen to be a music person.
‘Bread & Wine’ – A Playlist For Foodies
1. Bread & Wine – Josh Garrels  2. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson  3. Tacos, Enchiladas & Beans – Bucky & Rebecca  4. Soul Cake – Sting  5. I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl – Nina Simone  6. Black Coffee – Ella Fitzgerald  7. Frim-Fram Sauce – Diana Krall  8. Life Is Just A Bowl of Cherries – Holly Cole  9. Green Apples – Chantal Kreviazuk  10. Caramel – Suzanne Vega  11. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant – Billy Joel  12. Red, Red Wine – UB40  13.Cheeseburger Paradise – Jimmy Buffet  14. Maximum Consumption – The Kinks  15. Chicken Soup With Rice – Gary Rosen  16. Texas Cookin’ – George Strait  17. Cold Beverage – G. Love & Special Sauce  18. Chocolate Cake – Crowded House  19. Green Onions – Booker T & The MG’s  20. Food Glorious Food – {original Oliver Soundtrack} Ice Age Movie Soundtrack


I joined the thongs of bloggers who wrote glowing reviews of Shauna Niequist’s new book Bread & Wine this month, but my favorite part of this post was coming up with the foodie playlist. (Listen to this playlist here.) I’ve found myself listening to it as I’ve cooked many of the book’s recipes.  {And yes, I am still writing the blog series Cooking With Bread & Wine, but I’ve discovered to my surprise that I’m even more laboriously slow when it comes to food writing…sigh.  I hope you’ll stick around to read those posts next month.   I’m taking lots of photos, and hope to share more music to cook by.}


Random Fave Videos

Continuing the food theme, this made me giggle.  I’m in awe of actors and singers with the gift for improv.


I also thought this video was moving and beautiful.  Apparently, there was some backlash to this video post online that I had no idea about and honestly don’t quite understand.  I’m grateful to one of my favorite bloggers Annie for posting it–I saw it there first.  This video addresses issues I had through my formative years, and reminds me of truth and the real definition of beauty.


Favorite Online Art

Source: scribd.com via Crissy on Pinterest


I’ve been sharing Mandipidy’s calendar prints with a Pinterest link every month this year in these monthly linkup posts.  I finally realized I needed to talk about & share her work as one of my fave things this month because it’s so darn lovely.  Though I first discovered her work on Pinterest, I’ve now found her blog where she gives away printables of her monthly calendars–simply delightful.  I’ve never commented on her blog–sorry to be an unintentional stalker Mandy!–but I’ve decided I must interview her for the Resources For Creatives series soon – she’s so talented!  {I’m currently swooning over this necklace in her Etsy shop.}

Lindsay Letters – Bread & Wine Collection



I am a huge fan of Lindsay’s work, and was elated to see her letter design on the cover of my favorite book this year.  I was even MORE elated to discover she & Shauna Niequist are collaborating on products together! I’ve already ordered this small print, and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a tea towel & ‘Bread & Wine’ print to her online store.  Shop these beautiful products here.


Soul Refreshment at Jumping Tandem

tandem retreat pic

I’ve tried multiple times to blog about the joy and refreshment and refilling I experienced at Deidra’s AMAZING Jumping Tandem retreat, and I honestly just don’t have adequate words yet.  There was also something gloriously different and life giving that happened for me that weekend.  It was the kind of conference/retreat I’ve always dreamed of experiencing. (And it’s no coincidence that ‘dreaming’ was the weekend’s theme).  It was something that perhaps could only be born in me with a handful of kindred spirits gathered in the fields near a small town.  Lisa-Jo Baker probably described it best for me: “It’s like church camp meets a slumber party meets women empowered to help change the world.”  To that I say, a mighty Yes! indeed!




I haven’t read many books this month, but I think perhaps the slight reading break was a good thing.  In the middle of the month, I hit an emotional rough patch, and picked up the book Freefall to Fly, as many of my favorite bloggers/writers were raving about it, and let’s face it, I’m a sucker for beautiful cover art.  Its a fantastic read that’s bringing me back to my days of living in NYC.  The only book I finished was The War of Art.  I’m still working my way through Jon Acuff’s Start, and I’m debating which title to add to my Current-Reading-Stack from my ginormous collection of Books-I-Own-But-Haven’t-Yet-Read. (Thanks Anne & Leigh for inspiring me last month.)  I’m considering Help,Thanks, Wow; An Altar In The World, and Bossypants as candidates for my next read—anyone want to weigh in on which I should start first?


On a related bookish note, I was able to snag a last minute ticket to Shauna Niequist’s taping of a LifeToday episode in Dallas this month.  It was worth sitting through 2 other guests I didn’t have plans to see to hear her speak beautifully about community and her wonderful new book.  I was thrilled to say hello, gush in tongue-tied spurts to her about how her book has affected me, and snag a quick picture.



I’ve actually downloaded some great music this month.  In addition to loving the new John Denver tribute album, I’m also loving the collaboration between Steve Martin (yes, the one and only) and Edie Breckell.  Martin’s an accomplished banjo player in addition to being (one of my favorite) iconic actors.    This album of folk inspired tunes is worth a listen–my favorite tune on the album is the title track, Love Has Come For You.  (I featured these albums in this month’s Mixtape Monday post.)

I’m also loving a free download compliation of tunes from folks like Sleeping At Last, Brillance & Thad Cockrell.  Author Rebekah Lyons is offering this mix free to anyone purchasing her new book, Freefall to Fly.  I’m LOVING this read, and I love that this mix was her book-writing playlist.  (Find the ordering details here.  She’s also offering a beautiful free printable by her gorgeous book’s cover artist!)

Favorite Instagram Moments


 This is my precious pup Daphne.  She (not He, as so many people mistake her for) is one of the sweetest animals that has ever walked this Earth.  I adopted her while working at a vet clinic a few years ago.  I had waited 10+ years to own a dog, as my traveling/performing life didn’t much lend itself to dog ownership.  She is a mix of at least 3 or 4 breeds, a big-time snuggler, and smart as all get-out.  She was rescued by an incredible vet, and rehabilitated for months from a massive burn that covered her entire back.  (I now affectionately sometimes call her ‘Harriet Potter’ because she has a large lightning-like-shaped scar that covers her back.) She was healing from her wounds, and I was healing from my Father’s passing when we came into each other’s lives.  We both were orphans, and we took care of each other.   Right after I adopted her, I began dating my husband.  (Whom is now her favorite person).  We took a glorious walk in the park this month, and I caught this photo while relaxing in the sun.  It makes me unspeakably happy.


 My pic of Daphne above was taken right next to this beautiful windmill.  I love windmills – they always make me think of my home state, and bring me back to my childhood for some reason, though I wasn’t even raised on a farm.  I think they just bring me back to a time in my life when the open plains of Kansas were the biggest thing I’d seen.  Simple and beautiful.

InRL – Local Incourage Community

inRL collage


Last year, I met my first blogging friends/colleagues in real life.  I didn’t expect to be in the same state this year as last, but you know the saying where you make plans and God laughs? Well…that.  We are still in the Midwest, and I took great delight in attending our local Incourage meet up once again.  It was smaller than last year, and I really loved the intimacy of it.  It was just a handful of delightful women eating snacks, and chatting about lots of different topics.  Sweet Lisa (friend and meet up coordinator) brought beautiful Dayspring gifts and none of us went home empty handed.  I enjoyed re-connecting with a blogger I met last year (Hello Deborah!) along with new friends with surprising local connections (Hello Amy!).  I’m so grateful to Lisa-Jo and the Incourage community for creating this special event.


I’d love to hear what you’ve been into this month!

whati'mintoI always love linking up with Leigh for these monthly posts.  Affiliate links were used.

4 comments on “What I’m Into – April 2013

  1. I’m putting in my vote for Bossypants. It is hilarious, and it sounds like you need a little levity in your life! I love reading everyone’s link up posts, but this was was especially great.

  2. Wow. So many wonderful things! I am stunned by the “Dove” video…so glad you shared it! Catching up this evening…your post was the perfect one to start with. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for linking to the Virtual Progressive Dinner Party posts! I’m so glad you enjoyed them and that you liked Bread & Wine as much as we did. So glad you were able to go to Jumping Tandem! I’ve heard great things about it. Love your stack of books- lots of great titles in there. Since it’s spring, you should be sure to read Animal Vegetable Miracle soon. And you can’t go wrong with the 3 you listed either.

    Thanks for linking up with What I’m Into!

speak your mind, share your heart