October Favorites {What I’m Into}

Photo Property of whipperberry.com
Photo Property of whipperberry.com

This month felt like a whirlwind to me.  A beautiful, glorious, connection filled, sometimes overwhelming, ultimately fulfilling whirlwind.  I’m really not sure when October became one of my favorite months, but it definitely was this year.

Blogisphere Favorites

The Reluctant Sojourner: The Problem With Writing In A Publishing World

Sarah Bessey: In Which I Explain Why I Like Going To Church  

Nyleen at Mulling Spices: Thanks For the Liebster Award 

Nasreen Fynewever:  Dear Allume, Can I Tell You Something?

Annie Downs @ Incourage: I Needed To Hear That

Rachel Held Evans: 10 Marriage Reality Checks (from 10 Years of Marriage) 

Shauna Niequist: 20 Recent Reads

Leigh Kramer: Confessions of Book Nerd: The Bookshelf Tour

Michelle DeRusha: Why I Almost Quit 31 Days  & What I Learned At Allume {and it ain’t pretty} 




I finished exactly ONE book this month – a Dorothy Martin murder mystery – Trouble In The Town Hall.  {Which isn’t even pictured here, because it was overdue at the library.  Oops.}   I’ve been reading so many books at once, I’m afraid my busyness has kept me from finishing all of them.  I feel like there’s an embarrassment of reading riches on my  nightstand these days!  I’m reading an obnoxious amount of books right now – but they are all so good, I’m not willing to take any of them off the reading stack. 

What I’m Reading

Soil & Sacrament: A Memoir of Food & Faith by Fred Bahnson

This book is unlike any memoir I’ve ever read–it is simply fantastic!  {I’m on the last chapter as we speak.}   Bahnson is a writer, a seeker, a teacher, and in my opinion – a mystic who yearns for more of God.  He has dedicated his life to gardening and tending the land, and this memoir chronicles his visits and pilgrimages to various gardening communities – and a monastery – while sharing the story of his own community garden.  It’s about so much more than just tending soil and food – its about seeking God, searching for vocation, and the beauty of the relationships God uses in our lives to help find the answers we seek from Him.  My words don’t do justice to this glorious read – truly.  Just trust me – read it. {I’ve also loved that the lovely Leigh Kramer, the hostess of these monthly linkups – has enjoy reading this book, and has posted some of the most beautiful passages from this book on her fb page.}

Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer by Beth Moore

Though the book’s copyright page says the publication date is this year, I wonder if this wasn’t written years ago, and more recently re-packaged and put together.  Regardless, its WONDERFUL, and really speaking into where I am right now with my prayer life.  There’s a page long devotional each day {Beth’s thoughts on Day One about creativity were fantastic!}, then at least 2 pages for guided prayers/journaling that have been wonderful for me and my prayer life.  Just like all of Beth’s previous studies that have spoken into my life, this prayer devotional is a much needed book for me these days.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

I’ve been reading King’s bestseller slowly, and man – is this guy brilliant!  I can’t stand any sort of horror reading or movies, so this is my first {and most likely, only} foray into reading Stephen King. {Unless he writes another memoir or writing book, to which I say, Yes Please.}  Part memoir, part writing instruction – King has so much good and practical advice that I appreciate.  {You can tell he was an AMAZING teacher}.  Though most of his instruction relates more to fiction, writers of non-fiction and memoir will love this book too.

A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made To Live by Emily Freeman

Oh man, THIS.BOOK.  When I first heard Emily was publishing this book, I began to get excited to read it months and months ago.  When I read more about it, and read excerpts, I felt like this was the type of book I’ve been called to write all of my life.  It reminds me somewhat of my favorite book in the world, Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking On Water, but to be clear – Emily has her own wonderful, poetic and distinctly beautiful voice.  A book that reminds us all that we are ALL artists – this is a book I’ve devouring slowly and contemplatively.  Sure to be one of my favorites of the year.

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

I acquired an e-galley advance copy of this book a month and a half ago, and have been reading through it slowly.  I have probably been more excited about this book release than almost any other this year. {Well, except for Bread & Wine.}  And while I’ve LOVED Sarah’s seamless and beautiful prose, I’ve longed to hold the physical book in my hand, and underline my favorite passages like mad.  I was happy as lark when I discovered Barnes & Noble had this book on their shelves a few days early, and happily snatched up a copy.  I’ll be writing a lot more about this book very soon – it’s an important and exquisite read.

A Diamond In The Rough: A Memoir by Shawn Colvin

I recently acquired the new paperback edition of this book,  as I went to hear Shawn play in person for the first time.  Her book writing style is as lush and captivating as her lyrics and beautiful melodies–suffice it to say, she is one of my most favorite  musicians/artists evah.  If you love to read memoir, and you love a good story, pick this one up. {And just as importantly,  check out her glorious music – I’m pretty sure a playlist of her music is in order on this blog very soon.}


podcast collage

I know there are a gazillion podcasts to listen to out there in online world, but I have been specifically enjoying these two immensely.

Simple Mom:  I’ve come on board late to the Simple Mom bandwagon–being without children and all.    I have been immensely inspired by the brilliant, mastermind behind that blogging empire, the lovely, kindred Tsh Oxenreider.  Her conversations with some of my favorite bloggers, including Myquillyn, Emily and Kat are wonderfully informative.   They all feel like I’m hanging out with them in their living room, enjoying a great chat about life.  This podcast, in particular, has been a saving grace on many a 6 hour road trip between Texas and Kansas.  Listen to one of my favorites here.

How They Blog: I’ve been a fan of this blog and podcast pretty much as quickly as I learned about it.  Kat not only interviews bloggers to learn more about their journey and process, she has started a podcast –giving the interviews much more depth, as a dialogue and conversation ensues.  I consider her site and podcasts a valuable resource to refer to again and again.


An Eighth Day Anniversary & Being A Part of Timely, Timeless


This month marked the 25th anniversary of my favorite bookstores on the planet.  They celebrated in part by publishing a beauty volume of essays to commemorate the occasion.  They describe it better than I ever could:

Conceived as a way to honor the store’s place in the world, Timely…Timeless serves the equally important purpose of honoring Eighth Day’s loyal and enthusiastic customers—friends we’ve been honored to know and serve. The book’s essays, poems, and photographs celebrate this mutual affection.  Carolyn Ballinger of Kingman, KS, calls the store “a haven of peace in a world of sensory overload.” Notre Dame’s Joshua Seachris likens Eighth Day to “a sanctuary filled with cloth and paper treasures,” while John Traffas, Atchison, KS, describes the “happy combination of a pub and a chapel.”

I was honored to add my voice to this beautiful collection.  I know it was a simple essay, but I can not describe the feelings I felt seeing my written words on a printed page.  Being able to express my love for such a sacred and revered place in the world was pure gift.  There are many prolific writers in the collection – its a worthy read.  If you are interested in acquiring a copy, find one here.


The amazing Ann Voskamp giving the opening night keynote.

I have to say, I had been looking forward to attending Allume for months – for many reasons.  In addition to this conference being like no other in my humble opinion, I was uber excited to meet my blogging kindred spirit in person, Katie.  I was also excited to meet and see so many amazing people in one place, and let’s be honest – the amount of ‘swag bag’ awesomeness is off the charts at Allume! {Apparently, that’s conference speak for FREE books and gifts.}  And while ALL of those reasons delivered BEYOND my expectations, I gleaned so much from those 3 days that I’m still processing and sorting through it all in my heart and spirit.  Logan, Allume’s fearless leader, had a different vision for the conference this year, and it definitely manifested itself  in a powerful and beautiful way.  I am slowly and deliberately writing a reflection post of my Allume experience this year – I’ll be sharing that soon!

More Loveliness


We took a wonderful trip to my husband’s homeland for some college football.   Watching the game with my sweet niece, loving on the bulldog puppy dog {a dead ringer for their team mascot} at our tailgate site, and cheering with thousands of fans on a fall day made for a glorious weekend.


My sweet friend Reeve released her debut this album, and I had a ball featuring my interview with her during my 31 Days of Favorites series.  Reeve generously gave me a copy of her CD to give away – order your own copy, along with some great merchandise including keychains and beautiful lyric art prints here. 


One of the things that resonated big in my heart at Allume was my decision to sponsor a child through Feed the Hungry.  I picked up a child’s picture, and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t put it down.  I was captivated by her eyes and her smile, yes–but more than that, I just knew–beyond any surface appearance or do-good aspirations in my mind – I was supposed to sponsor this child.  It’s all true, you know, what they say about giving.   When you give, you feel so much more blessing than receiving.  I can’t wait to share more with you about this experience.

What I’m Looking Forward To In November

We’ve been blessed with some big news in our life {No, I’m not pregnant} that I’ll be sharing on the blog soon.  I’m also psyched for more travel this month – down to Texas, out to Arizona to see family, and more time with kindred spirits in North Carolina that will include this glorious afternoon.    I’m also  soaking up every last little bit of Autumn as the leaves change in our neighborhood and in our town; writing as much as I can; loving my husband and puppy with abandon; and prepping for the upcoming holidays.  {WHERE did 2013 go?}

What were you into this month?

{Its wonderful as always to link up with Leigh.  Affiliate links used support this blog.}

6 comments on “October Favorites {What I’m Into}

  1. I couldn’t help but share about Bahnson’s book in a variety of capacities. I’m still reflecting on it. I’m in the middle of A Million Little Ways and really enjoying it. I keep meaning to read On Writing! Congratulations on having your essay included in that collection! That’s so exciting. Glad to hear you had a good time at Allume.

  2. Wait! Are you a Kansas girl, too? I love Eighth Day Books – I’m a Wichita girl! 🙂 Our reading lists look very similar – I’m reading A Million Little Ways and Jesus Feminist right now! A Million Little Ways is so good…I’m trying to draw it out and drink it in! 🙂 I’ll be putting the others that you mentioned on my GoodReads list. Loved your post! Hoping you have a most lovely November! 🙂

    1. Wow – small world! 🙂 Yes, I am! I used to work at Eighth Day Books, years ago, right out of college. Do you live in Wichita now? I’m loving reading ‘A Million Little Ways’ & ‘Jesus Feminist’ too. They are both SO good – I’m highlighting like crazy. 🙂 Thanks so much for saying hello and reading my post!

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