What I’m Into – November 2014


I think November flew by quicker than any other month this year.  After closing my third show performance in a row the first weekend of the month, I relished the rest of a schedule without rehearsals. {While simultaneously mourning the lack of them–something only a theatre person can really understand.}    I went to the doctor, and ended my month with some unexpected doctor’s visits that threw me a bit for a loop.

I also had the most beautiful, spirit-filled weekend of my year, when I visited the Laity Lodge for the first time.  The last weekend of the month has been glorious, as we’ve spent time in the South with my husband’s family for Thanksgiving.  Our bellies are full, and our hearts so grateful.

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What I Read

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I didn’t expect this book to affect me like it did.

Strayed’s words about losing her Mother resonated so true with me, that I had to read paragraphs about her and that experience in short doses.  I wanted to shake Cheryl sometimes, and I don’t resonate with her lifestyle at that time of her life at all, but no matter — this book was beautifully written.  This is not the type of book I usually read, but I’m so glad I did.

I was lucky enough to attend an advance screening at the Fort Worth Film Festival of the film version of Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon.  It was not as rough as the book, but still quite gritty.  I thought it was very well done, and rang true with Cheryl’s words.

Breathing Room by Leanna Tankersley

This book has been in my purse or book bag 24-7 for the past 2 months, and is dripping with highlighter markings and underlinings.  Tankersley’s debut book might have, in other hands, become schmaltzy or trite, or bathed in Christian-ese.  NOT SO with Leanna, and her GLORIOUS writing.  Many other people are singing her praises after reading this book.  If you’re lost or struggling, its a great read.  If you’re not, you’ll still enjoy her wisdom.  I’m looking forward to interviewing her for the blog soon!

A Short Guide To A Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

What I’m Reading

The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski, Booked: Literature In the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior, On Being A Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig & Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor.


 Blogisphere Beauts

Preston Yancey‘s guest post at Grace Table: When Patience Is A Virture of Small Concessions {and my favorite French Onion Soup recipe}

The Art of Simple Podcast: My Favorite Woman Yet {A Conversation with the delightful Michelle DeRusha}

Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy: Books: Buy or Borrow? {Here’s how I decide} 

Christa Wells: These Are A Few of My Favorite…Indies 

Jenni Simmons at Curator Magazine: Forty 

Sarah Bessey: Advent: For the Ones Who Know Longing

Telly & Movie Watching

Too much t.v. at our home, no doubt.  But none the less, I’m loving our DVR’ed shows: Greys Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, Nashville, Top Chef, Big Bang Theory & The News Room.  Covert Affairs & State of Affairs are waning for me.

For a date night, we went to see Interstellar.  While it didn’t blow us away like Gravity did last year, it was still pretty great.  It felt like if the movies Contact {one of my faves} and Inception had a movie-baby, this would be it.  The hubs and I are fans of this type of sci-fi flick, so we enjoyed ourselves.  And Matthew McConaughey is still pretty dreamy.


**I finished a journal that I started on Summer Solstice.  I usually take a full year in a journal, but note-taking, quote collecting and spending more time in the daily process of writing filled this one quickly.

**I’m using  my Simplified Journal {by Emily Ley}  almost daily, which allots two pages a day.  It was designed to be used to ‘brain dump’ and process your thoughts and daily events.  I don’t usually use journals with this type of setup, but I’m loving this one, and finding it keeps me writing everyday.   I’m also free-writing in my first ever Moleskine, thanks to a clearance sale at Office Depot.

What I Listened To

Mostly hodge podge mixes of music.  I created a Thanksgiving playlist on the blog, and listened to various albums on Spotify – follow my account here. 

Things I Love

*a particularly delicious sandwich at Whole Foods: a pretzel roll with smoked turkey, fig spread, goat cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle & a touch of oil and salt and pepper.  Decadent and rich, I savored every bite, and didn’t need to eat another thing for hours.

*Using my new mini-Day Designer.  Its undated, and can be used at any time.

Sting + Musical Theatre= MY DREAM SHOW.

This made me smile BIG.

Retreat at Laity Lodge


I am truly trying to process and write about this extraordinary weekend.  I’ve gone to conferences and retreats, and said I’m processing and the writing will come, and it simply doesn’t come.

This weekend was too amazing to let that happen.

I took my first trip to the Laity Lodge for the High Calling retreat.  I had heart-deep conversations with new friends.   We ate incredible food, slowed the rhythms of our days, and took in the genuine Holy Spirit energy in that place.{and truly, I DON’T throw that kind of terminology around lightly}

In the stunning landscape, in the limestone lined river, in the sounds of Waterdeep’s acoustic melodies, I was filled in a way I didn’t even know I needed.  So.Much.Goodness. 

That Time I Did A Musical Reading With Waterdeep

On a fun side note, I had the unexpected pleasure of being a tiny, tiny part of Waterdeep‘s Saturday night concert at the Laity Lodge retreat.   Don Chaffer has written a musical of the life of Mary & Joseph that will premiere at a Canadian theatre in 2015.  He asked me to help him do a reading of one of the scenes between Mary & Joseph in their concert.  We had LITERALLY 7 MINUTES of rehearsal {talk about an awesome acting exercise!}, then the concert began.  It was a blast to do, and their concert was fantastic.  {They closed the concert with a cover of Paul Simon’s African Skies that made me heart happy.}  Waterdeep’s  albums were a big part of my college soundtrack–it was an honor and a gift to meet them, spend time with them, and be blessed by their music.  


Thanksgiving With the Fam


A last minute dirt cheap round trip flight ticket materialized for my husband and I, and we happily flew to be with his family for Thanksgiving.  It was beautiful and relaxing, and the perfect place to be for one of my favorite holidays.

What were you into this month?  

{love linking with the lovely Leigh with these posts every month.} 

5 comments on “What I’m Into – November 2014

    1. I’m really enjoying it Emily! I’ve been reading it pretty slow, b/c I’m constantly underlining when I read, and soaking it in slowly. I haven’t read any of his other books, but the writing is really wonderful too!

    1. Thanks Leigh! It was truly one of my favorite weekends of my entire year! I’ve thought of you actually, because early next year, they are having an enneagram retreat! I think you would LOVE it there.

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