What I’m Into – March 2016

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Every March blows through at lightning speed for me–this month roared in as per usual.  It was a bit of a ‘breather’ month, as I just finished a rush of musical theatre performing in February, with March being the start of a break from rehearsals and performances.

We’ve had no winter weather at all this year, and now that its spring–we’ve had billowing gusts of wind that are making it cold.  Texans in general don’t like that sort of thing down here, but being a transplant, I LOVE it.

{Soon enough, it will be summer and Texas will be 1000 degrees every.single.day.  So there’s that.}

But I digress with my weather report.  I am reading good books and working on writing and my YouTube channel in earnest.  We’re taking some really fun trips next month, so I enjoyed being a homebody in March.

{As usual, any pennies earned from the affiliate links below, if used, go towards keeping the lights on here at ye olde blog – thanks!}

Books

What I Read

For the Love: Fighting For Grace In A World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

This was a fun read, but I must confess I had mixed feelings with this one.

Just enjoying the book as a lighthearted romp of essays {with a few serious, well thought out chapters peppered amongst the humor, no doubt to garner some depth} is probably the best way to read this book.   I laughed out loud like most people would at her ‘Thank You Notes’ essays, which included nuggets like  “Thank you, AutoCorrect, for making me appear simultaneously like an English professor and a perverted gangster.”.  I also applauded her wisdom and well-earned insight on her experience with the Church.

Sometimes though, I have to admit that I felt like I was reading a book of essays by ‘the cool Christian girl’.  I don’t say that lightly or smugly–Jen grew up in my hometown, knows people well that I know and love and no doubt is a hometown girl after my own heart.  Being that there’s way less than six degrees of separation between us, I would love to meet her one day.  But often when I turned these pages, there was an overarching tone in her writing voice that felt like the Christian head cheerleader or the woman at church that EVERYONE fauns over was being way more witty and fun than anyone else in the room.  That isn’t the best way to describe it, but its the closest way I know how.

Jen is fantastic writer, and I had a lovely time reading this book, but I think I honestly preferred her previous bestseller Seven, perhaps because it felt a touch more authentic.  For the Love would be a perfect & delightful summer/beach read if you enjoy Hatmaker’s books.

{Nothing but love to Jen here, I’m just being honest.  I think she would appreciate that.} 

Accidental Saints: Finding God In All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

I first started reading Nadia’s follow-up to Pastrix {one of my favorite spiritual memoirs} last fall right when it was released.  Pastrix was more of her coming-to-faith memoir story, while this one felt like story vignettes from her current pastoral life–I loved it almost as much as her memoir.

As has been the case with a variety of my reads this year, I put this book down at the end of the 2015–NOT because it wasn’t stellar–but because of the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

I picked Accidental Saints back up this month, and read the end of the book during Holy Week.  Given the state of my spiritual journey these days, it was the PERFECT thing for me to read moving into Easter.   I particularly loved the chapter titled Judas Will Now Take Your Confession, where she considers Judas, his betrayal, and the state of grace around him–it was fascinating and wise and heartbreakingly beautiful.  This book is the exact type of nonfiction spiritual memoir I love–a must read.  {FYI: She doesn’t hold back on colorful language, beware if that’s a problem for you.}

Nadia is speaking at this year’s Festival of Faith and Writing next month, and I CAN’T WAIT to hear her in person!

What I’m Reading

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{Just call me the memoir-reading-queen.}

Evolving In Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans, Brazen by Leanna Tankersley, Roots & Sky by Christie Purifoy, The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, Healing Oils, Healing Hands by Linda Smith, Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey, Still Life by Louise Penny and Coming Clean by Seth Haines.

 

Blogisphere Beauts

When Its Frustration That Gets the Ball Rolling by Anne Bogel

Are you frustrated right now? That’s okay. That’s good, actually. It doesn’t mean you’re a grump or a grouch. It means you have a spark. It’s the beginning of a big idea, the beginning of change.

 

In Praise Of A Holy Imagination by Emily Freeman

We have the power to spin the invisible into something we can see through our choices and our words – it sounds mythical, but really it’s just living.

 

The Robcast interview with Glennon Doyle Melton I listened to this podcast in the car, and I honestly need to listen to it again with a pen and paper, because Glennon was dropping truth bombs in this interview from the get-go!

Favorite Moments

Virtual Voice Lessons

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I’m back in the swing of weekly voice lessons with my vocal coach, Katti.  I never thought I would have such a great experience with working with a vocal coach online, as opposed to in person.  Katti is on the road with her husband, who is a professional sound designer on Broadway musical tours, so she ‘virtually’ connects with all of her students online.

She’s a phenomenal teacher, and a dear soul friend.  Professional, helpful, generous, honest and so helpful–one of my friends who is also her student has aptly dubbed her the Voice Whisperer!  Consider checking out her website if you’re interested in voice lessons–she’s fantastic!

Sunday in the Park

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My sweet husband, pup and I had fun in a local park this month.  We all soaked up the sunshine and our sweet pup Daph enjoyed stalking the squirrels!

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I loved finding this cute spring gnome in my local Target dollar spot–I even found a matching green one a few weeks later–and our flower garden now looks like an Easter dream land!

Easter

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We absolutely adored celebrating Easter this year.  Usually we travel to see my husband’s family, but this year we stayed home where the sunny skies were luminous.  We enjoyed worshipping at our home church, had a non-traditional and delicious sushi lunch, then came home and planted flowers in our garden, which felt like the perfect activity for Resurrection Sunday.

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The greenhouse/nursery near our house was the PERFECT place to visit on Easter Sunday–so many gorgeous flowers were in bloom, I couldn’t stop taking pictures and breathing deep all the floral scents.

 Quintessential Oil Favorites

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Eucalyptus Globulus: This was a new-to-me-freebie oil in March’s Essential Rewards order that I LOVE.  I’m naturally drawn to Young Living’s blend, RC {which stands for Respiratory Care} that has 3 different types of Eucalyptus in it–this one included.  I apply it to my chest and under my nose and diffuse it for respiratory support. I also loved mixing it in the diffuser with Lavender. Divine.

Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture Kit

I saved up free points for MONTHS to get this pricey kit free from Young Living –it arrived on Holy Week, which was the perfect time to enjoy it.  I filmed an unboxing for my YouTube channel {check it out below}–I’m looking forward to going through each oil in the kit in a video series that’s coming in May!

 

More March Favorites

I absolutely love making Favorites Videos for my YouTube channel – check out my additional favorites in the video below:

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

Attending the Festival of Faith & Writing in Michigan {who else is going? Give me a shout out in the comments – would love to connect!}, working out and taking tap classes in earnest, hosting my best friend’s baby shower, celebrating my birthday and taking an anniversary trip with my husband to the Grand Canyon!

What were you into this month?

{Leigh’s linkup is a regular monthly favorite.}

11 comments on “What I’m Into – March 2016

    1. Awww, thank you so much friend! That means a lot coming from you – you truly were my first inspiration to start a YouTube channel! 🙂

  1. Congratulations on reaching 500+ subscribers on YouTube! You always give such useful and meaningful information in your videos!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Christine – I really appreciate it. Thanks for watching my channel! 🙂

  2. I like Trader Joe’s grocery hauls. I don’t really have more to add on more I’d like to see, unless you want to try book recommendations?

    1. Thanks Darla! Yes, I’ve been debating sharing my favorite books on my Youtube channel – I just didn’t know if there would be interest with that particular audience. Perhaps my favorite reads on essential oils? 🙂

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog–I thought I’d come back and share the love :). And I’m super glad I did– your book recommendations are great. I love your honesty about Jen’s group (I had similar thoughts on that), and with your recommendation in hand, I’ll pick up Nadia’s book too! 🙂

    1. Thanks Tiffany! I’m glad to hear I wasn’t completely off-kilter for noticing that about Jen’s books. And yes, I still loved it!

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