What I’m Into – February 2013 {Linkup}

Source: mandipidy.com via Anna on Pinterest


I’ll probably say this every month, but I feel like I blinked, then February was over.   It’s been a good month in these parts – full of studying, reading, dreaming and loving as well as I could.


As I’m in the midst of my Resources for Creatives blog series, I was inspired by many  posts on the creative process this month.  Blaine’s winter playlist inspired my own version this month, and his words inspired by O Magnum Mysterium were luminous.  When interviewing Blaine this month for the blog, he sent me a link to one of his wife‘s posts, and man, did it speak to my soul!   One of my favorite bloggers, Emily wrote about another one of my favorite bloggers, Reeve, and her generosity as an artist.  I loved catching up on all of posts in Mischa‘s Chalkboard series – my favorite was by poet Jane Kenyon.   I enjoyed finding more Lent resources at Rachel‘s blog, and I may as well call this my month of reading Shauna Niequist, as I not only finished one of her books and started another, but I absolutely loved so many of her blog posts.  Particular favorites were some of her thoughts on writing, as well as all 5 posts on the backstory behind her upcoming book release.

Blaine Hogan – Our Mysterious Work & A Winter Playlist
 Whatever you’re working on, whatever mystery you’re trying to solve, whatever unknowable thing you’re trying desperately to know, perhaps instead of trying to Sherlock your way to a breakthrough, you need to breathe, listen, pay attention to what you hear, and let the mystery reveal itself.
Emily @ Chatting At The Sky – What Happens When An Artist Chooses Generosity
Reeve took us on a four minute trip into her soul…When an artist chooses to be generous, everyone wins. Even though she wrote the song about her own life, we could all somehow relate to it. The more personal you are with your art, the more generally it applies to those who are there to receive it.


Mischa @ Mama Monk  –  My Chalkboard: Jane Kenyon
 …Read good books, have good sentences in your ears…
Margaret  @ Me As A Mom:  If, How & When
 …Two years ago, after a lot of prayer, my husband and I decided we were ready to face the adventure that adding a person into our family would bring.  It’s probably good that we didn’t know what we didn’t know.  And now I am a mom and it’s changing me in all the essential ways.  And if you decide to try or not, now or later, bravely or with trepidation, getting help from an ovulation kit or a bottle of wine, I pray the process will change you too.
Shauna Niequist: Why We Write & Bread & Wine Backstory – Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
 You get into it because you have a story to tell, because you sense, in some wordless, wild way that you don’t know why and you didn’t earn it or ask for it, but for some reason, there are things you can find words for that might maybe matter to someone else, that might set someone free, that will make them feel one tiny bit less alone, like they’ve made a friend, like they’re not crazy, like they’re not wrong just for being who they are.
Rachel Held Evans:  40 Ideas For Lent
 When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different?


Currently Reading:

Bread & Wine – Shauna Niequist

Oh.How.I.Love.This.Book (I’ll be posting more about this one for sure).  Here’s the official book trailer:

You’re Made For A God-Sized Dream – Holley Gerth

March 1st is the official launch for this wonderful book, and I have been humbled and overjoyed to be a part of Holley’s launch team.    As a dreamer, I think this book is so important.  Holley gives so many practical tools, as well as heart-deep and loving advice about seeing God-sized dreams to fruition.  I especially have enjoyed the stories from  her friends–many of whom are bloggers that I enjoy reading–chronicling their own dream journeys.  I’ve been reading this one slow, with a good highlighter, and I’m looking forward to meeting Holley in April and hearing more about it!

As long as you are alive, God wants you to go further, dig deeper, and draw closer to Him.  And I believe dreams are one of the primary ways God makes that happen.  Every dream or desire you have that comes from God is an invitation for more intimacy with Him.


Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement – Kris Camealy

I first met Kris at the Allume blogging conference last year, and was thrilled to see this book come to fruition, as I know it was a huge dream, as well as a refining fire process to complete.  I’m so thrilled to see it reach the hands of so many people.  It’s a thin slip of a book, which makes it approachable, but gloriously dense and rich in content that needs a slow, savoring read.

As the church reflects on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, we are called to practice our faith in ways that stretch and bend us beyond what is comfortable.


Prayer – Richard Foster

A meditative read that is overflowing with wisdom.  The gals at Incourage are going through chapter by chapter and I’ve gotten so much more out of the text as a result of their weekly videos.

To be spiritually fit to scale the Himalayas of the spirit, we need regular exercise in the hills and valleys of ordinary life.
Acceptable Words: Prayers For The Writer – Edited by Gary D. Schmidt & Elizabeth Stickney

I just found this book yesterday at my favorite bookstore in the world.  This book is a glorious anthology of words from a wide range of writers with introductions from the editors at the beginning of each chapter.  As I’ve just discovered this gem, I’m not very far in, but I can tell it will be a book I come back to again and again for years to come.  Here’s a tidbit from the introduction:

These are the prayers of those writers who came before us, and the prayers of those writing today.  These are the prayers of those who love words and who love God’s world and who love the ways in which the words and the world may come together.  These prayers are acts of devotion, are expressions of frustration, are pleas for hope and understanding.  These prayers are a yearning for words – the right words, the acceptable words.


Dabbling in/Ongoing Reads:

Finished This Month:

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

This book was one of my favorite reads of the year thus far.  I bought it almost a year ago, and never felt like it was the right time to read it.   I blew through it this month, and I feel like I read it at the exact time I needed it.  Shauna’s writing is so touching, poignant and full of wisdom.  I couldn’t stop highlighting – there were so many passages that spoke to me.  I really saw the roots of Bread & Wine in this book, as she wove in her shimmering prose about food around her life experiences.  Since Bread & Wine is releasing in April, I think this would be a perfect time to read Bittersweet–it will make you uber excited for her next volume of words!

A Year of Biblical Womanhood – Rachel Held Evans

Yes, I finally finished this book.  And I loved it. I applaud Rachel for her commitment, her thorough study and scholarship of Scripture, and her honest and beautiful heart. I am so grateful there are women like her who never stop asking the difficult questions.  I am so glad to have learned more about what it means to be a woman of valor from reading these words – eshet chayil Rachel!

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

I enjoyed this book – the 2nd in a series, and my 2nd fiction read of the year.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that Leigh herself read this book as well, and I have to say, her review of this book was almost EXACTLY how I felt about it!  (Therefore, you must read her ‘What I’m Into’ post review of this book).  If you’re reading Dani, I’m so looking forward to Book 3 later this year!


Inspiring Advice

I went to college with Joyce–she truly was one of my favorite people whom I looked up to, and enjoyed learning and performing with in school.    I still remember the first time I heard her sing in our vocal studio’s weekly master class.  She brought chills down my spine not only with her voice, but her incredible dramatic interpretation of a short and unassuming art song.   One of the things I love most about Joyce is her genuine good heart and down to earth nature.  She gave a master class at Juilliard recently, and her inspiring words are truly life giving for any artist.   (All of the material is wonderful, but she starts to really talk about creative process, the inner voice we battle and doing the work around 4:50).


The Blizzard of Oz

The Midwest was hit with a huge snowstorm this past month…we found ourselves hunkering down for more than a couple of days with lots of hot tea, blankets and warm snuggles as we watched over 14 inches of snow fall.  With 2 rounds of white beauty, it was just enough to have a few ‘snow days’ away from work and school.

The view out the front window looked a bit like this:


After the snow stopped, and the sun peeked through in the morning, the view out the back window reminded me of a snow globe, and looked a bit like this:


My sweet Man, Pup and I took a walk through the neighborhood.  We bundled up (even the dog), and had fun measuring the snowfall with our arms.



 Teacups & Art

In between snowstorms, I snuck home for a quick (warm) weekend in Texas, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Anthropologie.  Since I was returning a few things from Christmas, I splurged on a few well priced mugs I’d been eyeing…this one’s my favorite for my dose of morning green tea with honey:


I also ordered this beautiful print I discovered in my Instagram feed: a collaboration with artist Sean McCabe – a hand-pressed print of a quote from Blaine Hogan’s book Untitled.  It sits atop my desk to the right of my computer, and when I can’t find the words, serves for lovely inspiration.  (I’m still hunting for the perfect frame for it for my work-in-progress gallery wall in the office.  I’ll be sure to share photos when that project is done).



Favorite Art On Pinterest


Valentine’s Day

My Sweet Man loves me well and spoils me everyday for sure, and this Valentine’s Day was no exception.  He lovingly brought home some chocolate covered strawberries the night before Valentine’s, and then gave me a lovely book (that I’ll most likely share in this post next month) before taking me to a divine meal at my favorite restaurant.


I loved that my Man gave me one single red rose.  Classic & Romantic.  Methinks he’s a keeper.

Funniest Card

When looking for my Husband’s present, I found an image on Pinterest that I worked into his Valentine.  It made me laugh, and he was so tickled by it, he had me frame it for his office desk.  Success!


Best Bite of Food


For our Valentine’s dinner, we went to my favorite restaurant in all of Kansas.  They had a special menu that night, and the plate of food I had was probably one of my most favorite meals in recent memory.  I hope the picture doesn’t look too gluttonous.  It was perhaps a bit decadent, but each bite on the plate was warm, velvety and  full of rich flavors.  We were served lobster tail next to a small piece of beef tenderloin in a cabernet mushroom sauce, atop garlic mashed potatoes, with grilled asparagus.  Dipping lobster meat into butter might just be one of my favorite luxurious things to eat.  It was a rare treat, and I couldn’t stop smiling as I ate.  {And yes, I went right back on the diet the next morning.}

Favorite Tap Class Moment


Tap class is one of the highlights of my week.  My teacher Amy, is an incredible dancer, teacher and choreographer–not to mention an incredibly beautiful human being inside and out.  Her joy and passion for dance is infectious, and most always, her classes are large and extremely dedicated.  Case in point:  the power went out in the building where dance classes are held this past week, and everyone was sent to the lobby to wait it out.  The entire tap class kept their shoes on, and asked for class to continue.  Amy being ever glad to oblige, ran us through our paces with the opening number of 42nd Street – a doozy of a workout!  {Amy was a part of the Broadway National Tour of 42nd Street, and I’m excited to feature my interview with her this coming week on the blog.}  People watched, took pictures, and listened as our feet made the rhythms of the music on the carpet.  It was so much fun, and I was thrilled to see such dedication and zeal for tap dancing from dedicated musical theatre students and their fearless leader.  {I was tapping alongside of them, but stopped briefly to take this picture.}


 {Linking Up with Leigh for this monthly post is becoming a perennial favorite.}     * Affiliate Links were used*

What were you into this month?

4 comments on “What I’m Into – February 2013 {Linkup}

  1. Beautiful, lovely, all wonderful ideas! Hearing about Bread & Wine keeps making me wish I had a copy. Can’t wait until it comes out… And your tap class just makes me smile!! I hope you are staying warm now and that you are heading into a beautiful spring, my friend. 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by the blog Katie! 🙂 Yes, yes, you MUST get a copy of Bread & Wine when it comes out! Even if you’re not a ‘foodie’, I think you will absolutely love Shauna’s essays and writing style. It’s the first book in awhile that I’m purposely ordering copies now to give as gifts! Loved your linkup as well–hope classes are going well my friend!

  2. I started Bread & Wine the other night and know it will be my favorite of Shauna’s books. It’s far surpassed all expectations. Have you read her first book yet? I read Bittersweet first, then Cold Tangerines, and read both at the perfect time in my life. So cool we had the same thoughts about Shattered! I might need to get that hand-pressed print- that’s exactly the kind of reminder I need right now.

    I’m impressed you’re in a tap class. SO COOL! Thanks for linking up with What I’m Into! I’m glad you’re enjoying it so much.

    1. I so agree…I am in love with Bread & Wine! 🙂 It’s one of the first books in a long time for me that I’m purposely readingly slowly so it won’t be over too soon. 🙂 (I’ve also decided I’m going to cook my way thru the recipes for a blog series – yippee!) Yes, I have read Cold Tangerines – my Godmom/mentor gave me a copy a few years ago. I honestly enjoyed it, but it wasnt a mind blowing read for me at the time. Cut to this past month when I read Bittersweet- it was the perfect time, and I thought it was gloriously written! (I thought her writing grew leaps and bounds as well-so inspiring!). I loved reading your review about Shattered – I truly thought I couldn’t say it any better – I agreed with you on ALL points! And Dani is so sweet–I’m so looking forward to Book 3. Glad you liked the print – it’s really beautiful quality, and I do look at it often for inspiration. 🙂 Glad you liked the tap class paragraph–I’m hoping to write more about how much I love it in a future post. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment Leigh! (Wish we could meet in real life!)

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