What I’m Into – January 2014 {The Mid-February Procrastinator’s Edition}


{Note: This is the first time in a year that I’ve missed Leigh’s linkup – doh!  Though her January linkup page is closed, I just didn’t feel right without posting this – its become a tradition for me at All Manner of Inspiration.  Better late than never, I always say….}

I love the clean, blank slate that January brings.  This year was no exception, as we moved back to Texas during the holidays, and faced a fresh start.  Mild weather, mostly sunny skies, purging boxes of ‘stuff’, and new goals and dreams have captivated me most of this month.


What I Read

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber

I’ve been wanting to read this book for months, as some of my favorite bloggers have raved about it.  I now see the reason for the hype.  Nadia can write, and the beautiful truths she uncovers in this book cross all sorts of Christian barriers and labels and theologies.   I finished this book in a few short days, and didn’t want it to end.  I so very much wish my friends with more conservative views would read this book, because Nadia has so much to teach us about how we are all the same, and despite our differences, more alike than we realize.  If you have a problem with lots of cursing, or alternative lifestyles being discussed, you may not love this one.  But I hope you will put judgments aside, and expose yourself to this beautiful writing and truth-telling.  A favorite read of mine for sure.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I don’t read a lot of fiction normally, but I happily devoured this novel loaned to me by a friend [thanks, Julie!} in a matter of days.  I love novels with strong narrative voices, and fiction where the story is told through letters – and this book has both.  A young daughter puts together the details of her mother’s disappearance through letters, emails and various correspondences, and the narrative is mostly her mother and various other characters.  Its quirky, fun and intelligent – I will definitely read whatever book Ms. Semple writes next!

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

I started this book in October, when it was released.  I saw Emily and met her for the first time at Allume that month, then I attended her Day At The Barn event in November, right before I moved back to Texas.    I took her book with me on our Christmas break, and have been reading short passages of it every morning when I journal and do devotions.

In short, I should’ve finished this book by now.

But I’ve wanted to move slowly and deliberately through this one, because its that good.  It’s the type of book I’ve always wanted to write, and I feel like I was supposed to read certain paragraphs at specific times.  Its food and balm for my soul, and will no doubt be one of my favorite reads of the year.  If you haven’t read this book, please go do so now.

What I’m reading

 Still Writing: The Perils & Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro, Well Fed 2 {Paleo cookbook} by Melissa Joulwan, the Psalms in The Voice Bible,  What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Dear Mr. Knightley by Catherine Reay and A Year of Writing Dangerously by Barbara Abercrombie.


Blogisphere Beauties

Emily Freeman: Choosing the One You Least Expect  

Sarah Bessey: In Which I Share 10 Books for a Cozy Winter Evening  & In Which I March {or In Which I Don’t Have One Word for 2014 & In Which Ms. Fizzle Is My New Writing Muse

Tsh Oxenreider at Storyline Blog:  Why We Need To Take More Risks (Thanks Walter Mitty)

Christine Caine – Coffee With Chris Podcasts:  New Year, New Vision &  Decluttering

I don’t normally listen to this podcast series, but these first two podcasts by the dynamic Christine Caine spoke deeply and specifically to me where I am at the beginning of this year.

Shauna Niequist at Willow Creek Church: Satisfied?

Goop {Gwyneth Paltrow’s website}:  A Vitamin & Supplement Cheat Sheet

 On My Blog


The Red Couch Book Club at SheLoves

I was absolutely honored and thrilled to write a book discussion post this month for the online website, SheLoves.  {Thanks to the lovely Leigh Kramer.}  We discussed one of my favorite books, Jesus Feminist, as the first book in the Red Couch Book Club.   My favorite part of the experience was the wonderful dialogue that took place in the comments.  The SheLovely’s are a fantastic group of people, and I’m truly grateful to be a part of the conversations taking place there. I’m getting ready to start the next book – Desmond Tutu’s God Has A Dream.  Look for that discussion post at the end of February.  I’ll be helping lead the discussion on a fantastic book in April – can’t wait to share the details!

Attempting Writing Discipline

Jeff Goins – My 500 Words

I’ve been purposeful in writing at least 500 words each day.   Sometimes, its only in my personal journal.  Usually, it’s on various blog posts – including brainstorming upcoming ideas.  I’m also starting to practice free-writing to see what it takes me–perhaps to a book idea, an essay or future blog post.  Its also an invaluable writing-craft practice.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this movie!  Probably my favorite Ben Still film ever! And loved the soundtrack, which brings me to….

What I’m Listening To


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack

The Lone Bellow – I really loved a few select songs off of their debut album last fall, and this month, I downloaded the rest of the album.   All I can say is, why did I wait so long?!  They are fantastic, and if their tour comes anywhere close to your hometown (I’m jealous if it does), get thee to their concert quickly!

I also dusted off  Mixtape Monday’s with an upcoming  yearlong series.  My first installment is My January Listening Playlist.

Travels & Happenings


I was over the moon happy to accompany my husband on his business trip to Montreal.  I’ve been through western and eastern parts of Canada, but never to the east.  I was enchanted by Montreal, and its duality that is purely French & Canadian.  I had iced coffee and one of the most scrumptious donuts I’ve ever eaten at Tim Horton’s, which became one of my frequent stops to get warm or journal.  I walked cobblestone streets, saw the most beautiful Notre Dame Basilica, and reveled in exploring a city on foot – a rarity for me these days living in a Texas metropolis.  I discovered a charming pen and stationary store, and happened upon a cafe with a caramel crepe and hot chocolate so delicious, I’m still dreaming about them.   Unfortunately, my sweet man got sick, but I was so grateful I was there to take care of him.  I also realized some things about my love for travel on that trip that most surely will make it into a future blog post.



Our church had a Saturday morning prayer retreat that helped me quiet my overactive mind – it was soul nourishing.


What I’m Looking Forward To In February

I’m working through a huge stack of  books, and taking Leigh’s February Reading Challenge. I’m practicing a continued dedicated time for writing, and I’ll also continue auditioning,  taking voice lessons, and getting connected into our church and community.  I’m looking forward  to spending some time with author Holley Gerth and the “God-sized Dream” book launch team at the end of the month.

What fed your soul in January?   I would love to connect with you in the comments!

3 comments on “What I’m Into – January 2014 {The Mid-February Procrastinator’s Edition}

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I just loved this post! From it I found out that we were both at Emily’s At the Barn event (I live just 20 minutes from the event site) and we share a love of the new Bible translation The Voice. I shared a Psalm from that version in my blog post today. I connected with you in January through the Sacred Spaco link up and January was a big month for me since it was the “month in which I got brave” and launched my blog. I enjoyed the format of this post and will have to keep it in mind for my blog for February. I think it’s a neat way to give readers a peak into your daily life and connect. I’d also love to hear more about your church’s Saturday morning prayer retreat. Another blog post maybe? Even if not, I’d love even a quick email about it if you have the time. I’d love to replicate it here. Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks so much for saying hello, LeeAnn! I wish we had been able to connect At The Barn event – it was wonderful! I also love that you enjoy The Voice translation. It is one of my favorites now, and I know so few people who read it. I remember your Sacro Speco linkup – thanks so much for being a part! (I feel bad that I was unable to comment on everyone’s posts right away – January was so much more busy than I expected!). I will definitely have to send you an email! Blessings to you as well, LeeAnn! 🙂

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