The Naming of Seasons

photo credit: IMG_3445 via photopin (license)

photo credit: IMG_3445 via photopin (license)

It’s fall now, officially, even though the trees are still mostly green and the afternoons have been muggy and I haven’t been able to put the shorts away yet or wear my cute new hat.

I can feel it coming though. The cottonwood leaves are curling, yellowing just a bit at the edges, dropping here and there onto the ground. There is a maple tree over on 147th with leaves that are so luminous and red and orange that you could almost forget that they’re in the process of dying.

Hoards of ducks settle into the pond every evening now. Our next-door neighbor puts corn out for them, and they waddle up from the water to eat it. They are insatiable in their hunger, growing fatter, getting ready.

Autumn, according to the Internet, is a fairly new word. It didn’t appear in English until the late 14th century, and it wasn’t until the 17th century that we started saying fall.

There was, of course, the recognition of harvest time – all that gathering, all that celebration and bounty – but not for the rest of it. Not for that slow, stunning silencing of the world. There was no English word for that season when the turtles burrow deep into the bottom of the pond, and when the fat-cheeked chipmunks eat sunflower seeds straight out of my sons’ hands.

There was no word for the sharp, cold beauty of all this loss. For that slow descent back into darkness. For the piles of brown leaves that we jump and play in until they disappear into dust.



It’s been a hard week for me for a thousand tiny little reasons – none of which are actually very good.

Things that Healthy Summer Addie would be able to brush off and let go are annihilating Autumn Addie. I am crying into my lobster bake at Stella’s, telling my husband that no one even likes me! I am reading too much into emails, losing my ability to focus and motivate, spending a lot of time curled into the fetal position on the couch, watching Grey’s.

And it’s not great. It’s not particularly fun for anyone involved (including my long-suffering husband, cracking lobster tails across the table, assuring me that They do, sweetie. I promise they like you).

But also – it’s okay. Because I know what this is. It’s just the depression talking again.


One of the best gifts that I’ve ever gotten was a name for this thing in me that keeps rearing up in my life no matter how I try to wrestle it back. 

The doctor diagnosed me eight years ago – clinical depression – and I spent a long time trying to make that label untrue. I took the drugs and I went to therapy and I got the light box and I bought special essential oils that are supposed to help with that sort of thing.

I still do all of those things, but I’m beginning to understand that though it doesn’t have to define me, this word matters. I need this name. It gives this darkness that I feel so acutely a set of boundaries. It recognizes all that complex emptiness and distills it down to one word. It frees me to live through it and to live past it. It gives me a framework to understand what is happening to me and to move forward.

It allows me to say to myself as I lie in bed at night, numb and empty and fearful and sad: This is not the truest thing. This is only the depression. Go back to sleep.


The etymology of the word autumn is vague, best as I can tell, but one scholar suggested that it could be understood as the “drying-up season,” and the Old Irish word for it means, literally, “under winter.”

In the suburbs, people are emptying out their pools and pulling in their grills and buying Campbell’s Tomato Soup in bulk. Last 80-degree day, we say to one another as we glance at the Weather app on our phones. Fall’s really coming.

And when we say fall, when we say autumn, we’re talking about the whole thing: the ducks and the chipmunks and the pumpkin carving and the harvest celebrations. We’re talking about dark mornings and cold feet and apple pies. About the beauty of transition…and also the cold, harsh jolt of it. All of it is true, all of it simmered down like cider to one, bare, single word. Autumn.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s fall now, officially. Pull your hat down over your ears and breathe deep. Let the beauty and the pain blow over you like the cold breeze.

Say the word. Autumn. Name it for what it is – one short season in the sprawling arc of time.

Drink your pumpkin spice latte. Be grateful and empty, gathered and dried-out. And then, let it go.

When Your Faith is Not a Christian Romance Novel

photo credit: Lookout via photopin (license)

photo credit: Lookout via photopin (license)

When I was in junior high my best friend was Alissa. But my other best friend was Christy Miller…the fictional heroine of a teen, Christian romance series.

Christy Miller lived in Escondido, California and had a rich aunt and uncle who lived on Newport Beach, allowing her to have a dazzling life filled beach friends and Hawaiian vacations and a hot Jesus-loving surfer boyfriend with “screaming blue eyes.”

During the first book in the series, Summer Promise, Christy finds Jesus. The rest of the series chronicles her faith journey as it grows more and more intwined with her daily life. It also chronicles her on-again-off-again relationship with Surfer Todd, who wants to be a missionary in Papua, New Guinea and won’t go to prom with her because he thinks it’s a poor replication of the wedding feast we’re going to have in heaven someday…or something. It’s all very spiritual.

The last Christy Miller book I read came out June 1, 2001. It was the book where Christy and Todd finally (spoiler alert) get married!

That was the summer I was heading off to college. I hadn’t yet met my husband, and I was still holding out for “my Todd.” I hadn’t met my sort-of-judgy Christian-college roommates. The Twin Towers hadn’t yet fallen in New York City, and I hadn’t yet asked the questions that were just beginning to simmer under the surface.

Christy and Todd said I do in a meadow full of palm trees, and the end of the series dovetailed perfectly with the end of an era in my life — the simple, Christian-romance part of my faith. The part of my faith that felt sure and simple and easy.

Everything was about to change.


Christy and Todd Married YearsThis summer I decided to read the new Christy Miller books that have come out since I read the last one. Robin Jones Gunn, the author, has written two additional series about the gang since then — The Katie Weldon series, which chronicles Christy’s best friend, Katie, and a three-book series called, Christy and Todd: The Married Years.

I read them out of curiosity and also with a longing that I couldn’t quite name unit I put the last book down and promptly burst into tears in bed.

In the fourteen years since I read my last Christy Miller book, I got married and went to China and came back from China. The clinical Depression, which in all likelihood had been lying in wait for some time, staked a claim on my life and hasn’t really let go, all these fourteen years.

During those years, I made the kind of mistakes that are best described in four-letter words, so I started saying them. I clawed toward God and I lost him anyway, and I drank wine and tequila and flirted and raged and questioned everything and hit The Bottom and then, eventually, finally, found grace that was so much bigger than what I understood grace to be.

Fourteen years since I read my last Christy Miller book I have two sons and I go, sometimes reluctantly, to church and I struggle against the Dark that always feels like it’s trying to overtake me. I rarely insert Scripture verses or random spiritual metaphors into my everyday conversations — though I do work through my faith in my writing. I’m still trying my damnedest to find God, to follow him, to live in the beauty and mystery and goodness of his Truth. But I can’t seem to do it without sometimes saying words like “damnedest.” And even though I know that the best response to my fear and sadness is prayer, sometimes I drink too much wine and beige out to Grey’s Anatomy re-runs instead.

Fourteen years have past, and I’ve changed, but Christy and Todd, it turns out, have been frozen Han Solo-like all this time — stuck still in a sort of literary carbonite. I opened that first book this summer, and they sprung lithely to life on the page, still 22-years-old, still calling themselves God Lovers, still so sure that they understand what they means. They have managed — every last one of them — to stay on this virginal, certain path, to keep quoting Scripture, to find and marry other devout and sexually pure Christians.

In the Katie Weldon and Christy-and-Todd-Married series, the characters are still all close friends, still dropping nuggets of spiritual insight and metaphors about God into every conversation. (“The Teacher is always silent during the test,” was the big one in the last book I read)…and it’s all fine because, as my friend Leigh said in her post about Christy, “In RJG’s world…God always comes through. There are rarely situations in which platitudes don’t apply.”

If there are non-Christians in these books, you rarely see them, and they play only peripheral roles. They almost never have anything insightful to add to a conversation that always seems to be, ultimately, about God.

During one of these books, a former friend asks Christy’s best friend, Katie, if she’s living with anyone.Whens she looks at him aghast, appalled, he says, “Hey, you wouldn’t be the first one who recited all her Christian principles to me at sixteen and changed them by the time she was twenty-one.”

Katie’s answer in that moment strikes me as so arrogant and naive: “Then I guess I’m one of a rare and nearly extinct breed of God-lovers who still lives and breathes what she believed back then.”

Well wham-o.

Except for…really? You still live and breathe exactly what you believed back then? Really? Because who had it all right at seventeen? Who could? In the absence of time and the wisdom and maturity and perspective it brings, we form ideals and rules and absolutes.

But then we hang around a while and learn that maybe we were a little pretentious back then, a little sophomoric in our “wisdom,” a little wrong.

In one of the columns compiled in Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Life and Love from Dear Sugar, Cheryl Strayed writes this to students about to graduate from college:

“You are so…young. Which means about eight of the ten things you have decided about yourself will over time prove to be false. The other two things will prove so true that you’ll look back in twenty years and howl.”

This strikes me as wise. And true, also, of what we believe about God.

Jesus  — who he was, what he did, what that means for us — this remains so howlingly, achingly true that I can still feel it burning through me. But also? There is so much about what I imagined it meant to follow Him that just isn’t true. That never was.

And it doesn’t mean that I’m not a “God Lover.” It just means that I’ve learned how fragile, how tentative, how oft-failing my love for God is. In my Tired Thirties, I’m less interested in being a “God Lover,” more humbled by the fact that I am loved by God. That I am called Beloved. That no matter how I fail, I am still loved.


If I’m honest, here’s what I wanted when I opened the Christy Miller books again: I wanted to come across Christy as a tired, thirty-something Mama with a tattoo on the inside of her wrist and a fractured friendship or two and a thing for cabernet. It’s not that I wanted to give up her faith. Quite the opposite. I wanted her to get a little battered around by life, a little banged up by her own doubts, a little scarred by sharp words and broken relationships and broken dreams. And I wanted her to be clinging to Jesus anyway.

It’s like this: for so many years, I looked to these fictional characters to show me what a godly life looked like. And I wanted Christy Miller to be able to show me now, when I’m in my thirties and it all seems so much harder and darker and more complicated than it was then. I wanted to look at these series again as into a mirror…and I wanted to see the Kingdom of God which is already here, yes,…but also so not here yet. Not yet, not yet, not yet.

I wanted Christy Miller to stand in the empty tension of that wonderful, terrible truth with me and scream until her throat was sore.

But she didn’t. She couldn’t. She’s been frozen in fiction all this time. She’s still twenty-two, still so absolutely sure.


This is not an indictment against Robin Jones Gunn for the books she has written, for the work she is doing to communicate to young women that there is a God who loves them, who wants them, who sees them. That is good and noble work, and I am grateful, in many ways, for the ways these books impacted my life when I was twelve, thirteen, fourteen.

But also, I read the final series of these books desperately wanting to be able to identify, to feel validated. To hear Christy confess some deep failing so that I could say me too. But she didn’t. And I couldn’t. And maybe that’s why I ended up crying on the couch at 12:30 at night after I closed the book on my kindle.

Christy Miller didn’t say it, so I’m going to do it now. Here:

I love God and am loved by God and still it’s hard, and still it’s dark, and I peer into the heavens sometimes and I don’t see him, don’t feel him, don’t hear a whispered voice telling me which way to go. I have traveled far from Newport Beach and its constant sunshiny faith. My faith journey looks much more like Minnesota now — short, glorious summers and autumns. Infinite, cold, hard winters that almost make me give up every. single. year.

And yet. And yet. This is me, staying. This is me, standing in the emptiness, screaming, because life is not as it should be yet…but there is nowhere else to go. I still believe that Jesus is the most howlingly, achingly true thing.

And if you find yourself in the empty space of that tension, you are not alone, you are not a “bad Christian” or a lapsed God Lover or a mess.

Scream if you want to. There are so many of us here, screaming our throats raw for the beauty and pain of it all, for the already-not-yet of it, for the whole hard, holy thing —

and this too, is a song of praise.

When We Are Bit Players in Someone Else’s Story

I was reading about the Syrian refugee crisis in the news yesterday morning, and I had to keep referencing a world map. Though I’d looked it up before, back when the war started, I couldn’t quite remember — where was it again? And where are Jordan and Lebanon in relation to the Mediterranean Sea, and why are refugee boats collapsing in it as they flee, flee, flee an awful, confusing, devastating war?

I’m not sure whether high school history and geography failed me or if I just failed myself, but I’m thankful for the maps that Google spits forth in a matter of seconds, allowing me to zoom in and out on the faraway world as I try to put the puzzle pieces together.

“Why does the city of Damascus sound so familiar?” I had to ask Andrew while reading an article in The New Yorker about the war and the devestation and the problems arising in the world’s second-largest refuge camp in Jordan.

“Because of Paul. The road to Damascus is where he had his moment when he encountered God and went blind.”

“That’s right.” This is the ancient, familiar world of the Bible stories I have read a hundred thousand times. Of course there is still a Damascus. Of course life is still happening there. There are people there now just as there were then, and if I squinted my eyes in that direction, I might actually see them. 

But I have never been very good at thinking about the larger world. It’s too much — too vast, too complicated, filled with names that I can’t pronounce and nuances I can’t make sense of, and so I shrink my focus down, down, down: this house, this city, this state.

The place that I live. The place that I understand. The place that is my home.


It’s been almost exactly six months since my World Vision trip to Armenia. This half-anniversary — paired with the fact that it’s my sponsored child, Aleksandr’s, sixth birthday is in a few weeks — has me thinking a bit more than usual about the other side of the world: the mountains of Amasia, the mothers, bustling around their stoves, the children, waiting for us in their best sweaters.

I went to Armenia because writing is a gift that World Vision asked me to give, and it was a gift I could say yes to. And, also, I went there because I needed to get out of my own small life — the place where I’m so often placated by schedules and task lists and planners into thinking that I have some measure of control.

I wanted to go out into the great, big complicated world. I wanted to see the Kingdom at work. And I did.

I wandered in with a small group of bloggers. I watched and wrote and talked and listened.

There was a Story going on in Armenia, and it was about about creativity and love and poverty and hope. And I was not the heroine. I wasn’t even on the stage, but off in the wing, pen in hand, small monthly donations winging electronically from our checking account toward our sponsored child with his mischievous eyes and his crooked grin.

Armenia was not my story. But I was the smallest, most invisible part of it. And that was one of the most beautiful, freeing things I’ve ever experienced.

Photo by Matthew Paul Turner

Photo by Matthew Paul Turner

There’s this whole thing in vogue in Christian circles these days about living a good story. I don’t know if it started with Donald Miller or if he just popularized the concept…and certainly there are really beautiful things about it.

It’s beautiful to be purposeful about your life, to choose bravery, to embrace who it is that God made you to be and to live abundantly in the freedom that Christ offers.

It’s a strong undercurrent of the women’s ministry that I’m part of at my little church — this idea of helping women tell a good story. And I love the way that it communicates that every person matters, that your life has dimension and importance and reach.

But also, there are so many fragmented moments when the small simple thing you’re doing is anything but a story — let alone a good one. You’re scrubbing the dishes. You’re writing a report. You’re sitting in rush hour traffic.

You’re sitting at the kitchen table while the kids fight over some TV show in the living room, and you’re reading about the Syrian refugees. And you know that you’re not going to move to Jordan and help out in the refugee camp. That would be a good story, but it’s not yours. You’re not even sure you have it in you to drive downtown once a week to teach English to the ones already here.

These are the moments I’m interested in — the moments when the story is not about you. Or when you fail to live up to the Story. When you’re just sitting there, at the edge of the whole thing — listening, watching — somewhere in the wings.

There is so little you can do, and it doesn’t feel like any kind of poetic victory to donate a little money or breathe a small prayer or write a letter. It doesn’t feel like a story at all.

And it’s this disembodied moment — the one that seems so beside the point — that I want to notice.


Google Maps tells me that it’s 493 miles from Syria to Armenia.

I routinely drive 411 from my home in Minnesota to my parents’ house in Chicago — not that much of a difference. And also, so much of a difference.

When I click the Donate Now box for World Vision’s Syrian Refugee fund and fill in a number, it seems like such a small, unimportant thing. What can my small donation do in the face of so much pain? It takes one minute, two at most.

I am not the hero here; I’m not even on the stage.

But somewhere, a story is unfolding, and these small, unexciting acts of love are a part of it.

And I like to think that someday, in a sun-drenched eternity when we are all telling each other stories, this small donation will have a bit part in one of them.

And, in the end, I don’t think it will matter what part we played — small or big — only that we were there. Only that we were obedient.

Only that we believed that nothing is too small for God. And nothing is too big. That in the face of a terrifying war and a complicated, vast world, God is telling a story that is big and beautiful. A story that includes us all.

A story that ends with the most beautiful kind of Redemption.


Photo by Matthew Paul Turner

Photo by Matthew Paul Turner

You can donate to World Vision’s Syrian Refugee fund here, and I can tell you, from experience, that they are careful and wise and good with that money.

Also, these two cuties from Armenia are still in need of sponsors. I met them — sat in their living room, listened in translation to their story while their father leaned on his cane. He has chronic back pain, and his wife regularly wakes to him crying in bed.

If you’re interested in playing a bit part in this family’s story, email me. I can get you set up with the links!

What I’m Into: August 2015

what i'm into august 2015

I can’t believe summer is over.

And also I can.

For the last three weeks, everyone on the planet has been posting their Back to School photos on Facebook…except for those of us in Minnesota who don’t start school until after Labor Day.

In a lot of ways, this is good. We’re lucky. We get this extra grace week of sun and water and warmth and freedom.

And in other ways, this is hell, because the kids have reached their Ultimate Limit with each other, and I have reached my Ultimate Limit with their fighting, and we’re all just screaming at each other to JUST BE KIND! JUST BE KIND!

This is where we’re at. It’s the end of August/beginning of September, and we’re in that fuzzy space between where summer ends and the school year begins, and sometimes transitions are the hardest when they just. drag. on.

The edges of August are dissolving, now, into September, and trust me — I know better than to wish these precious days away.

So we’re having cupcakes for breakfast at the local sweet shop and wandering together around the pet store looking at lizards. We are doing last trips to the beach and the park and snuggling in front of Peppa Pig and “Gubble Guppies” (as Liam calls them) and eating too much frozen pizza. We are enjoying the last bits of summer the best that we can.

What I’m Reading:

Books I Read August 2015 - 1Books I Read August 2015 - 2

The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage, Rob and Kristen Bell: I liked Rob and Kristen’s take on marriage. This book focuses on the sort of interactive space between you and your spouse — which Rob and Kristen call the zimzum. This is a Hebrew concept in which God withdraws to create space something other than himself to exist — us. They argue that the same is true in marriage:

“You meet this person, your all in love, and you zimzum — creating space for them to thrive while they’re doing the same for you. This zimzuming unleashes energy and creates space that didn’t exist before, generating the flow that is the lifeblood of marriage.”

The book is divided into the four characteristics of zimzum: responsive, dynamic, exclusive and sacred. Rob is a gifted speaker, and he tends to write like he speaks. Which means that his books are a little thin on actual content and full of line breaks and space. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do wish there’d been a bit more practical application offered here in addition to some of the larger marriage concepts. Still, a good read and a book that has influenced the way that I’ve been doing marriage this past month.

Forever with You and Home Over Our Hearts (Christy & Todd: The Married Years), Robin Jones Gunn: I continued my Robin Jones Gunn catchup spree, and the married version of Christy and Todd remain as sugary sweet as ever. Though they are now all grown up, Christy and Todd continue to to stay bubble-wrapped in Christian culture and Christian friendships.

I’ve been struggling to come up with some kind of response to this type of fiction, trying to find the line where “edification” and “encouragement” ends and a kind of Christian pornography begins — not in a sense of setting unrealistic sexual expectations, but in creating unrealistic, glossed over expectation of what Christian faith is — what it should and could look like, what it should be doing for you.

Is it helpful or hurtful, in the end, to paint a portrait of the Christian life that is so picturesque and perfect that few — if any of us — can actually live up to it? Is it a person-by-person thing, or are there general things that we should avoid in the writing of “Christian” fiction? Do the things that make me feel inferior and infuriated in these books help others to find solid ground? And if so, can I write these books off entirely? Two months of mulling that over, and I still don’t have an answer. Let me know if you have one. I’d love to hear it.

Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Saenz: This was my one purchase from The Strand bookstore in New York City. It was one of the staff picks in the young adult section, and, to be fair, I was a little blinded by the serious literary bling on the cover. And the cover. I mean, let’s be honest. I mostly chose this book because of the awesome image of the red pickup truck in the stormy night. Sigh. The writing was beautiful and sparse and worthy of all those awards. Strong LGBTQ themes, so if that’s hard for you, skip this one. In my opinion, it was a generous and gentle treatment of a difficult narrative.

The Financial Lives of Poets, Jess Walter: I got this because I loved Jess Walter’s book, Beautiful Ruins, so much, and because it has an awesome title. Brief synopsis: a down-and-out middle-age Dad deep in debt and about to lose both his house and his marriage meets some teenage drug dealers one night while buying milk at a gas station. Bad money-making ideas ensue. I didn’t like it quite as much as Beautiful Ruins, but the writing was great and Walter has a lot of profound things to say about the American obsession with MONEY and STUFF and UPWARD MOBILITY. Both funny and smart — the kind of book that stays with you.

The Girl With all the Gifts, M. R. Carey: I won’t give any spoilers, but lets just say that this particular girl’s gifts were not what I expected. It’s not a book I necessarily would have chosen if I’d had a better idea of the plot, but it was a fun, fast read for the end of summer.

Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions, Steve Almond and Julianna Baggott: I picked this one for totally narcissistic reasons: Steve Almond was the judge of a lit magazine contests that I was trying to get an entry together for, and I wanted to get a feel for his style. He co-wrote this particular book with Julianna Baggott, and it was good — both are really gifted writers, writing professors, and it shows. The basic premise: two strangers meet and almost hook-up at a wedding, but then decide to take a step back and get to know each other by writing and mailing their confessions, one at a time, back and forth. I like the idea of this, I do. What I didn’t love was that the “confessions” were sort of limited to their past love relationships — which led to some pretty salacious (and, in my opinion, unnecessary) sexual reminiscences. The letter-writing aspect of it made each character feel a little self-absorbed and navel-gazey, but there were also a lot of funny moments and beautiful insights and great writing. So, you know, a decent read. 😉

TruestJackie Lea Sommers: When Silas Hart and his mysterious sister move to the tiny Minnesota town of Green Lake, they change everything for Westlin Beck — the pastor’s daughter, who is on her own kind of search. Published by HarperCollins Publishers (and not by any of their “Christian” imprints or subsidiaries), this was the most deeply and poignantly Christian YA book I’ve ever read. The sweet and confused teenage characters drink, swear, and make all kinds of mistakes…but they are on a very real and honest spiritual quest — proving that a squeaky-clean code of morality and an encounter with God are not necessarily as tied together as evangelical Christianity has made them out to be.

A beautiful debut from a great new author. Buy it.

What I’ve Been Listening To:

Still…whatever Spotify tells me to. I’m such a musical poser.

What I’ve Been Watching:

Bachelor in Paradise. Which is TERRIBLE. If you ever want to know how terrible people are, just watch reality TV. It’s gross! It’s appalling! I can’t stop watching it!!!! Master Chef is a little less terrible. But only because of the delicious food.

I finally started watching The Walking Dead again with Andrew. We’re on Season 2, and I just watched a Very Terrible Episode. I’m gonna need a minute to recover.

My laundry/workout/doing-the-dishes show is still Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched it before, but it’s just one of those easy-to-watch shows. In spite of all the guts and blood. (When you’re also watching The Walking Dead, the Grey’s Anatomy blood and guts seem pretty tame.)

Other Things I’m Into:

1. Waterproof casts. Why has it taken us so long to invent these. THEY ARE AMAZING. Yeah, my kid has a broken arm…but we can go swimming! He can take baths! Life is good!!!

waterproof casts

2. 12 years with this guy. Thanks to the aforementioned broken arm, we spent our anniversary watching Spy Kids and administering pain meds and adjusting Dane’s pillows. ROMANCE.


3. Butterflies! The kids found a ton of caterpillars in the milkweed down by our pond this year. We put them all into our aquarium and watched them turn to chrysalises…and then to butterflies. I think in the end, we had 18 or 19 that turned. It was epic.


4. Lemonade stands. Please. For the love. If you ever see little kids on the side of the road trying to sell luke-warm Crystal Light out of plastic cups…stop the car. Get out. Pay the twenty-five cents. There is no surer way to make someone happy. And that someone’s mommy.

lemonade stand

5. A short trip to Duluth with Dad for a business trip. It was in the 50’s and we were freezing. But I loved every second.

boys in duluth

6. A trip to the Wisconsin Dells to hang out with my Mom. We stayed in a cabin and managed to avoid most of the kitsch…with the exception of a miniature golf course/petting zoo where the goats jump out of the cage and onto the golf green…and a farm called “Little Bumpkins” with pedal tractors and a play town. Highlight? Collecting acorns in the woods. As it should be.

acorn collecting

Book and Blog:

NIV Bible for WomenNot much posting this month (womp, womp), but I did manage this post after Dane broke his arm. I blame my continued lack of blogging on the fact school hasn’t started and we’re still on summer routine. I’m sincerely hoping that September will be a different story.

Relevant Magazine did pick up this post I wrote back in July on books to read when you’re not feeling up to reading the Bible, so that was fun.

Also, five of my short piers appear in the new NIV Bible for Women from Zondervan…along with other amazing writers like Rachel Held Evans, Micha Boyett, Sarah Bessey, Margaret Feinberg, etc. etc. etc. SO MANY GREAT WOMEN WRITERS. I just got my copies in the mail today. I told Andrew, “Next time we’re in a fight, I’m just going to say, “Well, honey, I’m in the Bible.” (You can buy a copy here.)

Linking up as usual with Leigh Kramer (who is also featured in the NIV Bible for Women, FYI)

What about you? What have you been into this month? Any awesome music/books/shows I should know about?