Best of January

Jennings Beach, Fairfield, CT

Jennings Beach, Fairfield, CT

It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening.
— Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

2017. What a strange sequence of numbers.  On any given day, I realize I'm still back in 2010.  That number felt rounder, evener, astonishing enough to stay put for awhile.  But, here we are, one whole month into the new year, six whole months into our new home, and I'm still coming to terms with a lot of changes in our life in the past year(s).  I've tried often to short-circuit the natural process of transition.  I always end up getting frustrated with myself (Usually Brian, too. Isn't he lucky?)

There's so much about Connecticut that feels familiar to the forty years I lived in upstate NY - the climate, the culture, the glorious seasons.  But, then, I have to remember that no matter how close the fit, it's still a brand new home, job, and community.  Sort of like a pair of new shoes that are the right size, but still take a while to wear in, you know?  If that metaphor is helpful, then we're in the "getting pretty comfortable, but still need to wear a bandaid on the heel to keep from getting a blister" stage.  We know this is the right fit, but we're still limping a bit.

Of course, the transition it not only about moving cross-country and beginning a new work, but also entering the so-called "empty nest" era with all of our kids out of the house pursuing their own callings.  To be honest, that part of this transition has knocked me flat on several days.  I keep telling friends who ask, "I was never the kind of mother who had to be with her kids 24/7 so I didn't expect this to be so hard!"  I guess it's a primal thing, and I'm trying to be gentle with us in the transition stage.  If I'm being honest, though, it feels almost exactly like the months of post partum depression I felt after my kids were born. What I know now, that I didn't really understand then, is that, in time - like the landscape outside my window - this season of transition will become something new.  

In the meantime, we enjoy daily glimpses of joy in our "new normal".  I share a lot of those moments on Instagram, and you can see a few of the photos over there on the sidebar.  

A few other things we're excited about in 2017:

How about you?  How's 2017 shaping up so far?

May you know more and more the gentleness of Christ's presence and the faithful friendship of his people,


What I Read

1. Plough Quarterly No. 11 - Alien Citizens: The Politics of the Kingdom of God

2. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

3. Silence: A Novel by Shusaku Endo

4. You Carried Me: A Daughter's Memoir by Melissa Ohden - see my full review here. 


What I Watched

What I Heard

Bright Hopes! by Mike Crawford and his Secret Siblings

Hard Way by Moda Spira

Ordinary Love by U2

Lamentations: Simple Songs of Lament and Hope, Vol. 1 by Bifrost Arts

Tell All My Friends Will Reagan & United Pursuit

The Hamilton Mixtape

Epiphany, 2 playlist: Come to the Water

Epiphany, 3 playlist: Come, Follow

What I Wrote

(other places)

The Hole in Wendell Berry's Gospel at Plough Quarterly

(also referenced by Rod Dreher at American Conservative Magazine & by Jeffrey Bilbro at Front Porch Republic)

Making Space for Pro-Life Feminists at Think Christian

National Returns Day and the Consumer Liturgical Calendar at Think Christian


I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!  

What are you reading, writing, watching and hearing these days? 


p.s. there are all kinds of affiliate links in this post because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!