This month I’m starting what will hopefully be a continual practice of taking some time to pay attention to, well, what’s got my attention. New finds in music, what I’m reading, TV shows or movies that I’ve seen, etc. Linking up with Hopeful Leigh.
May has been a bit of a crazy month: finishing up my first year of grad school, wrapping up work at my assistantship for the summer, getting ready to move to a farm for a summer internship, then my summer plans falling through and moving home to my parents’ house instead. But in the midst of that craziness, these are a few things I’ve been loving.
I finished off the hefty volume The Shaping of American Higher Education by Cohen and Kisker for my History of Higher Education class. Lengthy but generally pretty interesting and informative.
Another higher ed read was The Idea of a Christian College by Arthur Holmes. Holmes taught at Wheaton College, and this short book lays out a great foundation for why a Christian liberal arts college is important. Lots of really thought-provoking pieces; I read through it quickly for a book discussion, but am looking forward to reading through it slower and really chewing over some parts.
Now that’s school’s out for the summer, I have a massive summer reading list. So far I’ve finished two:
Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction by Richard Mouw. Kuyper is the father of the Dutch Reformed tradition, which Geneva College comes from. People reference Kuyper frequently, and I never heard of him till this past year, so I decided it was time to brush up. This is not exactly biography so much as a short summary of Kuyper’s theology and philosophy, followed by some applications for today. Nice intro to Kuyper. I’m still confused about all the strains of Reformed and Calvinist traditions out there.
Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan E. Isaacs. I loved this memoir! Susan Isaacs is an actor/comedian/writer who tells the story of how God torched her life and she took him to marriage counseling. I’ve read part of it before, but couldn’t get through the parts that felt painfully similar to my own story (the torching part, not the actor/comedian part) so it got shoved under the far corner of my mattress for awhile. But I’m glad to have reread it and finished it this time. A great book for anyone who wrestles with or gets angry with God, and for those who know them. (So basically anyone–just read it.)
Next up on the summer reading list: Prototype by Jonathan Martin, Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson, Eat With Joy by Rachel Marie Stone, and continuing in The Story of Christianity by Justo Gonzalez.
This month I’ve been loving The Tallest Man On Earth and The Wailin’ Jennys. I love the sound of both–I would place it somewhere in the folk genre, but at any rate they are characterized by unique, wistful vocals and a sweet variety of instruments accompanying. TTMOE is particularly clever in some of the lyrics; check out King of Spain and The Gardener for starters. A friend turned me on to The Wailin’ Jennys’ album “40 Days.” Full of great songs, and I’ve branched out from there.
I am absolutely captivated by Scandal! Usually I stick to comedies, and lawyer shows or political thrillers don’t interest me at all. But somehow I got in on the first few shows of Scandal, and I am hooked. Every episode is full of plot twists and character development, and leaves me hanging and waiting on the edge of my sofa for the next week’s episode. Definitely check it out. Season 2 just finished but Season 1 is on Netflix.
Other things I love:
Super new friends in Beaver Falls, and a girls’ Disney night. (Can you believe I hadn’t seen The Karate Kid before?!)
Getting to play with my dog Buddy again. So happy!
Being in rural Illinois again. I love going for walks out in the country and having people in cars stop to talk to me in the middle of the road: friends, neighbors, strangers, even a former piano student who I haven’t seen in years. Gotta love the country life!