Five Stars

Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber is, hands down, the best book I have read in a very long time.  Bolz-Weber is the pastor of a Denver church called House for All Sinners and Saints, and quite the departure from any pastor I’ve ever heard/read.  She is a former stand up comedian, who is sarcastic and sometimes profane.  And, wow, she and this book were exactly what I needed.

I grew up in a tradition that preached about the danger of legalism, while still handing out a pretty long list of “dos and don’ts”.  So partly out of my natural desire to please those in authority, and partly because I love rules and order, I never really learned how to be a “good Christian” without being legalistic.  And I never ever learned to appreciate liturgy.  I thought it was only for Catholics and was devoid of real meaning.  But after reading this book, I think differently and can see some stunning beauty in it.

In Accidental Saints, Bolz-Weber tells a collection of stories centered around the parishoners she pastors and the outpouring of God’s great grace on herself and those she leads.  It’s fantastic.  There are so many excerpts that I’d like to post that it would border on copyright infringement.  Honestly, something in every chapter spoke to my heart.  And while I don’t agree with Pastor Bolz-Weber on every theological, political, or moral issue, I don’t have to.  I think that’s part of the beauty of her book.  We don’t have to look alike, or see eye to eye on everything to be able to learn from each other.

And so I give an enthusiastic five stars to Accidental Saints.  Go grab a copy.

I received this book for free as part of the Blogging for Books Program through WaterBrook Multnomah.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can pierce the heart.

I really wish that I were the kind of person who was secure enough in who (and Whose) I am to not let the opinions of others hurt me.  But I’m not.  The truth is, I have many insecurities and although my feelings don’t get severely hurt often, they do get hurt.

A few days ago, my feelings were seriously hurt in an online setting, and to approach the person who hurt me would probably only escalate things.  So I’m trying to let it go.  But it’s hard.  I don’t hold any malice toward this person and it’s possible that she wasn’t trying to be hurtful, but I’m still having a hard time moving on.  Last night I ate my feelings (Chocolate Therapy by Ben & Jerry’s and a glass of wine), which really did make me feel better temporarily.  I’m hoping that writing about it will be a more lasting therapeutic exercise.

I guess it’s good to be hurt every once in a while, because it serves as a reminder that words carry weight.  They have the power to build up or tear down, and encourage or destroy.  And I want to be one who encourages.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14

Bye Bye, Hair!

I cut my hair a few years ago and fully intended to send it to Locks of Love—I even put it in an envelope and addressed it!  But, sadly, it never made it to the post office because the envelope mysteriously vanished.  My hair was long enough again to donate this summer, so right before my maternity leave ended, my wonderful stylist chopped it all off!

In the end, I decided against Locks of Love and chose the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Program, but both are worthy causes.

Triathlon

One of my “30 before 30” goals was to complete a triathlon, and I thought it would be a great incentive to get back in shape after Hudson was born.  So even before he was born, I knew that I would be doing one at Moss Park on October 3.  When I told Andrew my goal, he said that he would join me, which was great!  We could train together and stay together during the race, and just push each other to do our best.

I started exercising regularly again when Hudson was about 3 months old, which gave me about 8 weeks to train for the tri.  I never was able to complete all three (or even two) of the events back to back in my training, but I knew that if Andrew was with me, he would keep me accountable during the race and I would finish.  We had no time goals.  We just wanted to cross the finish line (and not be last).  And we did it!  We were 28 out of 35 and finished in just under two hours, but we did it!!

So in case you missed my Instagram posts, here are my pictures from the day.

God Gave Us Sleep

God Gave Us Sleep is a sweet book by Lisa Tawn Bergren, author of God Gave Us You, and several others.  The story opens with Mama Bear calling in Little Cub from playtime to begin her evening routine, and addresses why we need to sleep, bad dreams, and a busy mind, as well as how we feel when we don’t get enough sleep.

I don’t think that this book alone will solve a parent’s bedtime troubles, but it does serve as a good jumping off point to talk about issues that present themselves at bedtime, and is just a cute story in and of itself.  God Gave Us Sleep is available at Amazon.com.

I received this book for free as part of the Blogging for Books program through WaterBrook Multnomah.  All opinions are 100% mine.