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Archive for January, 2013

On Waiting.

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll spend our whole lives waiting.” – Lemeny Snicket

The easiest lie for me to buy into is that someday I’ll be ready and then I can begin. But a whole lot of life is happening until then.

That’s the extent of my deep thoughts today.

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And so 2013 has been around for some 9 days. And I’ve spent that last 9 days thinking hard about the upcoming year. What I want to do more of (write, listen to music, create, connect) and what I want to do less of (watch tv, sleep). All of this is well and good and pretty par for the course for me. New year. New thoughts. A new chance to try to be more. I usually walk away from the New Year with lists. Lists that I think will save me. Lists that I think will cure aches of loneliness that come with being alive for very long in this world.

But, strangely, blessedly, I didn’t get that this time. Somehow, during a car driving, thinking session, amidst all the shoulds and goals and what nots, one word drifted to the top. And I knew that one word was mine.

Fearless.

I am a lot of things, but I don’t think that fearless is one of them. At least, I don’t think it is something that comes naturally to me.

Honestly, I don’t really know what this will look like. This fearlessness. But, I do know this. It will mean saying yes to somethings that I would have said no to. It will mean choosing not to indulge the voice in my head that tells me not to try something I might not be good at, not to say something that may sound dumb, not to love when I might be brokenhearted. I think it will look a lot like what Brene Brown tells us that courage meant at one time – telling your whole story with your whole heart. I think it has something to do with the reminder we get in 1 John 4:18 about perfect love casting out fear because fear has to do with punishment. I think it has to do with a lot of things that I don’t even know yet.

So, I’m going to do things a little differently this year. I’m going to let go of the trying to earn my worth by doing the things I think I should. I’m going to instead, try to inhabit my life. Live all the way out to the edges. I’m going to find my own brand of fearless and I’m going to wear it out and do nothing more.

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To continue on with the lists I’m making out the wazoo this time of year – to the books. Since I’m in Grad school, I don’t get to read a whole lot for fun, but when I get to, I read them voraciously. So, here they are.

1. Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Both because they are a part of a trilogy and because I read them so quickly, I can’t always remember where one ended and one began. Still, this book is YA gold. THG left an empty void in my heart this year, and this more than filled it. I can’t wait for the final installment!

2. Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner. Dr. Lauren F. Winner is one of my she-roes. I re-read Girl Meets God every year and recommend it as often as I can. She hasn’t had a book out in a few years, so I was excited about reading her again. This is about the aftermath of her divorce in regards to her faith. It’s a quiet sort of book, but still has the intelligent, profound, poetic wisdom that she always has.

3. Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. These books are epic. I have taken a long break before settling back into book 4 because of the intensity of book 3. Also, they are books I can’t multi-task read with, so that limits the times I can commit to 1000 page books. If you don’t want to devote to the prolific series, then I highly recommend the HBO show. The books have great character development, though they can drag at times (I guess having 150 characters requires a lot of set up).

4. Columbine by Dave Cullen. A journalistic and detailed account of the Columbine shooting. Interesting and devastating.

5. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. This was a book I had to read for my 21st Century class. It is a tricky novel – it jumps around from characters and time and point of view and never really connects in the way that you want it to (oh and one chapter is in Power Point), but Egan pulls it off. Certainly not for everyone, but incredibly fascinating.

6. Along the Watchtower by Constance Squires. Another book from 21st Century lit. This book is snap shots from an army brat coming of age. It’s poetic and full of rebellion, rock n’ roll, and complicated families – like all good books, right?

7. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. Jen is hilarious and honest. This book is her 7 month fast and contemplation about excess. I laughed. I cried. I cringed. And it made me think a lot about what it means to live simply in America.

8. 9 Stories by J. D. Salinger. I adored Catcher in the Rye but hadn’t read many of Salinger’s short stories. What can I say? He’s brilliant.

9. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. This was a quick read, but informative and thoughtful. Bertsche was hilarious at times commenting on finding friendship like first dates and it definitely touches a note to that strange post-college, professional life, making new friends conundrum.

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison. Another book I read for class (Southern Women’s Writers). A lot of people have said a lot of things about Beloved and Morrison,  and I’ll just add to the chorus. She is a brilliant, brave, and wise woman.

11. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. One of the books on writing. Short, easy paragraphs. Full of gems. A must for writers.

12. Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. This book made me want Mindy as a new best friend. She is hilarious. Witty. This book can easily be devoured in an afternoon. The book is like a long conversation with your best friend.

Looking forward to in 2013: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, Detergent by Veronica Roth, and reading all of Jane Austen novels.

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Best of 2012: Music

I can’t help but to love this time of year in the blog world for all the recap posts. They may be cheesy, but this girl loves them. There is something about taking account the past year as the new one approaches. So, here’s my contribution to the bunch.

Music:

1. The Avett Brothers Concert, July 27 @ Chesapeake Energy Arena. One of the best concerts I’ve been to. There was no opener, so the bros played for two glorious hours straight. After the concert, I just went home and laid in bed reliving all my favorite moments. Utter perfection. Highlights: Murder in the City and Tear the House Down

TAB!

c/o Lindsay Eckert

2. The Lumineers by The Lumineers. I just got this CD this month, but it still makes my list. Upbeat, cheeky, and one of the 2 CDs (save musical soundtracks) that the little sister and I can agree on. Highlights: Ho Hey, Classy Girls, Stubborn Love

3. The Head and the Heart Concert, Sept. 30 @ Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK. Completely worth the late night Sunday drive and Monday sleep deprivation. The last time I did that was for HP7B, so clearly my love for The Head and the Heart is deep. The energy that night was incredible. Highlights Rivers & Roads, Down in the Valley, T is for Texas (Tulsa) cover

4. The Carpenter by The Avett Brothers. 2012 was a year of deep love for the bros. This CD was no exception and the sole comfort to my prolonging buying Mumford’s sophomore album based on fear that it would be a horrible disappointment. This CD didn’t leave my car CD player much this fall. It reaches perfection at 1:29 of Through My Prayers. Highlights Through My Prayers, The Once and Future Carpenter, A Father’s First Spring

5. Babel by Mumford and Sons. This was a huge source of anxiety for me for weeks. A sophomore album can be a huge let down and the intensity which I loved Sigh No More cannot be emphasized. So, I intentionally avoided buying this CD for weeks. However, turns out, I didn’t have anything to worry about. While it is not a huge departure from SNM, it is exactly what I wanted in a sophomore album. Highlights Lover of Light, Ghosts That We Knew, Reminder

6. Les Miserables, Oct. 13, The Civic Center Music Hall, OKC. Are there any words for the magic of Les Mis live? No. Highlights, I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, singing everything I said for the two hours after the show

7. Hell on Heels by The Pistol Annies. Though a 2011 album, I added in because 2012 was the year I finally embraced a love for country music, and I didn’t think that putting Jenny’s “The Big 2-5 Country CD” really would count. Highlights Hell on Heels, Boys from the South

8. “The Big 2-5 Country CD” compiled by Jenny Fish. I know I just it didn’t count, but then I remembered I was making the rules. This CD is all Jenny’s favorite country songs that I could handle as a newbie. Her bread and butter is 90s country, so Garth, George, Alan, all made the CD, along with a bunch of Texas country. This CD was my country education. Highlights She’s Like Texas is the one that changed it all, and of course, Oh Tonight

9. There’s No Leaving Now by The Tallest Man on Earth. This always makes me think of lonely autumn days and black and white movies. Highlights 1904

10. Every Kingdom by Ben Howard. Soundtrack for the winter, for rainy days, or anytime you are feeling particularly thoughtful or quiet. Highlights Old Pine and The Wolves

11. Bear’s Den, Nathaniel Rateliff, The Staves, [Ben Howard], March 19 @ The Blue Door, OKC. This was maybe the most perfect concert, peaceful, well lit, intimate for Bear’s Den, Nathaniel Rateliff (save the douchey comments about Oklahoma), and The Staves. Then some other dude came on who was not with the Austin to Boston Communion Tour and the show went downhill. Singing angry songs about God, making awkward comments about sex, that song about the GI Bill? Not a great idea. Abigail and I left before Ben Howard (depressing, I know), but that’s just because we’re too old for Tuesday night concerts. Highlights The Staves’ harmonies, and that GI Bill song for the endless fodder it has provided for Abigail and I

12. My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men. I can listen to this album over and over again. It feels like the best of all the saddest things. Highlights Little Talks, Love Love Love, Dirty Paws

I have a good feeling about 2013.

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