Saturday, November 15, 2014

7 quick takes from a cozy week in Austin (!) + other good things I found online

--- 1 --- 
We had the house to ourselves this weekend, but Brian had a paper to write. I tried to work on a writing assignment. Also we were really, really tired.  Season Two of The Newsroom is available now to stream.  We watched quite a lot of it, snuggled up on the couch.  It's amazing how comfy this activity can be when you used to have a lot of kids taking up couch space and now you don't.  We laughed at ourselves because The Newsroom is classic Aaron Sorkin-formula -- sometimes almost word for word.  But we love Aaron Sorkin formula and really wouldn't have it any other way.

--- 2 --- 
After some interesting conversations in the office about the problems of Nationalism and what wars are just wars and what is our military responsibility around the world and here at home, I found instruction and encouragement in Sunday's collect:  
O Judge of the nations, we remember before You with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN
Also, today, I re-posted from 2009 the story of my friend Margaret saying good-bye to her mother.  I never want to forget watching my friend and her father care for her mother during the last days of fighting off cancer.  And I never want to forget the clarity of relationship -- friendship -- that comes in those moments:  Paying Attention (21) - remembering Margaret's mom 

--- 3 --- 
Spent most of my lunch breaks this week finding a quiet place to read this book.  I borrowed it from the library because, you know, that's free.  And it's like a week overdue because I want to read every paragraph twice.  Sorry to any of you who might be on the wait list.  Clearly, I need to go ahead and own this book.

--- 4 --- 
Today my daughter sent me this.  She kindly added a note that "almost always" when this happens it's a "good thing".  

--- 5 --- 
More lunch break, more book reading shots.

It's entirely possible I'll be transcribing whole pages of this book into blog posts because I'm that struck by Christian Wiman's writing.  Consider yourselves warned...

--- 6 --- 
This was one of those mornings when I just didn't wanna.  You know what I mean?  And the day ended up being as hard as I imagined.  Just normal hard stuff and then learning about friends and co-workers facing harder than normal stuff and it all kind of piled up into a big wad of sadness that came out as tears down my face.  For quite a long time I sat at my desk, working away, tears just streaming down my face because of the sad things.  I guess that's OK.  I'm also glad none of my co-workers noticed.  Crying helped.  Kind words from kind people helped.  And Thursday night small group (women's night) helped. 

So did a cozy fire and a room full of women talking about both good, hard and funny things.  

Also, today I posted writing inspiration I've been trying lately to paste in my mind: 5 of my favorite quotations on writing: Kenyon, L'Engle, King, O'Connor, Berry

--- 7 --- 
It's hard to believe that 2 weeks ago today I was in PA trick-or-treating with my niece and nephews.  And 2 weeks from now we'll be hanging out playing games and making left-over turkey sandwiches.  

Here's a slideshow of my PA/NY trip.  You would rightly gather from this presentation that my trip home was to see nieces & nephews, apples/cider, doughnuts and the rest of my family -- in that order. I've added sappy music because I can't help myself.

Fall trip to Pennsylvania & New York by Slidely Slideshow

--- Other good words online this week ---

Merry Little Christmas Project: 3 Ways to Save Time This Christmas - My sister's got this beautiful plan to make November her season to prepare for Christmas so that the first weeks of December can be set aside for savoring instead of stressing.  This post is one one several great tips she's sharing this month.  Join her Merry Little Christmas Project and make sure you sign up for her Christmas newsletter!  ("one email a day for all the best deals")

Giving each other the space to be authentic by Katie Fox at The Art of Simple:  Wise insight by my friend Katie.  "When I start out a conversation by assuming that someone is “so excited” or “so happy” or so anything at all, I’ve already created a barrier that might prevent him or her from feeling like they can actually be honest with me."

Where Are All the Good Stories About Marriage? by David Taylor at CT:  I had the privilege to read Dr. Taylor's earlier drafts of this piece and was even more impressed with the final draft published at CT this week.  "If a Christian community were willing to invest in those who are called to produce such television and movies, then I believe we might be looking not at the failure of the Christian imagination in the public square, but at the gift of a vision of marital love, in all its complexities and pleasures. God willing, viewers may yearn for much more of where that came from." May it be so.

Sesame Street Week at The A.V. Club - Everyone's favorite children's television show turned 45 this week.  I've had fun reminiscing with the daily columnists at The A.V. Club.  What clips and songs do you remember?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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