Currently: What I'm Reading

27 September 2014

This year I decided to start a Good Reads book challenge. My goal is to read 50 books by the end of the year. As of right now I have read 14 of those. That means the next couple of months are going to be full of reading, which will be somewhat easier because of everything I am reading for classes at the moment. I'm hoping that I will be able to make it to 50, but with my schedule I might fall a bit short. But hey, there's three months left!

Today I just want to share with you the books i'm reading and a little bit of what I think so far. So here are five of those books.

1. A Holy Enounter: Meeting God in His Word by Carl M. Leth
      I am currently reading this book for my Christian Theology class. This book was written by my professor, Dr. Carl Leth. This book is meant to be used as a devotional, but for class we are reading it in chapters and then reflecting on the theological issues or topics that are talked about. It is interesting to read it from that angle, but I also think that it would be a great devotional for anyone who wants to really meet with God while reading and studying His Word.

2. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor
      This is a book that I just happened to come across in the bookstore on campus. After reading the description on the inside of the cover I knew it was something that I wanted to read. I just started it and haven't gotten too far into it with class reading, but so far I am really enjoying it. It's all about learning or acknowledging the ways that we can encounter God outside of the walls of the church. I am really looking forward to learning about what Barbara Taylor has to say!

3. Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent by Meredith F. Small
       I know this is a weird book to be reading since I am not a mother, but it's for a class. This book is not written from a Christian outlook which is something that still gets me at times while I am reading, especially when it comes to the parts that talk about evolution. However, this book has some interesting points about how we raise our children and how other cultures raise their children. I am only a couple chapters in at the moment, but I look forward to the rest of this book and sharing my thoughts with you.

4. Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology by Darrel R. Falk
      I am reading this book for my General Biology class. At first I thought this might just be a boring book that was just a requirement for an assignment, but as a started reading I really have become interested in what it has to say. I have only gotten through the foreword, preface, and chapter 1, but so far this book seems to really make a great argument for the integration of faith and science, or as the title states, a way to bridge the gap between the two. They don't need to be mutually exclusive. I am looking forward to this read.

5. Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie J. Thompson
      While this book is for another one of my class, Spiritual Formation, it also seems to be a great book. I am three chapters in and have so far enjoyed the information that Mrs. Thompson has to share about spiritual disciplines. I also enjoyed the foreword which happened to be written by a great author whom I also enjoy, Henri Houwen. I am looking forward to how this book will impact my spiritual life.

So there are the five books that I am currently reading. I look forward to sharing book review with you about these books. I also have some other books that I will be doing review of in the next month or so while I finish these and some others.

Have you read any of these books? What books are you currently reading?
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Apartment Tour, Pt. 1

23 September 2014

Hey y'all! I'm taking a little break from all of my homework and lesson plan writing to write a quick post. I have a bunch of idea running thru my head, but I decided to go with something simple. So here is a quick little tour of my apartment for this school year.

At the end of August I moved into my new apartment for this school year. I am in a different apartment complex on another side of campus than I was last year. The complex is called University Place. There are five buildings that each have twelve four person apartments in them. I am in the first building on the second floor. Combining the furniture and decorations of four people can be challenging, but I think we managed to pull it off fairly well.

When you first walk in our door and look left you see this table and chairs with a cute little giraffe(?) printed lamp and candle warmer, as well as my book shelf, all 400+ of my books, a lamp and a couple little decorations.

Once you close the door and look to the right there is this adorable key and purse holder that one of my roommates brought.

If you walk in a little bit and look back at the door this is the view you get. You can see our coat rack, as well as the table again and the little picture that is hanging up.

And the table and bookshelf again...

Come in and look into the living room and you see the t.v., DVD stand, the game and art shelf, the large mirror that a different roommate painted, IMAGINE painting (painted by the same roommate who did the mirror), and our fancy little chair.

Walk into the living room and you see the love seat, couch, coffee table, and the entrance to our deck.

And here is the love seat over on the left of the photo above. You can also see the little coffee table with the flowers on it.

Take a step out onto our balcony and you can see our chairs and table, as well as these cute purple rope lights that I got at Walmart.

If you go back through the living room you will see the kitchen. It's not huge but it is a decent size for a college apartment. Our cabinets were pretty cluttered and were driving me crazy, so I picked up the little blue 4-drawer shelf. It was on sale for $22 at Kmart and it had the cubes in it!! Score! I had looked at many other shelves but they were more than $20 and the cubes were sold separately and individually for roughly $6 a piece. I'm not about that life.

So that is a quick view through the main rooms of the apartment. Sorry about the overload of pictures. Also, I apologize for the quality of some of them. I took them in a hurry after I cleaned today before my roommates got back and I risked the cleanliness being disturbed! Lol just kidding! :)

I will post pictures of our office and bedroom as soon as things are sort of clean and presentable later this week. I have some awesome posts planned and I look forward to sharing them with you!

Have a great night!
God Bless!
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15 September 2014

Hey everyone! I know it's been a couple weeks since I have posted anything of significance. On one hand I feel bad about that and I have been wanting to so desperately, but on the other hand I don't think I have been in the greatest place to post anything. The last few weeks have been straight up crazy and stressful! I moved into my apartment on August 23rd (pictures coming soon!) and basically was put straight into school mode. I was running around working on taking care of finances, class schedule, and what seems like a billion other things.

Classes officially started on Aug. 27th. Within the first week I felt way behind because of the amount of reading and such that is required in some of my classes. Between all of my classes I have three different journals to do. One is a daily devotional journal, one is a reading journal for all assigned texts and articles, and the other is a Theological reflection notebook. Throw in at least one page of reflection for the devo journal and the theo reflection journal after reading through everything, plus going through and reading texts/articles and doing a clearly defined reading notes journal and you have one stressed lady. I have just had a really hard time keeping up. Although I know that part of what was the problem last week was the fact that I was sick all week. I literally slept away the first half of the week and then worked my butt off to catch up with what I could before the end of the week. Nothing like having some crazy cold, respiratory and bronchitis nonsense to start off the semester. But hey, it's out of the way now.


Anyways, to get to what I really want to spend some time talking about. Despite the constant presence of people the last few weeks, in the form of roommates, friends, church family and classmates, I have had an all too familiar and not generally enjoyed feeling. I have felt pretty alone. I am not saying that I have been lonely since that is practically impossible in my current situation. It is almost an irony to say that I feel the least alone when I am sitting in a quiet, dark room by myself. I find myself in crowds and groups and I feel like the outsider, the one looking in and watching. There is a sense of disconnect and I am not sure why or how to fix it.

(...I couldn't find a source for this that the campus internet would let me open)

Personally this is not the first time in my life that I have felt this way and I doubt that it will be the last. I know that there is a very good chance that some of my issue with this is based on my personality, as well as some past issues. Yet it still does not change the fact that it is not a fun feeling. It can be hard going through your days feeling like you don't belong and like no one would notice if you were not there. That consuming feeling of being alone in the midst of so many people. It has been wrapped around me this week and I just cannot shake it. Going to chapel has not done it, Bible study has not done it, quiet time and devotionals have not done it. Praying and solitude have not done it.

It has been invading my mind and I am hoping that I can break through this before it becomes something bigger than it is or needs to be. I do not want to be sitting here in a week or two still feeling this. I want to enjoy life and being with friends without forcing a smile, a pleasant attitude and a bunch of small talk. I do not want to feel like I have been sitting in a dark room by myself with no company and no sunlight. Yet I cannot seem to bring myself to the point where I feel like I am completely enjoying being around people. This is a hard thing to process and get past when life revolves around being social. My safety zone has been whenever I manage to get time alone in the apartment and I can shut the blinds/curtains, turn off all the lights, shut off anything making noise and just embrace the silence, the darkness. Part of what is bugging me lately is that I rarely get a moment of quiet, of peace.

I need to recoup, to refocus, but I have been lacking the ability to do so these last few weeks. This ended with me basically word vomiting via Facebook messenger to a great friend who listened to me while he was on his way to Kentucky with his PR band. I also ended up hastily leaving the apartment on Sunday afternoon to sit in the lower level of Ludwig Center in an attempt to have some quiet. There were no more than 4-5 other people in the whole lower level at any given moment. It was like a brief moment of heaven. This week i've really come to think through the fact that while I don't mind being alone, I do mind being lonely. Everything makes sense in that context, or at least most of it. Sometimes it is hard being the only single lady in your apartment. Everyone talks about their significant other and I get to play the 'third wheel' a lot of times. Such is life.

I just really am feeling like I am stuck in a rut and I cannot get past it. This feeling is just gripping me and while I am used to it I know that I often let myself get to used to it, to familiar with it. I get comfortable with the feeling. I know that God is here and that He has things under control but it does not seem to be of any help at the moment. I could really use prayer this week concerning this. That God will just make His presence felt and that this feeling will stop consuming my thoughts and emotions.

I'm sorry for kind of using this as an emotions vent at the moment, but I just needed to write it out.
I hope y'all have a great week!!
God Bless!

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I'm Dying.... Or At Least I Feel Like It

08 September 2014

So clearly my plan to have some posts up this weekend didn't pan out. Things got crazy around here. I also have managed to catch a virus of some sort, so i'm feeling pretty low right now. I am not sure if it is the viral side of laryngitis which a friend of mine had last week or if it is this nasty virus going around the Midwest right now. The nurse on campus tested for strep and flu but both were negative. However, she gave me a lovely Zpack and said it could be the start of Mono. Yay. So please forgive me if I don't get posts updated like I want to. I am trying to rest and knock this nastiness before it gets any worse.

Stay healthy and have a great week!
God Bless!

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