books books books books books, weekly recap

all the things (11.26)


Happy holiday season to you! Hope everyone out there had a good Thanksgiving, but it’s time to move on to CHRISTMAS!  I love this time of year. Christmas carols, snow, giving gifts, Christmas crafts, advent… it’s my very favorite.


My little corner of the internet: 

I finally wrote my October edition of Jordan Reads Things!

Two Five Minute Friday posts: one last week, and one this week!

Words from the internet I liked: 

The Hidden Legacy of Eugene Peterson: I’ve never read Peterson’s books, but his Message translation of the Bible has helped so many people understand and identify with scripture. For me, as someone who’s struggled with understanding scripture, The Message has been a huge blessing. I loved reading this personal essay from a family friend– it let us all see a different side of Peterson that normal folk wouldn’t see. And learning about how he uses his money– pretty sure there’s a lesson for all of us there.

Tracee Ross Ellis is living for Herself: I. love. This. And more so, I love HER. She speaks truth in a blunt and humorful way and is point-blank honest about her decision to not get married or have kids. As someone who doesn’t know if she wants to marry or have kids herself, it’s so nice to have someone else admit that they’re OK with this. That they’re not struggling with singleness like sooo many people/articles say they are (esp in Christian circles). I’m not struggling with singleness! I’m cool with it! Like Tracee said: MY LIFE IS MINE. My sole purpose is not to be married off and have kids. If it happens later, cool. And maybe in a few years my thoughts on singleness will change. Heck, they’ve changed a LOT as a 25-year-old. I go back and forth on wanting the whole marriage+kids deal. But right now, I’m not struggling with singleness. And I’m okay with that.

I look back and think about all the ways we’re told that those two
#goals: being chosen and having kids, are what makes you
worthy. I mean: Nursery Rhymes. Fairytales. Books. Movies. Sixteen
, every love song, and even Black-ish—all reiterating this
narrow story of “husband plus child equals woman”. And the
patriarchy—the patriarchy is not pleased with me right now. I’m
failing at my function.

If you saw my message why didn’t you respond? 

I follow Sarah on Twitter, and she hit the nail on the head here. I could’ve written the same post! (except focusing on text messages vs facebook messages). While I’d much rather have a text conversation vs. face-to-face (or worse, the dreaded phone call… *shudders*), I also freak out if I don’t get a response from someone (if the text deems a response, obviously). I try hard to stay connected to people, and when people don’t respond I start to think that they don’t want to take the time to talk to me, or I said something that hurt them, or if they don’t want to be my friends… anxiety and technology weave a complicated web, people. When people see your messages, or your questions, and just don’t respond? It makes me second guess myself about every conversation I’ve had with people. I know people are busy, but at least take a minute to say something. Don’t leave people hanging when they’re waiting on the other side of a conversation.

But, the little thing that reads “seen” at the end of a Facebook message is problematic because it reminds you that you are not that important. If the person sees your message and doesn’t say anything you are left wondering if you offended them, they’re busy, they don’t want to talk to you, or many, many other things.

Yes. This. I felt so frustrated by the 3 Swings and a Ring culture at Lipscomb. Gotta get that MRS degree, right? Except I didn’t, nor did I want it. Part of me didn’t feel the want/need to get married; part of me felt like it was expected of me because everyone else around me was wanting it. I quit counting how many friends ended up married during or right after graduation. This culture that pushes marriage at a young age hurts people that don’t end up married by the time college ended– I don’t even know if I want to get married, yet it felt like it was something that was *supposed* to happen magically in college. I’m happy for the friends that got married during our college years, but I’m more than thankful I wasn’t one of them– I could not imagine it for my life right now, no matter how much this culture tells me it’s what I should be aiming for.

Cool things to buy on the internet: 

It’s Christmastime, which means… GIFT GUIDES GALORE! A few of my favorites:

Perfect Gifts for Writers: This was written by my friend, Kate! It has so many good things for the writer in your life. The most needed items for me from this list include this Waterproof note pad (all my best ideas happen in the shower!), this Spiritual Writing Book, and money to go to a Writers Conference (Festival of Faith and Writing, PLEASE?!?!). I’d also add: a subscription to Grammarly Premium, a custom blog design/domain makeover, and a subscription to Spotify Premium!!

College Girl Gift Guide: I’m not in college anymore, and I don’t agree with all these things (no makeup needed here), but: All. The. Giftcards. Please!! And allll the fuzzy socks. And a new blanket to match my new bedspread sounds lovely!

Speaking of bedspreads: I have found the one my soul loves. And bonus: it was designed by Joanna Gaines! SCORE! I’m either going to buy it with my next freelancing check or I’m asking for it for Christmas. They’re currently running a deal where you get $50 off $150 purchase AND free shipping over $75! Yay for online Black Friday deals!


How Sweet Eats always has the best Gift Guides. She has a great Cookbook gift guide (i want them alll, especially her new one, Joy the Baker’s brunch cookbook, and Pioneer Woman’s newest!) and a kitchen supplies gift guide (i also want all the things here).

She Reads Truth has a good Gift Guide for their products, including some new ones! (I love the calendar and the SRT/HRT Starter sets!).

Sarah Bessey’s Gift Guide to Empower Women is AWESOME. All products are from small businesses that help women and children around the world. And everything on it is beautiful! And there’s a coupon code for almost every product!

other non-gift guide things from the internet:

*NSYNC Holiday Merch: My *NSYNC and Christmas-loving heart is so happy.

I have my eye on this nativity from Trades of Hope– isn’t it adorable?!

My favorite baker from Season 4’s Great British Bakeoff released a baking cookbook— and it’s all comfort food! I can’t wait to get it. (also, she has a pug, so I’m hoping for Dennis the pug pictures in the book!!)

Also: Amazon has their annual book deal going on now– $5 off a book purchase over $20! I used it to get a book for part of my mom’s Christmas gift (she’s obsessed with this guy) and a new fiction book for me!

DaySpring has some great deals for Cyber monday coming up! 35% off ANY PURCHASE using the code MONDAY17 (only until Monday at 11:59!), $5 Journals and Mugs, Markdowns up to 50% off certain items, and BOGO on certain items (including the IF watercolor set+ other bible journaling supplies!!). Definitely a great sale for all the things on their site.

I picked up Let it Snow for a fun read during the holidays! My former supervisor, Sarah, gave it to me for Christmas last year. It’s 3 different short novellas (~100 pages each) written by 3 YA authors. The only author I’d read before was John Green; I finished Maureen Johnson’s story last night and really enjoyed it! They’re all based on the same town/same basic storyline, which I didn’t realize until I started reading John’s story. Such a clever idea! Can’t wait to finish it.

Redeeming Love is one of my favorite books of all-time. LifeWay just recently released a brand new edition with a stunning cover! AND it’s on sale this weekend for $10!!

Sleeping at Last is doing an Enneagram song project— he’s releasing a song and accompanying podcast for each of the 9 Enneagram numbers. He just released the song for Twos (which is what I am) and it may have made me cry just a bit. IT’S SO ACCURATE. It brought every quality of my number (both the good and bad) to life in such a beautiful way! If you’re a 2, a 2 wing, OR just want to know your 2 friends better, please listen+buy+listen some more. The One song was also highly relatable (I’m a 2 with a 1 wing!)

I had an opportunity to read and review a new children’s book, The Marvelous Mud House, for Lifeway Bloggers.

The blurb from the book overviews it really well: Ben and his American family live in a hungry ranch house where they are always wanting more. But then they travel far across the world to Kenya and visit the marvelous mud house where George and Mama George live. There, among the mango trees, they discover a marvelous lesson about what it’s like to be full of joy instead.

It is a darling book! I’ll share a more extensive review in my November Jordan Reads Things post, but here’s a quick overview:  Firstly, the illustrations are stunning!! The colors are vibrant and the pictures really illustrate the story so well. The story felt familiar (and part of me can’t help but struggle with the American-family-turns-savior trope, but that’s another story), but it’s simple enough for kids to learn about love, kindness, and God’s provision from. While the Smith family went to Kenya to help,  you can clearly see that it was the Smith family that was helped and learned so much from the people there– if you’ve ever done mission work, you know the feeling.

You see two families with completely opposite lives that both depend on God for provision, but what God is providing each of them is different: for the George family, God provides a way for George to go to school; for the Smith family, God provides a way for the kids to love each other better and give sacrificially to help George go to school.

For families, there’s a great parent discussion handout in the back of the book, with scripture references and questions, and a dictionary of words from Kenya.

My favorite part of the book is the song Mama George sings:

“We’re rich, my son, rich in love, strength, and life!

The Giver of these hears every cry!

Let’s lift up our hands to the God who provides.”

I need that printed on my wall, please.

The subtitle of the book is: a story of finding fullness and joy; I think April Graney does just that– she gives us a story where we find fullness, joy, and provision from God in different ways. It’s a great book!! Buy it here.


Val Marie Paper has $5 flat shipping today for all their products! I’ve been using the undated prayer journal for a month and love it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to invest in a yearly sometime soon!

Day Designer also has free shipping this weekend! This is huge since shipping for their planners is hella expensive. I had one of their BlueSky planners last year and it was the most productive a planner has ever been for me! I want the real thing this year.

I think that’s it for this week. Follow my writer page on Facebook for more writerly updates and sometimes funny things, among other amusements.


Thanks for reading, y’all!


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