What I’m reading

My most recent read was a book about the Enneagram (a personality-ish scale that helps reveal blind spots from a Christian perspective) called, “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Susan Stabile. At a girls night a couple months ago, my friend Heather mentioned this book and said she bet she could guess my number (vs letters in the Myers-Briggs). I held up my hand to stop her and told her I had the book reserved at the library and wanted to read it first before I got pegged. A friend at church had recommended it and I’m kind of a junkie for things that help with self-awareness and reveal an opportunity for growth.

I read this on a recent trip with my Dad who is a Myers-Briggs fan thinking I could read aloud sections and we could dissect it together, which we did. It was interesting and I found myself nodding along as it said things like, “this person tends to do this in stress” and “their motivation for doing this is ___” and “if they can try this instead, this could be helpful.” All in all, a good read if you’re into nosing around and getting to know yourself a little better, even the unpleasant parts.

I also read a little Richard Rohr, my first time reading his work, with the book, “Simplicity.” He’s a Franciscan priest and I enjoyed his direct and simple writing that resonated with me. One thing I really liked was when he talked about talking with God and reminded us that God is already in us through the Holy Spirit so really, all we need to do is quiet ourselves enough to hear Him speak. He said it’s so simple that it’s actually hard for people to understand. Last year at church we talked about the whisper of God’s voice and I have found that to be true in my own life. The times I hear most from God is when I’m quiet. Not when I’m like, “Hey God, can you tell me what to do?” (right now, please?). But when my thoughts have run out and I’m just sitting in silence. Sometimes then I can hear a little stirring. His book comes falls in line with things I’ve been interested in lately, like slowing things down to be able to hear from God.

Last month I read “Present over Perfect” which I loved by Shauna Niequist. Such short chapters packed with lessons on dialing back and determining and then focusing on what’s important. I probably liked it because it confirmed a lot of what Andy and I have been working on the past 18 months-2 years or so. Paring down responsibilities so we can see what needs attention. Stepping away from good things, good organizations, and doing the hard work of putting time and energy and lots of communication into our marriage. That’s been a big focus and I’m things are getting better.

I also read, “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult. My first fiction book of the year, though it was inspired by a true story. I loved this book and parts of it were downright painful to read. I remember stopping reading to squirm a little bit. It takes place in current time and is about current events regarding racism. It is helpful in pointing out white privilege and is something I am working on understanding more. I definitely recommend this book.

Next, I read “Chasing Slow” by Erin Loechner. Sensing a theme after Present over Perfect? Yeah, I like to learn from others on things I’m currently working out in my own life. It’s easy to read, encouraging and well written. She’s an engaging story teller and I felt like I was sitting in her living room just having a real conversation about life- which is pretty much my favorite thing on the planet.

Oh, and in April, I read another Anne Lamott book, “Small Victories.” I can’t get enough of her self-deprecating, refreshing honesty about spirituality, life, and relationships. And it definitely helps that she’s hilarious. I plan to get through all of her books eventually.

That’s what I’ve been reading– how about you? Read anything lately that you really enjoyed? I’m always looking for new recommendations!


A post about Fuller House

I’ve polled friends and read enough articles to realize that people either love or hate the new re-make of the 1987 Full House. From my non-scientific research it seems that anyone who watched and enjoyed the original, is more likely to enjoy the new one too. People who didn’t really get into Full House, tend to not like Fuller House. And that makes sense because the original show was incredibly cheesy. The new one is just as over the top, but, I love it.

Even with being a Full House fan growing up, I still had my reservations about the new show. And when I heard the first laugh track, I was sure I wouldn’t make it past the first episode. Initially the cheering for each original cast member entering the stage was annoying, but by the end I found myself just as excited to see Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky too (how do John Stamos and Lori Loughlin look the same after 29 years!? Have mercy!). So I kept watching.

Without exception, each episode has made me laugh out loud at least once, sometimes twice. The new middle kid is so much like Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) that it cracks me up. The fact that there are twins playing the baby of the family- awww, nostalgia for Mary-Kate and Ashley. And I think it’s hilarious when they poke fun at themselves (DJ: I watch a lot of Dancing With the Stars) or each other (Kimmy: At the prices MK & A charge for their dresses, no wonder they’ve given up acting!).

Somehow they make the leap into current day with still having a bit of Full House’s original family values. I liked that Uncle Joey took away everyone’s phones and iPad to have, “good old fashioned family violence” with Super Soakers and silly string. They discuss issues like balancing wanting to be friends with their kids and setting boundaries in discipline. Still conservative and cheesy, but I like it.

And then there’s a moment so real and tender that it totally caught me by surprise. Um… can we talk about Stephanie explaining her infertility to her sister? Sheesh! I had read an article that mentioned it so I knew it would happen eventually (sorry if I spoiled it for you). But D.J.’s response of, “My kids are your kids” ……annnnnd without warning I was wiping away tears with my sleeve. I don’t know if I could imagine a sweeter thing to say to someone in that moment.

Oh, and this is one of my favorite articles I’ve read on the show so far. It slams it as a show on its own (without the Full House nostalgia factor, I’m not sure I would’ve kept watching the new one either). But the article brings up a deeper story line about how good friendships can help us cope through hard times.

Maybe that’s why I kept watching. There’s something inspiring about seeing women pull together to help each other, and this show has that in spades.