It’s been getting all serious around these parts, talking about anger and baby loss (and crashing the blog because I guess there are a few women out there who can relate). So to shift the focus off of myself and my B I G emotions that I sometimes write about, I thought I’d share what I’ve been into lately. For a little while I tried to do this regularly, but compiling all the stuff sometimes felt like a lot of work (uh… not really the reason I write a blog) so it’s been a while. But I’m in a sharing mood, so as my three-year-old would say: let’s do this.
Trees by Stevie Lujan – This newly released album is freeeeee people. If you don’t have it… why? It’s just so, so good.
Zion by Hillsong United – I know this one has been out for a while and I’ve even written about it before (right after we lost our baby), but I am still obsessed with it. ‘Oceans’ is MY song, friends, mine. But you might like it too, so let’s get a double headphone jack.
Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford & Sons (music video) – You’re welcome.
As usual, I’m reading a bajillion books at once:
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown – Learning about shame and vulnerability and daring to live… well, greatly.
The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell – I’ve been wondering lately if I could love Levi a bit better and how that might affect his meltdowns. I had just come to the conclusion that he was a “quality time” kid when out of the blue one day he said, “Mom, I think you’re special. I love you because you watch TV with me, ride bikes with me, read me stories, play trains, play cars, go on walks, take me to the park and the library, play games and cards, and sing with me.” Um? Quality time confirmation, hello. Since that moment I’ve been more deliberate about how I spend time with him and my parenting is growing as a result of it. This book has given me great insights that will impact my parenting for years to come.
A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” by Rachel Held Evans – I’ve only just started reading this but already I’m in love. It’s her story of what it’s like to take the Bible literally in regards to womanhood for a year. She camps in her yard during her period, people. Funny, eye-opening, and challenging.
52 Things Kids Need from a Mom: What Mothers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference by Angela Thomas – I’ve been keeping this book in the bathroom since it has 52 short (2-3 page) chapters and is the perfect little bite size dose of wisdom and encouragement during busy days. It reads to me like a devotional, but without the scripture or prayer points.
Who Switched Off My Brain? Revised: Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions by Dr. Caroline Leaf – Ok, this is mind-blowing stuff here friends – how we can actually rewrite our brains (which affects our health and our future) by the way we think. Crazy, brilliant stuff that can change your life if you embrace it.
Discipline that Connects With Your Child’s Heart: How to seize the moments for God’s purposes – even in the messes of family life by Jim and Lynne Jackson – I appreciate that the core of this book is the emphasis on addressing our children’s hearts, not just dealing with their behavior. I find this so difficult but believe in it so strongly. This book is encouraging me that it is possible.
On the shelf:
Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to do by Christine Caine; and The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing [A Spiritual Memoir] by Jeff Goins. I cannot wait to read both of these. For now I am practicing extreme self control not to open anything else until I’ve finished a few more of the above.
The UnWired Mom – Choosing to Live Free in an Internet Addicted World by Sarah Mae – Need tips for unplugging a little? The major thing I did after reading this was to turn off social media notifications on my phone. There’s a game-changer right there, friends. It was worth me reading just for that outcome alone. (Just finished.)
Celebrating Pregnancy Again: Restoring the lost joys of pregnancy after the loss of a child by Franchesca Cox – This one’s about pregnancy after a loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death). I’m still not sure what I got out of it, other than encouragement that the things I’m feeling and experiencing (after losing Scarlett) are so normal. (Just finished.)
Mindset for Moms: From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 Days by Jamie C. Martin – My take away from this one has to do with reframing the challenges of motherhood. What do I dwell on? How do I set myself up at the beginning of the day in faith as opposed to dread? (Just finished.)
(You guys: I might have a problem with reading too many parenting books. As if I have time to read. #weirdo)
Some stuff around the web:
Jesus Wept by Brene Brown (video) and her profound analogy of Jesus as a midwife as opposed to an epidural.
What to Do When You May or May Not Be a Control Freak by Mark Buchanan (guest post) on A Holy Experience.
Welcome to the Table: A Lesson from Ramadan by Becca at Exile Fertility.
When You Think Your Love Story is Boring by Lisa Jo Baker.
Short-term Missions: The Reasons We Go by Addie Zierman.
How Facebook is Altering Your Mind by David Rainoshek.
I Am the Immigrant by Bronwyn Lea.
My Last Day: Meet Zach Sobiech (video) Warning: be prepared to cry your eyes out. Like maybe even ugly cry.
A Fake Film Crew, Armpit Paste, and Spilled Beer: A Day in the Life by Jen Hatmaker. (Dang, she’s funny.)
My own most shared posts the month:
Dear Pregnant Woman on the Playground (With Love From a Babyloss Mom) and A Mother’s Confessional: When Anger Sets You Sinking. Also Bokoro’s Story: Giving Birth in the Mud, which was written a year ago but someone “big” must have linked to it because SIXTEEN THOUSAND HITS to an old post over a few days. Yeah. That’s a lot for my little space. (Why didn’t I get a pingback? Must have been fb.)
Movies and television:
I haven’t watched enough movies lately (sad face), but I did stay up way past my bedtime to sob through the ending of Better Man, the true story of a young Vietnamese-Australian who was executed for drug smuggling just a few years ago. An eye-opening and important film that I hope causes many to think about the justice in capital punishment. (Did I mention the sobbing? #uglycry)
I’m tempted to re-watch Downton Abby seasons 1 and 2 because I miss my upstairs and downstairs friends so much. I’m also missing The Voice (Australia) and Call the Midwife. New seasons of “my shows” feel like an eternity away. In the meantime I sporadically watch The Project (an Australian news show), Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year Asia (a silly Australian reality/comedy show), and Playschool. (My kids beg for Dinosaur Train and Bob the Builder. Meh. I prefer Playschool.)
My best finds recently have been her hair, this amazing bookshelf-turned-dollhouse, this stunning dress that I have nowhere to wear, the latest in my map obsession, and these rolls of deliciousness that I really neeeeed to eat soon. (If only that didn’t involve me having to cook them.)
My favorite person (along with the rest of the world) to follow on IG lately is Joy Prouty. She and her family are traveling around America in a refurbished vintage trailer. So romantic, so difficult, and such gorgeous photos and faith from her.
Are you on Instagram? It’s definitely my favorite form of “just for fun” social media. The photos throughout this post were my own most “liked” IGs from the last month. I’m @adrielbooker if you want to follow.
Dear friends, whatever you do, please do not recommend your current favorite book for me to read. No really, what books are you into right now? I mean, other stuff??
p.s. Some of these are affiliate links because… BOOKS. I have an addiction to support. #duh