Some of the things I’ve been dipping into recently, in no particular order:
- Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner: For me this is a reread. My husband gave me this book a few years ago, knowing it was on my wishlist, and I found it incredibly fascinating the first time I read it. During this Lenten season, I’ve been going to a Sunday School class all about the practice of Sabbath—what it is, where it comes from, how to do it, etc. It made me want to pull this book out again, and I’m enjoying it just as much the second time around. The author, who converted from Orthodox Judaism to Episcopalianism as a young woman, gives 12 brief reflections on Jewish practices she would like to see resurrected into Christian lifestyles. It starts with the Sabbath, and the other 11 are equally as compelling.
- “5 Things I Miss About Weighing More than 30 Pounds” on MindBody Green: When I first discovered MindBodyGreen.com, I ate up all the inspirational and lifestyle content I could find. I lost some affinity for it over time, feeling like it offered a lot of “shoulds”—they do linkbait headlines really well. But I do check in from time to time and was intrigued by this one. Would love to know other readers’ thoughts…
- The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso: A good friend of mine used to work for a publishing company, and she gave me this book about six years ago. Despite my love of cookbooks, I never even opened it! Imagine my surprise when I cracked it last week and was immediately enchanted by the authors’ story of their little Manhattan food shop and by their recipes designed for entertaining and picnics. So delightful! Can’t wait to try some of these recipes, and plan more picnics!
- “Shadows By the Sea” by Adam Rhew: This piece appeared this month in Charlotte Magazine and was written by a guy I knew in college, and awesome journalist and just a really nice guy. Every day, it seems, I am blown away by amazing storytelling of some sort or another. Adam’s story of the mysterious death of a police officer on the Outer Banks is intriguing, frustrating and gritty.
- “Fred Phelps and Our Offensive Gospel” by Rev. John Russel Stanger: Since the news of the illness and subsequent passing of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, I’ve seen some interesting things online. The ones that have resonated the most are ones of compassion, ones that actually made me realize what it means to pray for my enemies. I like Stanger’s sermon because it speaks to that, and also because it is tied to the story of Jesus and the Woman at the Well, the same story we worked with our youth to tell in church this past Sunday. I love this bit: “God loves Fred Phelps just as much as you and me. And that is really offensive. This is the offense of the gospel: The living water is not reserved for those who are most loving or repentant or even gracious.”
- “Struggle and Hope in Durham, N.C.,” featuring photos by Justin Cook: This photographer is another amazing journalist that I went to school with, although I don’t think we ever met. In this piece on Slate.com, he shares some of his photos from the rougher neighborhoods in Durham, photos that show great pain and great potential. They are beautiful images, and they also opened my eyes to those entire worlds that often exist just out of site.
What words have struck your heart lately?