What I’ve been up to (and hello)

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Hello, friends.

I have a blog post or two I’m planning to put up in the near future, but before then just wanted to drop a note and say hello and a little of what I’ve been up to.

What I’ve been doing….

Mostly: I’ve been packing and unpacking the dishwasher and the washing machine—the everyday evidence of 6 people living in a house and a revolving door for a community of people we love the rest of the time. Our cherry tree is dripping with fruit and so no small amount of hours are spent climbing ladders and receiving these tiny red fruity gifts of goodness.

But inbetween all that home-stuff, my writing words have been going in the direction of something a little more ambitious and long-term: I have been working on proposals for two books (a novel and a non-fiction proposal) which are both currently looking for homes somewhere in the publishing world. I signed with a fabulous literary agent in November and have loved working under her expertise. It’s been fun and hard and the learning curve has been steep, and after months of crafting sentences and ideas, the ball is no longer in my court. I’m hoping somewhere someone with the title of Acquisitions Editor will read the sentences and volley back.

I’ve also been traveling a bit: I got to attend the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, MI in April; went to hear the ever-real-and-delightfully-wise Anne Lamott speak at her local book store; attend a women in ministry event with Propel Women ministries in Southern California and more. I’ve also been using all six passenger seats in my car to drive multiple field trips for our kids’ school and have learned more about minecraft and heard more knock knock jokes than any one person should know. It’s been fun.

What I’ve been reading…. 

I’ve also been switching up evening binge-watching for a bunch of reading, and have a few cherry-picked (<= see what I did there?) one-line book reviews for you:

Rachel Marie Stone’s Birthing Hope is a gorgeous read: memoir woven together with theological reflection on themes of birth, loss, and hope – with stories of her time as a doula in Malawi, Africa; her own childhood, the loves and losses of her life. LOVED it. Highly recommend.

Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved) was a quick, fabulous read. I heard Kate tell her story of processing all she’d learned about the prosperity gospel (she’s a historian and professor at Duke Divinity School) when she was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. Funny, poignant, and JAM PACKED with wisdom.

Jane Austen’s EmmaWhich, I confess, I had never read in full before, and still haven’t. I got half way through and it was just taking too long. I’m so sorry, dear Austen fans, the BBC miniseries was better for me on this one.

Rebecca Skloot’s The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks – biography. I had NO IDEA who Lacks was or what HELA cells are or how they have completely shaped the world we live in. Read this because it was a book club pick and was so glad to be introduced to this story. Brilliantly told and just fascinating.

Chris Cleave’s Little Bee. My sister told me this was a must-read two years ago and this is how long it took for me to get to it. She was right. The most un-put-downable story I’ve read in a while. And devastating.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah – fiction. Confession: I expected this book to be excellent and “good for me” to read, judging by all the awards it had won. What I didn’t expect is how amazing the story would be. It is a magnificently observed cultural commentary on America, England, and blackness in a white world from the vantage point of a Nigerian woman. And it’s a love story and a page-turner. SO GOOD.

Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings series – 5 book series of historical fiction based on the Kings of Judah. Historical fiction is not usually my jam but I honestly LOVED these and was dead to the world and absent to my family for a full week while I devoured this story. And it gave me SUCH a vivid picture of ancient Israel and the faith of the early psalms. It made me want to read my bible with fresh longing.

Kate Motaung’s A Place to Land – memoir. I couldn’t put this down either, and not just because I know Kate and her story and she was describing places and people and history so close to my heart. Such a beautiful processing of living in a brand new place, finding love and friendship and community half way across the world, wrestling with losing her mom… and so winsomely told. I got to celebrate Kate’s book launch in person in Michigan last month and cried tears of happiness for her. If you’ve wrestled with being far away from someone you love when they’re going through hard things – this is a book you don’t want to miss.

Other things I should tell you about…

I got to interview Christine Caine for the feature article of April’s issue of Bible Study Magazine: what a gift! Here’s a link – take a peek and be inspired!

It’s been fun to record a couple podcast interviews this season. One of these was with Melanie Dale who hosts the Lighten Up podcast, and we talked about terrible puns, how immigration is not like going to Disneyland, and how I accidentally bought a minivan on eBay. yes, I’m afraid you read that right. You can listen here.

This letter from Beth Moore to her brothers in the church, and this response from Thabiti Anyabwile UNDID me. If you didn’t see them and care about the conversation about women and the church, please read these.

That’s all for now! I’ll have a few blog posts up in the next month and hope this summer to figure out how to do a mailing list of sorts so that I can do Pick of the Clicks and updates in a newsletter format rather than a blog post, but that’s more than I can handle today. Because right now, the dishwasher needs unpacking again 🙂

Thanks for reading!



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4 thoughts on “What I’ve been up to (and hello)”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing about A Place to Land! You are a gift in so many ways. Also, I love that you loved Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings series as much as I did, and I so enjoyed listening in on your podcast interview with Melanie Dale. Hope you have a wonderful summer, friend!

  2. Thank you for sharing. My dishwasher and washing machine both need unloading again. Thank you for the reminder. Also, I adore getting to read your blog posts and have missed you.

    1. Also, I didn’t make it even halfway through Emma before I was agitated with how long it was.

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