Saturday, December 4, 2010


I commented to a friend the other day that I think my blog is in hibernation.  This is definitely the first time I have gone for an entire month without posting since I started writing here two and a half years ago.  But at the same time, I don't feel any need to officially lay it down.  I love this blog, how it has provided a way for me to express myself to the wider world, and a place for me to go back and remember how I felt at certain times.

But I don't feel compelled to write as much right now, for several reasons.  One is that my full-time job involves a lot of writing, and I don't have much interest in writing when I get home at night.  Also, I am still catching up on reports from my travels last summer (only one to go!), so I feel like any extra writing time should go into that.  Mostly, I am still in a huge time of transition in my life.  I feel like I am settling into my new home and new job, but there are still a lot of other things changing, and that amount of change takes a lot of energy.

I have been reading a lot lately, and so I have some book recommendations to share with those who are looking for a good read.

The first is Leaving Church, by Barbara Brown Taylor.  In this lovely memoir, Taylor describes her call to become an Episcopal priest, and how she eventually had to leave the church that she loved, though not her faith in God.  She speaks honestly about her faith journey and the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated profession.  I especially appreciated this quote: "A priest is a priest, no matter where she happens to be.  Her job is to recognize the holiness in things and hold them up to God.  her job is to speak in ways that help other people to recognize the holiness in things too."  She also leaves her readers with a query: What is saving your life now?

Another book that I have been enjoying is Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, by Gregg Levoy.  This one was recommended to me by Sarah P.  I am about halfway through it; there is so much in this book that I have to take it at a slower pace to absorb it all.  The chapters I have read so far have a lot to say about paying attention to the things in your life, both internal and external.  Levoy urges those who are discerning their calls to be aware of their dreams, hopes, and desires, as well as the things in life that are encouraging or seem like blocks, and he includes many good stories.

And now for something completely different: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.  This one was recommended by my mom.  In this young adult dystopian novel, the U.S. has fallen and Panem is in its place.  The Capitol of Panem keeps 12 districts in line by forcing them to send two teenagers as tributes each year to fight each other to the death on live television.  Although this book is much more violent than I would usually read, once I started, I couldn't put it down.  Collins has created an amazing world in this trilogy, and like all good fiction, it acts as a mirror to our culture.

I have also enjoyed all of the new Hanukkah videos I have seen recently.  Thanks to Waylon W for posting this one:

And to Mark W for sharing this one:

Blessings on everyone who is lighting candles and adding some Light during this dark time of year!

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