Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bookstore Conversations

I actually haven't been out of the house much lately. Holiday laziness, or the health thing, pick one. So today while we were out, my boyfriend decided I needed to go to bookstores. (I think he likes me...way to my heart? Books and food).

Half Price Books was having a 20% off all purchases event which goes through Tuesday so we went to two different ones on our way home from dinner. At the second one, I was looking at the various Study Bibles and Bible translations. I've been following Jen Hatmaker's Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study and was looking for a physical study Bible. I have a few Bibles, but was hoping to find something else. I ended up deciding just to stick to the ones I have.

So while looking, another person was looking at them as well. He was solely looking at the Study Bibles, various translations, varying content such as MacArthurs, ones for men, and so on. I mentioned that there are just so many versions, it's hard to pick one. At first I think he was just confused I spoke to him, but then we spoke a bit and he asked if I had a church I attended. I said I didn't at this time as we are still working on finding a church home. He asked if I lived in the area and I said yes, and then he mentioned his church to me, where it's at, the type, and how to get to it. It was an engaged conversation and I could tell he felt happy about sharing his place of worship with someone. We also had a conversation on how relationships HAVE to have God or they will never work. I told him yes, I completely agree. My boyfriend did not grow up going to church, so this has been a bit of trial and error with him trying to get him to go because he simply has no idea what to expect. He laughed and said "Good, I'm 37 years old and I'm JUST now getting that through my head." He tried to find a card for the church, couldn't, but later found me in the store and handed it to me.

It was a short conversation, not even 5 minutes but it felt awesome. Awesome to share in the Word, however slight, with a stranger. To share a topic that so many people forget, that without God in the middle of everything, it will not work. It reminded me how much I miss the community of belonging to a church.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet review and reflection

I kept seeing this book pop up in my social media feeds. Jennie Allen, Jen Hatmaker, and several other authors were raving about it. Me, being the huge book nerd I am, HAD to read it. I was waiting until after Christmas but when it popped up as a book I could select on booklook, I immediately hit request so I could read this book. Also, something about the cover just intrigued me.

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet discusses Sara, and her husband Nate’s, struggle with infertility. It goes through the ups and downs of that journey, how that led them to adopting a few beautiful children (I stalked her instagram…which also gave me a spoiler, so if you're going to read it, DON'T DO IT!) 

But honestly, maybe as much, or more of the book focuses on her relationship with God and I found that poignant and amazing and it made me crave more time with Him, which I think is exactly how a Christian book should grab you. Reading or listening to someone's journey and relationship with God should light that fire in you that gives you something for our own relationship with Him, especially if you feel like you are lacking. An excerpt below:
I need to remember that God’s answer is not to lift me out of “the crisis of the moment” but to speak His word into it, and over it. I was made to find joy in relating to Him across the whole span of my day.

This book is beautiful, deep, heartbreaking, and filled with spiritual wisdom. At the end of each chapter, are several "For your continued pursuit" verses that direct the reader to verses mentioned in the chapter, either directly or implied. Research nerds like me love this!

Sara has a gift for writing that I can’t explain. The words just grab you and you are sucked in. I finished this book in two sessions because after chapter 1, I was completely hooked! She has a monthly adoration schedule on her blog that I am definitely going to be doing for the month of January. A verse a day to focus on (here is what December looked like).

I know I discuss a lot about books on here, but this is hands down in my top 5 spiritual memoirs I have ever read. 

I received this book from booklook in exchange for my opinion but I selected it because I was excited to read it! All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bible reading-or lack thereof

Stolen from

I read a lot, which is more than evident if you've even glanced at my blog! And as my blog title states, I'm in a constant state of pursuit regarding my faith, which I believe is how a lot of us are. Some days being faithful, loving ourselves and our God, is easier than others. Some days it feels like all is well with the world and our faith, others we feel like complete failures with our faith. 

I'm currently reading (among a few other books because I have book AD/HD), "Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily Freeman. I've heard a little bit about this book, but had seen several people recommend it. It went on sale for 99 cents a few weeks ago so I knew I had to get it!

She mentioned that when she doesn't feel like she's been a good girl, she wants to wallow. Lack of perfection. This is how I feel daily. I never feel good enough in anyone's eyes. My weight is wrong, my hair is frizzy, I have a pimple on my chin. But mostly, what struck me is what I'm not doing for what's most important: my faith. Do I read Christian literature? Every day. But do I pray daily? Do I attend church regularly? Do I read my Bible daily? No to all of the remaining questions. Church and prayer occasionally. Read my Bible? Rarely. It's not like it would be hard to read my Bible. I own an NLT version, two different e-Bible's, Amplified and ESV, and I also own The Story and a Chronological Bible. Plus a few New Testaments I have lying around that were given to me. Oh and a Bible application on my phone as well as on my tablet. I have NO excuse. So why is it so hard?

What is it about having the world at your fingertips that makes staying faithful so dang hard? Or maybe I answered my own question. We live in an age where we have easy access to everything, and we devote little time to what is important because of the constant glare of screens and easy access to information. We don't have to think so hard about so many things.

Is the Bible just not as interesting as the Christian living books I read? Or the works of fiction that I enjoy as well? 

Do you find yourself at odds with regularly reading the Bible? How did you overcome it?

I started some new books, Jen Wilkin's Women of the Word (Amazon had a used copy for $1 I think) and I also purchased Jen Hatmaker's A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study. Also, just realized that they are both named Jen, both live in Texas. The first lives near my hometown and the other in my current city. Crazy!

Note: finding a church is in the works. Moving to a new city and finding a church home takes a really long time! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Playlist

I was a choir girl. I originally played violin but when I moved to another state in the middle of my 6th grade year, orchestra didn't exist at my new school so I chose to go to choir. I LOVE CAROLS! I've been playing this playlist for a few days and thought I'd share.

If you want to listen to the entire playlist, I have a few others on my Spotify playlist as well. And if you've never heard of Sufjan Stevens, listen to him! His music is gorgeous and features prominently on this playlist.