Life-giving Links and Likes

Happy One Word Friday!  I think some of the ways we “Choose Life” (my two words) are by choosing truth, choosing grace, and choosing to delight in the gifts of God.  I thought I’d share some of those gifts that have been delighting me lately.  What about you?  Share what’s delighted you lately in the comments!


“Do not despise this small beginning…” Zechariah 4:10

Celebrating life by stopping to help others celebrate.



LOVE this!

And THIS, by friends Matt and Lauren!  Doors on Fire by Matt and Lauren Moberg



Wow!  Thankful for the Artist who “has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand… with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens… Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance”

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.


I left the book recommendations for the last because I’m taking a break from deeply meaningful, soul transforming non-fiction and going with shallow and fun reading.  Boy have I hit the jackpot!  John is exceedingly tired of hearing me laugh or gasp because for me reading is a whole body experience, but I’m having a blast.

In particular I’ve been reading several of books that take place in and around London.  I want to start incorporating words like “posh” and “brilliant” and “cheers mate” into my vocabulary.  I apologize to the men who are “Awakeners” cuz (at the risk of sounding sexist) many of these may seem like chick lit, but John has read and enjoyed some of them so don’t judge too quickly.  Except for the two by JoJo Moyes these are laugh out loud funny!

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress  and Mennonite Meets Mr. Right by Rhoda Janzen I’m reading these “backwards”.  I’ve only read Mennonite meets Mr. Right and will go back to read the first (Little Black Dress).  These are kind of a two-part memoir by a woman raised in the Mennonite church who leaves the faith, but returns to explore her roots when her husband leaves her for a man.  Then she meets a guy who’s a Pentecostal recovering drug addict and alcoholic.

Carry on Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton.  This has been popular for about a year and many of you may have already discovered “G” as she refers to herself, through her Momastery blog.  Though I don’t agree with everything she writes, I think Glennon is a positively brilliant writer and I loved this authentic, funny, uplifting memoir.  Can’t recommend it highly enough!

Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home by Nina Stibbe.  Hys. ter. i. cal.  These are letters written by a nanny in London during the 80’s to her sister.  Warning: There’s some language and a little raunchy humor here and there in this book, which is not my cup of tea.  However, there is so much that is so funny I was able to overlook the crude bits.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes  I really loved this story of a young quadriplegic and his caregiver in rural England.  It’s about growth and challenges and love and risk and euthanasia.

The Girl You Left Behind.  Another great book by JoJo Moyes.  This one jumps back and forth between a woman in a small town in France during WW1, and a young widow in modern day London who ends up with a painting of her.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion This book is…charming.  It’s about a genetics professor (think Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory or Holmes on Elementary) who decided it’s time to find a wife, so he creates a scientific questionnaire and goes about it “scientifically”.

Lastly, a couple books in the queue to read next:


The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis.  I’m motivated to go back and re-read this after I was in Oxford in May and visited the church where C.S. Lewis preached these WW2 wartime sermons.

An Altar in the World: a Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor

Your turn!  What’s delighting you this summer?

11 thoughts on “Life-giving Links and Likes

  1. I currently struggling to finishSpeeches and Letters of Abraham Lincoln-1832-1865. I will starting The Test by Patricia Gussin for book club in July.


  2. A fascinating and easy/quick non-fiction read: “Letters of Note:An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience” by Shaun Usher. I devoured that one last weekend. I, too, recently read both “Me Before You” and “The Rosie Project”! One fiction book that captured me because of how it was written and its look into a marriage was the book “Dept. of Speculation” by Jenny Offill. I wanted to start reading it again once I completed it–and that rarely happens for me.


  3. Just finished SoulTalk by Larry Crabb and have started Real Church also by Larry Crabb. Fun reading… tackling Nobel Prize winner: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset


  4. Cutting For Stone by Abraham Venghese, a very interesting story about a surgeon, an Indian, African, American tale.
    The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal, a fascinating memoir by a British man, who researches his Russian, Austrian, French, Jewish ancestors. If you like art history, Vienna, Paris and a little bit of Japan thrown in, this is for you. It haunted me for a while.
    Victoria Hislop books, The Island and The Thread. I learned about parts of the world I knew nothing about.
    Laughed so hard at Tina Feys’ book, Bossypants. I know it is a few years old, but I missed it first time around. My husband, who doesn’t like girl books, loved it.
    The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith. So sad, a true story of a stolen child in Ireland. Haven’t seen the movie yet.
    Haven’t yet read The Absolutist by John Boyne, but highly recommended by my N. Irish friend who hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
    Calvary-Irish, dark about a priest in a village
    The Lunchbox-Indian, feel good movie
    Locke-very good, filmed in real time on a car ride from Birmingham to London with only one character, interesting screen play
    Belle-British, based on a true story about slavery in England in the 1700’s, a prelude to the William Wilburforce story.
    I guess this is more than what you asked for.


  5. Smashing recommendations, Laura, of which I’ve only read some…so I’ll get the rest sorted soon! They look like just my cup of tea. Have you read Ann Voskamp’s ‘One Thousand Gifts’?


    • Great! I didn’t end up finishing “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress”. Liked the other better. I love Ann Voskamp’s content and insights, and have the devo version of 1,000 Gifts, but sometimes find her writing too “artsy” for me.


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