Lost in a Book: My Currently Reading List


I’m the kind of girl who likes to start many books at once, the kind of girl who wants to read ALL THE THINGS. (#ALLTHETHINGS)

But for a while, I was in a dry season of reading. I couldn’t seem to find a book to get lost in. My heart may have just been too restless. Or, I might have needed a season of quiet in the midst of all the ideas and creating I was embracing.

Whatever the case, I settled into the quiet and focused on my own ideas and words.

Thankfully, I’m back to getting lost in books, delighting in inspiring words on the page and that incredible new book smell.

And because it’s been a while since I’ve written a book post, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the books on my reading list this month.

  • Show Your Work by Austin Kleon I bought Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist a few years ago and loved it. He has such a refreshing view on creativity and art making that I really appreciate. My Show Your Work copy was pre-orderd from the library, and I’m only a few pages in to chapter one, but I’m already wishing I had a copy of my own. The first chapter Find a Scenius is about creating in collaboration and community with others, and if you’ve read any of my goals for this year, you know how passionate I am about that and how important I believe it is for both our art and our relationships with others. :: I’m planning on making a cappuccino later this morning, and I think this is just the book I’ll curl up with. ::
  • You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are and Becoming All God Created You to Be by Holley Gerth Holley’s words are always so encouraging and uplifting, and after reading and enjoying her book You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, I decided to read her book You’re Already Amazing. Lately, the idea of comparison has been on my heart (and it came up in our An Inspired Life Book Club conversations, too). I am interested in really doing my part in discouraging comparison and building community and collaboration instead among women and artists both online and locally. I thought Holley’s book might speak to that a little and even help me to be a more confident creator for God.
  • The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art by Erwin Raphael McManus I’ve only read a little of this book’s intro,  because I’m saving it for a time I can really sit down and dive into it, but I LOVE what I’ve read so far. I’m going to borrow a quote from the book’s description on Amazon, because I think it really sums up why I am drawn to this book. “There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual process that can help us discover our true selves.” I love to view creativity as a deeply spiritual process, and I’m excited to read what McManus has to say about that process.
  • The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani The only fiction book on my currently reading list (I actually only like to read one book of fiction at a time). This is the third book in a series about shoemaker Valentine Roncalli. I have loved this trilogy about the passionate, creative, very determined Valentine. Each book combines her love for the artistic work she does, as well as how her creative pursuits are part of each of her relationships and the very person that she is. One of the quotes I loved best from the second book in the series was “I am my best self, the most alive I can be, when I’m creating…” In this third book perhaps what I have loved most are the pages that detail Valentine’s creative process — from gathering her inspiration to dreaming up the designs for her beautiful artisan shoes. In a mass-produced world, I so appreciate the handmade and the people who are in love with their craft and the special art that they create (but that’s a post for another time). :)

In looking at my list as a whole, it’s probably pretty evident that my favorite things to read about are the same as my favorite things to write about — art, inspiration, creativity, and living fully as the men and women God created us to be.

What have you been reading lately? What kinds of books are your favorite to get lost in?

::photo edited with the A Beautiful Mess actions; review coming soon::

How do you creatively recharge?


One of the things on my January Tending List was to read something inspiring — offline. It was a monthly goal I set to help myself find the balance between creativity and inspiration, doing and learning. It’s been a great addition to a month of firsts in 2014.

As I’ve been working through my goals and PowerSheets for January (and planning February’s), I’ve really been able to see God in everything, and I feel encouraged to keep pressing on. I also believe I’ve settled on a few verses that really give voice to my heart behind the year ahead and every goal I’ve set.

The first one is in Hebrews (10:24): And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. I feel God calling me to create community this year, and I read this verse a few days ago and knew it would be on my heart for the rest of the year. The other verses I’m keeping close at heart throughout the year are verses that speak the truth of my One Little Word: POSSIBLE. Verses like… Mark 9:23: Everything is possible for one who believes. And but with God all things are possible. I love the “but” in that verse, because it basically says, hold up. You know who you’re dealing with here, right? :)

I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead. I have some adventures planned with new friends, books to read, and words to write. The mix of quiet and community is just what I need after a rather hectic week.

How do you creatively recharge? How do you make space for it in your life?

P.S. The candle pictured above is my new favorite. An incredibly bookish, cozy scent. My next purchase from Frostbeard Studio is going to be their Old Books candle. A bookworm’s delight, eh!? ;)

And P.S.S. The An Inspired Life Book Club kicks off MONDAY! I seriously can’t wait!! Are you signed up??

Women Praying Boldly: 40 Days of Prayer

It’s been quite a while since I posted a Women Praying Boldly update.

And honestly, I’ve debated quite a bit about whether or not I should post this one, because sometimes, sharing honestly and openly is scary. It’s hard to be vulnerable and transparent about what’s going on in our hearts.

But then I thought, if this can be an encouragement to even just one woman, then it’s worth being brave about. It’s worth sharing and writing truthfully.

So, here we go… :)

As I’ve been reading The Circle Maker and growing in my prayer life, I’ve felt challenged to devote 40 days to prayer—specifically for my future husband/desire to be part of a marriage that brings glory to the Lord.

Beginning on June 25, I made a list of prayers/scripture that have been heavy on my heart, and I started circling those prayers and promises from God.

So far, every single day, I’ve prayed through them.

Even when I’m tired.

Even when my doubt feels bigger than my faith.

And those prayers have already affected my heart.

They make me feel more connected to God and to the unexplainable hope I have for marriage.

And I like praying for my future husband, because it makes me feel closer to him, even though I have no idea who he is! ;) I want to be a prayer partner for him when we get married, so it makes sense to start now, to be lifting him up every day and praying for him, his dreams, and his walk with the Lord.

I want to be a blessing to him even now.

It is my hope that these prayers will begin a foundation for us, and that the Lord will use them for His glory.

And one last little thing just for fun…

I recently stumbled upon these adorable “My Better Half” interviews over at Amanda Jane Jone’s blog. They are so sweet and quirky and cute, and they really reflect my own hopes to marry a man who will be my best friend.

A man I’ll be better for the Kingdom with.

A man I can be silly with and creative with.

And a man I can grow with, learn with, and create a life story with — one that we’ll fill with our own unique traditions, moments, and memories.

Amazing Things

{artwork by Mary Kate McDevitt}

I’m reading The Circle Maker, and one of the things I’m learning is the importance of trusting in and praying over God’s promises.

One of the promises He’s placed on my heart recently is what He promised through Joshua:

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

So, so good, right? :)

Something I used to think about, journal about, and pray about often is this: I am living every day in anticipation, ever thankful for His faithfulness.

God’s promise in Joshua is just the reminder I needed to keep living life that way.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that God is good and He does amazing things.

Quotable: His Perfect Plan

If we think we are stuck in Plan B, it’s because our idea of Plan A was just that—our own idea, not God’s. God has good purposes for us, whether He accomplishes them through the goals we set or through thwarting those goals and leading us along paths we hadn’t planned on. We may not be able to discern His purposes, but Proverbs teaches us that we can rest assured that He has them and that He is overseeing the fulfillment of them.

~Lydia Brownback ~ “A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything”

Some great scripture she also shares:

To humans belong the plans of the heart,
    but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. (Proverbs 16:1)

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1, NKJV)

Giving Thanks

This week, my heart is thankful for:

Adventuring in New York City
Delicious chocolate samples (and that heavenly chocolate smell!) at the Brooklyn-based chocolate factory Mast Brothers
Dining outdoors (cute, quirky cafes are my favorite)
Visiting the Brooklyn Art Library (and reuniting with my sketchbook!)
Coffee and pain au chocolat (Le Pain Quotidien is amazing!)
The grandeur and timeless charm of the New York Public Library
Finding THE PERFECT pair of new specs—fingers crossed I can find them now that I’m back home! ;)
Scribbled notes while reading
Waking up to sunshine
The often hard, but very necessary practice of eucharisteo (giving thanks) and what it’s doing in my heart

P.S. These are the dream specs mentioned above that I found during my travels. I’m currently checking to see if I can order them now that I’m back home… What do you think? :)

Giving Thanks

This week, my heart is thankful for…

Stacks of good books to read; exciting adventures ahead; a heart that’s learning to trust Him more; a sweet friend’s encouraging words; incredible weather; lots of sunshine; prayer walks; His faithfulness; and His ability to renew and restore

What are you thankful for this week?

A Summertime List (Or 10 Goals for a New Season)

1. Take frequent trips to local farmers’ markets and eat lots of fresh, in-season food all summer long.

2. Complete my study on women’s wisdom and Proverbs.

3. Start a regular walking/jogging routine (using the 5K app I just downloaded).

4. Buy a vintage-inspired bathing suit.

5. Get a bistro table for my porch, and spend my morning quiet time with God outdoors.

6. Look into my dream of renting an art studio space to share with some of my creative friends.

7. Make a summer reading list (another list! hehe), and plan plenty of outdoor reading dates (at parks, cafes, etc!).

8. Plan a picnic.

9. Trust more, hope more — and worry less.

10. Do something creative every day, in an effort to share more of who He is and bring Him glory in all I do.

Giving Thanks

Hi, friends!

I’m popping in to share this week’s Giving Thanks list.

This week, my heart is thankful for:

Fig Newton Lemon Crisp Cookies (Goodness gracious, these are addictive!).
My heart for creating and all of the ideas + inspiration He’s been blessing me with. Can’t wait to create new things!
The hope I have in His Word & His Plan for me.
Bagels with honey, while reading through the Psalms each morning.
New faith + inspiration books on their way to me (such happy mail!).
My women’s small group and the ways I see God working in each of our lives.

What are you delighting in this week? :)

What I Needed Today

I needed to get out today — away from the clutter at home and the clutter in my mind.
I needed to feel the sunshine and the wind in my hair.
I needed to let the sounds of people talking, children playing, and the chimes of a nearby church’s bells surround me — but not distract me.
I needed to write out my prayers and get lost in a book.
I needed to feel my pen move across the page, capturing thoughts and questions, hopes and doubts.
I needed to seek God and know that He was right there with me.

So, I did.

And it was lovely.