Friday Five

1. I like the way this impressionist says goodbye to Robin Williams.

2. 14 Books That Change With Age. I haven’t read all of these, but I definitely remember the, um, metamorphosis of my opinion of Kafka. 

3. The Many Music Video Personas of Taylor Swift [Did y'all know she came out with a new song this week?!]

4. I once got a perfect score on a hue test, so when I saw this game, I knew I needed to test my superpower. The later rounds are difficult. I got an 8.5 overall. 

5. It’s Friday. Let’s take a trip to Europe. 

Magical Europe – Timelapse from StanChang on Vimeo.


What books have changed with age for you? What score did you get on the color test? 


Friday Five

1. Everybody Likes You When You’re 29. I’m going to try to use this knowledge to my advantage.

2. Thin Places. An essay on those places and moments when heaven and earth seem a bit closer to one another. 

3. This tribute video to Robin Williams is lovely and reminded me of how much I loved the movie Jack. [I'm linking to it instead of embedding it because this website is giving money to St. Jude based on clicks on their Robin Williams posts.]

4. Hope. Jessie Buttram writes what my heart has been saying the past few weeks, but especially this week. 

5. And because we could all use Something Beautiful.


Prayers for a Broken World

I don’t pretend to know much about what’s going on in the world. But I know enough to realize our world is very broken. It always has been, but recently, I feel like our brokenness is showing more than ever. 

I don’t pretend to know much about prayer. I don’t understand how it works, but I know it works. I’ve seen it. I don’t understand why the sovereign God of the universe asks us to pray, but I know He does. 

When the whole world is severely splintered and disintegrating right in front of us, it’s hard to know how to respond. It’s difficult to know what’s actually helpful. This I know, even though I don’t understand, we are to pray. 


We pray for the world. For all the places God’s image-bearers are sitting in terror, hurt, and confusion. We pray for the impossible. We pray for healing. We pray for peace that would completely pass understanding because how could peace be understood here? We pray for comfort. We pray that somehow, there would be a stillness in their terror, some sort of salve for their hurt, a bit of clarity for the confusion. 

We continue praying for the impossible. We pray the people of God would rejoice in their sufferings, remembering that these sufferings, while unimaginably horrifying, are temporary. We pray the rejoicing will lead to endurance, because endurance eventually leads to hope. Hope that will not disappoint. Hope. The impossible. We pray.

We pray for forgiveness, grace, and mercy to find their way into the hearts of so many. We pray love will win battles and not just the war. We pray that swords will be turned back into plowshares, that weapons will be laid down. 

We give thanks for those who are sacrificing their lives to provide aid. We give thanks for those who are working diligently to tell the stories, change the laws, heal the wounds, and share the love of Christ. We thank Jesus for them. We pray they will somehow be in encouraged in the middle of the overwhelming disappointment.

We pray most of all for two things. For, somehow, in a way only He can accomplish, God will get the glory—that lives will turn to Him. And we pray that He will come quickly to heal this broken world and set things right and new and beautiful again. 


In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. 

John 16:33


Friday Five

1. There’s a movie about Christian Mingle. Starring Gretchen Wieners. With a (seemingly) Christian message. And it actually looks good.

2. The #1 Item You Need for Houseguests. (Thanks, Lydia!)

3. Check with the Animals.

4. The Big Chill: These Are Your Parents by Lena Dunham. Just a bit of good writing. (via Knox McCoy)

5. Agreeing to Accept and Move On. Another bit of good writing. 

Bonus [The cast of The Lion King are pretty much the best ever.]


Top Christian Albums of the Last 25 Years

Y’all. I forced myself onto a was asked to be on a panel. Like, a panel of judges. It’s a big deal, okay? 

Over at The Wardrobe Door, this week is Top Christian Albums of the Last 25 Years Week (I made up the Week part, but it is lasting all week). We (the panel) chose the top CCM albums from the last 25 years and wrote a bit about them. I grew up listening to CCM almost exclusively, so I had opinions. It was fun to relive some of our favorite songs and albums from the past. 

This is basically just a post to say go read someone else’s blog. So, head on over there. Let us know if you agree with our choices. (There was a very complicated ranking system that included math, so while we each had our own top 25, only the top top ones got on the list or something like that. Math, y’all.) There’s even a hashtag: #25in25. 

Numbers 25-21.
Numbers 20-16.
Numbers 15-11. 
Numbers 10-6. 
Numbers 5-1. 

I’m going to try really hard to remember to come back and update each day with the latest post. 

[image above was swiped directly from The Wardrobe Door.]
tweets of the month

Tweets of the Month Club: July




Friday Five

1. My internet friends (we met in real life once or twice and they knew my name, or at least my twitter handle, so I guess we’re at that level), Tyler and Bryan have written an ebook on how to get free vacations. They’ve both traveled a lot for free and really know their stuff. Here’s a podcast where they answer some FAQs. They’ll be offering a course in the fall for optimum learning, but you can get their free ebook here. I mean, it’s free. Why not? 

2. Some of my other friends made a music video this week. And it’s fantastic because they’re super talented. 

3. My dad sent me this article on The Bachelorette and said, “This is how you write about sports!” [Written by someone who'd never seen the show, but tuned in for the finale. That's exactly how I write about sports.]

4. This video had me laughing, per usual. 

5. 49 Signs You’re Addicted to Reading. I can identify with almost all of these. 


P.S. Tweets of the Month will be out on Monday, even though today is the 1st. Just so I’ll have a post on Monday. You know. 

relationship status

22 Thoughts Every Girl Has About Online Dating

1. I’d never do online dating. 

2. Maybe if I’m old, like, 26 and still haven’t found someone. 

Okay, maybe like 28.

3. I am 29 now. Still single.

4. I guess it’s not that weird. A few of my friends have found their husbands that way.

5. I still don’t want to do it.

6. It’s just so expensive.

7. Okay, I guess it’s the same price as Netflix.

8. I don’t want to watch Netflix alone forever.

9. Why can’t one of my friends just set me up with someone?

10. There are no single guys. None.

11. UGH.

12. I guess there’s no harm in seeing my matches for free.

13. Filling out this profile is kind of fun.

14. How do I convey that I’m passionate about my faith and passionate about being funny without just saying that in the most boring and un-passionate way possible?

15. Crap. There are no recent flattering pictures of me. Why did I get this haircut?

16. Okay, I can always change my profile later.

17. Oh, look, I have matches. There are single guys!

18. I can’t see the full profiles without paying…

19. [emails saying matches are wanting to hear from you] That was quick. Maybe online dating does work!

20. I guess I’ll pay the stupid fee.

21. Oh.

22. I’ve made a terrible mistake.


Friday Five

1. Here are 41 Nashville Facts. I didn’t know some of these. [I didn't verify any of them, so take them as you will.] 

And here’s a video about the Nashville you know vs. the real Nashville. I agree with a lot of these.  

2. What I Instagrammed Vs. What Was Really Happening, Or My Entire Life Is a Lie. I love this. In fact, there may be one on this blog someday. 

3. Disney Flying Medley. Because who doesn’t want to fly? 

4. I can’t remember where I read about Leanne Brown, but I believe she devoted her dissertation or thesis or PhD project (something to do with major work in post-graduate-level education) to writing a cookbook for people who live on a foodstamps budget (about $4 a day), but want to make healthier choices. Anyone can download it for free and print it, but you can also order it and/or donate to get it printed for families who do not have a computer/access to a printer. I haven’t yet made any of the recipes, but they look delicious. As someone who sometimes eats popcorn for dinner, I’ll probably invest in one of these. 

5. Sugar + The Hi-Lows Singing Johnny Cash. This is on repeat. 

Here’s the video for Ring of Fire: 


I love this by Jenny & Tyler (feat. Sara Groves and a virtual choir)

What I really want to say…

A while back, I saw a blogger quote some of Natalie Goldberg’s advice to writers. She instructs writers who are stuck to simply write,

“What I really want to say …”

and go from there. Later, you can delete that intro, or you can leave it in. 

That single piece of advice has been one of the most valuable I’ve ever read when it comes to writing. 

When I write about stuff that’s been on my mind forever and has about 14 drafts in various places (notebooks, the notes app, gmail, google docs, Facebook messages, wordpress drafts—there is no end to my organizational prowess), I get tied up in saying it perfectly and starting it off in exactly the right way. Then nothing gets written and even less gets published. This happens to me not just in writing. I get caught up in how to best present something in texts, emails, and actual conversation, too. Especially when the topic is heavy on my heart or truth I’m still wrapping my mind around, I can get tied up in saying it exactly the right way. 

So, I’ve started using Natalie Goldberg’s advice. I’ll type, “What I really want to say …,” take a deep breath, and finish the sentence. Beginning with that simple sentence fragment takes off the pressure of a fantastic first start, even if I delete it later. It makes me sit down across the table from my reader, wrap my hands around my mug of tea, look them in the eyes, and tell them what I’m trying to tell them. 

I’ve also caught myself saying it in conversation. It not only gives me a way to start a topic, but it also allows me a chance to think. While I’m saying, “What I really want to say …” I have a moment to figure out what that is. What do I really want to say? Asking that question is a catalyst for truth-telling, transparency, and vulnerability, as well as gentleness and tact. Because so often what I want to say and what I do say are not the same. 

What I really want to say is that I’ve found this immensely helpful, so like the blogger before me, I thought I’d pass it on to you.