The 2010 book list.

Here we go again. Asterisk means I’ve read it before.

*January 2: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (472) (*started December 2009)
January 6: Donald Miller, A Million Miles In a Thousand Years (254)
*January 21: Lauren Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath (143)
January 24: Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning…was the Command Line (160) (*read online; page count for the print edition is from Amazon.com, and it’ll go that way for the other e-books)
January 31: Michael S. Horton, God of Promise (194)
February 7: Johnny D. Boggs, Soldier’s Farewell (212)
February 10: James W. Carey, Communication As Culture (177)
February 16: Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody (307)
February 22: Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game (226)
February 23: Ralph C. Wood, Literature and Theology (100)
February 24: Lois Lowry, The Giver (180)
February 26: Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (215)
March 6: Chuck Klosterman, Chuck Klosterman IV (357)
March 16: Stephen King, The Shining (683)
March 22: Jared C. Wilson, Your Jesus Is Too Safe (280)
March 23: John Blossom, Content Nation (380) (*read online)
March 27: George MacDonald, Phantastes (182)
*March 30: Lauren Winner, Girl Meets God (298)
April 1: Matthew Pearl, The Dante Club (372)
April 14: Francis Chan, Forgotten God (166)
April 27: F.X. Toole, Million Dollar Baby (235)
May 11: C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (195)
May 19: Leif Enger, Peace Like a River (312)
*May 19: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (415)
*May 30: Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (354)
June 11: Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live (237)
*June 14: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King (347)
June 17: Douglas Coupland, Life After God (360)
June 28: Francis Chan, Crazy Love (186)
June 29: Marilyn Johnson, This Book is Overdue! (256)
*June 30: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (309)
July 18: Jesse Rice, The Church of Facebook (230)
July 27: Matthew Crawford, Shop Class As Soulcraft (214)
July 27: Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution (474)
*August 6: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (341)
*August 12: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (435)
*August 27: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (734)
September 12: Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness (135)
*September 24: N.T. Wright, Simply Christian (240)
October 1: Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods (177)
*October 11: N.T. Wright, Surprised By Hope (295)
October 16: Joshua Harris, Stop Dating the Church! (129)
*October 24: Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb (195)
*November 3: Donald Miller, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance (292)
November 21: Molly McQuade (editor), One Word: Contemporary Writers On The Words They Love or Loathe (257)
*November 26: Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk (384)
*November 26: A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh (176) (read as an e-book on my phone)
(half of Paul David Tripp, Instruments In The Redeemer’s Hands)
*December 21: Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book (180)
December 29: Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (144) (read as an e-book on my phone)
*December 29: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (870)

* * *
Stats, because I’m a dork:

page count: 13,865 (if you don’t count the half-books), which is about 38 pages a day
total: 50 (if you mesh the half-books into one)
non-fiction: 29
fiction: 21
re-reads: 17

most disappointing read: I really, really wanted to like Phantastes, but it dragged and was weird and episodic and I only ended up finishing it because (no joke) I had to write a book report about it. I suppose this means I will never be a full-fledged member of the Young Evangelicals Who Love C.S. Lewis And Everything Related Society, but I just couldn’t do it.

top 5 of the year, in no particular order:

Ralph Wood, Literature and Theology
Stephen King, The Shining
Leif Enger, Peace Like A River
Marilyn Johnson, This Book Is Overdue!
Matthew Crawford, Shop Class As Soulcraft

a meditation on the incarnation

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy
the deity in flesh
would give you sleepless nights
would ask you a million questions
would have to learn how to walk
would get skinned knees and blisters
would get startled by loud noises

did you know that he would just
take off one day to the wilderness

did you know you’d fear for his sanity
for his safety
for his life

did you know you would have to
watch him die

Mary, did you have to wrap
your head around the fact
that He came to redeem you
that one day even your knee
the knee where he sat
and listened to your bedtime stories
that knee will bow before him
in worship as earth’s true King

maybe not
but I suppose
that all of it
was worth it

hey, look, it is actual prose.

1. I kind of poetry-bombed the place for a while there, didn’t I?

2. It’s the night before the night before I leave. The past few months have been lovely, and kind of intense, and a time of growing in almost all areas of my life, and I am grateful that I chose this instead of choosing the safer option. Ready for the next adventure, wherever that may take me. At this point, I think I know what I need, and some of what I want, but I think I’ve resigned myself to leaving my options open. A friend asked me today where I would go if I had my choice, and I had to honestly tell him, I have no idea. I know I need somewhere to stay a while, somewhere with a good church where I can get involved and serve, and also get some emotional and spiritual help. I don’t know where that is yet. I have ideas, but as for right now, my plans for the future are getting on that plane on Friday, coming home, seeing my friends and family, and maybe getting some sleep eventually. After that–the future. That verse about God having all our days written in His book before one of them even happens has been an immense comfort.

3. That all being said, I am going to miss here a lot, and all the lovely people that have made DC feel like another home. Somehow I’ve been blessed enough to find people everywhere I go that feel like family, which is why, I guess, I both am okay with going new places and utterly sad to leave.

4. It is so hard for me to surrender my hurt to God, because there’s something about being a little depressed that actually gives me comfort because of its familiarity. I’m not sure exactly what that’s a sign of, but it’s probably not real good…

5. What I am trying to say, I guess, is that I am trying to learn to let go of control over my own life, because unless I do, that is essentially what will kill my soul. You have to lose your life to gain it.

6. Tired. Good night.

advent: week 4

Cells unite
and then divide
and divide
and divide

and become
wrist bones
hair follicles
vocal cords

inside of a young girl’s body
in a backwater town
in the Middle East
under a foreign regime

and the old men see visions
of angels

and the young men dream
their dreams of the same

this is no ordinary son of Abraham
[before Abraham was He is]

this is no ordinary son of David
[He brings mercy in His tiny hands]

this is the scandal
this is the story

come breathe it in
don’t miss it

psalm: come and rest

listen now, you busy, you restless,
you that feel like your treadmill life
keeps you from stopping and breathing,

you whose hands and heart are covered in
calluses from all their hard labor,
from all the loads they have to carry,

you who are weary
you who are hungry
you who are weak

hear Him calling out your name:

come, you who are beloved of my Father
come and enter into rest

look at the burden I bore for you
look at the work I accomplished

hear My dying cry that the work is finished
hear the Father’s words of your approval
hear the Spirit and the Bride say
come to the feast and be satisfied

stop your fighting
stop your striving
be still

take the yoke of sacrifice that binds Me to you
upon your weary shoulders
and find that it is light

because I bear both it
and you

mix tape monday

this week, a suggestion from Teacher Dave: Calendar songs. for example:

1. Avett Brothers, “January Wedding”
2. Jon Foreman, “March (Prelude to Spring)”
3. Caedmon’s Call, “April Showers”
4. Arcade Fire, “Month Of May”
5. Laura Veirs, “July Flame”
6. Foy Vance, “First Of July”
7. The Juliana Theory, “August In Bethany”
8. The World Inside, “September”
9. Broken Bells, “October”
10. U2, “October”
11. Counting Crows, “A Long December”
12. Steve Burns, “What I Do On Saturday”
13. Lisa Bresna, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
14. Waterdeep, “I Rolled Into New Year’s Eve”

Advent: week 3

We hang up our lyres
on the willows there

We can’t bear to sing Your songs
in this foreign land

because our enemies took over
the place where You dwell

because we know our real enemy
is us

who is there that can comfort us
who is there who could absolve

when will we have pardon
when will our hard labor be over

we will wait for the love of the Lord
to come and bring us home

thursday 13

this week: 13 of your favorite things that happened this year.

1. Social Media class.
2. Watching the Lost finale at Dave’s.
2a. My friend Hannah’s tweet from Germany a couple of days after: “LAPIDUS!!!!!!!” Also, reading it to Steph while we ate lunch at Five Guys (I have no idea why I remember this, but it was entertaining).
3. This one game night we had at Jesse and Dorea’s that was loads of fun.
4. David & Nicole’s wedding!
5. Being in Houston for Jen’s birthday. Eating cupcakes and drinking drinks with people and wanting to punch Will Conrad.
6. All the random laughter-inducing things that happen at NPR, including getting strangled for an audience.
7. The Grace DC church retreat (pocket flamethrowers!)
8. How excited people got when I told them about my internship.
9. Getting done with my freaking degree…
10. My seven-year high school reunion.
11. Tiny Desk Concerts–Stile Antico, Black Dub, The Heligoats, Nick Lowe(!), Richard Thompson, Nellie McKay, Turtle Island String Quartet…others I think I am forgetting…
12. You.
13. The things I treasure most: All the conversations had with other people over coffee, over dinner, over lunch, in Google Chat, in AIM, in e-mails, on the phone, in which we got to know each other, hashed out life, talked each other down off our crazy ledges, killed time, loved one another, held one another up.

psalm: a blessing.

and now
may the Lord bless you–

may He give you what you need
more than what you want

may He give you the desire to
seek what He loves

may He grant you many sons and daughters
though you may long walk in solitude

and may the Lord keep you–

may He hold you in His strong arms
and carry you through the night

may He guard you from the weariness
all around and within you

may He hold your hands and lead you
down the good paths He’s paved

and may the Lord turn the glory of His face
toward you so that you might see Him and live

for He has already poured His grace out on you
from His broken body, from His righteous throne, in holy flame

may the Lord give you the shalom
that is already here but not yet fulfilled

may He restore all your broken walls
may He rebuild all your broken hope

may He transform your words to action
and your dreams into His praise

may you ever be His
may we ever be His people

amen.