Most people like to do all kinds of year-end reflections at the end of the calendar year, which works, I guess, but why not change it up a little and take some time to reflect every year around your birthday. You have just finished another whole year of life, and it seems like a great time to sit down and reflect on the previous year. Also, I did not want to overload my site with another year in review post like my reading list post. Thus, a new tradition is born. In the days right around my birthday each year, I want to share the compilation of 1-second videos from the previous year (see above) and share a few highlights and things I have been learning over the year.
-My first return trip to Italy since COVID knocked out the last few years. We had a smaller group of students, but the trip was still incredible and life-changing for many of the kids.
-Our long-awaited family trip to California to do Disneyland and Legoland with an extended time of exploration around Galaxy's Edge and building a lightsaber.
-Our youngest growing out of the difficult first year of life and into the much more fun toddler phase.
-Lots of board gaming and miniature painting.
-Closing out the past decade with a great weekend of friends and fun activities.
-Having a third child is more difficult than I expected in a different way than I expected. The third child is not as difficult from a straight parenting perspective as much as a general managing of life perspective.
-I have great friends who care about me and who value my voice in their lives. I will not ever take that for granted again.
-The American church will continue down a path of decline if we privilege the voices of white men only. Some of the reading I have been doing this year has further opened my eyes to the importance of elevating voices of Christians from the rest of the world.
-Hobbies are a lifeline for me in the midst of a busy family and work schedule, but I have so many that I sometimes get stuck on which to do when I have time. I need a system to better use my free time when I have it.
I am looking forward to year 40 and the excitement of a new decade of life!
2022 Reading List: Part 2
2022 has come and gone, and so it is time to finish recapping my reading list for this year! My goal for the year was 24 books, which I missed by two, unfortunately. The second half of the year saw a massive slowdown in my reading rate thanks to the school schedule and a full load of three children around my house. So, starting with July and working through the end of the year, here is what I read and a few thoughts for each.
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
I am always down for an interesting retelling of Greek myth, and this one did not disappoint. Set in modern New York City, this is Percy Jackson for a more mature audience. Definitely enjoyed this one.
The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold
I kind of forgot I read this book until I made this list, if that says anything, but this was a unique take on the dystopian genre through the lens of childlike hope and wonder at the world.
The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right by Lisa Sharon Harper
Lisa Sharon Harper has a beautiful and much needed voice for the Christian community. This book was a fresh reminder of the importance of the gosepl for ALL and how the gospel can influence and make change in every aspect of our private and public lives.
Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher
The first Star Wars novel on the list, and also one of my biggest disappointments for the year. When I heard there would be a novel about Luke and Lando having an adventure together, which would tie in some elements from the sequel trilogy, I was intrigued. Unfortunately, the book was less than intriguing.
Love Matters More: How Fighting to be Right Keeps us from Loving Like Jesus by Jared Byas
I have long been listening to Jared on the Bible for Normal People Podcast, but this was the first book of his I have read. This book was a great reminder about the HOW of our theology far outweighing the WHAT of our theology.
Path of Deceit by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland
As the first book in the new phase of the Star Wars High Republic publishing initiative, it did a great job of piquing my interest for the direction of the story. Interesting characters and a new way to think about the Force.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
I loved The Martian, but this book was very different in a great way. While The Martian dives deep into science and math for survival, this story reminds us of the importance of relationship and cooperation, making it far more human (with lots of math and science stuff too, which I kind of glossed over).
The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2 by Phil Szostak
The Star Wars art books are always amazing, and I love to see the evolution of the design process in visual creative efforts.
Inalienable: How Marginalized Kingdom Voices Can Help Save the American Church by Eric Costanzo, Daniel Yang, and Matthew Soerens
A great book to finish the year on, this fairly short but densely packed book summed up what I have been learning about and thinking about for the last couple of years. The American church will not survive without the voice of global Christians and marginalized communities in prominent leadership and discipleship roles.
What have you been reading that has been fun, challenging, or educational?
I love my family and this is the place to find all of the adventures we experience.