I am so excited that I am almost finished with getting the new blog space ready. I have almost read everything I’ve ever published for the Internet, and folks, that is a lot – I deleted some things because some of it was a lot of junk that had no business on the Internet, and I learned a lot about myself that I had forgotten. I have a lot left to do with the site in order to make it user-friendly, but if you want to take a peek, you can click over to jamiesampieriharper.com, which is where eventually this webpage will link to – hope you will stick around. My blog had taken a serious turn, what with writing about ontology and reforming church and whatnot, so today, I am linking up with some fun end of the month link-ups, because… fun, hello, even if I am still semi serious. Luckily some of the stuff overlaps for each link-up. First some photos from February:
First on the list – what I learned for Emily Freeman’s link-up:
- Emily’s post taught me a lot about how to know what I learned. So if you’ve never thought about what your month has taught you, she gives great tips on how to start.
- I love to sit in a circle and teach preschoolers bible stories about love and their memory verse, and how to teach Ephesians 3:18 with hand motions to remember it by. Hello joy!
- I am a slow reader if the book is non-fiction, even if I enjoy it.
- I learned a whole lot about homeschool, from the different cover schools around town, types of curriculum’s, co-ops, support groups, and even the various ways people I know do it. I don’t yet know if I will use any of this knowledge, but we are prayerfully considering it for one of the kids.
- Even though I have a house full of books to read, I will still find a plethora of books to check out at the library, and that if I so happened to resolve at the beginning of the year to read only my house books, I will fail at that resolution pretty quickly.
- I am learning how important routine is and how to stick with a routine, and even how comforting it can be at times.
- I need to break the blogging rules in order to love blogging.
- The idea of homeschool, even if it is something I’ve wanted to do, scares me and energizes me at the same time.
- Wen hair products do not work for me.
- Buttermilk is dreamy in a cake.
- Jesus really knew the Scriptures really well – that most of everything He says in Matthew alludes to an Old Testament passage, and that when he talked about the bridegroom and the old and new wine, it seems like He wanted His listeners to think about Hosea – that in fact He was calling Himself a better, more complete, version of the God the Israelites believed in. I keep falling in love with Him in the Scriptures, even when the Scripture does not appear to answer my life circumstantial questions, I meet Him when I read.
- The most surprising thing I learned that is although sometimes I wonder if I am really a Southern Baptist (the denomination I belong to), I learned that maybe I still am, based on the notion of soul competency in the quote below:
“The central theme of this book is soul competency – the notion of a free soul that stands alone before God and is therefore competent and responsible for its own decisions without the need for any other mediator – and how this Baptist distinctiveness shapes (consciously and unconsciously) the identities of Southern Baptist women. These women are more complex, more thoughtful, kinder, and usually more rebellious than outside observers might think. This book reveals that complexity and suggests that even in the midst of patriarchy (in which they are often willing participants), Southern Baptist women create ways to claim their own identity and to act independently because they are, in their own eyes, competent before God.” – Susan M. Shaw, God Speaks to Us, Too, Southern Baptist Women on Church, Home, and Society
Next on the list – what I am into for Leigh Kramer:
- I have been reading Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor. It is the first one of her books I have read. The blogosphere is enamored with her stuff, so I thought I would try it, although it seems very non Southern Baptist of me to read it. She was an Episcopal priest and ended up leaving her role as priest, so some of what she believes is very different from Southern Baptist me. At the end, I could not decide if she became an universalist, which I don’t believe in. However, what we seem to have in common is the way to commune with God in nature and in every day acknowledgement of His nearness. I will read her works again.
- The other book I have been reading is the one I mentioned above – God Speaks to Us Too by Susan M. Shaw. It called to me on a shelf at the library, from a section I had never ventured down. If you are a Southern Baptist woman, you might like reading it, even if like me, you may not be a feminist.
- Other books I’ve glanced at include homeschooling and puberty because yes, one day I will have to deal with puberty.
- Downton Abbey – Who done it? Will Tom leave? Will Mary ever marry again?
- Castle – from serious to silly, how could you not love Beckett and Castle and their crime solving antics?
- Daniel is into Survivor, which just restarted. As a stay at home mom, am I a “no collar” now? From white-collar to no collar, I have found this is an eternal struggle for me as a former professional who may never re-enter the workforce in the same way again, but that could be its own blog series that I will spare you.
- Favorite blog reads, although let the world know that even though I subscribe, I do not read every post they write:
- I like to read Modern Mrs. Darcy because she writes about books and highly sensitive people and her just everyday ordinary things are fascinating to me.
- My new favorite is GraceTable, which is a contributor blog about biblical hospitality.
- I now added a man’s writing to the mix – Timothy Willard. I wish I could write half as good as many of those I read, especially Tim.
- Emily Freeman, Ann Voskamp, Kayse Pratt, Dana Butler, Erika Morrison, and Soul Stops are my regular reads.
- Southern Living recipes
- meal planning
- The Best Yes bible study
And finally, Live Small, Love Big with Lori Harris:
I don’t have a lovely story to share like Lori shares on her blog because I’ve taken most of the time just being a person and recounting every day average things instead of writing a story. However, I recently discovered Lori’s writing, and the way she shares is so relatable and relevant to me, so I cannot wait to read more from her. I love to bake – cakes, cookies, breads, cheesecakes, pies. If you can bake it, I love to make it.
Unfortunately, the sugar does not always like me. I have been thinking about starting a little business where I bake homemade treats for others on demand and then use the monies to save for mission trips or charitable giving or a the kids college funds. Except, I am not a business woman.
So what I have been doing occasionally is baking and giving it away because I love it so – I even just give goodies away on fb sometimes. This month, I baked a cake and shared it for Valentine’s day with my family and my mom and in-laws, and it was intentionally baked for them.
This week, my husband really wanted some homemade bread, so I made some honey-wheat bread. I ended up with three loaves. We gobbled up the first loaf quickly, but I decided to give one away to whoever the Lord showed me to give it to. To me, this feels very small. To bake and love others with baked goods, but honestly, I am learning that it is these very ordinary, but very joy-filling things are where my calling lies. In today’s fast paced busy world, this is definitely how I am living small and loving big.
How was your month?
Also, linking up with Truth and Grace.