Monday, July 31, 2017

Let's Bust a Recap : Surprised by Joy

It's the last day of July, y'all. We are closer to the end of 2017 than we are to the beginning. This year is flying by, right?

Anyway, I recently read Surprised by Joy by Clive Staples Lewis. This was a book from my 2017 book list so yay! for progress. Surprised by Joy is the somewhat autobiographical account of Lewis' conversion to Christianity. It's not exactly an autobiography in the true sense of the word since his main focus in writing it was to give an account of his quest for the elusive phenomenon of "joy" which Lewis describes as an intense longing or desire for something so good or high or outside of oneself that it can't be explained in words. 

In Surprised by Joy, Lewis recounts significant events or periods in his early life leading to his decision to be an atheist. He then describes all the differing philosophies and theories he tries to work through until he finally has to make the leap from atheism to Theism and from Theism to Christianity.

The thing I most appreciated while reading Surprised by Joy was Lewis' honesty. He doesn't sugarcoat things or pull any punches. He presents and examines the events in his life, the people who influenced him, and the choices he made in a straightforward and unapologetic way. Rather than demonizing or glorifying these things, he recognizes them all for what they were worth in his personal journey to Christianity and doesn't over- or undervalue any of it. I love that.

The other thing I appreciated about Surprised by Joy, and the thing I appreciate in general when reading anything by C.S. Lewis, is that he makes you think. Even though Surprised by Joy was more autobiographical in nature than other books and essays I've read by Lewis, I couldn't fly through it. I had to stop and mull over what he was saying and let his words really penetrate my soul. He wasn't just talking about his life or his conversion, he was presenting ideas and thoughts that I had to agree or disagree with in regards to my own life and Christianity. That's good writing. 

I enjoyed finding things old Jack and I have in common and I was also challenged by how well-read he was. There are just too many books, y'all, and not enough time to read them all. The similarities between his education and John Adams' education particularly interested me after having recently read John Adams' biography this year. It's unfortunate that the standards of education seem to have declined so much in the last 100 years. For instance, while I might have a general idea of who Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero were and when they lived, Lewis and Adams were intimately acquainted with all their thoughts and ideas. While I took a couple Spanish classes in high school and college, Lewis and Adams learned to speak, read, and write several other languages in their lifetimes including Latin which was not just a matter of course but absolutely essential. 

I would not hesitate to recommend Surprised by Joy. While I certainly wouldn't call it an easy read, it's definitely a worthwhile one. 

Have you read Surprised by Joy or any of Lewis' non-fiction? What is your favorite work by C.S. Lewis? Any recommendations for next year's list? I'm leaning towards The Four Loves or Mere Christianity. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Casual Fridays

First of all: where my Psych fans at??
Excuse me while I mop the tears of laughter from my face. Shawn, Gus, it's been too long. I'm looking forward to the reunion. 

Second of all, the fancy deodorant came in the mail yesterday, and as today is only Day 1 of the trial, I can't judge its effectiveness and will withhold my final opinion until I give it a fair amount of time. But I will say this for it, the fragrance is sweet without being overpowering so chalk one up for that. 
Also, we just saved $444.80 by switching to Progressive. Not kidding. Yay Flo! I won't say who we were with before but it rhymes with "psycho". 

Did I mention the upcoming Psych movie? Oh right. The video's right up there. ^^

I finished Surprised by Joy this week so be on the lookout for a recap next week, and that's pretty much all I've got for you today. So happy weekend everybody!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"A rogue does not laugh in the same way that an honest man does; 
a hypocrite does not shed the tears of a man of good faith. 
All falsehood is a mask; 
and however well made the mask may be, 
with a little attention we may always succeed in distinguishing it from the true face."

~from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas~

Friday, July 21, 2017

Casual Fridays

Y'all. Yesterday, I bought a stick of deodorant off the internet for $12. I'm not sure if I've lost my mind for good or if I'm just that desperate for some good deodorant. But I somehow found my way to this blog post about the top 5 best deodorants for women and the next thing I know, I'm buying overpriced armpit perfume over the computer. I've tried just about everything there is out there, and here's the conclusion I've come to: the deodorant industry is a total scam and the societal pressure to not walk around smelling like a normal person is one big hoax designed to get us to spend our money and stress-sweat on stuff that is just going to condition our bodies to need more of it hence spending more money and stress-sweat which causes us to think we need more of it because of all the stress-sweating. Vicious cycle. I'm very skeptical about "all-natural" products, but they have a money-back guarantee if I'm not 100% satisfied for any reason so what have I got to lose, right? I'll keep you posted on this. 

As if we hadn't already zoomed past the TMI sign 3 miles ago and are now lost in the land of "Did she actually hit Publish on this post?!", I've also decided to tell you that my tolerance level for BS goes to zero when the time of my uncleanness is upon me. I don't know why patience is the first virtue to eighty-six it when my special lady time comes around, but bless my husband for sticking with me for 62 months of this madness so far. I'm not sure why he keeps loving me, but I'm thankful he does. Can I get a shout-out from all the other hormonal women out there living with saintly men? 

Okay, we have got to bring this train back into the station. How did we even get here?! I apologize for the total lack of decorum today. Here are some cute photos courtesy of the '90s that will hopefully distract you and make you forget everything you just read.
I mean, come on. How cute are those kids?!

Link Love
The Real Threat : Me.

Wedding Hashtags : I don't know why this made me laugh so hard, but it did. No offense to all you cute couples out there. 

#imomsohard : I want to be friends with these girls. 

Did I overshare today? Any of you ladies have a deodorant you swear by? What virtue leaves town when you're not feeling well? I can't be the only human being to have trouble with that....

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Word for Wednesday

"Monsieur, we must not confound prudence with cowardice; 
prudence is a virtue."

~from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas~

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Tuesday Confession

Spiderman 3 starring Tobey Maguire is my favorite Spiderman movie.
I know this movie got bad reviews and most of the people I've ever talked to said it was the worst one in the franchise because they tried to do too much and blah blah blah.
But I loved it and if it was the only one they had ever made, that'd totally be okay with me.
(Although the back story from 1 and 2 is pretty important to be able to understand 3.)
I love the themes of forgiveness and friendship, and, in my book, Spiderman 3 is a homerun.

What is your favorite Spiderman movie?
Have you seen the new Spiderman: Homecoming movie? Is it any good?
Who is your favorite superhero?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Casual Fridays

Hello, internet-people! *insert Julie Andrews giving you a queenly wave here* (If you understand that reference, come over here and sit by me. We need to be friends.) In case you completely forgot who I am:
That's me. Hair that's always a mess and apparently too long to fit in the picture anymore. And also perpetually damp. Because ain't nobody got time for a hair dryer. 

Now that we've reacquainted ourselves, here's a little fact you need to know: someone from Turkmenistan viewed my blog this week. Listen, I didn't even know where Turkmenistan is located (and possibly I didn't even know it existed) until yesterday when I saw that someone from there looked at my blog this week. For any other ignorant people like myself out there reading, it's predictably smack-dab in the middle of all the other -stans.
It's smaller than Spain but bigger than the U.S. state of California, it's mostly desert, and it possesses the world's 4th-largest reserves of natural gas and substantial oil resources. So, there you go. Welcome to my blog, Turkmenistan. 

Now let's catch up with each other. This is going to involve a lot photos which will be in no particular and certainly not in chronological order. 
First of all, what I'm reading lately since that's technically what this little cranny of cyberspace is allegedly about. I'm currently in the latter half of the Psalms, still struggling through The Three Musketeers, and this week I started Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis because I had to face the reality that if I kept waiting until I finished The Three Musketeers to start another book from my list, I would not be making it through my list this year. Listen y'all, I am just now getting to the halfway mark of this book, and I still have like a million chapters to go. It's endless. I thought I had finally hit my stride with it a while back, but no. I got through that captivating little intrigue and now it's back to making myself read a few pages each day. Like, every time I sit down with this book, I fall asleep. I'm reserving my final judgment until I've actually persevered to the end, but I am sorely afraid that if The Three Musketeers is an accurate sample of the rest of Dumas' writing, I'm actually going to hate The Count of Monte Cristo which I secretly think is one of my favorite books even though I haven't in fact read it. Someone please tell me it gets better. Oh and FYI, I did not even pose Major for this pic. #notkidding
This is old news, but my cute niece just can't keep any teeth in her head! Number 4 came out weeks ago. Also, she's starting real school in a couple weeks. I can't even deal with that. Fix it, Jesus. And while we're on my nieces, here's a string of photos that will satisfy your adorable quotient for the week.... 
First of all, meet Colonel and Major's new best friend. My sweet Osborne niece is finally stateside and got to stay at Auntie Hannah's house for the first time. Not that she really cared about me that much: she was too busy with her canine buddies. If you can't tell, she's in Colonel's crate with Colonel. I can't. 

I got to steal my Golden Bolden Girls for a girls day and sleepover a few Saturdays ago and we made Uncle Cody snap a quick pic of us in our Sunday best on our way out the door to church. That second photo of them is from the Fourth of July. Too much love! 

And speaking of Independence Day....
Happy Freedom! Cody had to work a 12 hour shift (hence the grainy, late-night photo), but I got to spend my afternoon with my sisters and some sweet friends of ours. So thankful to live in America! Those shag rugs we're clutching got haircuts shortly after that photo was taken.
They DO have eyes! The best thing about the boys getting haircuts is that they don't track all the sand in Florida through my house. Bless the groomers.

I promise I'll wrap this up soon.

The Intrepid finally bit the dust. I drove it hard for a full 7 years, and it couldn't take it anymore. So we got this super-cute little 2008 Honda Fit. Apparently, Hondas go forever. *fingers crossed* The Intrepid didn't even make it to 140,000 miles. For some reason, I have it in my head that a car that can't make it to 200,000 miles ain't worth having. Is this even realistic? Anyway, it's fun having a new (to us) car, and it's fun driving this little hatchback around. 
We finished another puzzle! This one was 1,000 pieces and the most difficult one we've completed to date. What sadist creates a puzzle where the border doesn't actually connect all the way around?! We technically started this puzzle before I got my wisdom teeth out, but after "completing" the outline of it, we just tiptoed around it or stared at it in dismay for a couple weeks following because holy complex. You will never understand just how many different textures and shades of gray are contained in those two elephants. But I have to say, it was worth it. It turned out beautifully. We just finished it up Wednesday night, and I can't wait to hang it up.
We may need to start a new segment entitled "Adventures in Coloring". I've been a coloring fiend this week. I won't even tell you how many hours I've spent on this. Partly because I don't exactly know, but mostly because it's a ridiculous amount of time. Cody got me this beautiful and infuriatingly intricate grown-up coloring book for Christmas (apparently "adult coloring books" are a thing now, but I just can't bring myself to say "adult coloring book"--dodgy!), and I just cracked it open last week. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be relaxing or stressful but I'll say this: it's addicting. What do you think of my mad coloring skillz? 
And to wrap this up: y'all. I watched these people when they were babies. And now they're all practically adults. Three of them graduated recently so their parents threw them a big open house a few weeks ago, and I wrangled each one into taking a photo with me. These humans are family to me. I practically lived at their house, camped with them, did family vacations with them, went to countless swim meets with them, carted them all around town in their monster 15-passenger van, and kept them alive on more than one occasion while their parents went out of the country. This family is so dear to my heart, and I'm excited to continue watching where God takes each one of them. 

Are you tired of me yet? What have you been up to lately? Do any of you drive a Honda? Love it or hate it? How are you doing with any 2017 resolutions (particularly reading lists) you may have made? Any ideas on how to stop all my babies from becoming adults?? How did you celebrate the Fourth of July? If any Turkmenistanis are reading, what national holidays are unique to your country?