Books! Books! Books! (of 2015)

When I turned 26 I started working on a 30 Before 30 List. And of course being a former lit major reading books was a high priority. So my goal was to read 30,000 pages before I turned 30. I read a total of 7,982 pages in 2014 which ended up being a total of 32 books. This year I've added reading the whole bible to my list. Should I get it done, it will add 66 books to my list (instead of just one).

So here is the list of books I've read in 2015. Here's to a great year of new reading, new stories, and characters. It's quite an adventure.

Total page count: 6,816 pages
  1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (374 pages) 
  2. You Have to F***ing Eat by Mansbach (32 pages) 
  3. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (526 pages) 
  4. Genesis of the Bible (54 pages)
  5. Tell Me by Joan Bauer (272 pages)
  6. Exodus of the Bible (43 pages)
  7. Leviticus of the Bible (30 pages)
  8. Numbers of the Bible (43 page) 
  9. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (176 pages) 
  10. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (192 pages) 
  11. Deuteronomy of the Bible (37 pages) 
  12. When God Lets You Down: Trusting Again After Pain and Loss by Alex Gee (128 pages)
  13. Joshua of the Bible (25 pages) 
  14. Judges of the Bible (25 pages) 
  15. Ruth of the Bible (4 pages) 
  16. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (451 pages) 
  17. I Samuel of the Bible (33 pages) 
  18. II Samuel of the Bible (30 pages)
  19. I Kings of the Bible (33 pages)
  20. II Kings of the Bible (32 pages)
  21. Deepening the Soul for Justice by Bethany H. Hoang (48 pages) 
  22. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (110 pages) 
  23. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (296 pages)
  24. I Chronicles of the bible (36 pages) 
  25. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (387 pages) 
  26. Like My Father Always Said by Erin McHugh (144 pages) 
  27. Unicorn Being a Jerk by C.W. Moss (120 pages) 
  28. II Chronicles of the Bible (37 pages) 
  29. Ezra of the Bible (13 pages) 
  30. Nehemiah of the Bible (15 pages) 
  31. Esther of the Bible (8 pages) 
  32. The Flute Player by Michael Lacapa (48 pages) 
  33. The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett (357 pages) 
  34. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (361 pages)
  35. Job of the Bible (36 pages)
  36. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (278 pages) 
  37. Darth Vader #1 (Comic Series) by Kieron Gillen (48 pages) 
  38. Darth Vader #2 (Comic Series) by Kieron Gillen (23 pages) 
  39. The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly (368 pages) 
  40. Darth Vader #3 (Comic Series) by Kieron Gillen (21 pages)
  41. Darth Vader #4 (Comic Series) by Kieron Gillen (21 pages) 
  42. War Dances by Sherman Alexie (209 pages) 
  43. The Martian by Andy Weir (369 pages)
  44. Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott (286 pages)
  45. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (64 pages)
  46. The Death Cure by James Dasher (325 pages)
  47. Quidditch Through the Ages by Kenilworthy Whisp (64 pages)
  48. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (26 pages) 
  49. Psalms of the Bible (95 pages) 
  50. Darth Vader #5 by Kieron Gillen (21 pages) 
  51. Darth Vader #6 by Kieron Gillen (21 pages) 
  52. Darth Vader #7 by Kieron Gillen (21 pages) 


Advent Week 4

Advent Week 4

Love (Day 20) 
For Christ loved us too much to leave us in darkness. 

Wonder (Day 21)
I often wonder what the Lord is doing in my life. But how often do I look at him with wonder and awe?

Community (Day 22) 
There have been many influential communities in my life and these represent a few of the many.

Gift (Day 23) 
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! - Matthew‬ ‭7:11

Birth (Day 24)
We wait. We wait for the birth of a savior. Of Immanuel. Of light. We wait for the birth of something new.

Light (Day 25) 
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. -John‬ ‭1:4-5‬ ‭


Advent Week 3

Advent Week 3

Joy (Day 13) 
I have loved this season ever since I was a child. Christmas is magic to me. It fills me with a deep sense of joy. The lights. The decorations. The cookies.

Ponder (Day 14) 
Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. - Psalm‬ ‭111:2

Sign (Day 15) 
This sign took us to some amazing adventures in Yosemite.

Praise (Day 16) 
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Release (Day 17) 
Yes I did an advent day about Star Wars because it is the release of the Force Awakens and Jesus does care about our loves and passions.

Promise (Day 18) 
He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations - Psalm‬ ‭105:8‬

Faith (Day 19)
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" - Mark‬ ‭4:40‬ 



Today is my birthday. I typically love birthdays. I'm the one who usually thinks about my birthday a full month in advance. I love having parties but as a December birthday, parties are quite difficult to come by. Well it's that there are just too many parties happening that trying to fit a birthday celebration in the midst of them is never easy. I have had some great celebrations, I loved having friends over last year to eat pizza and watch Fast and the Furious, or when my students took ice skating, or when my college roommate planned me a surprise 21st birthday party.

But this year I wasn't ready to celebrate. I wasn't afraid of turning 28. I've actually been kind of excited to be in my late 20's. I just wasn't in the celebratory mood. A small part of me wanted to skip over my birthday because the last several months have been hard. There were things from this year that I just didn't want to celebrate. But in the midst of the hard things, there were many things worth celebrating - things that have brought me great joy. So on my birthday, as I turn 28 years old, here are 28 different things in which I am grateful for:
  1. New friendships. 
  2. Friends who sacrificed their time, their energy, and their sleep to be with me.
  3. Travel and adventures. 
  4. Encouraging text messages and phones calls 
  5. Beds that are comfortable and safe 
  6. Family and friends that might as well be family
  7. Therapy 
  8. Students who take risks and are open to Jesus transforming them 
  9. Being outside! Hiking and long walks, going to the mountains and the beach 
  10. Books and books and more books 
  11. Beer 
  12. Star Wars
  13. Sharpie pens and journals 
  14. Words that greet you like a friend
  15. Donuts 
  16. Mentors and supervisors who lead and develop me 
  17. Easting, laughing, talking, and staying way too long at restaurants 
  18. Running 
  19. Thoughtful gifts and gestures 
  20. Music 
  21. Boba
  22. Friends who let you rant, yell, cry, laugh, and sit in silence 
  23. Travel and adventures 
  24. Cameras for capturing beautiful scenes 
  25. Scripture 
  26. Watching movies with friends 
  27. Hope for the future 
  28. Another year of life


Advent Week 2

Advent Week 2

Peace (Day 6)
“Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah‬ ‭9:7‬

Listen (Day 7)
Stop to rest and listen to the Holy Spirt. Be still and hear the voice of the Lord.

Free (Day 8) 
The place in the world I feel the most free is here in Yosemite. To be at full peace and full freedom sitting in this meadow watching the sun set.

Justice (Day 9) 
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! - Amos‬ ‭5:24

Awake (Day 10) 
Awake my soul. Rise up and see the son being born

Mystery (Day 11) 
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. - Colossians‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭

Grace (Day 12) 
I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kind of things. Also, that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog and slog and scootch, on the floor, in the silence, in the dark. - Anne Lamott


Advent: Week 1

Wait (Day 1)
Lord we wait for you. We wait for you to come and bring light to a dark world. We wait with expectation. Hopeful expectation.

Journey (Day 2)
"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.” Ruth‬ ‭1:16‬. We journey together to seek the Lord in advent. He journeyed from heaven to us and we goes with us.

Open (Day 3) 
"Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.” Psalm‬ ‭51:15

Comfort (Day 4)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew‬ ‭5:4‬

Wisdom (Day 5)
We hiked to a wisdom tree once. I wonder if it made us wiser.



Advent started in darkness. The world was in darkness. Joseph finds out his wife his pregnant though he never had sex with her. King Herod murders thousands of baby boys searching for the messiah. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus flee to Egypt as refugees. They hide for two years trying to escape slaughter.

Advent season promises light. A savior is born in an unlikely way in a unlikely place. Hope is born into a dark world. Advent shows us that light can shine through the darkness. Advent directs us back to the light. Advent breaks through the darkness.

So we prepare. We hope. Our world today is a lot of darkness. Terror and fear running rampant. People being persecuted, tortured, and murdered for their faith or their ethnicity or culture. People living in terror and believing the worst about their neighbors. Mass shooting after mass shooting. Injustice and darkness feels like it reigns in our country and in our world.

But we hope. We hope and look to the light to be stronger than the darkness. We prepare our eyes and our hearts to see the light. We cry out to Jesus to see the light breaking through.

From the prophet Isaiah:

"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."