Author Archives: kristen

Love Does by Bob Goff

Love Does is a memoir of sorts, stories and vignettes from the life of author Bob Goff. Goff is an extraordinary man, full of whimsy and heart. Some of the stories made me laugh out loud, others made me tear up. The premise of the book is that love does, love is about action. And I believe that to be true and an encouraging message.

What is a little troubling about the book is that doing for Goff often costs more than time and energy. It costs money, and lots of it. I really struggled with the lack of acknowledging that 99.9% of Christians worldwide could not live as Bob does because they could never spend as Bob does. I have noticed that evangelicalism lately is all about living lives of service and doing amazing things, and I worry that might marginalize those for whom taking a year off to “minister” just isn’t financially possible. If you struggle with contentment, this book might not be for you.

Another concern was the lack of connection to a local church and the skepticism towards typical Christianity. A lot of this is a good thing — I love the idea of a “Bible Doing” group rather than a Bible Study — but the sum of it felt like a lone ranger, individualistic faith rather than the true and deep community of faith that I believe to be the most biblical model.

I enjoyed this book, but it made me want wads of cash so I could do the sorts of things Bob does. And that’s not really the point. I’d love to see someone live an extraordinary, whimsical life of sacrificial love on a budget of $50,000 a year or less. I’d read that book in a heartbeat. Goff’s stories are really interesting and the profits are going to Restore International, so if you are intrigued, I’d say go ahead and read it. (6.5/10)

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. The opinion expressed is my own.

Wordless Wednesday

A Good Song For Monday Morning

“Hold One When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It” from Stars’ new album, The North, which came out last week. Find it and other new music on my annual Spotify playlist.

August Books

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a moving young adult novel with graphic, difficult content. (7/10)

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction is a novel in two parts (or two closely-related novellas) written by J.D. Salinger. It’s been a while since I’ve read Salinger, and I enjoyed it, though not as much as Franny and Zooey. (8.5/10)

Hanna Pylväinen’s We Sinners is a solid debut novel I’d recommend (despite some unevenness) to those interested in children coming of age in severe faiths. (7/10)

The End of the Affair was not my favorite Graham Greene, but the writing made it worthwhile to read anyway. (8/10)

I will write a longer review of Love Does in the next week or so, but I had mixed feelings. (6.5/10)

When I started C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, I realized I’d read it in college, but it was worthy of reading again. (8.5/10)

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Rainy day finishers! Kate finished her first 5k and Lexi placed 3rd among girls 12 and under in the 1 mile fun run.

Putting Myself Out There

I’ve been applying for jobs for a while. Applying for jobs is one of the anxiety-producing, dehumanizing and frustrating things I have ever encountered. Every single job application is an opportunity to feel like fourth grade kickball — never picked first.

I woke up this morning, ate a bowl of cereal, drank some coffee and culled through emails. Then I started through my list of job seeking websites. All of the sudden, I had a feeling deep in my bones. If I don’t try, I am already rejected. I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up. Instead of feeling like I was opening myself up for rejection, I felt like I was opening myself up to new opportunities.

It has been refreshing and lovely. Hoping this feeling sticks around for a little while.

Recipe Roundup 10

As usual, you can find them all on my keepers board on pinterest.

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake by the Barefoot Contessa was Kate’s birthday cake — made into a 13×9 and decorated to match her theme. It was a hit with both adults and kids.

Brined and Grilled Pork Loin Roast from Grilling Companion: Skipped the bay leaf, used mostly rosemary and thyme and grilled over charcoal. The meat was delicious sliced the first day and also shredded for BBQ sandwiches.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad adapted by Nutmeg Notebook from Cooking Light was tasty and filling and everybody ate it.

Poor Girl Eats Well’s Mediterranean Garbanzo Salad was a great side to grilled chicken, filling and healthy.

Turkey Stuffed Zucchini from Skinny Taste was good enough I’ve made it twice already and had leftovers both times. My squash hater does detect the zucchini in the filling, even though I cut it back quite a bit.

Wordless Wednesday

Psalm 100 Printable

I made this for kids memorizing Psalm 100 this year, and thought someone else might want to use it. It’s plain, but you can print it on colored paper. (Click on the image to open and save it at full resolution.)

First Day for Lexi

Today was Lexi’s stagger day, when she finally got to visit 1st grade. The whole class starts together Monday. It’s been a long week of anticipation, luckily, we had plans to keep us busy. Lexi cannot wait to be back in school. In fact, she wishes there was no summer break at all, just shortened days so she can still go to the pool.

Lexi is energetic, fun-loving and eager to learn. I hope that this year brings her both challenges and great joy. I pray that she would grow more and more gracious towards herself and others, and that her deep conviction would blossom into a great appreciation for Christ’s finished work. She is really excited about playing soccer with some girls from school and I hope their team helps them build real community, without excluding the girls who aren’t playing.

Happy First Day of First Grade, Alexine.

Words on Wednesday

Lexi has to bring pictures to share about her summer. I asked her what she wanted to share about, and she said “going to the pool.” So, I printed her pictures of our trip to Colorado. It was really fun to go through the pictures again.

I still can’t believe we got this close to the Mount Evans mountain goats, who live 14,000 feet above sea level.

First Day for Kate

Today was Kate’s first day of third grade. This feels like a big milestone to me as I taught third grade while I was pregnant with her. It feels like it was just a short time ago, but those kids are now finishing up high school.

Eight is a strange in-between age. On the one hand, she has grown so much but on the other, she feels so little. She loves pop music but still plays with My Little Ponies.

Last year, I wrote a little prayer for Kate on her first day. I prayed through it again today, but I was coming from a different place. Instead of being the new girl, she is familiar and comfortable. That’s a good place to be, but also one that needs to be bathed in prayer. She is so excited for all this year will hold academically, but there will be challenges along the way. I am praying for enthusiasm to translate into diligence and interest into mastery. Happy first day, sweet Kate!