{Monthly Miscellany} July

What a month, guys. And August isn’t going to let up the craziness or new experiences. But that’s good. I’m grateful for adventure and for all the opportunities God’s giving me. I’m also grateful that I got to spend two of the hottest weeks of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, where they were the coldest weeks of the year. Yay for cold. But now I’m back in the heat, so grab some lemonade with me and settle in to hear about my July.


So, yes. Five books. Ahem. But I have a good excuse. And they were all great books.


Vinegar Girl / Anne Tyler


Lavinia / Ursula K. Le Guin


Challenger Deep / Neal Shusterman


Storming / K. M. Weiland


The Dean’s Watch / Elizabeth Goudge

I already wrote reviews of each of these and rated them, so there’s not much else to say. Just go read them, and if you’ve read any of them, I’d love to chat in the comments .


21,821 words. 60 pages. 4 months. Phoenix is finished.

*cue major cheering and awkward jigging and the handing out of much chocolate*

Here’s the crazy thing about this: This past Thursday, I started typing up this post, and I wrote about how stuck I was and how I couldn’t find motivation to finish Phoenix and how yet again I had nothing to say in this section. I guess that made me feel really guilty, because that night, I got the sudden urge to start writing it again. Snatching up the moment of inspiration, I opened the document, reread what I’d written previously, and realized that the big dilemma I’d been hiding from wasn’t so big at all. In fact, I’m honestly not sure what I was so concerned about. I wrote a bunch more on Friday, and on Saturday, I wrapped it up and wrote the final words. I can’t believe it’s finished, especially since just a few days ago I was moaning about how I couldn’t write a thing. God is good.

I’ve started working on editing it, which shouldn’t be too bad. The big thing I have to figure out is how to share it with you guys—I’m considering a blog series. If you have any ideas on how to share a novella without turning it into a book, I’d so appreciate them. I’m also wondering if I should have some people read it over first, since there are some areas I’m unsure of, plot-wise and writing-wise. I’ll keep you all updated. Thanks for all your encouragement as I’ve shared snippets and dragged my feet about finishing it.


Music is what enabled me to keep my sanity on those long flights (the one from D.C. to Johannesburg was seventeen storming hours long). But I didn’t really discover anything new. Oh! I did listen to “Africa” by Toto while I was there, which was pretty appropriate. I love the sound of it, and the lyrics mean a lot more now that I’ve been there.


Well, now. On the 6th, my friend and I left for a two-week mission trip in South Africa. We were supposed to leave on the 4th, but apparently the rules changed recently, and unaccompanied minors traveling to South Africa need a bunch of documents. Fortunately, God helped us gather them quickly, and the rest of our traveling was problem-free. I’m still processing everything that I learned and experienced there, and I’m sure it’ll come out in bits and pieces on here.

I got back a little over a week ago, and since then I’ve been busy with church activities and spending a few more precious days with my friends. This morning, I said goodbye to everyone since they’re all leaving on a short mission trip. I’m a little bitof a quite a big mess inside right now. These goodbyes are so hard, even though I’ve had to go through them so many times in my life. You’ll probably get some more posts about moving in the coming weeks, too.

So life has been quite busy and recently quite painful, and it’s not going to let up, but God is good. He kept me safe and healthy on my trip, He’s given me tons of fun things to do with my friends, and He’s watched over the many logistical parts of moving.


{announcements} // I’m going on a trip, I’m not dead, I’ll be back

To Love is to Be Weak // poetry

My Vacation Crew // bookish fun

10 Ways South Africa is Different from America // what the title says

They Sing of Sunshine and Shadows // poetry

5 Amazing Books I’ve Read This Month // book reviews


The Dean’s Watch had so many great quotes. Here are a few:

Loneliness made or ruined a man. It frightened him so that he must either sing and build in the face of the dark, like a bird or a beaver, or hide from it like a beast in his den. There were perhaps always only two ways to go, God or the jungle. And all men were exiles. It was a common bond between them, the bond between himself and this man and woman.

She thought [reading] must be wonderful and it surprised her that the gentry who were able to read could be bored. Yet they were. What was the matter with them?

Why should we always want a light? He chose darkness for us, darkness of the womb and of the stable, darkness in the garden, darkness on the cross and in the grave. Why do I demand certainty? That is not faith. Why do I want to understand? How can I understand this great web of sin and ugliness and love and suffering and joy and life and death when I don’t understand the little tangle of good and evil that is myself? I’ve enough to understand. I understand that He gave me the light that I might turn to Him, for without light I could not have seen to turn. … If it is Him I want He is here, not only love in light illuming all that He has made but love in darkness dying for it. 

Happy August, friends! What’s going on in your lives? Which was your favorite quote? Have you read any good books lately?

6 responses to “{Monthly Miscellany} July”

  1. I shall definitively look into those books; Dean’s Watch especially sounds amazing. And congratulations on finishing your book! *hi five*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you do! And thanks so much! *hi5s back*

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! That’s so cool that you finished your novella. I can’t wait to read it! I don’t really have many ideas on sharing it… A blog series would work, I guess. And I’m sorry about your moving… That sounds hard. I’ll be praying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Katherine! And thanks for your prayers; they mean a lot. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll be praying as you move. ❤ And Phoenix sounds amazing! The reading quote is so funny, but I love how profound the third one is. I'm working on Kisses From Katie and it is absolutely amazing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear. I totally agree about the quotes. And oh my storms, I love Kisses From Katie so much. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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