Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer Book Review

After a lengthy blogging break for summer, I’m back with this summer’s book review! With my recent engagement, most of my reading time has been occupied with premarital books and Financial Peace University (which I highly recommend!)...not to mention wedding planning! But I’ve managed to squeeze in a few more books this summer. 

The totals are in! From June and July, the titles I finished are as follows: 

  1. Dear Jane: Wise Counsel from Ms. Austen and Friends by Potter Orfali (224 pages)
This little, graduation gift sized book is a small one I bought for my desk at work. It takes reader questions and puts it into a question and answer format, answered only with Jane Austen quotes. Very funny, and in fact, insightful!
  1. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (288 pages)
I listened to this gem on audio during my morning and evening commute, and there were several times when I would sit in my car on my lunch break just to get more of this story! It’s a captivating story about the mystery of a fictional 24-hour bookstore in San Fransisco and how they used Google’s technology to decode ancient texts. Ari Fliakos narrates (one of the narrators from Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things), and his smooth voice takes you into the world of the book. Loved it!
  1. Who Am I? Identity in Christ by Jerry Bridges (95 pages)
I read this book for a women’s mentoring group, and although it’s very textbook-like, it offered a lot of wisdom straight from scripture about who we are in Christ. My biggest takeaway was that God sees us just as He sees Christ once we are His. I can never do anything to make him love me any more or any less.
  1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (499 pages)
Wow, if you’ve read any books on economics, you know that it can be super hard to get through! I am so glad I pushed through and finished this beast. Although economics and psychology are not necessarily my interests, this book was an interesting dive into how our brains work, both consciously and subconsciously. If you’re into psychology and how the brain works, pick this one up!
  1. What is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything by Rob Bell (336 pages)
Although I don’t agree with some things that Rob Bell teaches, this book was very interesting and changed the way I look at scripture. In the first half of the book, Bell dives into some Old Testament stories and breaks them down by looking at not only the language that was used in the story, but also the culture and traditions of the time. Did you know that because Ruth was a Moabite (descended from the line of Lot, Abraham’s nephew), and Boaz was descended from Abraham, that when Ruth and Boaz met, fell in love, and got married, it symbolized Lot finally being reunited with Abraham? That’s pretty cool if you ask me. It has challenged me to look deeper into the stories I’ve known so well my whole life and research those cultural elements.
  1. A Place of Quiet Rest: Finding Intimacy With God Through a Daily Devotional Life by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (267 pages)
Another book from my women’s mentoring group, DeMoss’ exploration of a daily quiet time, specifically before your day starts, was both encouraging and convicting. I’m one that has always struggled to wake up early or get out of bed before the very last second, and although I’m nowhere near where I need to be, it has challenged me to be more vigilant about keeping that appointment with the Lord and having a daily, morning quiet time.
  1. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (304 pages)
I also listened to Trevor Noah read his own memoir on audio, and it was striking. I would highly recommend listening to this on audio. There is something so powerful about listening to someone tell their own story! Noah is an excellent storyteller, and he often speaks in the native African languages. Born half-white in South Africa, Noah explores race, culture, and faith in an extremely captivating and powerful way. Highly recommend!

Total: 7 books and 2,013 pages! 

The winner, and my favorite of the summer is…. 
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan! 

Have a wonderful week, and happy reading!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Big Question

After two months off for summer: the blog is back! And big things have happened.

We're engaged!

Here's our story:

They Met

Jordan and Emily met when they were both hired on the BrookwoodKiDs staff at Brookwood Church in January of 2016. Through working together and seeing each other daily, it wasn't long before they realized how much they liked each other. After keeping quiet about their feelings for a few months, they finally started hanging out in groups of friends and realized that they wanted to be together.

Their first date was on a rainy night in August of 2016, with fajitas for two at Chuy's in Greenville and a game of Dutch Blitz while watching the Summer Olympics.

Jordan and Emily share a love for Jesus and adventure, and have made travel goals for their future together. They plan to visit all 47 South Carolina State Parks, as well as all 50 states, before they turn 50!

The Big Question

When you know, you know! Jordan and Emily knew early in their relationship that this was it. In May of 2017, Jordan secretly met with Emily's family to ask permission for her hand in marriage. Emily had no idea!

For the month of June, Jordan planned a whole month of fun Saturdays for the two of them. The first surprise Saturday was a beach day at Folly Beach, complete with kite flying, hunting for shark teeth, and dining at restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The second Saturday was a morning at the Greenville Saturday market, an afternoon at the zoo, and a fancy dinner before seeing the Lion King at the Peace Center!

For the third Saturday in June, Jordan had another surprise planned. But a few nights before our mystery trip, he received a phone call from his best friend, informing him that they had four free tickets to the Biltmore! Jordan expressed his desire to go with them, so he "moved" our plans to the next week so we could go.

Little did Emily know that Jordan had actually purchased those Biltmore tickets a month before, along with an engagement ring!

After a wonderful day with great friends exploring the Biltmore with an audio tour, the four of them took a stroll through the gardens and up onto the South Terrace. While posing for a photo with the house in the background, Jordan knelt down behind Emily, surprising her with the five words that changed both of their lives forever: "Will you marry me, Emily?"

Of course, she said yes, and they celebrated with their friends and Emily's family with dinner at the nearby Chili's.

Jordan and Emily are thrilled to start their life together with an intimate, small wedding at Table Rock State Park (checking another park off the list!) on October 8, 2017.

For more about us and our story, visit our wedding website here.