What I'm Into :: May 2013 Sarah Bessey

books i read

Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton. I was terrified to read Glennon’s book because I love her blog so much. But sure enough, she did not disappoint me. This was the only book I put my life on hold to read in its entirety over these past two months.  I laughed, I cried, and I felt a little more understood, a little more connected to life, a little more human at the end. Glennon might be my spirit-animal.

The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Haunting, sad, and beautiful story.

Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk by Heather Kopp. Heather’s story is unflinchingly honest. The tendency in memoir is to make yourself look misunderstood and sympathetic, but Heather refuses to hide her own hypocrisy and questions. It’s heartbreaking, wise, hopeful, and full of grace.

Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to do by Christine Caine. I am so inspired by Christine Caine – not only her work, but her approach to life. I felt lit up with challenge when I’d finished her new book.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax. Terrible book. Just terrible. That’s what I get for deviating from my carefully curated list of what-I-want-to-read.

A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel by John Irving. It was impossible for this book to live up to the hype I’ve heard for years now. So I finally read it, and yes, I liked it, but like I said, my expectations were probably too high and so I did feel a bit let down.

Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse and  Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End both by Jennifer Worth.  These are the final two books in the Call the Midwife trilogy and I’m ready to mount a petition to make it required reading in seminaries.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell. Not my favourite of his, but I did like it, and loved to see him working through the redemptive movement hermeneutic. But, as always, my main beef is that he doesn’t footnote or credit the people who influence his theology. Bad form, right?

books on my nightstand right now

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Decoded by Jay-Z

television worth watching

Doctor Who – I finished it. I am completely 100% caught up and now waiting with bated breath for the 50th anniversary special. And so of course, I promptly turned around and started again at the beginning.

movies i’ve watched – in or out of the theatre

The Great Gatsby: Brilliant. Absolutely utterly brilliant, wasteful, sad, and complex.

in my ears

I bought the Music Machine Complete 3-CD Set! There’s no shame in my retro Chrsitian kid game, baby. Yes, they’re cheesy but I love them forever and ever, amen.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film The Great Gatsby soundtrack is on quite a lot since I watched the movie. I’m utterly haunted by Lana del Ray’s song on there, Will You Still Love Me When I’m No Longer Young and Beautiful? and it’s on repeat.

in my kitchen

I’m doing my best to eat more veggies. My favourite recipes so far are Kelly at Love Well’s Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower


This Caramelized baked chicken recipe probably makes some real-food eaters a bit nauseous but it was tender and delicious and the tinies gobbled it up. So I’ll call it a win.

And I’ve got big plans for these popsicles to make this summer and I imagine we’ll knock off a few of these 20 classic summer crafts for kids, too.

So, friends, what about you?

What’s on your nightstand? What television show has captured your imagination? What are you pinning or cooking or planning?


In which words like "real" and "true" mean things
In which I know, I'm sorry, and I hope I was kind
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  • Kim Bradley

    Thank you for hating While we were Watching Downton Abbey. We can still be friends.

    • 🙂 I was worried someone would be all “MY COUSIN WROTE IT, YOU TERRIBLE WOMAN, AND IT CHANGED MY LIFE.” So whew. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one.

      • I love that you didn’t pretend that you didn’t read it, might as well admit we all make mistakes at times when it comes to books we pick 🙂

  • Mmm, roasting is the only way I’ll cook broccoli and cauliflower any more. It’s the best! Of course, I’m a sucker for any kind of veg, roasted.

    Reading (finally) Reluctant Pilgrim by Enuma Okoro… I LOVE HER!!!
    Watching Doctor Who (still)… have nonchalantly waved goodbye to David Tennant (and enthusiastically seen the back of Donna). Will be meeting Matt Smith next – don’t anticipate loving him like I loved Eccleston…

    • You’re a cold woman, Wendy K. Who doesn’t have ALL THE FEELINGS over Tennant’s departure? Booo. 😉

      • True. I think that I do have a stone where my heart should be.

        Except that I’ve already fallen hard for the Eleventh Doctor…

        • Lizzi Klassen

          YAY, really?

          • True story. I still don’t love him as much as Nine, but it’s early days… who knows what will happen?!

          • Lizzi Klassen

            I find for the first season or two of Smith, he’s very good at playing a very young and very old person in the same body. Also there’s an episode this last season where he really gets to act, and he pulls it off splendidly.

  • The Music Machine is cheesy, but it’s a good kind of nostalgic. We had a copy of the Music Machine on audiocassette in French when we were little, and I’m pretty sure we wore it out.

    • Also, credit to Rob Bell where credit is due. His “Resources, Nods, Notes, and a Few Shout-Outs” does contain a shout-out to William Webb on page 222.

  • Just blew through all three Call the Midwife Books, oh my gosh, I laughed, I cried, I loved. It has the added amazement for me of experiencing nursing/midwifery in a different time and place. She inspires me in my work so much. Loved Carry on Warrior as well. I haven’t read much this year but those seemed to bring me out of the slump a bit. 🙂

    • They were that good, I agree. Glad you read them! I thought of you a few times as I was reading them and wanted to know what you thought.

  • Just got into Call the Midwife {finally!} this last week. I’m hooked!

  • Catherine T.

    REZ, Sarah Bessy. Watch REZ. BBC. I will not be satisfied until either you or RHE watch this series and turn on the rest of Western Christendom to it!!

  • I want to read Glennon’s book, too, and I’m glad it resonated with you. I’ll be posting my “What I’m Into,” but my biggest announcement (!!!), one that you’ll probably be into, too, is Prism Conference: http://www.prismconference.com. I hope you’ll join us!

    • Very cool! Congrats, Renee! Love that you are doing this. And anything with Arianne will be amazing.

  • Anne Bogel

    Agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Glennon’s. (Still get teary thinking of her essay “It Will Be Beautiful.”) Yes to Rob Bell (loved his exploration of quantum physics. Let’s embrace the complexity, shall we?) Haven’t seen OR read any Call the Midwife, but I’m sure that will be remedied at some point in the not-too-distant future.

    I found David Sedaris’s latest pretty underwhelming. Sure, there were some good laugh-out-loud moments, but nothing holds a candle to Me Talk Pretty One Day. For me. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    • I have to confess: I don’t like it much either. I haven’t liked much of his stuff since Me Talk Pretty One Day. I think this might be my last Sedaris-hurrah.

  • Angela

    I just finished reading “Calling Me Home” by Julie Kibler. Definitely the best book I’ve read in a long time, and the first book that has made me cry this year. I highly recommend it.

    You’re not the first person I’ve heard hasn’t liked the Wendy Wax book. I’m considering taking it off my to be read list.

    • Okay, thanks for the recommendation – I’ll add it to my queue at the library. Thanks, Angela!

  • Dr. Kim Eckert

    “Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry…” A solo in The Music Machine may have been a highlight of my childhood. Excellent choice.

    • I love that song so much. SO MUCH.

      • Dr. Kim Eckert

        I had to sing the goodness song, but was secretly jealous of the kids who got to sing “have patience.” 🙂

  • Karen

    Love Music Machine. Hate that my kids are too old for it, but will get a copy when my grandbaby is a little older so she can listen to it. The first disc (fruits of the Spirit) is my favorite. I can still sing almost all of the songs by heart.

  • I’m still trying to find something for my nightstand, but I’m addicted to ‘Little Mosque’ on Hulu (the whole series is free). I am almost done with the planning and ready for the execution of a boutique at a single moms retreat for 500 women (thousands of clothes and accessories set up in a two day boutique from scratch, ugh).


    • I do like Little Mosque! I heard an interview with the writer/creator on CBC a while ago and she was brilliant and funny.

  • Alexandra D.

    Currently I am reading Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott (I love it! I can’t stop oscillating between laughing and crying) and Dumbing us Down by John Taylor Gatto (Blowing my mind. Everything I ever thought or felt about education he articulates so brilliantly). In my stack of books from the library I still have Daughters of Britannia: The Lives and Times of Diplomatic Wives by Katie Hickman and The Victorians by A.N Wilson to read. Thanks for the remark about the downton abbey book. Now I know to not waste my time! 🙂

    • I loved loved loved Travelling Mercies! Such a great book. I remember reading Dumbing Us Down and having my mind blown as well (and yet, I still love Pinterest…go figure, eh?). Those others sound really interesting, too.

  • I love when you blog your interests and books. I haven’t read the Meet the Midwife series yet – just ordered them from the library – love the series. I think they need to be required reading for all nurses. I am an RN and former public health nurse. They portray us well. great list as usual.

    • Yes, you’re right – required reading for nurses and doctors, too.

  • jewellspring

    Sarah, tell me about the reading the Midwife series and seminary thing.

  • mom_interrupted

    Excellent post, Sarah. We are in agreement on many things, mostly Carry On, Warrior (I ran out to purchase my own copy to highlight and make notes in) and the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby (Lana Del Ray hooked me in and then I also fell for Will.i.am’s song as well as Fergie’s. Oh, and The Xx!). And I was affected by The Language of Flowers, too. Happy Summer to us all!

  • Lizzi Klassen

    I approve of the way you watch Doctor Who 🙂

  • Jenny E

    I was Nancy in our little church’s production of The Music Machine when I was five. I absolutely insisted to my mother that I had to wear a yellow dress with yellow ribbons in my pigtails, just like Nancy on the cover of the record. I still sing “Peace” to my little ones at bedtime.

  • carameredith.com

    I feel like clapping my hands to just about everything you wrote: loved Carry On, Warrior, loved The Language of Flowers. Still haven’t read a Prayer for Owen Meany yet, although it’s high on my list. And The Great Gatsby – yes yes yes. Breathtakingly, tragically perfect.