It's that time again, another Formica Friday, a treasure trove of hodgepodge, random tidbits, and a bit of this and that. In particular, it is the place where I can celebrate the best posts I read this past week and want to share with you. What exactly is Formica Friday, you ask? Check out the tongue-in-cheek, I got away with this?, definition from the first post. A quote:
I will never forget that moment, never. It was then that I saw our shadows, merging as one, on the whitewashed wall. There were lamps all along the corridor, keeping watch. All along that big, bare corridor shadows dance, swayed and disappeared.
"Hélène," the dying man called out, "Hélène."
We didn't move. She seemed to be drinking me in, breathing in my heart. As for me, by the time I finally let her go I knew I had already began to love her less.
Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky
- The long-awaited arrival of a beloved, tiny prayer book
- Midweek services under the watch of stained glass
- Skype and all that it allows for
- A seashell
- Closure and opening
- Tables in the wilderness
- 8 minutes of daily abdominal death, set to The Gaslight Anthem
Posts, websites, trinkets, and the Internet week in review revue:
- Two very good people, my friend Elizabeth Esther and Twitter-friend Joy are headed over to Bolivia to blog for World Vision. I'm so excited for them and anticipate only the best from their words and their hearts. They will be joined by such wonderful people as Matthew Paul Turner and Rachel Held Evans. It's been just over a year since I really started trying to blog seriously. I owe a lot to Elizabeth and Joy, who taught me how to write with grace and vulnerability, even if they didn't realize it.
- I am thrilled to announce that my all-time favorite movie, Paradise Recovered, has signed a distribution deal that may be materializing some venues come Fall. In the meantime, they have added a number of festivals, one of which will be in Austin at the end of July. I strongly encourage you to go. I'll be over in the UK for a a half-month by then, or else I would be there. I was honored to write a review of the film in January and I can't wait to see what comes next for team Paradise!
- I am excited to share that as Amy continues to develop her beautiful blog, she has decided to keep the blog name that so rightly speaks to who she is. She unduly gives me some credit there and in this post, which I share because it is the kind of post that makes me left without the ability to comment, other than to say quite simply: "Yes." And yes, Amy, you most certainly can add to that little thing about silence in understanding.
- Having only recently discovered Elora Nicole's blog, I am consistently entranced by her writing. It's no secret that I'm not a huge Rob Bell fan, mostly because he. writes. like. this. But Elora moves beyond that. Her chunks of thought are deep things, real things, and she asks that you pause between the paragraphs to spend some time understanding where the stream is flowing and why. By God's grace, she's going to write a book. (At least, we're all hoping she will.) Because she has things to say, things that need to be said. Pop over, take a look at these beautiful words, and offer her the encouragement to keep going, because she's going to create some great things.
- Kristin and I disagree on a number of things, which is fantastic. The things we agree on stand out all the more and all the more richly. She challenges me, inspires me, and I feel like I'm a better writer after I read a post from her, regardless of my opinion on it. This week, she knocked me down with a challenging post about making writing hard again. (This was a reality check I greatly needed.) But before that, she provided something even more captivating, about illogical hope. I'm still working through this one. Not in the critiquing way, in the way that it needs to talk to me some more. I need to listen a bit longer.
- Similar to Kristin, Alise writes things that turn me upside down. I was most grateful to her thoughtful response to all the controversy surrounding Donald Miller's post a few weeks back about the list his fiancée had made about the qualities she desired in a husband before she got married. Alise dares to beg the "what if?" and leaves enough room in the detachment for grace and God. I am so challenged by her words.
- How can I turn down a post that advocates reading? I mean, it's kind of my major and life arc. Deeper Story gave a great reflection on why the classics are central to our faith. We do not live in a vacuum, this symphony plays on at His pleasure.
- So I've never met Max or Lauren, but I really hope I do someday, because they're pretty blerging awesome. (30 Rock has provided me with great stand-ins for harsher words.) How do I explain this well? They give me hope. Rich, deep, abundant hope. I'm lumping them here in this point, but I don't think they'll mind. First, Max wrote a post this week about what men really want. As a guy, it is by far the best post I have ever read. Ever. Warning, it has profanity in it, as I know I have some readers who are less comfortable with that. But the content is exceptional and honest. Honest in ways most people are afraid to be. From the female end, Lauren's post about sex, dating, and Jesus (my over-paraphrase) is the one post I wish I could print off and demand that every young woman read, especially in high school and college. To top it off, Lauren has started a pretty amazing thing called the Good Women Project. Get over there and be inspired. Men and women alike will benefit from reading the posts, which drip with grace and the inspiration of knowing their worth. But why stop there? Why not help Lauren and Max with travel expenses? They're selling some fantastic photography and I know I'm friends with enough arty people that we could really help them out. So get over there, friends! I picked up the "spring" photo, which I'm sure is not much of a surprise.
- And, for all those times we wonder why we do this, check out Hilary's post about why she blogs. It were for these same reasons why I kept writing last year when I almost threw in the towel. In hindsight, if I had done that, I wouldn't have met some of you wonderful people, Hilary included. Needless to say, I'm glad I kept going.
- Lastly, check out People of the Second Chance. I'm excited about what they're doing and want to keep an eye on where they're headed. Thanks to them I discovered Max, oddly after I had discovered Lauren and without realizing the attachment. God's ways are odd. Wonderfully so.
And, as always, a post from me:
This week, my little letter to my future wife has brought with it the joy and burden of new followers, friends, and comments. Thank you all so much. I am touched, blessed, and overwhelmed. I look forward to our future conversations and interactions and getting to know your blogs as well. So, in light of that, I want to share an older post from weeks previous, instead of the popular post from the week, as I normally would.
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Have a post from the week you want to share? Have a blog I should be reading? Leave it in the comments below!