couch time: my booklist

i've been on the couch all weekend. as in, i have not even brushed my teeth today (and it's 5:17 p.m.) ick. i have a cold, have used up 1 1/2 rolls of toilet paper (on my nose!), and have books scattered all over the floor next to me. it's a messy life, being sick.

however, this gave me the chance to work through some of the 6 books i got from the library last week (ok, 2 of them were comic books). in the past few days, i have read the following:
  • letters to a young calvinist by james k.a. smith
this short book gave great insight on what the calvinist tradition is all about. i appreciated reading through it, since growing up in the calvinist tradition sometimes meant being too close to it to really understand. i basked in the terminology and knowledge outlined in the book and realized again what a solid tradition i come from (although the pride swelling up is exactly what smith warns about!)
  • rose daughter by robin mckinley
recommended by al, my super-reading sister. a retelling of beauty and the beast involving magic, three sisters, and roses. i got a little lost in some of the history of the beast and his curse, but the story was still wonderfully romantic and happy.
  • light from heaven by jan karon
somehow, i had read the entire mitford series except for this book. not sure how that happened. i always feel cozy and uplifted when i read the mitford books, and this delightful title was no exception. i laughed out loud, i teared moved me.
  • love wins by rob bell
i will admit i love reading controversial books to see what the fuss is about. this book has been controversial because of bell's questions about heaven and hell and judgment and does God really send people to hell forever without giving them further chances? many have accused bell of being a universalist, but i think those people need to carefully read the book before they make a judgment call like that. bell definitely shook my long-held beliefs and asks good questions. i don't always agree with his argument, but it's certainly a compelling book. he makes a good point about our questions: God can handle them. no matter what question we have, it's not too "outside the box" or "scary" for God. so ask questions.
  • ezekiel
we're up to ezekiel in our small group Bible reading. never read this book all the way through. some crazy stuff: ezekiel lying on one side for 390 days, then on his other side for 40, the vision of the wheel in a wheel (causing me to sing, of course), the valley of dry bones, the judgments...and over and over again, God says, "then they will know that i am the Lord." i think that phrase is used something like 65 times in the book. i've been underlining it. it's a lot. i was pretty shocked when God announced ezekiel's wife was going to die and he was not allowed to mourn for her. i have hard times when i read stuff like that. so glad we're reading through the Bible with small group. i'm learning.

i just began the clockwork three by matthew j. kirby. it's an adolescent novel involving three orphaned children whose stories intertwine in an unexpected way. i'm only two chapters in, but i'm going to keep reading. i'm also reading one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. mom and i are reading it together and discussing it. good, meaty spiritual stuff so far.

what's on your list?


color trip

last weekend, philip & i took a color trip up towards baker. taking color trips is a van dyken tradition which i was glad to add to our traditions. it was a beautiful day, and while we didn't really see as much color as we were hoping, it was a great time of reconnecting and enjoying God's spectacular creation.

On our way!
Ok, so this color is in the middle of town. Still pretty!
Beautiful day!
Blue skies
Mount Baker Hwy
Peeking peaks
Creepy tree   
it was an awesome day. we also stopped in maple falls at slide mountain restaurant--a hole-in-the-wall type place with yummy chicken strips and fries. mmmm. after the busy california wedding weekend, reconnecting was a must, and this was a happy way to do it.