Because Summer is Here, 13 Online Stops Just For You & What We’ve Been Up To

You are feeling it right? The lounge chair calling your name, the hot sun making a bead line for your pink shoulders, and water seemingly whispering sweet-nothings in your ear? For those who are feeling the pull to soak in every aching bit of rest this season, these are for you.

 

Memoirish Books, 2 Reviews:

Atlas Girl by Emily T. Wierenga: In her descriptive book, Emily takes you around the world as if you are riding “shotgun” in the front seat of her life. Tangible details heighten your senses to places and things, not only seen or experienced, but also changing. Landscapes and cultures, languages and dress, fractures and splinters, healing and faith. You are there with her as she is finding her way. Emily writes, “I hadn’t learned yet how desperately loved I was. And this was why I relapsed in the first place. Because you can’t become healed, truly healed, unless you revisit the past. Unless you revisit all those aching, pulsing places and invite God into them. And that would mean going home…”

Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray: If ever there was a time to rest and breathe, this would be the book for it. Bonnie’s journey to write this book started out vastly different than what she imagined it would be. Post-traumatic-stress derailed her neat-n-tidy plans. Although the title, Finding Spiritual Whitespace has a nice tone to it, this was also the critical element Bonnie needed to recover from a past, when all along she had thought she was “fine.” As you read how she processed this new and unexpected turn of events, you may realize that you too are being healed along with her.

 

In the Spirit of Meandering:

Welcoming Summer and All Her Gifts by Emily Freeman: On a lighter note, since Summer has a magical way of making most EVERYone slow down and smell the coconut oil from slippery bottles of Coppertone, this stop is no different. Swing by and enjoy eye candy from Instagram and be encouraged that it is ok to recline a little longer.

What a Week Off Social Media Can Do For You by Margaret Feinberg: After a year of battling breast cancer, she gave herself the gift of unplugging. She shares what God has been telling her and also notes how we can be thankful, even if we live with bossy social media, as she states: “Dear Necessity, I’m tired of you being my mama. But I’m thankful for all the inventiveness. –Margaret”

Ten Cool Summer Ideas For Kids by Ruth Schwenk: Because those sweet kids you love, who are now under your foot every second of every day since school let out, might need these as much as you do. But if you have older kids and need ten cool ideas for them because you are a blubbering mess from raging hormones surrounding you, then these might still be good ideas, or in the least, threats.

The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime by Minube at the Huffington Post: Not everyone can afford to travel the world, but we can dream of them. Plenty of pictures are here to give you a snap shot of places you may never see.

7 Things Tuscany Taught Me by Seth Haines: If you did not already pine for a Tuscany Retreat of ANY kind, then you most certainly will after reading this post.

Homeless Here On Earth by Billy Coffey: Because some days we remember and other days we remember even more.

 

On a More Serious, but Pervasive Note:

5 Reasons Pastors Kids are Leaving the Church  by Emily T. Wierenga: Yet again, a great read by Emily as she guest posts on the blog of Barnabas Piper {son of John Piper}. She invites us to look inside at how, “The glass house cracks for all the pressure and the kids, they take pieces of that glass and they start to cut, or they get eating disorders, or they just inwardly turn numb and refuse the faith because it’s not a story they’re a part of; it’s not a relationship. It’s a bunch of rules to keep the family looking perfect.”

 

Books on Writing, Reviews:

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron: Although there are many exercises to get your creative writing juices flowing, if you are one who loathes regimented exercises,  no worries. Writing exercises are only minor gnats which you can easily swat away because there are too many other words in this book that’ll inspire you for a deep craving to write. Problem is, you will need to put the book down first.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: Now here’s a book that’s been around the block for many writers and has been quoted often. But if you are a “late” bloomer and haven’t read it yet, put it on your list. Inside, you’ll find not only the commiserating rigors and flat-out truth-telling of the writing process, but you’ll also find a little something to help you develop your characters, plot, and storyline, regardless of whether you are writing fiction or a memoir. This is one for the library at home.

The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith: An inspirational piece which spurs you on if you are inclined to ever be brave enough {or stupid enough} to write a memoir. In it, Marion approaches the touchy subjects of emotions, balance or im-balance on telling our story, and the process of getting out what needs to be said for the memoir one may consider writing. Marion writes that, “Steven Pressfield reminds us that all real athletes learn to ‘play hurt.’ By this he means that they go out and do their jobs, even when injured. The phrase actually made me weep, so profound is its application to memoirists.”

 

Along With Writing or Life, Here’s Proof to Keep At It:

These Amazing Before-And-After Drawings Show The Real Value Of Practice by Sara Boboltz: If you’re feeling discouraged because your art, be it painting, drawing, writing, life in general, has not arrived to the masterpiece you imagine it can be, keep at it. Go here ^^ for proof and be encouraged.

 

 

What We’ve Been Doing:

{in}courage community: Co-leading a group, Tammy@MeaodowsSpeak and Amy Breitmann have found themselves happily engaged with many women without church community from around the globe. Encouragement and fellowship have been a key source of pleasure for them as they are now in the off-season, exploring their lives through words and Instagram photos. Which leads us to:

 

Beloved in Blue Jeans. Writing from the heart, Amy Breitmann continues to share her faith she finds nooks and crannies of time to make space for writing, even as the days are busy and full of family.

 

Impact with Simpilicty and Savings : Contributing to an online magazine which includes soul-refreshing pictures and words, Beth Stiff’s work is included in the Summer issue of 2014. But she’s also behind the scenes in her continued efforts as part of the Facebook Team of {photographers} for Scripture Sunday and Friend’s Friday {where she shares the work of others with our community at Outside the City Gate}, plus her own personal space at Simply Beth.

 

Unforced Rhythm community: Kelly Woodford has been rubbing elbows in sweet fellowship with bloggers who link up with her every week, starting on Mondays. Then again, you might find her at SheLoves Magazine where she also shares her words, like one from this week called Rebirth in the Psych Ward.

 

 Concrete Word community: While enjoying her Summer break, Nacole Simmon’s new team of word-weavers have come from far and wide. But for now, who can think about that until Fall when things kick off again? But she is known to occasionally pop in at Facebook or Instagram.

 

Diane W. Bailey: Photography is easily recognized at Diane’s place and this Friday is no different as she begins a photography post and link-up. What a pleasure to share our visual worlds with others and Diane graciously invites you to join her. She’s been a behind the scenes leader of {in}courage community groups this last Spring session and is now enjoying Summer break.

 

If Meadows Speak: Quietly trekking her journey through the weeds of her faith on her personal blog, Tammy shares glimpses of where she’s at in this organic church fellowship while learning to love and re-love the whole church, despite where She falls on traditions.

 

Duane Scott has actively and purposefully been quiet in this season of seeking and listening to the Whisperer of our Souls. Fishing may be in his near future.

 

High Calling Community: This community keeps David Rupert busy as well as a fulltime job which keeps him hopping by day. Besides, he has his own personal place at Red Letter Believers.

 

Between visiting her friend Kelli Woodford and sharing “Friend’s Friday” at the Outside the City Gate’s Facebook page, Paula Gamble is a steady stream of encouragement and is enjoying her Summer-time with her family.

 

 

 

 

 

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