recommendations

Summer at Grassroots

The ground has been plowed with changes in our lives this summer. We needed time to adjust, find our bearings in new activities, and dive deeper into burgeoning relationships and therefor the blog went a bit silent. We have read, prayed, and fumbled through what it means to value community and love people well in new ways and in new places. 

But, we are back! Transition has and is rendering us different than we were this past Spring and we hope to grow in vulnerability, authenticity, and zeal as we begin sharing with you this fall. 

To start us off, here is a bit of what we have taken in this summer: 

Corey’s Recommendations

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

This book is a great memoir on being black in America. If you’re like me and are trying to broaden your understanding of race issues in America, this is a great start. 

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

This book gave me a renewed interest and love for Scripture. I really loved the Midrash elements and how the author tackled hard topics with grace. You might not agree with everything she writes, but this is a great book to think through. 

Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Dr. Kristin Neff

This is more of a therapy recommendation. I’ve been pouring over it slowly as I continue my journey through therapy. It’s been a valuable book on relearning how to treat myself with kindness and grace. 

Podcast Episodes:

Why Being White Makes You Racist by KERA’s Think Podcast

I love this episode. It’s an excellent interview on the tough subject of how deep racism is within our culture and how pervasive our complicity to it truly is. It’s an episode that will probably make you uncomfortable, but also give you a lot of hope. 

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Do you like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? Do you like deep conversations about our culture, science, and whatever random topic comes to mind? Then this is the podcast for you. 

Kate’s Recommendations

Audacious by Beth Moore

Beth Moore’s Twitter account has been on fleak. Okay, so I have no idea what I am doing with hip words, but the point is, I needed more that the 40 characters from her. I tried to have a summer cram-reading session, but this book forced me to slow down and think. Her provocations were so expository to the apathy I developed over time, that I simply had to set the book down (often) and pray. This is a great book for any of you who are in a season of big changes. 

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Feeling less than wholehearted? Struggling with the feeling that your life is fragmented and each compartment you have created is crumbling? This is the book for you. Think you are “pretty open”? This book is for you.

Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit

This is an intriguing and challenging read. Within its pages there is no sugar-coating or precautious word choice to be found, but what it lacks in gentleness it makes up for in honesty. While a few arguments include proof I deem as bias or at least partial, I found myself encouraged, challenged, and fired up to preach the good news to women in my life: YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! (Disclaimer: This is a “secular” read on Feminism.)

The Joy of Less by Francine Jay

This is a book that I actually started in February and finished this summer. It was a tremendous help in our move, as I let go of “stuff” and determined the value of each object in my home. As someone who has a hard time separating sentiment from substance, I found within its pages the freedom to love the space I call home.  

For Kids:

The Story of King Jesus by Ben Irwin

This book is the grand narrative of scripture written for children. The illustrations are beautiful and engaging, only topped by the content and clarity of the words themselves. It is a forever favorite. 

The Lost Lamb and the Good Shepherd by Dandi Daley Mackall

This book tells the story of the Good Shepherd chasing after the one lost lamb from both the lamb and the Shepherd's perspective. It is so creative and the rhythm of the words holds a child’s attention well. 

Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat by Sue Hendra

This is a library find that made my three-year-old laugh out loud. Basically (spoiler alert) an ice cream cone falls on a cat’s head and he pretends it is a magic hat. With a little luck, he manages to convince the other cats that he really does possess magical powers. 

****Shameless self-promotion****

The Saint Nick Story by Kate Davis

Kate’s book about Saint Nick, that was originally part of our Advent Devotional for kids, is now a published picture book! It is available on Amazon and B&N for preorder. Every purchase benefits the abolishment of modern day slavery. (See more at A21.org


 

Favorites: Summer Edition

It's that time of year where all our favorite shows are on hiatus and we're sloshing though the hot Texas summer season. Here are my recommendations for dealing with the dog days of the year. 

Books:

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Captivating and beautiful, it's a hauntingly gorgeous poetic memoir.

The Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny. These books have brought back my faith in humanity more than once.

Pastrix: Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and a Saint by Nadia Bolz Weber. I loved this book. It put so many things into words that I never knew I needed to hear. I laughed. I cried. I felt deeply known.

Television and Movies:

Community. (TV) I can't believe I never watched this show when it was on air. It is hilarious and creative in so many ways. If you like shows that explore how people change and transform through being known, then I highly suggest. It is so funny. (Hulu)

Hasan Minaj: Homecoming King. (Stand Up Special) This stand up is pure poetry. Funny, enlightening, and creative. (Netflix)

The Big Sick (Movie). It's not every day that I recommend a romantic comedy but this is it. Possibly my favotire movie in the genre. It tells the story of a Stand Up Comedian dealing with his girlfriend who just went in a coma. It's a true story of a married couple who went on to write the movie. It deals with illness, family dynamics, following your dreams, and interracial relationships.

Games and Places:

What do you Meme? This is the ultimate game for millenials and those who love memes and laughing.

Peticolas Brewing Tap Room. The perfect spot for playing the above game and hanging out with your friends. The beers are amazing too.